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Hans Who Discovers the Underworld

One day, in the dead of winter, I set forth to another village, but I was caught in a blizzard and lost my way. I found shelter behind a thick juniper tree and pulled my sheepskin coat around me. I tried to sleep, and I had just drifted off when I felt a tapping on my...

Magic Egg

I am an egg that contains a palace, or rather, I am a palace that has been contained in an egg. I am a marvel made into a miniature so that I can travel between worlds. If you were to discover me in the underworld and take me to the upper world, you would find that I...

Witch in a Golden Cloak

I'm a famous witch. I live on an island in the center of a large lake. A golden lantern hangs outside my door, but no one comes here. I hear only the sweet tinkling bells on the golden horns of my goat who is feeding nearby. I am sitting by the fire, wrapped in a...

Soldier Who Grows a Huge Turnip

The king thought I had a green thumb because I presented him with the largest turnip anyone had ever seen. It was as big as the wagon I put it in when I brought it to the castle. I told him that I’m really not favored by Lady Fortune in any way. I’m a poor soldier who...

Nurse with A Brass Pot

In the beginning (you wouldn't know it now, because I am very rich) I was very poor. One day, when I had only a handful of flour left in the larder, and no money to buy any more, nor any hope of earning anything, I carried my little brass pot down to the river. I...

Prince Who Stays At Home

I found everything that I needed right at home. The toads under the castle gave me the treasure that was my birthright. They gave me the finest carpet and the finest ring that anyone could imagine, and why? Because they were originals. Nothing derivative. Even my wife...

Aladdin’s Mother

My son has become so idle! If only his father were alive to give him some manly discipline! Instead, Aladdin has come home with a magic lamp and a genie who grants his every whim. Now I am certain he will never grow up! Aladdin's Mother, in Aladdin and the Wonderful...

Broom-maker

My brother is a goldsmith, and he's very rich. Me, I just make brooms. Today, when I went into the forest to collect wood, a golden bird flew out of the bushes. I threw a stone at it, and it got away, but it left behind a golden feather. I picked the feather up and...

Doorkeeper

You will find me behind a rock door under the ridge of the giant's mountain. If you knock on my rocky wall, I will come out with sparks flying from my eyes and nose. I guard the tax the giant collects from the little people. Ask for no more than you can carry. If you...

Scoffing Brother

My father draws back the curtain to show us my brother's wife, and I cannot contain my laughter when I see, not a woman, but a cat, primly sitting on a crystal chair. Haha! Then, with the softest paw, she touches the crystal and it shivers into a thousand splinters....

Ali Baba’s Wife

When my husband came home, his asses were not just carrying fagots. They were laden down with bags of gold! Ali Baba came in and he poured the gold all over the floor. "Let me be the first to measure it!" I cried. I ran to my brother's wife for a scale. What a fool I...

Dame Fortune

Fortunatus hardly remembers having fortune. His father squandered it before he was ten. At sixteen, he went off to find his own fortune. He found work as a page for the Earl of Flanders, and before you knew it, he had won the heart of the Earl's daughter. They were...

Wife of Theodorus

My husband Theodorus should have been the happiest man in the world. He had everything he could wish for: wealth, a beautiful wife, (if you don't mind me saying), and a wonderful son. We loved him dearly and we took great pleasure in living by the sea. But poor...