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Flute of O’Yoné

One night the sweet child O’Yoné stole into the bamboo grove behind the garden. Weeping, she told her story to the forest. Her mother had died and her father had remarried a beautiful woman with a cruel, jealous heart. O’Yoné knew she would to kill her at her first...

Queen Riding through a Winter Wonderland

On the happiest day of my life, I was riding through the falling snow on a sleigh that was lit by the setting sun. Rushing along through the fir trees in the steaming breath of the horses, I felt like a great white swan, feather-light and wing-borne. “Oh joy and...

Flying Horse

I would like to return home to my stable in the heavens. It's on top of a high mountain, and twelve flying horses live there, including my twin brother. They are guarded and cared for by an old woman. The horses are sleek and majestic, except for my twin. At first...

Queen Who Goes to Fairyland

I loved my husband but I couldn't conceive a child. We never talked about it, but when we watched other people play with their children, we couldn't hide our sadness. Then one day I went into the park near the castle, and sat alone by a waterfall. I didn't want my...

Seeker of the Silent Princess

I was the son of a pasha in Turkey, and an only child. I played with a golden ball that I would throw against the walls of the summer house and catch when it dropped. One day, I saw an old woman coming to draw water from the well, and I threw my ball at her pitcher....

Dorani’s Invisible Husband

The gardener asked me why I was looking so sad, and I told him the reason. "My wife Dorani is as lovely as the stars, but she won't speak to me. Every night she leaves me, and goes back to her father's house." The old gardener gave me six small packets of powder and...

Fish Man

The troll turned me into a fish and I sprang into the river. No use fighting against the stream. I let it carry me out to sea. At the end of the current, I found myself at the bottom of the ocean, outside a palace made of glass. I peered into the rooms and halls. The...

Snowflake

My mother and father wanted a child so much that they made me out of snow, and I came to life. They called me Snowflake. Spring has arrived. The fields are full of flowers. Nightingales sing in the trees, and my friends are playing outside and shouting with glee. The...

Snow Man

I take pride in being cool and collected. I'm a Snow Man, after all. But something at the very core of me cracks. It's always cracking, and I find myself longing for something that is not at all becoming of a Snow Man—the hot stove! I look through the window of the...

Water Lily

My sisters and I spun gold flax for an old woman who made us work from dawn to dusk. We had never seen a man. The old woman warned us that the sheen would go out of our flax and terrible things would happen if we ever laid eyes on a man. Well, I did lay eyes on a man....

Tempted Queen

I had a passion for traveling and exploring, so when my daughter was only a few weeks old I went to visit a certain mountain about which I had heard many marvelous tales. I set out with a number of attendants, and on the way we passed by an old castle. It was said to...

Prince with a Mirror

When I was fifteen, I woke up one day and found a mirror had been placed in my room. It was not large, and it had a black frame. When I looked into it, I did not see my own reflection. Instead, I saw the face of a girl as lovely as the dawn. She, like me, was coming...

Hopeful Ferryman

When did I begin to ferry the dead over the wide river? I cannot remember. It was such a long time ago. Back and forth, back and forth.... It is all I know, except for a growing longing to be free, which is making my job a hellish suffering. Today, I ferried a young...