Once upon a time, there was a poor girl who lived with her mother. The little girl was kind-hearted and always eager to help others. One day as she was gathering firewood, she met an old woman. The woman gave her a magic pot and told her the special words to cook sweet porridge, “Cook, pot, cook,” and to stop it, “Stop, pot, stop.”
Once upon a time, there lived a mother goat who loved her seven little kids dearly. One day, she had to go out to gather food and warned her kids about the cunning wolf who could come to harm them. She described the wolf’s gruff voice and black feet to help them identify him.
Once upon a time, a prince was engaged to a beautiful princess. But when his father, the king, fell ill, he told his son to marry another princess to create a strategic alliance. Bound by duty, the prince obeyed, leaving his bride-to-be heartbroken.
Once upon a time, there was a poor little orphan girl who was kind and generous. Even though she had very little, she was always willing to share what she had. She possessed only a little piece of bread, which she was ready to divide with others, and a dress and an apron.
In ancient China, the Emperor learned of a nightingale in his empire whose song was considered the most beautiful sound in the world. However, he had never heard it. So, he ordered his courtiers to bring the nightingale to him.
Once upon a time, there was a king who had eleven sons and one daughter named Elisa. After the queen’s death, the king remarried a wicked queen who was a witch. She turned Elisa into a ragged girl and the eleven princes into wild swans.
Once upon a time, in the heart of France, lived a man named Bluebeard, so named for his striking blue beard. He was wealthy but frighteningly ugly and had been married several times, but no one knew what had become of his previous wives.
Once upon a time, there was a wicked hobgoblin who made a mirror that reflected only the bad and ugly aspects of people and things. While carrying it up to heaven to mock the angels, the hobgoblin dropped the mirror, and it shattered into billions of pieces that fell down to earth. Some shards got into people’s eyes, making them see the world as ugly and bad, and some got into their hearts, turning them into ice.
Once upon a time, there lived a lonely old woman who longed for a child. One day, a friendly witch provided her with a magic grain. She planted it, and a tulip sprouted, unfolding to reveal a thumb-sized little girl. The old woman was delighted and named the little girl Thumbelina.
Once upon a time, a beautiful and kind queen had only one daughter, who was as lovely as the day. As the princess was to be married off to a prince in a distant kingdom, the queen equipped her with a loyal maid, a beautiful horse named Falada that could speak, and a handkerchief stained with three drops of blood.