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Soldier Who Avoids Bureaucracy

I'm just a simple private but I've found the king's ring. He's promised a large sum for money for it and I plan to return it. But how? If I report it to regimental headquarters, the matter will have to go all the way up the ranks. It will go from the sergeant to the...

Girl Who Wears a Wreath

After a hard day's work chopping wood in the forest with my father, we got home, and then my father said, "Oh, no, I left my axe in the forest!" He asked my stepmother if she would send her daughter out. She hadn't worked all day in the cold and the heavy rain,...

Gopani-Kufa the King

One day when I was hunting, I came upon a strange sight. A python had wrapped himself around an antelope, and the antelope had stabbed the python. He had pinned him to a tree. The python couldn't move, and the antelope couldn't get his horn out of the tree. Each of...

Thankful Wazir

One can never know what good will come of bad and so I give thanks for everything. When the king cut off his finger, I suggested that it might improve his hearing. When he lost his temper and sent me to prison, I thanked him. Of course, I had no idea what went on with...

Little King Loc Meets a Human Girl

Abeille, the human girl, was carried to me by the gnomes on a litter made of moss and twigs. She had wounded her foot. She was very big, and very beautiful, and I was willing to grant her every wish. What did she want? A pair of shoes, she said. I struck the earth...

Ciccu with his Figs

When I brought my basket of figs to the king, I rang the castle bell with a trembling heart. You see, I had given half my figs to an old man I met on the road. When he was finished helping himself, he covered the basket and told me not to be anxious. The basket would...

Brave Little Tailor

How did I become successful? Well, let me tell you. One day, while working, I killed seven flies in one blow. It was the biggest accomplishment of my life! I stitched the words, Seven At a Blow on my girdle and set off to let the world know. Since then, I've slain two...

Surrendering King

I gave him every impossible task I could think of, and he accomplished every one. How did he do it? I'll be damned if I know how he made a flying ship, or how he fetched healing water from the ends of the earth. How did he eat and drink so much? How did he survive a...

Tree of Life

The ravens know where I am. The Sun and the Moon know where I am. But humans do not know where to look for me. Once a young man set off to find me so that he could bring one of my golden apples to the princess he loved. He wandered through three kingdoms, but he could...

Wish-Fulfilling Flounder

A great storm was raging. The wind blew so hard that the fisherman who stood on the shore could hardly keep his feet underneath him. Houses and trees were toppling over, and the very mountains trembled. Rocks rolled into the sea under a pitch black sky that thundered...

Mother Holle

She's becoming homesick, sweet girl, though the conditions up there on the surface are no better than the ones down here. Everything in time. She has served me well, and I have enjoyed her company. I take her hand and I lead her to a large, open door. She stands on...

Retired Sweeping Girl

All my life, I've done the same thing. I've swept the house, and I've left the sweepings on the heap outside. Then, a few days ago, I found a letter on the heap. It was an invitation from the fairies to attend the christening of one of their own. You can’t ignore an...