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Woodcutter in an Enchanted Forest

When the King of Sweden gave orders to cut down the haunted wood, no man had courage enough to carry them out. But I wasn’t afraid. I took my axe and went into the Tontlawald. I struck a tree, and my blow was followed by a stream of blood and shrieks as if a...

Shy Carpenter

My best friend and I grew up in houses that stood side-by-side, and our fathers were both carpenters. We were so close to one another that we used to be called Little Fork and Little Knife. My friend became a soldier, and I became a carpenter. He was much more...

Devil at Hell’s Door

No, no! Whatever you do, don’t let him in! I bolted the doors of hell and ran as quickly as I could to the highest devil. I said, “There’s a fellow outside with a magic knapsack who wants to come in, but don’t let him in, because if you do,...

Abeille Meeting the Little People

When Youri and I were children, we decided to go up the mountain and climb to the lake where the undines lived. It was hard going, and I became hobbled by a stone in my shoe. At last, I grew too weary to climb on, and, besides, it was getting dark. I lay down on a...

Maiden Betrothed to a Lindworm

I did not want to marry the lindworm! He had eaten his two other brides! I did nothing to deserve being wed to such a monster. I ran to my mother’s grave and I prayed earnestly for her help. Then I became very peaceful and fell asleep. When the sun woke me in...