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25
Tangles

Ugh, here's another!



What is it, Mum?



Son...ever since you married that...creature, I've gotten one tangle after another in my hair! You can't tell me it wasn't her doing...Why does she hate me? Because I opposed the match? It was for your own good!



Petal wouldn't do this, Mother. I will ask her, she'll know what to do.




Petal appeared in the doorway just then.



This is Bloodroot's doing, she said. Hang a pony-shoe in your bedroom window and another on the door, Mum. Fairies cannot abide iron. That will keep him out.



And she ran her fingertips over her mother-in-law's curls, and all the tangles disappeared and the hair was shinier than before.



Petal could not come within three feet of that doorway afterward, but she did not complain. No one had said marriage would be easy. And her mother-in-law frequently baked her favorite strawberry layer cake after that.

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