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Old Greybeard

The rajah arrived in our village with an army of servants, soldiers, muleteers, camel drivers, merchants, singers, musicians, elephants, camels, mules, ponies, donkeys, goats, and cartloads of food for men and beasts. They lacked only one thing—water—and we did not...

Grethari the Orphaned Prince

After we fought the shark, Geirlaug sprinkled some white powder over us, and the next thing I knew we were outside the palace of my parents. I hadn't been there since I was a tiny child, but I remembered the surroundings. Geirlaug told me not to drink anything until I...

Stranger

On my way through the desert to Damascus, I had grown too hot and tired to carry on. I came to a castle, and I sat down to rest in its shadow. Then I heard a voice call to me softly from the window above me. "Are you a man or a ghost?" I answered, "I am a man, and a...

Dragon of the North

I have a voracious appetite, and it can't be satisfied. I'm eating all the living creatures on the planet, and I will not stop until I have consumed them all. I jump like a frog, so you won't know where I'm coming from. I have the body of an ox and the tail of a...

Upper World King

I set off with the wish to visit the furthest corners of my kingdom. It is a vast country with high, stony mountains and sandy deserts. It was not easy going, and all the paths looked the same. I was about to die of thirst when I came upon a little well that looked...

Sister Who Leads Her Brother Away from Danger

The beatings got so bad, and we had become so hungry that one day my brother said, "The dog under the table is better off than we are. God pity us, if our mother only knew! Come, let us go forth together into the wide world." We walked the whole day over meadows,...

Roebuck Brother Who Must Be Hunted

I can't resist the bugle-horn. When the hunters call, I feel as if I'm jumping out of my skin. My sister must let me out of the house, and I must run. The king chases me through the wood, all day long, and I try to escape him. Yesterday, however, the game changed. The...