Once there was and once there was not, in the time before..."" This is the traditional opener for Turkish stories used here to start nine fairy tales never before published in this country. They are interesting for comparison and contrast to their European counterparts. The author learned them from her nurse who learned them from the wandering storytellers of Turkey--one of the few paid occupations open to women in the old days. Easy to tell and short, they make use of exotic settings for the familiar ingredients--animals chat with people and the poor girls make it to the palace by way of spells and virtue. In The Blackbird and the Pine Needle a wily bird trades up through four hard bargains until he has a flute. The Little Gray Mouse and the Handsome Cock tells of devoted love with the melodrama of near disasters and sudden faints that children find quite reasonable and amusing.