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Princess Sacrificed to a Dragon

I was led to the shore in a great procession and tied to a stake. Soon the dragon arrived, skimming swiftly along the waters. I prepared myself for death but then a fox came trotting along the shore. He drew the brush of his tail along the surf and scattered salt...

Mark the Rich

I would never have let the strangers in through the door. But my little daughter, Anastasia, begged me to let the three old beggars sleep in the house. I could not refuse her, so we let them in and gave them the loft. During the night, Anastasia crept up to the loft...

Queen Who Beheads the King

I had been put in a castle far away, on the other side of sea filled with giants and birds who would peck out the eyes of anyone who dared to sail through their territory. The king's outrider, a handsome lad named Ferdinand, came for me. He fed the giants, and they...

Devil Who Claims a Soul

According to popular opinion, the Devil (oui, c'est moi) steals souls, but permit me to change your impression. I merely claim the souls that are already mine. Take, for instance, the innkeeper. I have been keeping an eye on him for some time. I employed three...

Sleeping Beauty’s Husband

Folks think that after I married the Sleeping Beauty in the Wood, we lived happily ever after. I'm afraid that's not the way it happened, at least not in our story. We have two children, Morning and Day, and we keep them a secret because my stepmother is an ogress who...

Buried Brother

My brother hit me from behind, killed me, and buried me under the bridge. He took the spear that was my protection and married the woman who was my whole world. Years have passed. Yet nothing is hidden from God. I've given a shepherd one of my bones, and he is making...

Fatima the Holy Woman

God told me that I would die today, and so I will. I am not afraid. While I am still in prayer, a wicked man enters my cell. He claps a dagger to my breast and orders me to rise. On pain of death he tells me to undress and give him my clothes. He colors his face to...

Sick-At-Heart Girl

A few years ago, my mother took me and my brother to live in a town where there is no death. We lived well for some time, but then my mother began getting terrible headaches. When I came home today, I was told that that my mother had been killed by the town butcher!...

Cold-Blooded Stepmother

I didn't ask to raise my husband's daughter. I've got my own, and that's all I need. I can't stand the way the girl fawns. I wish she'd stop trying to please me. She's never going to be my own flesh and blood. And for the sake of God, stop crying! I've had it. I'll...

Miller’s Daughter Betrothed to a Robber

The day before the wedding, my father held a feast. At the table, everyone was asked to tell a story. I just listened, but then my bridegroom said to me, "Come, my darling, do you know nothing? Relate something to us." I ignored his disrespect, rose to my feet, and...

Very, Very Old Woman Among Robbers

Before the robbers come home, I go down into the cellar. I stay there, quiet as a mouse. I have learned not to make a sound, or move, lest they think I am listening. I cannot begin to tell you what I have heard. Suffice it to say that the robbers like the taste of a...

Drawn Curtain

The old woman, pretending to be a chambermaid, closed me and shut out the light. In the dark, many terrible things happened. The chambermaid took the weakened queen to the bath, and suffocated her in the hellish heat of the fire she made in the room. Then she put her...