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12 fairy tales from around the world that you might not have heard of

12 fairy tales from around the world that you might not have heard of

Once upon a time, adults around the world would make up stories about magic, princesses, strange beasts, and other fantastic elements to teach children a lesson, or to make them behave or fall asleep. Most are passed down generation after generation in oral form, but hundreds of them have been preserved in the literary form that we now call the “fairy tale.”

While you may have had your fair share of tales from Aesop of Greece, the Brothers Grimm of Germany, and Hans Christian Andersen of Denmark, we thought you might want to explore stories from other parts of the globe.

Fairy Couple

Origin: China

When the youngest daughter of the celestial Jade Emperor and a lowly cowherd meet, they fall in love. The pair must overcome the unlikelihood of their romance.

The One-Handed Girl

Origin: East Africa

A girl overcomes the hardships that her brother puts her through.

The Child Who Came from an Egg

Origin: Estonia

A barren queen receives an egg that hatches into a baby girl. The princess grows up and survives a siege with the help of her godmother.

Aurore and Aimée

Origin: France

Siblings Aurore and Aimée are both beautiful, but Aurore is kind while Aimée is malevolent. Aurore is sent away and learns that misfortunes can actually benefit the unfortunate person.

The Boy Who Drew Cats

Origin: Japan

The youngest son of a farmer has an irresistible habit of drawing cats, but this turns out to be a blessing.

The Cunning Servant

Origin: Korea

The young servant of a nobleman finds ways to outsmart his master and eventually switch their lots in life.

The Master Thief

Origin: Norway

The youngest son of a poor cottager amasses wealth and finds happiness by pulling off increasingly masterful deceptions.

The Boys with the Golden Stars

Origin: Romania

The youngest and most beautiful daughter of a herdsman marries an emperor and gives birth to twin sons with stars on their foreheads.

The Light Princess

Origin: Scotland

A princess cursed with a lack of gravity meets a prince who is willing to help her overcome her weightlessness.

Laughing Eye and Weeping Eye

Origin: Serbia

A son sets out to retrieve a marvelous vine that his father once cherished.

The Twelve Months

Origin: Slovakia

Sent on a difficult errand, a girl braves a blizzard and meets the twelve months of the year huddling around a warm fire in the woods.

The Knights of the Fish

Origin: Spain

Twin brothers encounter the mystery of the castle of black marble.

Have you ever encountered these fairy tales before? What other fairy tales have taken your fancy?

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