The King of the Mushrooms

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

Once upon a time some men out hunting for mushrooms in the forest found one that was bigger than any they had ever seen before. They began pulling it out of the ground when lo! – a little old man sprang out from under it. No larger than a finger he was with a beard twice that size. The little old man rushed off but the men ran after him. They caught him and asked who he was.

Said the little old man:

“I am king of all the mushrooms growing in this forest.”

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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 Two Horses

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

Once upon a time there lived a lord’s horse and a peasant’s horse, and the two of them were great friends. Whenever they met they would talk and never have their fill of talking. But one day the lord’s horse came out with something that badly hurt his friend’s feelings.

“Unlike me, you are a horse of common breed,” said he. “I am always harnessed to a coach mounted on springs, and you, to a wagon or else a harrow. I am fed on nothing but barley, and you, mostly on straw. Just you look at me! See how slender and beautiful are my legs and how spotless my hoofs! Yours are all caked with mud. My neck is as arched and graceful as a swan’s and yours is stiff and thick. My skin shines like silk and yours drips with sweat. I have a white star on my forehead and you have none. Which of us is more handsome – you or me?”

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