Story - Loosely based on The Swan Maiden - Swedish version
A young peasant man saw a group of wildlife scurry around a watering hole nearby. He watched from the bushes as they stripped their feathery and furry and winged attire and headed to the water's edge, swans, rabbits and butterflies to name a few of the creatures. As time passed, he could think of nothing but the fair creature-maidens and grew increasingly unaffected by daily life.
He declared that there was no longer any happiness in this life for him if he could not possess a fair creature-maiden. He decided to return to the watering hole and gain one's attention, somehow. At a convenient hiding place, he waited, with impatience, the coming of the creatures.
And sure enough, they came, as had before. As soon as they had laid off their attire they were again transformed into the most beautiful maidens, and were soon enjoying themselves by water's edge. From his hiding place the young man had taken careful note of where they laid their feathery and furry and winged attire - took them all - and returned to his place of concealment in the surrounding foliage.
Soon thereafter, two of the maidens were in search of her creature-clothes, and discovered the young man. They were flattered to have been watched and put on a bit of a show, vying for the young man's attention. You see, they learned that any creature-maiden who wed a human would turn into royalty, instantly upon her marriage vows. The fairest of the two creature-maidens was surely to wed the young peasant. And the two creature-maidens prepared themselves accordingly to win as fairest in the peasant's sight. Preparations were made for a magnificent wedding between creature-maiden and man. The creature community came together to create an exquisite wedding. Except which creature-maiden would be chosen as bride?