Once upon a time in a land far, far away there lived three sisters. The oldest sister had long, dark hair and knuckles that hissed when they were cracked. The middle sister had large, luminous eyes and pointed ears. The youngest sister had the voice of a songbird and the feet to match.
One day, walking down a path they had walked many times before, the three sisters stumbled upon a river. They could not see the bottom. It was too deep to cross. An ornate bridge arched over the rushing water, winking in the moonlight.
“What a beautiful bridge,” sang the youngest sister. The other two agreed. It really was a beautiful bridge. So beautiful that it seemed out of place in the barren land where they lived. The bridge glowed silver in the evening light.
As the sisters drew closer, they could see that the beautiful bridge led to a barren land much like the one they stood upon. They wanted desperately to be there.
The youngest sister knew what happened next in stories like these.
“First we must answer a question that is asked of us,” she sang.
They waited in silence, the bridge did not ask any questions.
“Perhaps,” said the middle sister, “we should each give the bridge an offering.” The other two agreed.
The oldest sister reached up and pulled out a handful of her long, dark hair. She wove it through the sides of the bridge.
The middle sister used her nails to remove her left eye, which was slightly more luminous. The iris reflected her own face back at her as she lowered it to the foot of the bridge.
The youngest reached into her throat and slowly drew out her songbird voice. She hung it as a garland across the bridge.
Now, the bridge asked a question.
“Hello, sisters,” the bridge sang. “Why do you wish to cross my bridge?”
The oldest sister stepped forward, her scalp glowing in the twilight. “I wish to leave home,” said the oldest sister. “I wish for change.”
The bridge blinked once, twice, but said nothing more. The oldest sister knew she had answered wrong, and could not cross the bridge.
The middle sister shuffled forward, blood running from her left eye socket. “I wish for wealth,” she said. “I wish to discover a land of abundance.”
The bridge looked angry. The middle sister knew that she, too, could not cross the bridge.
Finally, the youngest sister came to the foot of the bridge. She said nothing, for she had no voice.
“Yes,” sang the bridge. “You may cross me.”
The sisters turned and went back home, and they lived happily ever after.