La Société de Litterature Finnoise. MS. Collections. By J. V. Murman. No. VI. (From Sodankylä in Ostrobothnia, 1854. By word of mouth.)
"THE BEGGAR'S DAUGHTER HOUSED FREE."
Three sisters have washed hands for three years to go to king, who seeks bride. They refuse to (1) shear sheep, (2) milk cow, (3) help old man. Beggar's daughter complies with wish of each. Old man gives her magic stick to open treasure-rock--Menial heroine (poultry-maid at palace)--Tasks, to sort peas from ashes--Magic dresses--Meeting-place (church)--Threefold flight-- Gold pieces thrown to detain king--Lost shoe--Shoe marriage test--Happy marriage.
(1) Three sisters have washed their hands for three years to go to young king, who seeks a wife. A beggar's daughter is also on her way to king's court. As the three sisters are walking along, a sheep meets them and says: "Shear me, and you shall have wool as reward." "We cannot; we have beets washing our hands for three years that we might become queens." Sheep says same thing when it meets beggar's daughter, and she shears it.-- (2) Three sisters on ahead meet cow, which says: "Milk me; you shall have milk as reward." They refuse with same excuse. Beggar-girl milks cow.-- (3) A little further, three sisters pass old mar lying by the roadside, who says: "Girls, help me up; you shall have my stick as reward." "We have been washing our hands for three years to go to court; we can't think of pulling you out of such mud!" Beggar-girl comes along and helps him out. He rewards her with stick, saying, "Go to rock near king's palace, strike it with this stick, and you will find inside anything you want."-- (4) Heroine arrives first at palace, and asks to be engaged as servant. She has to mind the poultry.-- (5) On Sunday young king goes to church; so do three sisters, after having thrown peas amongst the ashes of the stove, and told poultry-maid to pick them out. She has soon finished task, goes and strikes rock, and has splendid sight. She dons some fine clothes and goes to church. King sees a charming girl, but she leaves just before the rest, and he cannot find her. Three sisters return, and talk about the charming girl, who is probably a king's daughter-- she is so beautiful; poultry-maid pretends to be sorry not to have seen her. "Poor creature! What could you have done there?"-- (6) Next Sunday king goes with three sisters to church; poultry-maid has to stay at home and sort peas from the ashes. She does as before, and appears at church in dress "almost like silver". King follows after her, but delays to pick up the gold pieces which she scatters. She returns dress to rock and reaches Court before the others. Everyone is talking of this wonderful beauty. "I am unlucky not to have seen her!" says heroine. "You, poor creature! What could you do in church?"-- (7) All happens the same third Sunday. Heroine's dress shines like gold. The king follows her from church; she lets a shoe drop oft and escapes whilst he stops to pick it up. She returns clothes to rock, and in her rags goes and lies down on the hen-coop. Three sisters come and tease her as before.-- (8) King would find owner of shoe, and proclaims that the woman whom shoe fits shall be queen. All the girls in the kingdom come to court, but none can wear shoe. Then three sisters try in vain to squeeze their feet into it. King remembers that poultry-maid has not tried, has her fetched, and the shoe fits her perfectly. Then for the first time he notices how beautiful she is, and orders preparations for wedding.-- (9) A royal wedding-robe is to be made (or poultry-maid, but she says she can get a better one herself. On wedding-day she goes to rock, takes same clothes she wore last time at church, a carriage, horses, and servants, and goes to court. Everyone is charmed. King recognises girl he saw in church, and asks why she did not show herself before in her grandeur. Wedding lasts several weeks.
Cox, Marian Roalfe. Cinderella: Three Hundred and Forty-five Variants of Cinderella, Catskin, and Cap O' Rushes, abstracted and tabulated. London: David Nutt for the Folklore Society, 1893.
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