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Graciosa Who Opens a Forbidden Box

I was a pampered princess until my mother died and I came under the control of the wicked duchess who married my father. She was always looking for ways to punish me. I did my best, but I couldn't do anything right. Then she enslaved an old Fairy who gave me...

Father of an Exiled Princess

At first, it was my wife who was bound and determined to find my daughter. I had sent her away with a sack of salt on her back. She had humiliated me with her words. “I love you as much as salt.” After all I had given her, she loved me like salt? She could take all...

Queen Riding through a Winter Wonderland

On the happiest day of my life, I was riding through the falling snow on a sleigh that was lit by the setting sun. Rushing along through the fir trees in the steaming breath of the horses, I felt like a great white swan, feather-light and wing-borne. “Oh joy and...

Merchant Father of Drunken Son

My youngest son wanted to sail a ship to foreign lands but he was an idle boy who spent most of his time in alehouses and taverns. He kept begging me to go, insisting that he would earn his living by his wits. "You'll spend everything on drink and come home without...

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...

King Lost in the Woods

I had lost myself in the forest. I couldn’t find my way home. Three times, a stranger came along and offered to show me the way out if I would give him the first thing that came out to greet me when I returned. The first couple of times he made his offer, I thought,...

Mother of an Exiled Princess

Every morning I awake in pain and sorrow. Why, you ask? I had three daughters, the youngest of whom was so beautiful that the whole world looked on her as a wonder. She had a heart as pure as white snow, skin as rosy as an apple-blossom, and hair as radiant as...

Heart of a Rich Farmer

The door between myself and the farmer had been closed for a long time. Then one day I heard a knock. The farmer had come to the door of his heart, and I spoke to him. I said: "You are a rich man. What have you done with your wealth? Have you used it to do good things...

Pursuing Prince

Be careful what you pursue, because what you pursue might be pursuing you! I found that out when the stag I had been chasing, suddenly stopped running and turned into a big, lanky man. "Well," he said, "It's a good thing I've got you now. I wore out six pairs of glass...

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 wish you...

King Who Regrets

After her mother died, my daughter urged me to marry the countess. I refused. I neither liked nor trusted her. She was a schemer. But I had promised my daughter that I would always grant her wishes. So, I married the countess. As soon as she became queen, her...

Murderer Who Revives His Dead Brother

I killed my younger brother thinking that he had slept with my wife. Now I discover that while he did lie with my wife, he did not allow her to touch him. I acted too quickly! I am tormented by remorse. Then I remember the ointment I had from the witch. It heals...

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...

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, but it still...

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, and of...

Wrongly Accused Sister

I killed my brother! I didn't mean to. He was sitting at the door, looking quite white, and holding an apple. He wouldn't give it to me so I went to my mother and I told her that my brother was sitting at the window, looking quite white, and he wouldn't give me the...

Dying Emperor

I am cold and pale and the halls of the palace are silent. I am dying slowly...too slowly. The monotony is deadening. If only someone would sing to me! Music would drive away the doom that weighs on my chest. Even the moonlight streaming through the window is silent....

Princess Undone

My father became so exasperated with me that he declared he would give me to the first beggar who came to the door. I thought he was joking! But here I am, living in a hovel, and going to the market to sell pots and crockery. I have no skills. I can't cook, or spin,...

Axe

Some axes have duties they absolutely abhor, and I'm one of them. The miller used me to chop wood, which is what I was made for, but when times got tough, he swung me with increasing desperation. Then he used me to sever the hands from the body of his innocent...

Woman Who Loses Everything

I begged him not to go, but he had to leave me. But it was too late! He had trusted me to keep his secret. But I had betrayed him. I shed light on him before he was ready to be seen. And all because of my mother’s suspicions! "Where will I find you?" I cried. He said...

Aladdin

One day when I was playing in the streets, a stranger came up to me. He asked me if I was the son of Mustapha the tailor. "I am, sir," I said, "but he died a long time ago." The man put his arms around me and told me he was my uncle. "Go tell your mother I'm coming,"...

Fluffy Ball

I'm a fluffy ball containing nine kinds of poison (mixed with salt and witchcraft) which means I'll pack a deadly punch. The poor girl who is fleeing with her lover won't know what's hit her. I'll knock her off her high horse and into the river. When she comes to,...

Jealous King

My messenger returned saying that the princess had refused to marry me. Then my dearest friend declared that if I had sent him to woo her instead of the messenger, he would have won her heart. How dare he! I was so angry that I threw him in prison, and by God, I made...

Pretty Goldilocks

I should have lived happily ever after. I married Prince Charming, after all! But I put him through some awful tests, and I'm not at entirely peace with the fact that I almost sent him to his death in the Cavern of Gloom. All for a flask of water from the Fountain of...

Ali Baba’s Wife

When my husband came home, his asses were not just carrying fagots. They were laden down with bags of gold! Ali Baba came in and he poured the gold all over the floor. "Let me be the first to measure it!" I cried. I ran to my brother's wife for a scale. What a fool I...

Foolish Antonio

There's no denying it. I was a foolish boy! And I did a lot of foolish things, mostly because I didn't know when to keep my mouth shut. What I regret most, however, is the way I treated the Ogre. He was a monster to look at, but a prince at heart. He took me in when I...

Black Swan Man

I was fishing where I should not have been fishing, and I took something I should not have taken. I fished a baby bunyip out of the water. What is a bunyip? Well, it is a creature that is something between a calf and a seal. I wanted to take it home to my sweetheart,...

Goose Girl

My servant has stolen my identity and she has warned me that she will kill me if I tell the truth. I am trying to stay hidden, but my hair is very thick and golden, and I can't keep it under my hat! The wind knows who I am. Even Conrad the goose boy knows that I am...

Over-Protective King

In retrospect, I would not have prevented my wife from going into the garden. I would have given her the companionship of a wise friend instead of telling her not to speak to strangers. She was too young to be shut in. That's why she listened to the old woman who came...

Guilty Father

I gave in to my wife's demands. I could give you all sorts of excuses. I could say there was no point arguing with her. I could say that she forced me. Or that I was prepared to do anything to have peace in the house. But nothing will excuse me for doing what I did. I...

Failed Prince on a White Horse

I was the golden boy. I was strong, handsome, and clever. Sun-Hero, they called me. Then one night, both my parents had the same dream. A girl dressed in red came to them and said, "If you truly wish your son to be a Sun-Hero, in deed as well as in name, then send him...

Father Who is No Longer Negligent

When my children came home at last, I understood what had been going on in my own house. The twins never told me that my new wife beat them. I had no idea that she had sent them out to the gloomy wood to serve a witch who would happily eat them if they didn't please...

Blind Prince

For years I wandered in the wilderness, a blind man, eating roots and berries. I wept for the loss of my wife. I should have taken her away sooner. I should have protected her. Where had she gone? What had happened to her? I was blind in every way. I had been...

Old Forest Witch

For a long time, my hut stood empty in the deep, dark forest. Then twelve brothers came along and set up house. They never saw me, but they knew my hut was bewitched because when they arrived, twelve lilies mysteriously appeared in the garden. They took great care...

Handless Maiden’s Mother

"Why does she have to leave, husband? We have the money to support her for the rest of her life. She doesn't need to go off into the wild forest! How well will she fare, with no hands? You brought this evil upon her, you must fix it!" My husband sits at the table,...