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Frog from Osaka

I got restless living in my ditch near the town of Osaka on the seacoast. I decided I wanted to visit Kyoto where the great Mikado had his palace. So one fine morning I set off. The journey was more tiring than I expected. I had gone halfway to the city when I arrived...

Queen Mother of the Raven

My baby daughter was fidgety and noisy and I could not quiet her. She wanted to be in my arms, and every time I put her down, she cried. Finally, I became impatient with her. I went to the window, and when I saw the ravens flying around the palace, I said, “I...

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...

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,...

Protective Dying Queen

I was ill many times before I died, but when I knew that I was going to succumb, I called my husband to my bedside and I asked him to make me a promise. “If you marry again, I want you to marry the queen of Hetland. That will ensure the safety of our daughter,...