Three Little Men in the Wood
Dorothy went to collect strawberries in the forest. On her way, she met three little men in the forest. “We are hungry. Will you share your food?” they asked. Dorothy gave them the bread she was carrying. Impressed by her kindness, the three men gave her a boon each. One said, “You will get prettier every day.” The second said, “You will be very rich.” “You will marry a king,” said the third. Dorothy was very happy. She returned home and told her stepmother what had happened in the forest.
The jealous stepmother sent her ugly daughter with a loaf of bread to the forest. She too met the three men who asked her for food, but she rudely refused to share it with them. Angry, they all cursed her saying that she would get uglier, have two horns on her head and die a miserable death.
Many years passed by and one day, Dorothy met a king passing by. He fell in love with her and married her. He took her away to his kingdom.
The stepmother could not bear this. One night, she killed Dorothy and placed her own daughter on the king’s bed. Before leaving she covered her face so that the king might not see her face. However, the king lifted the cloth and saw the horns.
Meanwhile, the queen had turned into a swan. She was swimming in the palace pond when the king saw her. “Sire, brandish your sword over me,” she bade him. Lo! The king was astonished to see his queen before him. He banished the stepmother and her daughter from his kingdom.