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A Wise Woman and a King

Svetlana Kovalkova-McKenna

A Wise Woman and a King

Smashwords Edition

Copyright © 2009 by Svetlana Kovalkova-McKenna

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the author.

For girls and their brothers

Table of Contents

Three Daughters and Three Sons

The Hunt

The Ball and Its Consequences

A Wise Woman and a King

More Than One Way to Escape

Three Daughters and Three Sons

Once upon a time, there lived a Wise Woman on the edge of a forest. She and her three daughters made a happy life for themselves in a small cottage left to them by her husband who worked as a woodcutter for the King. He died peacefully in his old age, and the King allowed the woman and her daughters to remain in the house as long as they kept the palace supplied with wood for the royal fireplaces.

No one knew how the old woman managed it, but every day except Sunday she left the house with her old horse pulling a large, empty cart and by noon she came back with a cart full of finely chopped wood.

“She must have the strength of ten men,” the villagers whispered when they saw her walk briskly out of the forest right before the midday sun would take its place in the sky. The King did not care how the woman got the wood; he paid her half of her late husband’s salary and considered himself a generous man for letting the Wise Woman and her daughters remain in the cottage.

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