Poor Man and Never-Enough

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

Once on a time, a poor man went into the woods to the riverbank. He chopped down a tree, chop! chop! As he chopped, crick! crack! the axehead fell from its handle, splash! into the deep water of the river.

The poor man cried out, “Oh-o-o-o-o! My axe! A-a-a-a-a-a-a! Who will fish it out for me? My poor little axe!”

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The Underground Workers

An Estonian fairy tale, this version was published in the Violet Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, in 1901.

On a bitter night somewhere between Christmas and the New Year, a man set out to walk to the neighbouring village. It was not many miles off, but the snow was so thick that there were no roads, or walls, or hedges left to guide him, and very soon he lost his way altogether, and was glad to get shelter from the wind behind a thick juniper tree. Here he resolved to spend the night, thinking that when the sun rose he would be able to see his path again.

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The Singing Sword

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

In the ancient days of Wizards and Witches there lived, in Estonia, a giant Hero named Kalevide. His back was like an oak, his shoulders were gnarled and knotted, his arms like thick trees, his fingers spreading like branches, and his fingernails as tough as boxwood.

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