I used to have more money than I knew what to do with, but sorrow comes in the night, and all of a sudden I was so poor I couldn’t even call the mill my own. One morning when I went down to the pond, a woman rose out of the waves. She called me by name, and told me that she would return my fortune to me if I would give her the youngest thing in my house.
I thought she meant a kitten or a puppy. It never occurred to me that my wife might have just given birth to our son.
The Poor Miller in The Nixy, Yellow Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.