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Fortune-Telling Witch

The pig's wife is standing outside her house. Little does she know that my youngest son was killed by her husband, so I turned him into a pig. I put a spell on him that would last three years, and his term is nearly done. She calls me to come and speak with her,...

Magic Book of an Old Man

I sit on a shelf of books in a room that is off-limits to anyone but the old hill-man. I hold secret instructions for shape-shifting. Want to become a whale in the sea, or a deer running through the woods? Want to beguile or seduce others with your physical charms?...

Witch in a Golden Cloak

I'm a famous witch. I live on an island in the center of a large lake. A golden lantern hangs outside my door, but no one comes here. I hear only the sweet tinkling bells on the golden horns of my goat who is feeding nearby. I am sitting by the fire, wrapped in a...

Widow with Idle Sons

I had three sons, and I raised them by myself for the most part. What a disappointment! They were idle and careless. The two eldest weren't able to keep any sort of job. They kept coming home, expecting me to serve them hand and foot. My youngest was a bit more...

Spiteful Aunt

I meant to destroy that nephew of mine. It was either that, or he would destroy my son. When he had grown tall, strong, and handsome, I sent for my nephew. I said, “Manus, I know a bride who will suit you well. She is the daughter of a mighty earl.” I promised him the...

Fire Witch

I know what's going on. The king's daughter who is in my power is helping the drummer boy who has come to release her. That's why he's been able to do all my tasks. Well, this time I intend to throw him into the fire. If he's afraid of fire, it will consume him. Of...

Husband of a Woman Who Doesn’t Want to Spin

I wanted my wife to do what the other women do: spin, but she wouldn’t. Whatever I gave her to spin, she never finished, and whatever she spun, she didn’t wind, but left it tangled on the bobbin. One day when I had gone into the forest to chop some wood to make her a...

Unfaithful Ferdinand

I met Faithful Ferdinand riding by on his white horse. When he told me his name, I said, "What do you know about that? I'm Ferdinand, too. Unfaithful Ferdinand." We rode together to town. He was impressed by the fact I knew everything that people were thinking, and...

Chattering Maidservant

When I was brushing the queen's hair, I told her what I saw by the lake. A handsome man in a suit of green satin came down to the water and got in a boat. He rowed over to the island where the princess lives in her castle, out of the queen's reach. "She must have a...

Evil Magician Ismenor

When the queen came to the tower, I turned her into a marble statue. Ha! I must say, I'm inspired by the pretty ornament. It will serve to mark the place where her precious king is imprisoned. I think I'll go to the Isle of Swans and turn all the queen's people into...

Troll Boss

I live in a bank in the middle of the wild forest and I hold power over men and beasts. When a man comes looking for employment, I put him in charge of feeding all the animals in the forest. Then I have some sport with him. I lock the beasts in the stable, turn the...

Magic Pin

I'm a particular kind of pin. If I am stuck into the coat of a person, I will put that person to sleep. If I am removed from the coat, the sleeper will wake. I'm not a jabbing pin, you see. I'm not a pin that goes in. I can put you down painlessly. I slip in, ever so...

Magician of the Lamp

Once I get ahold of the lamp, I will be all-powerful! All I have to do is find a boy who's fool enough to go down into the earth and get it for me. Oh, I've got a bright idea. A very bright idea! I'll approach that little boy, Aladdin, and I'll pretend to be his uncle...

Letter that Got Changed

I was once a snow-white page, perfect and pristine. I wanted to be the bearer of good news and inspired words. One day, the king's mother picked me up wrote upon my face: "My darling son, I am writing to send you the happy news that your wife has given birth to a baby...

Hungry Wolf

I have a charming voice. It causes women to become weak-kneed around me. Old and young, it works with them all. I especially like them young, though, like that little Red-Cap. What a morsel! You have to approach gently. Don't show your appetite. "Good day, little...

Deceiving Princess

I wish I had the handsome skipper for a husband. I'd much prefer to sail the seas with him than to be pent up on dry land with a boring old soldier king! All I have to do is put the king to sleep. Then I'll call the skipper and we'll throw him overboard. Easily done!...

Frog in the Well

Somebody's crying. What a racket! Wah, wah, wah, waaaaaaah! I swim to the surface and I see the king's daughter sitting by the well. I try to be courteous about it. "What ails you?" I ask. "You're weeping so hard that a stone would show pity." "It's my ball," she...

Enticing Evil Witch

Ha, she's such a pretty bird, the little queen! So fresh and new. Innocent as the dawn! She sits at the window and weeps because the king has gone away. "Why don't you come out into the garden?" I ask, coming to her window and leaning on my staff. "See the butterflies...

Lying Weaver

Come, my friends, look closely at our fabric. The texture and patterns are uncommonly beautiful! See, the clothes that are made of this stuff possess a wonderful property! The threads are so fine that they are invisible to anyone who is not himself fine—that is to...

Mother-in-Law Who Steals Babies

Who is my son's new wife, anyway? She comes from nowhere. She doesn't deserve to be queen. She can't even speak! She won't speak, that's what I think. She's a schemer, and I'm going to expose her. I know what I'll do. I'll take her baby. She'll go to sleep tonight and...

Sultan of the Indies

My son has been a joy to me, but when he came home from his adventures, he would not tell me the mystery of his good fortune. He said he would visit me frequently, provided I did not seek to know his secrets. He stayed for a few days, and then went away for some time....

King’s Evil Advisor

Listen, your Majesty. You're a king. You want to marry that resistant shepherdess? Keep her in prison and feed her bread and water. Then see if she continues to refuse you. If she does, have her head cut off. You've got to start teaching people to respect and obey...

Scheming King

My three sons are all brave and clever, and for that reason, I worry that they'll start to quarrel for my crown long before I'm ready for the grave. I would prefer to spend these years in peace, so I've come up with a scheme. I'll summon my sons and tell them that I...

Rumpelstiltskin

I live in a house on a hill in a corner of the wood where the foxes and the hares say goodnight to one another. Nobody knows my name and I intend to keep it that way! I can spin. No one can spin like me. I can spin straw into gold. The miller's daughter is a good...