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Mirror from Kioto

I hung in a fine shop in Kioto, one of many metal mirrors that glittered in the sunshine. An aging and handsome man came along. “Oh, the pretty silver moons!” he said. Tentatively, he reached for me. He looked into my face and turned as white as rice. He sat on a seat...

Mirror of the Spellbound Princess

I sit on the dresser in the dark room of a spellbound princess. When she picks me up, I reflect her beauty as it is in truth. She weeps when she sees her face. She is reminded of everything she knows to be true. Yet to others she appears as a decrepit old woman....

Woman Who Wanted Something for Herself

My father made me work hard, and the one thing I wanted for myself—a sprig of rosemary—would not be pulled out of the ground. The harder I pulled, the more the plant resisted, but I was not about to be beaten. I tore it out of the ground, and then a lot of things...

Tiny in the Big World

The marsh, the river, the meadow, the whole world was too big for me! When winter came I wandered into a cornfield that had been harvested. Only the dry, bare stubble stuck out of the frozen ground, and the stalks were like a forest to me. I was so cold I thought for...

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....

Mirrors of the Beast

We line all the walls of one of the great rooms in the palace of a prince who has been made to appear as a beast. Needless to say, he rarely enters this room, although he did once, recently, to hang a bracelet on the chandelier. When Beauty enters, she admires herself...