I grew up reading fairytales like many other kids of my era. I loved how I could imagine myself being a part of the story. I could be riding horses, sailing ships, going hunting or even searching for a golden egg.  However, I was always slightly uncomfortable if the tale was just about finding a prince to marry.  One fairytale especially always scared me: the Little Mermaid. While some friends loved the mermaid’s long blond hair in illustrations and the blue-eyed prince, I found the idea of giving up your voice to walk with painful feet was terrible. Surely it was a much better idea to be able to sing, talk, laugh and swim around the blue sea. To me, having a voice was better than being able to walk!

I grew up, but I continued reading fairytales and folk tales from around the world. It was by luck that I came across the story here. The small and long out of print book of obscure Persian fairytales from the 19thcentury came into my hands almost 20 years ago. I was so intrigued by the overt sexuality, cruelty and the humour of all the stories that I read them many times throughout the years. However, my favourite was always The Adventures of Her Ladyship. I admired her confidence, resilience and, of course, her voice which would not be silenced. A voice which we all have and most would never give up for anything. And you never know, you might even catch a king with it. (2019)