Ladenè was a lonely witch, who had been forced from her home for so simple a reason as she was ugly.

And she was indeed, with cow feet and antlers, and long messy hair covering one eye. Her own family was disgusted with her appearance and showed her no pity, leaving Ladenè all alone.

She wandered the world, searching for a place to stay, praying for a friend who would accept her.

There was nowhere, no one, nothing at all.

She broke her off her antlers on a rock, but still none would come near.

She shaved all her hair, but still they all feared her, calling her a monster.

And so she kept walking.

Seasons passed and the loneliness became to much to bear. She collapsed beside a river on a frozen winter day. And she cried.

"Why have I been abandoned? Why must I look this way? Please, just give me something, any reason to keep on living in this world that hates me so!"

As if in response to her cry, a flower bloomed beside her. It was a magnificent flower, one she had never seen before. Afraid of this strange and miraculous event, Ladenè crushed the blossom in her fist.

Returning to her senses, she realized what she had done. A mark resembling the flower was now in her hand and Ladenè wept, for she must have been cursed by the flower for her misdeeds.

Ladenè once more began to wander the world, now a beast with fangs and claws, doomed to forever cast fear into whomever lay eyes upon her.

The one thing that had accepted her had been destroyed by her own hand, and now she would pay the price.

..

translated by Yddis Fadd