|By Paul Zelinksky|
Most of us are familiar with the story of Rumpelstiltskin. A man brings his daughter to the king's palace, and, in hopes of winning favor in the kingdom, brags to the king that his daughter can spin straw into gold. The king locks the girl in a room, instructing her to spin the whole room of straw into gold. Crying because she cannot do what she was asked to do, the girl encounters Rumpelstiltskin, who tells her he will spin the straw into gold in exchange for something. The girl offers her necklace, and the little man spins the straw into gold. The next day, the king returns to find the gold and brings the girl to another room with the same task - turn that room of straw into gold. Again, Rumpelstiltskin appears and spins the straw into gold in exchange for the girl's ring. This goes on until the girl has nothing left to give. The little man says that the girl must surrender her firstborn baby to him if she bears one. The girl agrees, and after this last night of gold spinning, the king takes the woman for his wife. She bears a son, and Rumpelstiltskin once again appears to collect the babe. The only way she may keep her son is if she can guess the name of the little man. After days of guessing, she sends a servant into the woods to spy on the little man, and the servant overhears his song to himself including his name: Rumpelstiltskin. The queen victoriously tells the man his name when he returns for her last chance to guess, and he goes away never to be heard from again.
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