Fairer-than-a-Fairy! How dare the king give his child that audacious name. “Fairer-than-a-Fairy.” Bah! It is an affront to all fairies.

It falls to me, as head of the tribe, to make the girl’s life as miserable as possible, and to conceal her from the eyes of men.

I snatch the seven-year-old child and I take her to my underground abode. It is pretty enough here, and I’ve allowed her to have her dog and her cat, which, you must agree, is extremely good of me.

She will have two duties: to tend the fire, and to never let my two crystal bottles out of her sight. I only have one eye and one tooth left. I take them out every night and put them in bottles of preserving solution. Without those two bottles, I am finished!

Old Fairy Lagree in Fairer-than-a-Fairy, Yellow Fairy Book. Picture by Arthur Rackham.

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