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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 Enchanted Tree

    Once there was a poor orphan girl named Katryn. She was servant for a rich merchant who was so stingy that when they traveled he took along no other servants, they rode his own horses instead of taking a coach, and they rode day and night to save paying for lodging.

    One autumn morning when Katryn and the merchant were traveling through dense woods on top of a deserted mountain, they were set upon by robbers. The merchant was killed, but Katryn ran away and hid in a thicket of thorn-bushes.

    “Oh, let her go!” said the robbers. “The cold will kill her soon enough.” So the robbers took both the horses and went on their way.

    After the robbers left, Katryn came out of the thicket and explored the woods. She didn't even pretend to feel sorry for the dead merchant.

    All day Katryn was glad just to be free in the beautiful outdoors. She ran about chasing sunbeams and smelling the flowers and following the birds to hear their cheerful songs. For the first time in her life, there was no one to tell her what to do. She wandered here and there, into whatever bright glade or mossy dell caught her eye, drinking from the pure brooks and often stopping to eat the little wild autumn strawberries that hid under their crimson leaves.




Expanded from a very short European tale (with some Andersen sentiment added). All the animals except the dove are mne.