This whimsical collection of fairytales explores a wide-range of dilemmas that confront women from youth to old age. The heroines of these fairytales face betrayals that range from romantic disappointment to parental betrayal to societal intrigue, but they survive their ordeals based on a combination of their own spunk as well as the moral support of kindred spirits. The fairytales illustrate the stratagems by which the heroines resist the manipulations of domineering humans. The manipulations are expressed metaphorically as pigs, ogres, spiders, blackbirds, and dragons. The heroines' persistence in defending the integrity of their hearts is assisted by fairy godmothers, magic wands and mirrors as well as by worthy woodsmen, smithies, and princes.