Behind Another Name

He goes by many

as he travels the country training

peasant girls the art

of spinning various fibers

into the finest silk. “It’s magic!” people say, though

many are convinced it’s a trick. But none

have been able to confirm it.

This little man turns these penniless maidens

into wealthy princesses, but

with a price. They must give

him a valuable each time. And if

they cannot, he would take something

closer than any earthly riches –

their firstborn child. However,

if they could guess his real name

behind the present one, then truly

those ashamed, wretched damsels

shall keep their babes. But if

they are unable to, the infant is stowed away

to be raised in a land only

this deceiving,

diminutive man