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Underworld Maiden

In the house where I live, I serve an old grey-bearded man. I am not allowed to speak. Only the old man can speak, and his grandmother, whose snoring can be heard throughout the countryside. But the rest of us must remain silent. Not even the oxen are allowed to...

Underworld Speaking

A grey-bearded stranger comes and goes from here. He stamps the ground three times with his left foot and I open a secret door. Then he comes down from above and enters my thick darkness. Here, the earth and water, trees and plants, birds and beasts are only pale...

Fisherman’s Son Who Finds Three Black Princesses

After I escaped the enemy, I came to a great forest on a high mountain. As I approached the cliff, the mountain wall opened before me. I entered a great enchanted castle. The tables, chairs, and benches were hung in black. Then three princesses appeared who were...

King of the Golden Mountain

I found a huge, coiled snake in the most remote room of an enchanted castle. The snake spoke and said, “Have you come, oh, my deliverer?” She was a maiden, rejoicing to see me. “I have waited twelve years for you,” she said. “My kingdom...

Silent Princess

I have heard many stories from many men. I have heard about their adventures. I have heard their complaints and accusations. For a long time, I have been sitting here listening beneath my seven veils. No man has ever engaged me. Then one day, an amusing young fellow...

Monkey Brother

When we meet in the trees, my brother tells me that Subbar Khan is dying. Terrible news, since he is our protector! “The humans don’t why he is dying,” says my brother. “But the birds know that he was poisoned by the glass that Kupti, the...

Bobino

My father, who is a rich merchant, sent me off to learn from a great master who could teach me foreign languages. I spent quite a few years with him, and now I’ve returned home. My father is not proud of me. He’s furious because I’ve learned the...

Iron Castle

I am made of iron, and I hold all the wizard’s possessions. I have recently received an army of men who have turned to stone. On the wizard’s command, the soldiers froze. One was caught in the act of running away, another was brandishing a sword, and...

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...

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 just can’t keep it under my hat! The wind knows it, too. Even Conrad, the goose boy, knows...