Dozon, Auguste. Contes Albanais, recueillis et traduits par. Paris, 1881. Pp. 41-48. (From Epirus.)
Death-bed promise--Deceased wife's shoes marriage test-- Unnatural father--Countertasks--Heroine demands two large candlesticks; hides inside one--Heroine's hiding-box sold to prince--Heroine comes out at night, eats prince's food and rubs his hands--Surprise rencontre--Happy marriage--Prince goes to war. Heroine discovered by mother of prince's fiancée, and thrown in bed of nettles. Old woman delivers heroine and takes care of her. Prince returns; falls ill; will only eat vegetables. Old woman brings some herbs in which heroine has hidden wedding-ring. Recognition food--Prince visits old woman; discovers heroine under kneading-trough--Breaks engagement to fiancée.
(1) Dying queen has shoes made to fit her exactly, and makes husband promise to marry after her death whomsoever these shoes fit, be it woman or girl. King's servant can find none who can wear shoes.-- (2) One day king's daughter puts them on; they fit her exactly, and at that moment her lather happens to call her, he says he must keep his promise, and will therefore marry her.-- (3) Daughter complies, but says he must first have made for her two large candlesticks as tall as herself, and shutting with a screw. King procures them; daughter hides in one; king seeks her in vain; orders candle sticks to be taken out of his sight and sold.-- (4) They are taken into next town, put up for sale, and bought by a prince, who keeps them in his own room.1 Prince is betrothed to a princess. It is his custom to have a dish of various kinds of food taken to his room for him to eat in the night. Whilst he sleeps heroine comes out of candlestick and tastes all the food, then washes her hands, and rubs prince's hands with her own before returning to hiding- place. When prince wakes to take food he notices that it has been touched, and sees soapy water. Next morning he questions servants about food, and tells them to be sure no cat gets into his room. Same thing happens following night.-- (5) Next night he only pretends to sleep, and sees heroine eat food. When she comes to rub his hands he says he will marry her because she is so beautiful, although he is already engaged. He marries her without wedding ceremony.-- (6) Presently he has to go away for a year to the war, and bids his wife remain always in hiding in his room, and he will order servants to bring food and anything she may require. One day the mother of his fiancée visits prince's room and discovers heroine, who has omitted to shut the door. She is very angry with heroine for intruding, and orders servants to take and throw her in a bed of nettles, that she may be stung and inflamed to death.-- (7) An old woman chances to come to the spot to pick nettles, succours heroine, and takes her to live with her. Prince returns, and falls ill at not finding wife. He has a fancy for vegetable diet, and it is made known that people may bring vegetables for sale.-- (8) Amongst others, the old woman comes, and her herbs are chopped up by heroine, who slips wedding-ring in. Prince finds it, and tells old woman he will call to see her on the morrow. He rummages about in her house, and finds a kneading-trough set up against the wall, and asks what is under it. Old woman says, "Chickens barely hatched; mind you don't crack them", he turns the trough topsy-turvy, and sees his wife.-- (9) She relates what has happened, and says how good old woman has been to her. Prince rewards old woman, and goes home with his wife. He tells his prospective mother-in-law that, in consequence of her conduct, he breaks his engagement to her daughter, and proclaims his marriage with heroine.
(P. 210.) The hiding-box and the prince-purchaser
incidents recur in Nos. 156, 158,
171, 179, 189,
216, 262, 297.
Also in Hahn's No. 19, "Der Hundskopf." In a story from Karajich's Collection
(Krauss, Sagen und Mar. der Südslaven, ii, 290, No. 129), the imprisoned
hero breaks through the partition at night into the princess's room, and,
whilst she sleeps, eats the food and changes the position of the candles.
This is parallel with the incident in the Cinderella tales.
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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