The story I am looking for involves a little girl who thinks she is hideously ugly. Her foster mother tells her that she is as well. The girl gazes out a window at the gardener who is a perfect specimen of beauty. The twist at the end, is that the girl is human and the others are actually monsters. Another story involved a cruel man who kills his pet bird, then slowly turns into a bird himself. I think this story was called Quid Pro Quo. Any ideas are appreciated.

  • The first one sounds like a variation on the Twilight Zone episode The Eye of the Beholder
    – thedaian
    Commented Dec 20, 2011 at 17:21
  • 1
    There was an annual anthology running around that time called The Fontana Book of Horror Stories - was it one of those? I suspect them because I'm fairly certain Mary Danby wrote the bird story, and she was the editor of the anthology through a lot of the 70s.
    – abcooper
    Commented Dec 20, 2011 at 17:24
  • Yes, @thedaian is correct. Was it in book form or could it have been on TV?
    – Tango
    Commented Dec 20, 2011 at 17:24
  • I've seen the TZ episode and while similar the short story was quite different (and better!) abcooper - Mary Danby sounds familiar, I'll see what I can track down with that - Thanks!
    – Heatmiser
    Commented Dec 20, 2011 at 20:54

2 Answers 2


I believe you're looking for The 5th Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories (1970). The last short story in the anthology is Quid Pro Quo by Mary Danby. The paperback version has a cover that appears to be a half-man, half-bird type of creature:

Cover of "The 5th Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories" with the subheading "Ghastly tales of terror by Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, Roald Dahl, Henry Kuttner and others."  The bottom of the cover has "Edited by Mary Danby."  The cover appears to show an open human mouth with the upper teeth and tongue visible, above which is an enormous beak in place of the nose.  Bits of feather surround the beak and mouth.

The other story you describe as part of the anthology may be The Monster by Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes (based on the title), although The Blue Lenses by Daphne du Maurier seems to match some of what you describe.


I believe the first story you mention is one I'm also looking to identify. Does it end with her (step)father admonishing her for admiring the gardener and quoting the "bible" that humans were made in God's image and are covered in hair with a long tail etc.?

I have a feeling that it might be "The Monster" by R. Chetwynd-Hayes. If so it is in an anthology called 65 Great Tales of Horror edited by Mary Danby I shall be checking this out

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