The Kind Woodcutter

An Estonian fairy tale, this version is from Tales of The Amber Sea, compiled and translated by Irina Zheleznova in 1974.

Once in times long past a woodcutter went to the forest to chop some wood. He came up to a birch-tree and waved his axe and the birch-tree spoke up in a human voice and said:

“Do not kill me, woodcutter! I am young and have many children. What will they do without me?”

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The Duckling with Golden Feathers

A Latvian tale, this version is taken from the 1938 anthology Wonder Tales from Baltic Wizards by Frances Jenkins Olcott.

Once on a time two King’s children, a brother and a sister, lived with a hateful woman. She ill-treated the two children, though she loved her own daughter who was both dirty and ugly.

One day the two children said to each other, “Let us go away.”

So they went and went, till they reached a crossroad, and there they parted with many tears. The brother took with him a portrait of his sister to remember her by, and started on his way.

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The Mosquito and the Horse

An Estonian fairy tale, this version is from Tales of The Amber Sea, compiled and translated by Irina Zheleznova in 1974.

One day a horse was out grazing in the field when a mosquito flew up to him.

Said the mosquito, seeing that the horse did not notice him: “Don’t you see me, Horse?”

“I see you now,” the horse replied.

The mosquito looked over the horse – he looked at his tail, his back, his hoofs, his neck and at both his ears, one after the other. He looked and he shook his head.

“You’re terribly big , friend, aren’t you!” said he.

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The Dragon of the North

An Estonian fairy tale, this version was published in the Yellow Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, in 1894.

Very long ago, as old people have told me, there lived a terrible monster, who came out of the North, and laid waste whole tracts of country, devouring both men and beasts; and this monster was so destructive that it was feared that unless help came no living creature would be left on the face of the earth. It had a body like an ox, and legs like a frog, two short fore-legs, and two long ones behind, and besides that it had a tail like a serpent, ten fathoms in length. When it moved it jumped like a frog, and with every spring it covered half a mile of ground.

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The Twelve Brothers, Twelve Black Ravens

A Lithuanian fairy tale, this version is from Tales of The Amber Sea, compiled and translated by Irina Zheleznova in 1974.

There was once a lord whose wife died and left him twelve sons and one daughter.

A little time passed by and the lord decided to marry again. His choice fell on a woman who was a witch. Said she to him:

“If you want me to marry you you must kill your sons, burn their bodies, wrap the ashes in paper and send them to me. But you can spare your daughter.”

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