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(c) 2002 by Rosemary Lake, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, in Once Upon a Time When the Princess Rescued the Prince (13 Fairy Tales) available in paperback and ebook from http://www.rosemarylake.com

Free sample excerpt from

The Crystal Sphere

    Once upon a time there were three orphan sisters who were servants in a castle built among cold mountain crags, high above a lonely ocean, where lived an evil Wizard. One day the oldest sister, whose name was Eva, sat down to read one of his books of wizardry. Seeing this, the Wizard flew into a rage. “So, you would steal my power? Away with you!” He transformed Eva into an Eagle and chased her out the window.

    The next day the second sister, whose name was Joanna, snuck into the wizard's laboratory to read the book herself. The Eagle, alighting on the windowsill, waved its wings and tried to warn her not to open it.

    “I must,” said Joanna. “Maybe I will find a way to help you.” But scarcely had she opened the book, when the Wizard came in and discovered her.

    “So! Away with you too!” He cast a spell which lifted Joanna and blew her out the window high above the sea. As she fell, the spell transformed her into a Whale. With a great splash, she plunged deep into the ocean. After a long moment she surfaced and sadly blew a spout of water toward the circling Eagle, as though to say, “You were right.”

    Then the tide and the wind carried the sisters in separate ways, far and away.

    Now the youngest sister, whose name was Dina, had watched all this from in hiding. So before dawn next morning she got up, packed a lunch, stole the book of wizardry and put it in her lunch sack, and set out for the wide world.

    As soon as the sun rose, of course Dina sat down and tried to read the book of wizardry. But it was in old language and did not make much sense. The only spells she could understand were for rescuing captive Princes and Princesses; there seemed to be none at all for changing eagles or whales back into human beings, nor for finding breakfast. So she ate a cold cheese sandwich from her sack, and went on down the path.

    At the foot of the mountain, Dina came to a crossroads, with one sign, which said:




    Below the sign was a placard which said:

Heroes, despair! Three and twenty have died already. One more fool, and my spell will be complete. The royal Prince Ivan lies bewitched in my power; when one more has died in the vain attempt to save him, the Prince will be mine forever. – Signed, Sorceress of the Golden Sun

    Dina took the road leading to the Castle of the Golden Sun. 


This story liberated from Grimm. (The CMU Hunt site calls it “The Crystal Ball.”)