The Gold Axe

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

Once on a time, in a farmhouse, a young Maiden sat spinning by the light of a burning pine-splinter. The farmer’s wife and her daughter–the farmer had been dead for three years–were asleep already, for they were very lazy and liked to play the grand lady.

Read more…

Little White Dog

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

Once on a time there was a girl who lived with a bad-tempered woman. The woman treated her meanly. The girl tried to do everything she was told to do, but could never satisfy the woman.

One day she had to go to the well to fetch water without wetting the bucket. The poor girl shed hot tears. Just then a Little White Dog, as if called by magic, came running up out of the ground.

“If you will take me for your bridegroom,”, said he, “I will provide water in your dry bucket.”

The girl promised.

Read more…

Mannikin Long Beard

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

In a certain village there was once a Land owner who had a wife. Though married long years, they had no child. Both of them grieved very much over this.

At last, however, the wife had a little son, whom she named Martin. The mother loved the child very much. He grew up to be so strong that no one could overcome him. When he was twenty years old, he felt a great longing to journey through the world, and begged his Father to have a smith make him a strong iron staff. Except for that, he did not want anything.

Read more…

What Witches Tell

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

In the Land where on Midsummer Night, the St. John’s Fires blaze up, and the girls dance at the Flower Feast, adorned with garlands of wheat-ears and blue cornflowers, in that Land, I say, Witches fly about at the midnight hour.

There were once two brothers, who wished to go out into the world to try their luck. They thrust the blades of their knives into the trunk of a mighty fir tree, and made this compact: Whichever one of them should return first, he was to look at the blade of the other’s knife. If bright, then his brother was alive.

Read more…

The child who came from an egg

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

Once upon a time there lived a queen whose heart was sore because she had no children. She was sad enough when her husband was at home with her, but when he was away she would see nobody, but sat and wept all day long.

Read more…