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Magpie of Heaven

The Weaving Maiden was such a dutiful worker, she would never leave her loom. Her father said, “You should go out and have some fun!” She said, “Sorrow, age-long sorrow, shall come upon the Weaving Maiden when she leaves her loom.” Her father put no...

Song of the Ballad-Singer

Walking along the road, the wandering ballad-singer came upon a girl with a black bowl over her head. “Oh, girl with the black bowl over your head, why do you sit weeping by the roadside?” he asked. “I weep because the world is hard,” she said....

Jewel Princess of the Sea

A wonderful prince had come to the Sea King’s palace and my father went out to welcome him. He was known as Prince Fire Fade, Child of the Heaven’s Sun Height. The king led him into the palace and I soon fell in love with the august prince who had come from the...

Young Fool Who Makes a Wise Wish

I begged my brothers to let me go with them when they set out to see the world, but they would have nothing of it. We’d all been given a wish, and we were told to make sure it was our best wish. My two elder brothers wished that every time they put their hands in...

Horse Resurrected

The Emperor buried me when he was young, and forgot all about me. But his old nurse didn’t. When the Emperor’s third son Petru went looking for a truly good horse, she told him to go and fetch a scrap from my old reins. She sprinkled them with incense, and...

Petru Who Meets a Dragon

I had set off to get water to heal my father’s eyes. He had one laughing eye and one weeping eye, and the only way to the weeping eye laugh was to bathe it in water from the spring of the Fairy of the Dawn. My two older brothers had gone on the adventure, but...

Bullied Husband

I’m thinner than my wife, and not as strong, and she used to beat me black and blue. But the day came when I could no longer endure the abuse. On that day, I was out in the fields, and I caught a crane in my net. The crane spoke and said, “If you let me go free,...

Knight of Grianaig

My three daughters were as beautiful as they were kind, and much loved by people throughout the isles of the West. Then one day, as they sat on the rocks on the edge of the sea, dipping their feet in the water, a great beast arose from under the waves and swept them...

Old Man of the Mountain

I told the sister and her three brothers that they would complete their temple to Beauty if they went up the mountain and brought back three things: a pitcher filled with the Water of Life, a branch from the Tree of Eternal Beauty, and a talking bird. The eldest...

Basmus the Smith

There are things I tell people, and there are things I don’t tell. I tell people I got lost in a fog at sea. I don’t tell people that I spent those three days with a mermaid, and that she’s responsible for the fortune that keeps washing up on my...