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Drakestail Who Goes to Get His Money Back

Take a tip from Drakestail here. If you loaned the king your money and you want it back, take your allies with you. Make room for them in your gizzard, which means cleaning out everything that’s stuck in your craw. I made lots of room in my gizzard. I made a place for...

Buried Moon

I heard the people on Earth whispering that Things that Dwell in Darkness go about doing harm on the three days when I do not shine. It troubled me. So instead of taking my natural rest, I decided to come down to Earth and see for myself. I wrapped my shining hair in...

Baba Yaga Waits for a Guest

Ha! Where will you find me? Beyond thrice times three lands, in the thirteenth kingdom, on the other side of the fiery river! You wonder where Koschei the Deathless got his magic steed? I've got mares who fly so fast I can fly round the earth in a single day. A mere...

Snuff Box

The fellow who came into possession of me was instantly enchanted because I have the power to make his every whim a reality. Unfortunately, he lost me, but after a long journey (all the way to the sun and the moon!) he found me again. He used me to wish the thief and...

Enchanted Knife

If you hold me up in a meadow so that the sun shines on my blade, the whole meadow will be lit up by my rays, and the horses in the meadow will approach of their own free will. I can cut through brass. I am no ordinary knife, not when I am in the hands of the one who...

Horse Resurrected

The Emperor buried me when he was young, and forgot all about me. But his old nurse didn't. When the Emperor's third son Petru went looking for a truly good horse, she told him to go and fetch a scrap from my old reins. She sprinkled them with incense, and instructed...

Queen of the Fishes

I had sent the little girl-fish on such an arduous adventure to reclaim my crown that I began to doubt she would ever return. My lady-fishes had started to become restless. "I am tired of staying here," said one. Her colors changed with every anxious twist of her...

Gopani-Kufa the King

One day when I was hunting, I came upon a strange sight. A python had wrapped himself around an antelope, and the antelope had stabbed the python. He had pinned him to a tree. The python couldn't move, and the antelope couldn't get his horn out of the tree. Each of...

Makoma the Hero

The head of the giant rose out of the river. His long moustaches trailed up and down the channel as far as the eye could see. He said his name was Chin-debou-Mau-giri. He told me that he is the one who makes the fever-mist that hangs over the water. With it, he binds...

Mother of a Great Son

My child, my wonderful child! How could have he have come from me? He was not like the other children. He grew quickly into a tall, strong boy who spoke like a grown man. He did not speak often.  One day I asked him, "My child, by what name shall we know you?" He...

Blue Light

In the beginning, I belonged to a witch who kept me underground, hidden in her hoard of treasure. Then one day, a solider unearthed me. When he lit his pipe by me, a little black dwarf appeared, and carried out the soldier’s orders. So now my master, who was once a...

Protected Prince

I wore a magic suit of mail armor, and I carried a sword of protection, so I went bravely into the wild forest. Right away, hordes of lions, tigers, bears, and wolves rushed at me all set to tear me to pieces. But when they saw the sword, they lay down on the ground...

Subjugated Queen

Oh, I was so afraid, don't you see? Once my husband died, I had no protection at all, and so, when I was caught by the robber chief, what could I do but obey his commands? "Make me king and kill your son or I will kill you," he said. "How can I kill my son?" I cried....

Holy Man in the Desert

I sit in the desert, in the shadow of a great rock. From time to time, a person who is lost will find me in the wilderness. Just the other day, a young man approached me. A fine-looking man, but completely bald. He said he wanted to marry the sultan's daughter but...

Iron-Fisted King

I rule with an Iron Fist. I sit on a black throne in a black, curtained hall. The courtiers are all dressed in black because they are mourning the people I put to death. An intruder has been brought before me. He says he is a king. I demand to know what he is doing in...

Maiden with the Water of Life

I came down the mountain carrying my pitcher filled with the Water of Life. On my way, a few drops of the precious water slopped onto the stones underneath my feet. All at once, the stones changed into young men and women! They shouted with joy and crowded around me,...

Old Man of the Mountain

I told the sister and her three brothers that they would complete their temple to Beauty if they went up the mountain and brought back three things: a pitcher filled with the Water of Life, a branch from the Tree of Eternal Beauty, and a talking bird. The eldest...

Powerful Troll

If you ask me for something I don't have, I don't have to go out and get it. I can get it from my own self. If you want broth for soup, I'll cut you some pieces of my head. If you want a light for the candle, I'll set my two fingers on fire. I don't have to buy fish,...

Goblin’s Mirror

I was made by a goblin who was at the height of his career when he created me. Everything that looks into me, however beautiful—appears ugly, defected and worthless. Pure genius! The demon was so amused by me that he started a goblin school. Goblins spirited me up...

Wish-Granting Prince

Don't wish to be born with the power of wishes! No sooner had I come into the world than I was snatched from my mother's arms by the old cook. He wanted me to grant his wishes. He wanted a palace, and so I gave it to him. I gave him everything he wanted, but it still...

Devil’s Grandmother

A young fellow came to the door. He smelled like a living man, but he didn't have the smell of fear on him. No fear at all. I asked him what sort of business he had with us. He said he wanted three golden hairs from the devil's head, or else he'd lose his wife....

Demon Wind

At the crack of midnight, I flew out of the snuff box and spoke to the one-legged toy soldier who was staring at the paper dancer in front of the castle. "Don't look at things that aren't intended for the likes of you!" I shouted. Then I knocked him over so their eyes...

Baba Yaga Giving the Burning Skull

The girl stands there watching me, dumb as a post. I command her. "Speak to me!" "I'd like to ask you something," she says. "Fine. Go ahead, but not every question has a good answer. If you know too much you will soon grow old." She asks about my horsemen. I tell her...

Baba Yaga’s Hut

The fence that surrounds me is made of human bones, and human skulls are stuck on the spikes. At night, they gleam and light the glade as bright as day. My doors have human legs for posts, and human hands for bolts. A mouth with sharp teeth serves as a lock. I shelter...

Bee Palace

Get a whiff of me! The bees made me out of the most exquisite flowers that ever grew. I stand on a hillside outside the walls of the city. My roof is made of crimson roses, my windows are lilies, my walls are white carnations, my floors glow with auriculas and...

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 father....

Fluffy Ball

I'm a fluffy ball containing nine kinds of poison (mixed with salt and witchcraft) which means I'll pack a deadly punch. The poor girl who is fleeing with her lover won't know what's hit her. I'll knock her off her high horse and into the river. When she comes to,...

Fountain of Health and Beauty

To find me you must go to the Gloomy Cavern. It will make you very sad. In the acrid smoke, you must meet and defeat two dragons with fiery eyes. If you succeed, you will find a hole crawling with toads and snakes. Go down into it, and at the bottom of the hole, you...

Blood Queen

I know that I shall never see my darling daughter again, and so I will give her all she needs to make a comfortable journey through life. I will give her my best waiting maid. I will give her baggage and ornaments, gold and silver for her trousseau. Yet these gifts...

Betraying Waiting Maid

Ha! The princess doesn't see that she has lost the precious handkerchief that holds her mother's blood. I watch it go tumbling downstream. Now I have her in my power! "Don't even think about getting back up on your high horse," I tell her. "Your horse is mine. And...

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...

All-Healing Apple

On the surface, I appear like any other ordinary apple, but in fact I am an artificial apple made by a celebrated philosopher. I am able to cure all sick persons of mortal diseases—indeed, if the patient is dying, I will immediately restore said person to vigorous...

Cormoran the Giant

I live in a gloomy cavern on the top of Saint Michael's Mount, off Cornwall. I'm eighteen feet high and nine feet round. My fierce and savage appearance terrifies everyone around me. When I go to the mainland for meat, I throw half a dozen oxen on my back and tie...

King Solomon’s Ring

I am the signet ring of the wisest king who ever lived, and I bear a secret inscription. The one who can interpret it will discover how to destroy the Dragon. Yet no one knows where I am hidden, and there is no one left in the world who is wise enough to decipher my...

Dragon of the North

I have a voracious appetite, and it can't be satisfied. I'm eating all the living creatures on the planet, and I will not stop until I have consumed them all. I jump like a frog, so you won't know where I'm coming from. I have the body of an ox and the tail of a...

Mountain Giant

We live on this mountain, see. It's our mountain. Our granite, our precious stones, and nobody is entitled to come here, least of all this little man who is sleeping on the rocks. I push him with my foot. "What sort of earthworm is this?" My brother says, "Crush him...

North Wind

When the young girl approached my dwelling, riding on the South Wind, they felt my cold gusts long before they aririved. “What do you want?” I roared from afar, freezing them with my blasts. The South Wind said: “It is I, and this is she who is meant to be with the...

Queen of the Elements

As mother of all the Elements, I have made my decisions. My eldest son, with his lively imagination, will be Lord of the Fire. My second son, who is stable but rather dull, will be King of the Earth. I will put my third son beneath the seas. He is monstrously wild and...

All-Seeing Sun

When my darling girl comes to see me, she has already come a long way. She has consulted the Wind, the Moon, and the Stars. They have given her the means to walk through the heavens. She asks me if I have seen her beloved white wolf. Yes, I have seen him, I say...

Blundering Fairy

Oh, I have made the most AWFUL blunder! I had the best intentions. I just wanted to help the people of the island. I had taken them under my protection so, invisibly, I went from house to house to see what the people wished for. The children longed to be grown up, and...

Iron Castle

I am made of iron, and I hold all the wizard's possessions. I have recently received an army of men who have turned to stone. On the wizard's command, the soldiers froze. One was caught in the act of running away, another was brandishing a sword, and another was...

Long the Tall Man

Long is my name. Pleased to make your acquaintance. Me and my friends, Broad and Quickeye, we're off to help the prince free his lady-love. Where is she? Well, she's been locked up in an iron castle by an evil wizard. I can get us out of the woods, that's not a...

Hare with the Power of Wishes

Well, I didn't know I had the power of wishes! I was just driven by the necessity of finding food, you see, because my grandmother and I had nothing to eat. I spread out my net in the water, and when I went back the next morning, the net was swarming with fish! To...

Metal-Haired Princess

He found the three of us doing what we do every day. We comb our hair. Mine is golden, and every strand that falls to the floor rings out like a pure metal. No one had ever heard the ring of my hair until the handsome youth came into my copper room. I told him that...

Escape Artist

It is easy to appeal to the sympathies of tender-hearted men. When the prince came into the room, I used one of my best illusions. I fastened myself to the ceiling by chains, and hung above a boiling cauldron of pitch. I begged the young fellow to throw water on me to...

Mother Dragon

Does my appearance SHOCK you? Come now, approach my diamond throne. Which of my heads is more of a shock? One, two, or three? Is it our breath? Hah! Arr! Arr! Arr! Come on now, it can't be our VOICE. Don't you like the sound of cawing ravens? Approach, I say! What's...

Sleeping Dragon

Now that I've captured the flower queen's daughter, I can sleep in peace. Everything's under control. In a year's time, I'll wake and throw my weight around, just to remind everyone who's in charge. Then I'll go back to sleep for another year. In time, people will...

King Frost

Silent weeping. That's what caught my attention. Breath in the crisp air. Something to freeze. She was sitting by the fir-tree. Crisp, crackle! I lit beside her. "Do you know who I am?" "All hail to you, great king," said she. Her voice shivered. "Are you warm,...