You remember your grandmother’s advice and sprinkle stones, not seeds, so the crows break their beaks and you find your way back from the labyrinth, clutching the princess’s three golden hairs–
You thank the tree that shaded you at midday, and for such a polite traveller it drops a branch bearing golden apples, so you can pay the night lord’s toll–
You stand stock still as the dragon roars and flaps its wings, and so it doesn’t see you, and when it leaves its nest you walk swiftly past, leaving its cursed gold gleaming dully in the dark–
–and when you come back home, only your youngest sister recognizes you–
–and when you come back home, home is no longer anywhere to be found–
–and when you come back home, all those who once laughed at you give you a hero’s welcome–
–but it’s still you who pulls the boots off your sore feet at night, blows out the candle and draws up the sheets; you, who’ll be your own final judge.