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February 26th is Tell a Fairy Tale Day

Listen to my fairy tale, Eleven Swan Princes

Podcast Episode # 40!

In honor of ‘Tell a Fairy Tale Day’ on February 26th, this is my modern retelling of Hans Christian Andersen‘s tale, The Wild Swans:

Eleven Swan Princes

In a land green with trees, Princess Elisa and her eleven brothers kicked a ball in the castle garden. 

Elisa was the fastest runner, and could kick the farthest. But her brothers, the princes, would not let her have the ball.

Instead, one of her brothers kicked the ball into the air, through the wizard’s tower window, and then the children heard a CRASH!

The wizard stormed into the garden, frowning. “Your ball ruined my spell!”

Elisa hid behind a rosebush.

The wizard flicked lightning from his fingertips. It hit the princes, one by one, and turned them into swans. The swans wore only their gold crowns.

The swan princes were afraid.

Elisa led them to a pond near the village where they could swim. “Stay here while I find help,” she said.

She ran to the wise woman’s house.

“How can I help my brothers?” she asked.

“To reverse the spell, you must collect eleven wild crabapples from the deepest woods—one for each brother—and give them to the wizard before sunset,” said the wise woman.

Elisa thanked her and walked deep into the woods, where the tall trees blocked the sun.

She worried that she would not get the apples to the wizard before sunset.

The wild crabapple tree in the deepest part of the woods had so many apples on its branches that they bent toward the ground.

The tree was afraid that if the apples did not fall off soon, its branches would break.

Elisa found the tree, but the apples were too high.

She placed smooth stones in a row in front of the tree. 

Elisa pretended that she was kicking a ball as she kicked each stone. 

The first stone flew into the branches and knocked two apples from the tree.

Kick after kick, Elisa freed the branch of its heavy fruit. Then, she propped up the tree’s other heavy branches.

The tree was grateful to Elisa. It whispered to its friends to help her get home in time to save her brothers. 

Elisa gathered her apples and let the trees lift her in their branches. 

Even with their help, Elisa saw that the sun was almost set. She would be too late!

“I can run faster,” she said and the trees parted to clear a path.

Elisa sprinted until she reached the pond. 

The swans flapped their wings to greet her.

She could not get to the castle in time.

Elisa dropped the apples and kicked each one.

They soared over the wall and through the wizard’s window. 

The swans turned back into happy princes. 

“Thank you, Elisa,” they said. “Let’s play!”

Elisa ran ahead of them into the garden. 

While he munched on a crabapple, the wizard watched Elisa kick the ball past all of her brothers and smiled.


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