Once upon a time there was a little girl who was no bigger than your ear, although she looked in every other respect like a normal human child. Her parents named her Earbellina.
By her eighteenth birthday, Earbellina was the size of a small doll, say one that’s about a foot in length, although shaped more like a young lady than a baby doll. “Well,” said her father after breakfast that morning, “you are welcome to stay here with your mother and me as long as you like. But at this age your older brother left to seek his fortune in the Wide World, so if you wish, you may leave with our blessing.” Continue reading →
Once upon a time there was a woodcutter who had three somewhat ordinary-looking daughters. The eldest daughter liked to fish. Her mother said, “You will always be able to feed your family with the fish you catch.” The second daughter liked to make pots out of clay. Her mother said, “You will always be able to feed your family by selling your pots.” The youngest daughter liked to fly kites. Her mother said, “You will never feed your family; all you do is fly kites and climb trees to get them down.”
One day the woodcutter said to her daughters, “It is time you went out into the world to seek your fortunes. Here is some food for your journey.” To the eldest she gave half a cold chicken. To the second she gave half a wheel of cheese. To the youngest she gave half a crust of stale bread. Then she sent them out one at a time, a day apart. Continue reading →