How a Man Stepped Into His Wife’s Shoes

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

A nagging husband was always telling his wife what an easy time she had of it.

“I am in the field all day working like a mule,” he would say to her, While you loll about the house and fritter away the time. You do live in clover, I must say!”

Said his wife in reply one day:

“Well, then, why don’t you and I change places? I’ll go out to the field for the day and you’ll stay at home and take care of the house. Then we’ll see whose life is easier.”

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The Wise Counsellor

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

One day a poor youth was walking along a road. Feeling tired he sat down on the grass by a large stone to rest and have a bite to eat. After he had eaten he stretched himelf out on the ground and fell asleep.

In his sleep he had a strange dream: he seemed to hear a squeaky little voice piping something in his ear. But the piping did not stop when he woke. By the sound of it he judged that it came from under the stone if not from somewhere within it.

The youth put his ear to the stone and found that that was where the piping was indeed coming from!

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The Swan Queen

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 lived an old man and an old woman. Every morning they went out to clear a nearby forest of dry twigs and leaves, and the moment they left the house a white swan would come flying there. She would fold and put aside her wings, and, turning into a maid, light the stove, cook the dinner, clean and wash everything and then fly away again.

The old people had not a care in the world, for they returned home each day to find everything done for them. But they were filled with wonder as to who their kind helper was.

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Castle-Treasure

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

It happened once on a time, that while a Lady was visiting late, her Coachman stretched himself out in the coach and went to sleep. Near midnight a voice waked him, saying:

“Get up! Come with me to Kokenhusen. I will give you money.”

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The Young Man Who Would Have His Eyes Opened

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 youth who was never happy unless he was prying into something that other people knew nothing about. After he had learned to understand the language of birds and beasts, he discovered accidentally that a great deal took place under cover of night which mortal eyes never saw.

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