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Hans and the Locked Door

One fine summer morning when I was sixteen, I left my old parents and set off to make my fortune. I had nothing but the clothes I wore on my back. After I had been walking for some time, I met an old, white-bearded man coming along the footpath. Neither I nor the old...

Princess Who Gives Away the Magic Stone

He did the impossible for me. He built me a palace of ice, which was kept warm by fires in every room. The whole palace was filled with a rosy, pink glow, and the rarest singing birds in the world. Surely that should have been enough for me! But then a peddler came to...

Old Woman Who Keeps the Ring

Oh, if you must have a ring, look for the pretty ones, pretty girl! Look how they glisten and glimmer. Choose a ruby or a sapphire, but stay away from the plain ring, that's mine. Come on, now, choose! Any one of those rings will keep you comfortable for the rest of...

King Who Rides to the Forbidden Mountain

My five older brothers could not help themselves. When they took the throne, they were compelled to hunt in the forests of the forbidden mountain. Nobody who goes there ever returns. Now I am king, I have that same compulsion, in spite of all the reasonable arguments...

Witch with Powerful Hair

I live in a fine castle. Light blazes from every window. I sit in the hall on a golden chair, and when young adventurers find me, I turn them to stone. How do I do that? Ha. You wonder, do you? I will tell you this: the power is in my hair. It only takes a single hair...

Nasty Giant

I'm a kind master. Really. Just do what I tell you. If you don't, I'll wring your neck. I like putting people in their place, especially young fellows like that prince who came to my house a few days ago. He was willing to be hired, so I brought him on as a servant....

Fruit of the Fairy Trees

We belong to the fairy world, and no mortal has ever tasted our flesh. Now a queen has come along and she is determined to get at us. She tried to climb the garden wall, and when her ladders didn't reach, she went to see our mistress, the Old Fairy. Heaven knows what...

Tempted Queen

I had a passion for traveling and exploring, so when my daughter was only a few weeks old I went to visit a certain mountain about which I had heard many marvelous tales. I set out with a number of attendants, and on the way we passed by an old castle. It was said to...

Pleasure Palace

I am a fine estate built of gold and precious stones, and only the richest, most fashionably dressed people may enter me. They dance to the music in my hall, and eat from my feasting tables. If you look through my brightly lit windows, you will see how happy they are....

Bluebeard

I gave her everything her heart could desire. A beautiful home, clothes, jewels, strong boxes full of money, and mirrors in which to admire herself. She had the master key to all my apartments except one. I forbid her to use the little key that opened the closet at...

Glass Hill

I'm a high, high, glass mountain, slippery as ice, standing close to the king's palace. On my peak sits a princess with three golden apples on her lap. The man who can ride up and take those apples will win her hand in marriage, and half the kingdom too. The Princess...

Witch-Maiden

With the help of King Solomon's magic ring, I can do all sorts of things. I don't understand all the secret signs engraved on the ring. But I do know that if I put it on the little finger of my left hand, I can fly like a bird. If I put it on my ring finger, I am...

Witch of Albatroz

Mine is the castle of Albatroz. Woe to the one who disturbs the echoes who sleep here! We do not encourage guests. There's a commotion outside. Someone is blowing a horn and knocking on the door. He's shouting, "Is there anyone home? Anyone who will give a knight some...

Julia

My beloved thinks he is stronger than the river siren, Yara. He thinks that he can withstand her powerful pull, and that the danger is over. It is far from over! He won't be able to resist going into the forest when she calls him tonight. I'm certain he will go to the...

Poor Miller

I used to have more money than I knew what to do with. But sorrow comes like a thief in the night, and all of a sudden, I lost everything. I couldn't even call the mill my own. One morning when I went down to the pond, a nixy rose out of water. She called me by name...

Gingerbread House

I'm made of sugar and spice and everything nice, but I wish I wasn't so charming and sweet because a witch is using me as a trap. Two little children have come along, a boy and a girl. It's easy to see that they're starved. They shout for joy when they see me, and...

Cauldron

I am one of three cauldrons hidden in the house of a giant. We contain copper, silver and gold, and our metal boils without a fire beneath. Imagine how much heat we hold. One day a young prince came into my room. He knew he wasn't supposed to enter, but he was too...