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Pike Who Answers a Need

I begged the man not to eat my little one. I promised to do him a good turn and so he threw my darling back into the sea. I watched him from under the deep pool. He sat on the rock above me and became very quiet. The water became so still that I could hear what he was...

Wizard of a Man

The Tsar kept me under lock and key for years, and do you know why? Because I am a wizard of a man, yes indeed! A mere peasant made me of copper, with iron hands and a steel head. I am virtually indestructible. One day a boy walked past my prison grate. I recognized...

Old Man Ivansko’s Return from the Underworld

I still have an ache in my shoulder. “Why?” My grandchildren ask me. Well, I tell them, it’s because of Baba Yaga. I released your grandmother from the underworld many years ago. She was trapped down there in a golden castle. I freed her easily...

Hyacinthia Who is Trapped in the Underworld

I am one of thirty young women who have been trapped underground by my father who is a powerful magician. He allows us to surface and play in the water as ducks, but then we must put on our white robes and return through the portal of the willow tree that stands by...

Bullied Husband

I’m thinner than my wife, and not as strong, and she used to beat me black and blue. But the day came when I could no longer endure the abuse. On that day, I was out in the fields, and I caught a crane in my net. The crane spoke and said, “If you let me go free,...