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Once upon a time something happened. If it hadn't happened, it wouldn't be told.

Collected by Mite Kremnitz, adapted and arranged by J. M. Percival (New York, 1885)

Once upon a time something happened. If it had not happened it would not be told.

Once upon a time, something happened. If it hadn't happened, it wouldn't be told.

At the edge of the village, where the peasants' oxen break through the hedges and the neighbors' hogs wallow in the ground under the fences, there once stood a house. In this house lived a man, and the man had a wife; but the wife grieved all day long.

"What troubles you, dear wife, that you sit there drooping like a frost-bitten bud in the sunlight?" her husband asked one day. "You have all you need. So be cheerful, like other folks."

Once upon a time something very extraordinary happened. If it had not happened, it would not be told.

There was once a husband and wife. The husband had a son by a former marriage, and the wife had a daughter by her first husband. This wicked woman could not bear the sight of her husband's son. One day she said: "Husband! If you don't send that boy away, I can't eat at the same table with you any longer."

"But where shall I send him, wife? Let him stay till he is a little older, then he will set up housekeeping for himself."

"I mean just what I told you—choose."

Once upon a time, something happened. If it had not happened, it would not be told.

Once upon a time something happened. If it hadn't happened, it wouldn't be told.

Once upon a time something happened. If it hadn't happened, it wouldn't be told.

There was an emperor, who ruled over a whole world, and in this world lived an old shepherd and shepherdess, who had three daughters, Anna, Stana, and Laptitza.[1]

[1] Little Milk-white, from "Lapte"—milk.

Once upon a time something happened whose like never occurred before—if it had not happened it would not be told—since the flea had one foot shod with ninety-nine pounds of iron and jumped into the skies to get us fairy tales.

de Ion Creangă

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