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Thursday, September 5, 2013

"Godmother Death" by Jane Yolen from Sister Emily's Lightship and Other Stories

This first appeared in Datlow and Windling's Black Swan, White Raven, and can also be found online here.

A man in his haste accidentally calls on Death to be his son's godmother.  He sprouts and encounters success, and she makes him a doctor.  He knows whether his patients will live or die by where Death stands near the bed.  He tricks Death once to marry a princess, but Death has a trick of her own.

This has a lovely authorial voice which is occasionally amusing:
"Ah — now you think I have been lying to you, that this is only a story. It has a king in it. And while a story with Death might be true, a story with a king in it is always a fairy tale. But remember, this comes from a time when kings were common as corn. Plant a field and you got corn. Plant a kingdom and you got a king. It is that simple."

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