Stier, G., Ungarische Sagan and Mächen, aus der Erdelyischen Sammlung ubersetzt. Berlin, 1850. No.V, pp. 34-45. (Also Magyar Folk-tales, Jones and Kropf, F.-L. Soc., 1889, pp. 144-149.)
"DIE DREI KONIGSTOCHTER."
Step-mother plans to abandon king's three daughters in forest. Youngest daughter, overhearing, rides on magic steed to witch, who gives her ball of thread but forbids her to rescue sisters. Heroine disobeys and leads sisters home by means of clue; again seeks aid of witch, who gives her sack of ashes, and once more disobeys and leads sisters home. Third time heroine makes trail with peas which birds eat, and girls cannot retrace steps. They plant acorn which grows in the night to tall tree; heroine mounts it to spy. On third day tree is high enough for her to descry from; its top lighted window in distance. They reach palace after three days' wandering; are greeted by giantess who threatens to eat them, but heroine bribes her to spare them. Giant returns; wants to eat them; spares them that they may cook him food. Heroine entraps him into oven and kills him; pretends to comb giantess's hair; kills her with hammer--Ill-treated heroine (by sisters)--Menial heroine--Heroine finds gold key in chimney: it opens cupboard containing Magic dresses -- Meeting-place (dance)--Three-fold flight--Lost shoe--Love-sick prince--Shoe marriage test--Mutilated feet--Happy marriage, after restoration of heroine's father to lost kingdom.
(1) King has three daughters, but is too poor to keep them. Their step-mother persuades him to take them into forest and lose them in the darkness. Youngest daughter overhears this, and, whilst king and queen sleep, gets up to seek advice of godmother, who is a witch. A little magic steed is waiting at door for her, and carries her to witch, who gives her a ball of thread, which she is to unwind as she goes through forest, so as to be able to retrace her steps. But this is given only on condition that heroine does not rescue her two wicked sisters. Next day stepmother takes daughters into forest to gather faggots, and then bids them rest under tree. They fall asleep, and she runs off and leaves them. Elder daughters begin weeping on awakening, but heroine knows way home. She will not take sisters with her, but they praise and flatter her till at length she consents. Father is pleased to see them again, but stepmother's joy is feigned.-- (2) In the night she tells king that she means to lead them still further into the forest, and desert them. Heroine overhears, and goes as before to witch, who scolds her for having brought sisters back, and, with the same injunction, gives her this time a little sack of ashes, with which she must strew the path as they go. All happens as before, and again heroine is persuaded to bring sisters home with her.-- (3) She again overhears parents' talk, and is now ashamed to go to witch, whom she has twice disobeyed, and thinks to be able to help herself this time. So she takes a sack of grain to make a trail, and is willing to lead sisters home, only she finds, to her dismay, that birds have eaten every single grain. The three girls wander hither and thither all day, and at last come to a well, and quench their thirst.-- (4) They find an acorn under an oak where they rest, plant it in the ground, and carry water in their mouths from well to water it. Next day it has grown as high as a tower, and heroine ascends it to spy for some human abode in the neighbourhood. But she sees nothing, and they weep. Next morning the tree is twice as high, but still heroine can espy nothing from its top. On the third day it is higher still, and heroine sees a little lighted window in the far distance, and leads sisters to it.-- (5) They now begin to ill-treat her, take away the bundle of clothes which she had thought to bring from house. They beat her, and tell her she must say they are the daughters of a rich king, and she is their servant. They wander thus for three days, till they reach a magnificent palace. They enter, full of hope, and are alarmed to see a giantess looking down from the tower, with an eye like a plate in the middle of her forehead, and a row of teeth a span long. "Good day, children," roars the giantess; "you will make a prime roast." 'They are terrified; but heroine speaks flatteringly to her, and says they will make her a lovely dress, if she will let them alone.-- (6) Giantess shuts them up in a cupboard, so that husband shall not see them. He is much bigger than his wife, and comes up, sniffing about, and threatening to eat her, if she gives him nothing else. Girls are brought out, but they plead for mercy, promising to cook a dainty dish for giant. They are spared, because giant thinks he will eat them all to himself when wife is not by, and wife has the same idea. Girls begin baking and cooking. The elder girls knead dough, whilst heroine heats an enormous oven. After awhile she calls giant, and, having put a lump of fat in oven, tells him to lick it and see if it is hot enough, for then the oven would be heated sufficiently. Scarcely has the giant put his head inside oven than heroine pushes him in, and he is burnt to death.-- (7) Giantess is in a great rage, and would devour heroine, only she persuades her to let her dress her first. So heroine crawls on to giantess's head to comb her hair, but, instead of this, she hits her on the head with an iron hammer, and she falls dead. The girls drag the corpse out with twenty-four pair of oxen, and are sole possessors of the castle.-- (8) The following Sunday elder sisters go to dance in the town. Heroine, who is left at home as servant, searches again and again through all the rooms of the castle. She catches sight of something shining in chimney, throws a stone at it, and gold key falls into her hand. She tries it in all doors and cupboards. At last she opens little cupboard, which is full of lovely clothes, as though made for her. She dons a silver dress, finds a magic steed waiting outside, and goes to dance. She is the beauty of the ball, quite eclipsing her sisters. Suddenly she disappears, and when sisters return she has resumed old clothes. They tell how much they were enjoying themselves till some grand lady came and cut them out. Heroine says, "I suppose I was that lady"; and they scold and slap her.-- (9) Next Sunday all happens as before: heroine appears in gold dress. On the third Sunday she wears a diamond dress. But this time the young men are determined not to lose sight of her, and follow close when she leaves. She drops shoe, and dares not wait to pick it up. It comes into the possession of king's son, who treasures it.-- (10) After a time he falls ill, and doctors can do nothing. His father is in despair, when a strange physicians tells him that marriage is the only cure for his son, who is sick of love. Father bids prince confess his love, and he says he will only wed owner of shoe.-- (11) The following Sunday all women are to come and try shoe. Elder sisters present themselves, having, with aid of heroine, chopped their feet to make them smaller. As soon as they have started, heroine puts fellow shoe in handkerchief, dons fine dress, and rides on magic steed to appointed place. On the way she overtakes sisters, and splashes them all over with mud by riding through puddle. When she arrives, a hundred guns are fired, and all the bells ring. But she will not own her shoe without making trial of it, and puts it on. Then she draws forth its fellow, and is acclaimed queen, with three hundred guns.-- -- (12) She will only accept the honour on condition that her father is restored to his lost kingdom. When this is done, she marries king's son, and sisters return to live with their father.
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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