Mark Twain Wrote This Never-Before-Published Fairy Tale For His Daughters

The author told his daughters a lot of bedtime stories, but this is the only one he jotted down.

Everyone’s favorite satirical adventurer, Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain), isn’t done entertaining and enlightening us. Later this year, a fairy tale he jotted down after sharing it with his daughters in 1879 will be released as a never-before-published book.

In a press release, publisher Penguin Random House wrote, “Although Twain told his young daughters countless bedtime stories, made up on the spot as they requested them, these notes are believed to be the only ones he ever jotted down from those sessions.” 

The story was discovered by Twain scholar John Bird, author of Mark Twain and Metaphor.

The story is less rooted in realistic political happenings than the Twain writings typically read in school, like Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Instead, it seems that Twain dabbled in the magical elements of children’s books and fables by creating a character who, after eating a special flower, gains the power to talk to animals.

In addition to the story’s original 16 pages, The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine, out in September, will include illustrations by Erin Stead. 

If it’s anything like its cover, the book will be a whimsical story a la “Big Fish” or even “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” but told in delicate watercolors. Twainians, rejoice!