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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 quietly on rock above me. The water became so still that I could hear what he was thinking....

Prince with Animal Friends

The relationship that my two brothers and I have with the animals started one day when we went out hunting. We had gone some way through a thick wood when we came upon a grey wolf and her three cubs. Just as we went to shoot, the wolf said, “Don't shoot me, and I will...

Spirit of a Dead Man

There is a great deal of magic in the world, and you will find it in my story. I was dying and my wife was very distraught, not only because I was leaving her in her youth, but also because I could not pay my debt to a creditor. The creditor had threatened to have me...

Black Raven of Corri-nan-creag

My eyes never close. My wings never tire. To some I am a bearer of ill-news and a bad omen. To others I am a simply a friend. When Covan the Brown-Haired sat down to eat his little cake in the forest, I appeared beside him cawing, "A bit for me! A bit for me!" He...

Hungry Giant

Oh, I was hungry. I stood outside my hut, howling with hunger. I was ready to eat anything, even my own child. Then who do I see coming towards me out of the forest but a man. Not much meat on him, but enough to quiet my groaning belly. "It is well that you have come,...

Queen of Snakes

What's this? She calls us with bowls of milk and sugar and then she stands blocking the door. "Oh, Queen of Snakes," she cries, "Give me back my husband!" "Husssband? Hussssband?" I thrust my head into her face. She repeats her plea, and I must say, I am impressed by...

Little Grey Man

The lad who came to chop wood in the forest was very well equipped with food and drink. I could smell the sweet cake in his pocket, and I asked him if he would share a bit of it with me. And maybe a few swigs of his wine. "Ah," said the clever boy, "If I give you my...

Queen Bee

Three brothers came along and stood under the tree where we have our nest. The two who thought themselves to be clever wanted to make a fire under the tree to get the honey. The third brother said, "Leave the bees in peace. I will not allow you to burn them." His...

Stranger

On my way through the desert to Damascus, I had grown too hot and tired to carry on. I came to a castle, and I sat down to rest in its shadow. Then I heard a voice call to me softly from the window above me. "Are you a man or a ghost?" I answered, "I am a man, and a...

Simpleton at the Threshold

My brothers left me at the crossroads and I continued on my own to search for the wonderful vine. It was stolen from my father, and he cannot stop weeping over its loss. When I stopped to have something to eat, a lame fox came along and said he was hungry. I had very...

Kind Ogre

I have a huge head and a wrinkled brow. My eyebrows meet, my eyes squint. I have a flat, broad nose and a great gash of a mouth from which hang two huge tusks. My skin is hairy, my arms are enormous, my legs are sharp as sword blades, and my feet are as flat as...

King with a Wild Daughter

My daughters asked me if I would bring them gifts when I returned from my tour of the country. I was only too happy to oblige, of course. My youngest daughter asked for a wreath of wildflowers, which seemed simple enough to find. However, neither the markets nor the...

Ugly Old Woman

I never met such a happy man! He came boldly into the forest, whistling, and oh, he had the merriest, lightest gait. "Good day," I said, and I asked for something to eat. After he gave me the contents of his pockets, I gave him the contents of my own—that is, the...

Crab Fisherman’s Wife

We have a golden crab. We feed him, and he fills our plate with gold. He fulfills all our wishes, and we are resolved to fulfill his. Needless to say, he is very intelligent. There is so much more to him than meets the eye. He has asked me to go to the king and...

Blacksmith of Norroway

I live at the bottom of a glass hill. You can't go around it. You have to go over it. I will make you a pair of iron shoes that will do the job. In exchange, however, I will ask you to serve me for seven years. I watched a young woman come to the hill. She was sobbing...

Dame Carp

I am leaping after flies when I land hard on the earth. I lie in the grass, gasping for air. Then two hands slide underneath me, and I am raised up. I prepare myself to be killed and eaten. But no, I am gently lowered into the cool, refreshing water. I sink to the...