The Washerwoman and The Count

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

One day some washerwomen from a count’s estate were out on the lake rinsing their washing, and they began talking amongst themselves.

“I will only marry a man who is tall and has blue eyes,” said one.

“And I’ll only marry a man who is rich,” said another.

“I don’t care if I’m showered with gold and dressed in silks, I’ll never marry an old man and one I don’t love,” said the youngest and prettiest of them.

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The Sun Princess and the Prince

A Lithuanian fairy tale, this version was published in ‘Fairy Tales from the Soviet Union’ in 1986.

Long, long ago, beyond the nine mountains and the nine forests, there lived a king and a queen. A son was born to them, and they loved him to distraction. When he grew up, the prince had plenty of puffs and cream to eat, and he wore clothing spun out of silver and gold. At his bidding, as if out of thin air, servants in braided coats and grooms in bright caftans appeared, and snow-white wolfhounds followed him about and never took their eyes off him. And as for his father and mother, they would have caught the sun itself in a sieve and brought it to him if only they could. But the young prince was always gloomy. He would send away his servants and chase away his dogs, walk sadly about in the palace garden and complain of his lot.

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The Greatest Loafer of Them All

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

Once there lived a king whose only daughter, though fair and of a marriageable age, was still husbandless and in danger of remaining an old maid. Many suitors, rich and not so rich, brave and not so brave, learned men and fools,, came to plead for the princess’s hand but not one could please the king. A strange man was this king: in winter he rode about in a cart and summer, in a sledge; he wore his clothes back to front, walked backward instead of forward, and his beard, so they said, grew not on his chin but on his forehead.

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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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The Hedgehog and His Bride

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

Once upon a time there was an old man who made a living by making and selling brooms.

One day he went to the forest for switches. All of a sudden who should appear out of nowhere but a hedgehog. Back and forth he scurried and never left the old man’s side. The old man sat down to have a bite to eat, and the hedgehog bustled about at his feet, now picking up a bread crumb, now licking a drop of milk from his boot. The old man took a liking to the little animal, and, putting him in his cap, brought him home.

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