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Bitter for having nothing left but a pot, the son closes the door on every person who asks for his help. Each time he does so, the pot takes on the symptoms of the ones who ask for help. It then hops on its brass foot incessantly, following the son and preventing him from having any peace of mind. This continues until the son finally gives up and provides aid to the town. Upon doing this, the pot's ailments are removed one by one until finally the mysterious slipper (which fits the foot of the pot perfectly) falls out, and together the two walk off into the sunset.
"The Fountain of Fair Fortune"
In this story, there is a fountain where once per year; one person may bathe to have his or her problems answered. This is how three witches meet. The first witch, Asha, suffers from a disease. The second, Altheda, endures poverty and powerlessness due to a robbery. The third, Amata, is distraught after being left by her beloved. The three witches decide to try to reach the fountain together but along the way, a knight also joins them.
On their path to the fountain, they face three challenges. The first involves a giant worm that demands "proof of [their] pain". The second, a steep slope where they have to bring the "fruit of their labours". The third challenge, crossing a river, requires them to pay with "the treasure of [their] past". Amata passes the challenge by using magic to withdraw the memories of her ex-lover and drop them into the water.
At the fountain, Asha collapses from exhaustion. To save her, Altheda brews an invigorating potion that also cures Asha of her disease and need of the fountain. Altheda realises that her skills are a means to earn money, so she also no longer needs the fountain. Amata realises that washing away her regret for her lover removed her need as well. The knight bathes in the water, after which he flings himself at Amata's feet and asks for "her hand and her heart" which she happily gives. Everyone gets an answer to his or her problem, unaware that the fountain held no magical power at all.
"The Warlock's Hairy Heart"
The story is about a young and handsome warlock who decides to never fall in love, so he uses Dark Arts to prevent himself from doing so. His family, hoping he will change, does nothing. However, one day, he hears two servants whispering about him not having a wife, so he decides to find a talented, rich, and beautiful witch and marry her to gain everyone's envy.
He meets that girl the next day. Though the girl is both "fascinated and repelled", the warlock persuades her to come to a dinner feast at his castle. During the feast, she tells him that she needs to know he has a heart. The warlock shows her his beating hairy heart inside a crystal casket in his dungeon. The witch begs him to put it back inside himself. After the warlock does so, she embraces him. However, being disconnected from its body for so long, his heart has developed savage tastes as it has degenerated into an animalistic state. And so he is driven to take by force a truly human heart. He tears out the witch's heart to replace his own, but finding that he cannot magic the hairy heart back out of his chest, he cuts it out with a dagger. Thus he and the maiden both die, with him holding both hearts in his hands.
"Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump"
This story is about a king who wants to keep all magic to himself. To do this he needs to solve two problems: he must capture and imprison all of the sorcerers in the kingdom and he has to learn magic. He creates a "Brigade of Witch Hunters" and calls for an instructor in magic. Only a "cunning charlatan" with no magical ability responds. The charlatan proves himself with a few simple tricks and begins to ask for jewelry and money to continue teaching. However, Babbitty, the king's washerwoman, laughs at the king one day as he attempts to do magic with an ordinary twig. This causes the king to demand the charlatan join him in a public demonstration of magic and warns that the charlatan will be beheaded if anyone laughs. The charlatan later witnesses Babbitty performing magic in her house. He threatens to expose her if she does not assist him. She agrees to hide and help the demonstration.
During the performance, the brigade captain asks the king to bring his dead hound back to life. Because Babbitty's magic is unable to raise the dead, the crowd thinks the previous acts were tricks. The charlatan exposes Babbitty, accusing her of blocking the spells. Babbitty flees into a forest and disappears at the base of an old tree. In desperation, the charlatan states that she has turned "into a crab apple" and has the tree cut down.
As the crowd departs, the stump starts cackling and makes the charlatan confess. The stump cackles again, demanding the king never hurt a wizard again, and build a statue of Babbitty on the stump to remind him of his foolishness. The king agrees and heads back to the palace. Afterwards, a "stout old rabbit" with a wand in its teeth hops out from a hole beneath the stump and leaves the kingdom.
"The Tale of the Three Brothers"
This story is about three brothers who, travelling together, reach an impassable river. They make a magical bridge over the river. Halfway across the bridge, they meet the personification of Death who is angry for losing three potential victims. He pretends to be impressed by them and grants each a wish as a reward. The eldest brother asks for an unbeatable dueling wand. The middle brother asks for the ability to resurrect the dead. The youngest brother doesn't trust Death and asks for a way to stop Death from following him, so Death reluctantly gives him his Cloak of Invisibility. Afterwards, the brothers go their separate ways.
The eldest brother, bragging about his powerful wand, is robbed of it and murdered while he is asleep. The middle brother uses his ability to bring back the woman he loved, which died before he could marry her. However, she is not fully alive and is full of sorrow. He kills himself to join her. As for the youngest brother, Death never manages to find him, as he stays hidden under his Cloak. Many years later, the brother removes his cloak and gives it to his son. Pleased with his achievements, he greets Death as an old friend and chooses to leave with him as an equal.
At the end of each tale, J. K. Rowling uses the character Dumbledore, the most powerful wizard of all time, director of the magic school of Hogwarts (where you spend most of the narrative in the story of Harry Potter), makes his comment about each tale in order to help retain and remember the lesson that every story want to teach you.