World of Tales
Stories for children, folktales, fairy tales and fables from around the world

The ghost girl

Once upon a time there lived a couple, who wasn't powerful nor rich. They were selling vegetables from their own garden at the local market. But they were nice people and loved each other. And their only dream was to have a child, beautiful like the spring and clever like a sage. Day after day, they were dreaming about it. And while they were obsessed with their desire so strongly that accidentally sold one old woman a kilo of potatoes, though the buyer paid for two kilos.

Upon coming home, the old woman weighted her potatoes. Imagine her anger, when she turned out that she paid for two kilos, but got only one! And that woman was a witch. Everybody was afraid to provoke her because people knew: that's a recipe for disaster.

She came back to the market and told them:

— You! You cheated me! And you will be punished for that!

— Please, nice old woman, — said the seller trembling with terror, take what you want, but don't curse us! If we cheated you, it wasn't intentional! It was just because we were too busy thinking about our future child!

—Ah! — Cried the witch, — you were thinking about the child! So, I will curse you to think about your child continuously! And if you don't do it, if you think more about anything or anybody else, you will turn into ghosts! And also if your child once thinks about anybody or anything more than about you, you also will be turned into ghosts!

And  she left the market, angry, like a beaten monkey. The couple wept, and everybody was  compassionate towards them, but nobody could help. Soon the woman became pregnant, and although it was their biggest desire to have a child, they both became very sad. Nine months later, the woman gave birth to the nicest girl, who was really beautiful as the spring and wise like a sage. But her parents were afraid to leave her alone even for a minute. If the girl - her name was Samantha, which means 'flower', was playing with her friends, her parents were always near. And when she went to school, they used to wait nearby, even when she became old enough to come to school and back home alone.

Samantha was ashamed of their behavior greatly, but she couldn't change anything. Once she was playing with her friend and saw her parents being busy having a conversation. She stood up quietly and left the yard. She was just walking along the streets of the city. And she was feeling so happy, so free! She was looking at people, smiling at them, talking with unknown children, admiring storefronts. In the late evening she came back home. The first thing she saw were the tear-stained and condemning eyes of her parents. Her mother fell down, wrapped her hands around Samantha's legs and wailed:

—  Thank God you are safe!

The girl was embarrassed very much and never ever left her parents since that day. But she was growing, and love has come along. He was her classmate - she couldn't know men outside her school or yard because of parent's behavior. He also fell in love with her, and they decided to marry. When Samantha told her parents that she was going to marry and move with her husband to another city, her mother fainted, and her father reached for his heart. The young woman felt guilty.

—  Mother, father,  —  she said,  —  I love you, but I also want to have my own life!

—  My dear daughter,  —  said the father sadly,  —  you are old enough, and we can uncover the truth.

And they told Samantha the whole story about the old witch and her curse. She was shocked. She couldn't sleep that night. In the morning, she decided:

—  I should sacrifice my happiness to save my parents. They  were always  so attentive, so loving with me. I have to pay them back.

And she told her parents about her decision. They were pleased and delighted. But that day Samantha lost that gleam in her eyes. She met her groom and told:

—  Forgive me please, but I can't marry you and move to another city with you.

He was begging her to change her decision or to tell at least what happened, but she was like an ice sculpture. Finally, he left alone, came to the other city, met another girl there, and married her. And Samantha fell ill. She was ill during the winter, and in the spring, which she loved most, she felt better. Her parents were so afraid that she could die! And in such a case, they definitely would have to become ghosts! It was a terrifying thought. But she survived, and they remained alive. One morning in the beginning of April, Samantha's mother came into her bedroom and said:

—  My dear, we are so grateful you stayed with us. And we want to thank you. Your father found a nice young man who will be a great husband for you. You can live with him in our house. It is wonderful, isn't it?

The young woman, who had lost the gleam in her eyes, agreed to marry that man. They married, and started to live in her parents' house. The parents were gloriously happy and Samantha ... she was just calm. Soon the young woman gave birth to a boy. And he was so sincere and nice that for some time the gleam came back to her eyes. But her parents claimed they knew better how to care of the baby, they raised Samantha after all. And soon they were controlling every step of the young mother. And she was doing everything as they indicated. And if she didn't, they were extremely sad, she felt guilty and changed her behavior.

And everything was going well externally. But once Samantha wanted to take the pan to heat up the milk for her son. She took it and ... It fell down. The woman couldn't understand what happened.

"Probably I wasn't holding it tight enough,"  —  she thought and tried to pick it up. But when she almost put it on the table, it fell down again.

—  What is happening?  —  said her husband with amazement.

—  I ... I don't know,  —  answered Samantha.

She couldn't hold anything in the house. It looked like ... things were just ... going through her hands. But the worst thing was that she couldn't pick up her own son. Soon she noticed in the mirror, that...

—  I can't believe that  —  she told her husband, but ... it seems that I am becoming transparent!

—  How ridiculous!  —  Her husband laughed. But his laughing wasn't real. He could already see walls through his wife.

Things were getting worse and worse. Soon Samantha noticed that her husband and especially her son were becoming transparent  as well. She was frightened like never before.

—  Darling,  —  she said to her husband,  —  it seems that curse that is put on my parents is extending to us, —  What do you mean?!  —  he asked.

And he told him the story about the curse. The young man pondered.

—  But your parents are not transparent! They look absolutely like ordinary people!

—  That's right,  —  Samantha gave a sight.  —  But what we can do?

—  I have an idea. Let's go to the witch and persuade her to remove the spell.

That was a great idea! Samantha rushed to her parents and convinced them to go to the witch. At first, they bluntly refused to go there because they still were frightened of her. But when young woman proved them she was turning into the ghost, they agreed to go with a heavy heart.

The whole family came to the house of the hag. It was a big black house, which was three centuries old. The windows were tiny, and the walls were covered with ivy. Samantha's parents refused to come in and said they would wait outside. So Samantha went inside with her husband and son.

It was very dark inside.

—  Is anybody here?  —  shouted the young man, but nobody answered.

They climbed the stairs and started to open the doors of the rooms, one after another. But each room was empty. Finally, they came to the back room, opened it slowly, and there was the hag lying on the bed. She was very, very, very old, and she was dying.

—  Hello, Samantha,  —  said the hag,  —  I was waiting for you.

—  Do you know why I came?  —  asked the woman distraught.

—  Yes, yes, I know. You came to ask me to remove the spell from your parents. But the truth is that I removed it already a long time ago when you were a little girl.

—  Why didn't you tell them about that?!  —  cried Samantha,  —  My life could be much better!

—  I was trying! I sent them letters, but they were shredding them without reading!

—  In such a case, why is she turning into a ghost?  —  asked the young man.

—  Because you don't live your own life,  —  said the old witch.  —  Everybody who doesn't live his or her own life is becoming a ghost. I can tell you how to reverse it. If you don't leave your parents before the nearest full moon, you will become a ghost, bell, book, and candle.

The witch said it and died. The young couple left her house and told her parents everything they heard.

—  Fiddlesticks!  —  Grumbled the father,  —  the curse is still alive! She lied to you in order to turn us into ghosts!

—  But father, we are turning into ghosts!  —  cried Samantha, but her mother answered:

—  Flapdoodle! You look very well!

It was three days before the full moon. The small boy couldn't hold any toy, and it was making him weepy. When one day was left, Samantha tried to talk again to her parents. But they wouldn't listen, and claimed that the old hag just lied to her and that such a good daughter like Samantha wouldn't like if her parents became ghosts.

Last night before the full moon, Samantha was awakened by a noise. She opened her eyes and saw her husband, who was leaving the room with their son.

—  Where are you going?  —  she asked.

—  I am going to save myself and our son,  —  he answered,  —  I am not going to stay here waiting until we all three become ghosts.

—  But my parents! It will make then unhappy!  —  exclaimed Samantha.

—  If you are ready to sacrifice your life to your parents, you can do it, but I don't, and I am not going to let it happen to my son!

—  Wait!  —  said the young woman,  —  I am coming with you!

She wasn't sure she had made the right decision. But nevertheless she took some of her clothes, some toys of her son and with great difficulties got out of the window with the stuff.

—  Where are we going?  —  she asked her husband.

—  I don't know. I have relatives in the East. Maybe we can go there. But the most important thing is that we are not in that house anymore.

Samantha fell silent. The sun was rising, and she noticed that while they were going on, they were becoming less and less transparent, and their bodies were coming back. Tired, they stopped near a big tree. Their son took a twig, and it didn't fall out of his hand. He laughed happily.

And what about Samantha's parents? In the morning, they discovered their daughter escaped with her son and husband. They were crying and yelling, and it didn't cease. Their neighbors listened to the noise, came and asked, what happened.

—  Our daughter left us, and we are ghosts now!  —  they bawled.

—  No, you are not ghosts,  —  said neighbors.

—  No, we are!  —  insisted on the couple.

And no matter how people were trying to convince them they had not turned into ghosts, it was in vain. So, they came back to their house. And the old couple lived the rest of their life considering themselves to be ghosts. And they were so sure of it that soon they really looked like ghosts, and their lives were boring, mirthless and full of  mourning.

And their daughter, she was living happily in the East, although she was yearning for her parents sometimes. But she used to tell every day to her son until he became an adult:

—  Son, you have to live your own life as you wish. And that's what he was talking to his own children, when he got them, too.

Author: Alisa Adler License: All rights reserved© - Alisa Adler
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About the author

This is the story about the girl, who had been suffocated by her parents' love so much that she almost turned into a ghost. This is a fairy tale metaphor about situations where hyper protection makes children so weak and dependent that they cannot find their ways in life even when they are grown up.

Alisa Adler

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