Zingerle, Ignaz und Josef, Tirols Volksdichtungen und Volksgebräuche, gessamelt durch die Bruder Ignaz und Josef. Band i. Kinder- und Hausmärchen. Innsbruck, 1852. Story No. XXIII, pp. 130-39 (1st edition). (By word of mouth from Meran.)
"THE THREE SISTERS."
Ill-treated heroine (by elder sisters)--Menial heroine--Angel aid--Magic dresses--Meeting-place (ball)--Three-fold flight--Pursuers detained third time with gold and gold shoe--Shoe marriage test--Mutilated feet--False brides--Animal witness (bird)--Happy marriage.
(1) Three sisters live in a town. The two elder are proud and haughty; the youngest is modest and good, wherefore she is hated by her sisters. They make her do all the menial work, and stay at home to work and mind the house if ever they go to a ball.-- (2) King gives grand ball, and they leave heroine at home as usual in her workday clothes. She goes about her work sadly, when an angel suddenly appeals, gives her a sun-dress and glittering gems, and bids her don them and go where her sisters have gone. Directly morning dawns, and the dance is ended, she must hurry home, so that none may know she has been at the palace. Heroine hesitates about leaving work undone, and angel says that heaven will see to that too. Everyone admires her at the ball, and king dances with her alone. Presently she disappears, no one knows whither. She doffs the finery, and finds all her work done. Sisters return, and tell her of lovely stranger.-- (3) King can think of nothing but her, and determines to give another ball. All happens as before. Angel finds her darning sisters' stockings, and gives her moon-dress. She vanishes from ball-room as before.-- (4) King gives third ball. Angel brings heroine a star-dress and a purse of gold. King questions her in vain as to who she is and whence she comes, he sends his servants to follow her when she leaves, and she scatters gold to detain them. But one will not be tempted, and follows her still; so she drops one of her gold shoes, and he picks it up and carries it in triumph to king.-- (5) King sends him to try the shoe on every girl in the town, and the one whom it fits is to be brought to the palace. Servant comes at length to the house of the three sisters. The eldest cuts off her toes, puts on shoe, and sets out with servant to castle. They pass an old linden-tree under which diets were held, and a red bird overhead sings:
Servant sees blood streaming from shoe, and knows he has not got the right girl.-- (6) He takes her back, cleans the shoe, and gives it to the second sister, who takes it to her roona, and, finding it too large for her foot, stuffs it up with rags. Servant sets out with her, but, as they pass the linden, same little red bird sits on a twig, singing:
Servant sees rag sticking out of shoe, and takes her home again.-- (7) Only Else (the youngest) is left, and sisters try to prevent her trying shoe. Servant insists; shoe fits her perfectly. Heroine puts on her best clothes and sets out to palace, followed by servant. The bird on the linden sings, so gaily:
They reach the castle, and king hastens to welcome her, having recognized her from afar. Next day there is a grand festival; herald orders silence, and king proclaims Else as his queen. Great festivities celebrate the event.
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.
While the original text of this book is out of copyright, the special formatting and compilation available on SurLaLune Fairy Tales is copyrighted. Be aware that while the original content has been honored, page numbering, footnote numbering, redesigned charts, links, and other aspects are unique to this site's version of the text. Use at your own risk. For private and fair use educational purposes only.