Full of self-pity and self-loathing, Kate Bernheimer’s stories in Horse, Flower, Bird are not all of what being a girl is about. This is essential to remember, because fairytales, for all their unnecessarily flowery language and lurid fantasy, taught us all who to be. Fairytales, like the more adult fables, are instructional devices; stay away from the woods, do not talk to strangers, truth and love will prevail… As corny as they always are, they imbue us with an elementary moral compass. It was their function and their rationale, it is why parents allow their children to watch Sleeping Beauty a million times into the wee hours of the night. However Bertheimer's fairytales, while unconventional and enticing, do not convey any distinct moral messages. They are enchanting stories, but not fairytales; there is nothing to be learned from them. They are simply fantastical.