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Girl With Her Mother’s Mirror

I was a happy child growing up with my mother and father, but when I was hardly out of childhood, my mother became sick. I did everything I could for her but she got worse and worse, and we knew that she would die. She called me to her bedside one afternoon. She was...

Golden Comb

I had been placed at the bottom of an ancient chest, a bride box, lovingly prepared by the mother of two girls, Aiko and her sister Aiyamé.  On a languid summer afternoon, the cover was opened and the ladies started to dig things up. Aiko said, “My mother, I pray you...

Pine from Heaven

A Deity from High Heaven planted me. It was so long ago that the crane cannot remember it, and the tortoise knows it only by hearsay from his great-grandmother. Lightly, lightly, the Deity came by way of the Floating Bridge, bearing me in his right hand. Lightly,...

Ama Terassu, Goddess of the Sun

I fled to a rock cavern after my brother, Susa the Impetuous, came to the High Heavens and wrecked havoc, tangling me in the threads of my loom. I went inside and rolled a rock in front of the cave's mouth. All went dark outside. In the cavern, bright light streamed...

Lady of the Morning Dew

When the Festival of Bon arrived, the time of returning souls, the good folk of Yedo took lanterns and visited the graves of their loved ones. They would bring us food and flowers to care for us. On the night of the thirteenth day of the seventh month, my beloved...

Prince with Two Brides

I really did not know what to do. My father was deathly ill, and he made me to promise to marry a king's daughter I had not even met. I had already become engaged, but I gave my father my word. Needless to say, my fiancé was heartbroken. I thought I would never see...

Arabian Princess

I gave my ring to the prince who released me from the robbers' den. I had been underground for twenty years! He promised to come to Arabia to marry me. He said he would arrive within a year, unless he had died. At the end of the year, when he hadn't come, I was...

Ring of the Lady in Red

She wore me on her finger over the course of many years. He had forgotten her, but still she wore me. Then one day, she took me off and put me in the pocket of her red dress. She wore that red dress to her lover's wedding feast. That night, the spell that had been on...

Sparrow-Princess

He found me in the bamboo forest, in a spic-and-span house surrounded by a beautiful garden. I saw him emerge from the forest, and I went out to the gate, unlatched it, and welcomed him. "Oh my dear friend!" I cried. "How glad I am that you have found your little...

Happy Princess

I knew that those two brothers of my beloved were lying to the king. They were not our deliverers. What had they done with my true friend? In his sorrow, the golden horse would not eat. The golden bird would not sing, and I sat in the castle garden and wept. Then one...

Imprisoned Maiden

I have been imprisoned in a castle that stands on a steep mountain. It is bolted by iron bars and chains, so imagine my surprise when all of a sudden a young man strode into my room. "How on earth did you get in here?" I asked. The youth replied that he was my...

Little Boy Named Sorrowful

Today, my mother took my hand and led me into a room where a man was lying on the bed. He had a handkerchief over his face. It slid off and fell to the ground. Mother said, "Sorrowful, pick up your father's handkerchief, and cover his face." I picked up the...

Benjamin

Being the youngest, my brothers elected me to keep house while they went out to hunt. They shot hares, wild deer, pigeons, and whatever else they found to eat. It was my job to dress the game and serve it up for dinner. Ten years passed, and then one evening, before...

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...

Servant Henry

When the king was changed into a frog, three iron bands formed around my heart to keep it from bursting with grief. One morning I woke before dawn and hastened to prepare the coach. I felt compelled to drive it to a nearby castle. When I came to the door and...

Chief’s Dead Wife

I knew that he would follow me into the Land of Souls. He wouldn't be willing to let me die so quickly. I looked out for him after I crossed over. And there he was, riding on the great lake in his own stone canoe. How he had been able to leave his body behind, I did...

Princess Who Is Fairer-Than-A-Fairy

When I went into the strange, suspended palace, I found the prince fast asleep. I told him everything that had happened and how dangerous and difficult the way had been. I told him twenty times but he did not wake! Then I remembered the golden pomegranate that was...

Rustling Letter

If you were ever to come to our country, and meet one of the old sisters, you would be asked to deliver me from one sister to another. The distances between them are vast but I will give you the power to travel. When you become weary, simply rustle my paper, and you...

Mohammed with the Magic Finger

Ever since I was born, I have had this magic finger. Whenever I stick it into the air, I can see everything that is happening, as far as two days away. I think I must have had the gift from my father. He's a very rich man who keeps large herds of camels, goats, sheep,...