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Arrow of Heaven

The gods in the Hall of High Heaven gave me to the Young Prince, among with many other arrows feathered by heavenly birds. They sent him over the Floating Bridge, to bring peace to the land of the Reed Plains. When his feet touched the tops of the high hills, he...

Letter to the Dragon King

She wrote upon me in great sorrow. How I felt for the daughter of the Dragon King of Dungting Lake! Her father had married her to a faithless, philandering Dragon who had sent her out to pasture to look after his sheep. I am to be taken to her father, and my contents...

Princess Who Follows a Blood Trail

I was sure that the walls of the room had been built thickly enough to prevent a ray of candlelight from entering, but it did enter, and my husband was turned into a dove. When I came to him, he was sitting on the bed. "For seven years I must fly about the world," he...

Bald Suitor

My mother thinks that I will get nowhere in the world because I'm idle and we are penniless, and, worst of all, I'm bald. Well, I never had much passion for anything until I saw the princess riding by the other day. Her face was veiled but from the moment I caught a...

Fir Tree

From the time I was a sapling, I surged with the desire to grow tall and have a brilliant career. I was never satisfied with my lot. I wanted to be timber for a great ship, or an ornamented Christmas tree. I wanted to have a higher purpose. "Rejoice in us!" sang the...

Green Cloak

Cloaks have many functions. Some serve ordinary purposes. They keep their wearers warm. Others serve to adorn and signal rank. Some cloaks serve to disguise and even have the power to make their wearers invisible. Cloaks can also be traps. They can seal a person in....

A Window in the Beast’s Castle

I'm not a window to the outside world, though I may look like a window. I'm sealed off to the outside. I'm simply a window of entertainment, made for no other purpose than to amuse and distract a lonely girl. There are seven of us in all in the entertainment room. We...

Preserving Water

I have been used to preserve the Old Fairy's remaining eye and tooth—ugh! Such foul work! Why have I been turned to such a purpose when the Old Fairy does nothing with her powers but torment the innocent? Now I am only too happy to break free from the crystal jars,...

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...