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Prince Who Fights a Beast

My two older brothers think I'm a fool and a simpleton. But our father has become very anxious because some beast has been getting into his deer-park and killing animals every night. Nobody knows who's doing it but my father suspects the Norka. If it is the Norka it...

Petru Who Meets a Dragon

I had set off to get water to heal my father's eyes. He had one laughing eye and one weeping eye, and the only way to heal the weeping eye laugh was to bathe it in water from the spring of the Fairy of the Dawn. My two older brothers had gone on the adventure, but...

Girl Who Wears a Wreath

After a hard day's work chopping wood in the forest with my father, we got home, and then my father said, "Oh, no, I left my axe in the forest!" He asked my stepmother if she would send her daughter out. She hadn't worked all day in the cold and the heavy rain,...

Boy Who Wants to Know His Father

When I was only two years old, my mother took me with her into the woods to gather branches for the fire. It was spring-time and I can still remember the delight I took in the flowers that carpeted the forest. Then all of sudden, two men sprang out of the thicket, and...

Princess Who Cooks

Because I would not marry a hideous, foul-mouthed, one-eyed captain, my father ordered me to put on peasants' clothes and leave the castle. He sent me to a potter who taught me to make pots. I sold them in the market. As soon as I set up my stall, my father's horsemen...

Swan Sister

When my six brothers shake off their swan feathers, I am so glad to see them! But there isn't much time. They will only be in their human forms for a quarter of an hour. "If you wish to free us, you must sew us six shirts from starwort," they say. "For seven years you...

Cinderlad

My brothers call me Cinderlad because I like to tend the fire. Well, they may call me what they will, but they were too scared to spend St. John's night in the barn, and watch to see how the grass disappeared. I got into the barn and lay down, and after about an...

Prince Ahmed

I shot my arrow farther than my brothers, but since it could not be found, the hand of the princess went to my second eldest brother, Ali. My eldest brother was so upset about losing the contest that he renounced all his rights to succession and went off to become a...

Ring Seeker

I set out in search of King Solomon's ring because it was our only hope of destroying the dragon who was consuming the whole world. I walked toward the sunrise because I knew that all the old wisdom comes from the East. After travelling for a few years, I met a famous...

Blood-Stained Climber

The other suitors tried to climb the glass mountain by using horses that were shod with sharp nails. They didn't make it. Even the golden knight didn't make it. When he hit bottom, I heard his bones rattle in his battered golden armor like dry peas in a pod. I went...

Prince in Search of Flowers

I searched the world over for the daughter of the flower queen. After a year, my horse died of exhaustion. I didn't bother to find another horse. I went on looking, on foot. I came to the hut of an old man. He said to go down the road for a year. I did, and I came to...

Simpleton with a Big Dream

I could never please my old mother. My brothers did. They were always buying her fine clothes that made her look really smart. Me, I just got in her way. I was too slow, too stupid. She had no patience for me. When the king decreed that he would marry his daughter to...