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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...

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 is bewitched, and you must set...

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...

Dorani Who Goes Home at Night

The weight of my hair had become unbearable, and so one day, I cut off a lock, wrapped it in a leaf, and threw it into the river. It was found by a prince who asked me to marry him. I consented but I made him promise to allow me to go home every night. He did, and we...

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 king's daughter, put into his...

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...

Golden Trumpet

I hang on the gate of a castle that stands on the top of a high mountain. I bear the inscription: Whoever can this trumpet blow Shall cause the giant's overthrow. I have been quiet for a long time. Who could possibly climb up here? If you were successful, you would...

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 language of the birds...