There was once a poor woman who had two children. The youngest had to go every day into the forest to fetch wood. Once when she had gone a long way to seek it, a little child, who was quite strong, came and helped her industriously to pick up the wood and carry it home, and then before a moment had passed the strange child disappeared.
Long ago, at least two thousand years, there was a rich man who had a beautiful and pious wife, and they loved each other dearly. However, they had no children, though they wished very much to have some, and the woman prayed for them day and night, but they didn’t get any, and they didn’t get any.
In days gone by there was a land where the nights were always dark, and the sky spread over it like a black cloth, for there the moon never rose, and no star shone in the gloom.
Maid Maleen was the daughter of a wealthy and powerful king, and lived in a grand palace in their realm. She desperately wanted to marry her love Hans, a prince from a neighboring region, but her father refused. She tried for months to convince her father, to no avail.
Once, not long ago, there was a poor man who had twelve children. He worked day and night to keep them fed, and could not even provide them with enough clothing to stay warm. When his thirteenth child was born, he was desperate, and fearful for the fate of his family. In despair he ran out into the highway, intending to ask the first person he met to be his baby’s godparent.
Once upon a time there was a miller and his wife who had a lovely daughter named Letta. Not long after she came of age, a suitor arrived at the mill, asking for Letta to be his wife. The suitor appeared very rich, and the millers could find no fault with him, so they gladly promised their daughter to him. They were a poor family, and the millers wanted their daughter to be well provided for.