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Woman Who Wanted Something for Herself

My father made me work hard, and the one thing I wanted for myself—a sprig of rosemary—would not be pulled out of the ground. The harder I pulled, the more the plant resisted, but I was not about to be beaten. I tore it out of the ground, and then a lot of things...

Straw King

I figure that my best chance of getting her to spin straw into gold was to threaten her with death. Isn’t necessity the mother of invention? I heard her weeping behind the door. I felt no sympathy. I thought, well that’s what you get for having a boastful...

Working Witch-Maiden

The reason our handsome guest finds a coin under his pillow every morning is that he has swallowed a bird’s heart. My mother, who is a witch, wants me to get him to cough it up. She said we have more right to it than he does. I hate the jobs she makes me do! How...

Scioravante the Gold-Headed Magician

Ha! The little mare has given me the slip, but now I’m back! I’m on the roof of the palace. I can see her in her room, combing her long hair. She thinks that she can hide from me, but even if she barricades herself behind seven iron doors, I’ll get...

Wizard King

I don’t like that my wife goes in secret to visit her fairy godmother. Wizard kings have a standing feud with fairy queens who insist on conducting themselves in secret. When I want something, I go out and get it. I turn myself into an eagle and soar over the...