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Literature / Kate Crackernuts

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"Kate Crackernuts" is an English Fairy Tale collected by Joseph Jacobs in English Fairy Tales. It's a Gender Flip of The Twelve Dancing Princesses.

Kate's mother, who is a queen, marries Anne's father, who is a king. Anne is prettier than Kate, so the queen consults with a henwife, who after two tries manages to replace Anne's head with a sheep's one.

Kate discovers this, wraps Anne's head with a linen cloth, and takes her by the hand to lead her as they go out to find their fortune.


When they asked for lodging, they found a king's castle, where there were two princes, one of whom was sick, and anyone who stayed the night with him vanished. Kate took the job.

The next night, the prince got up in the darkness and rode off. Kate jumped on the horse as well, and when he announced who he was, she added herself. She found that it was The Fair Folk, who made him dance even when he was collapsing with exhaustion. The next two nights, she discovered a way to disenchant Anne, and then the prince. She married the prince, and meanwhile his brother had fallen in love with Anne at first sight, so they married too.

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