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Fairy of the Desert

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Fairy of the desert

The Fairy of the Desert with her turkeys.

The Fairy of the Desert is the secondary antagonist of Madame d'Aulnoy's fairy tale The Yellow Dwarf.


The Fairy of the Desert is a tall, ugly old fairy. She wears red robes, a black taffeta ruff, and a red velvet hood. She walks with a cane. When she is angry she crowns her head in snakes. She also has the ability to change her form. However, she cannot change her feet, which resemble those of an eagle or a griffin. This is a giveaway to her identity. She is wise, but also vicious and cruel.

Her home is a huge palace with bejeweled walls and arches.

She keeps all kinds of magical animals, such as eight-legged, two-headed lions, fire-breathing turkeys, swans to pull her carriage, and a griffin.

She also has eleven sisters who look similar to her.


Princess Toutebelle's mother went to consult the Fairy of the Desert because she wanted to find a suitable husband who her daughter wouldn't reject. She met the Yellow Dwarf instead, who promised to marry the princess despite having a miserable home. But when Toutebelle decides to marry the King of the Gold Mines instead, the Fairy of the Desert arrives at the wedding on a cart pulled by two large turkeys. She then reveals the Yellow Dwarf, who jumps out on a large cat. The Fairy of the Desert uses her spear to injure Toutebelle, and the dwarf carries her off.

The Fairy of the Desert then disguises herself as a beautiful nymph and kidnaps the King of the Gold Mines. She keeps him chained up in a cave. The king tells her that he would love her if he freed her, which she does, and brings him to her castle. Toutebelle sees them and suspects that her fiance is cheating on her.

Eventually, the King of the Gold Mines breaks free of the Fairy of the Desert and seeks aid from a mermaid, who creates a bed of sea rushes to deceive the fairy. The Fairy of the Desert is deceived by the sea rushes, which look like the king.

The Fairy of the Desert later builds a mausoleum for the King of the Gold Mines, but once she heard that he had left her for Toutebelle, as well as the deaths of the king and the princess, she destroys the mausoleum.

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