VI "MONA CATERINA."
Heroine seeks her fortune--Fairy aid--Heroine disguise (old woman's skin)--Fairy gives magic wand and three nuts. Heroine sits opposite palace; cracks nut which contains tiny men. She will not sell them to queen, but asks to be engaged at palace. She cracks second nut, containing tiny horses. Queen wants them, but won't engage old woman. She cracks third nut containing couch; queen hires her as goose-girl--Menial heroine-- Geese sing of her beauty. King watches her bathing and falls in love--Love-sick prince--Prince insists on being fed by old woman (heroine) who purposely soils his face. She agrees to marry him if no one is told that she is not ugly old woman--Happy marriage.
(1) Heroine sets out to seek her fortune. She meets an old woman who is a fairy, and who gives her an old woman's dress for disguise, a magic wand, a walnut, an almond, and a filbert.-- (2) Heroine, disguised, goes and sits on a stone by the king's palace. She cracks the walnut, and there come out two tiny, tiny little men who walk about. Queen wants to buy them; heroine will not sell them, but asks to take service at palace. Next day she cracks the almond, and there come forth two tiny little horses. Queen wants them, but has not courage to take the old woman into the palace. Third day two little horses in a coach come out of the filbert. In order to obtain these, queen consents to take old woman as goose girl.-- (3) Heroine has room to herself. She tends the geese and takes them to swim. Meanwhile she bathes, and geese sing:
King, being told of this, goes to watch unseen, and falls in love with heroine. -- (4) At last he falls ill, and confesses object of his love; but heroine denies that she is other than an old woman. He insists on having food prepared by her.-- (5) He wants her to feed him, and she, pretending she cannot do so properly, soils his face all over. King declares his love, and at last agrees that no one shall be told that she is not ugly and old.-- (6) All are amazed at the king's choice till the wedding-day, when they see his beautiful bride.
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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