Cinderella by Charles Robinson

Cinderella: Three Hundred and Forty-five Variants of Cinderella, Catskin, and Cap O' Rushes, abstracted and tabulated by Marian Roalfe Cox

Cinderella by Jennie Harbour

345 Variants
by Marian
Roalfe Cox

Table of Contents



Cinderella Tales

Catskin Tales

Cap o' Rushes Tales

Indeterminate Tales

Hero Tales



Master List of all Variants

Notes on this E-Text

Cinderella Area

Annotated Tale




Similar Tales Across Cultures

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Gonzenbach, Sicilianische Märchen, aus dem Volksmund gesammelt von Laura Gonzenbach, mit Anmerkungen Reinhold Kohler's, etc. Leipzig, 1870. No. XXXVIII, vol. i, pp. 261-69.

(Hairy Betty).

[An English language version is available in:
Gonzenbach, Laura. Beautiful Angiola: The Great Treasury of Sicilian Folk and Fairy Tales Collected by Laura Gonzenbach. Jack Zipes, translator and editor. New York: Routledge, 2004. Buy the book in hardcover. ]


Death-bed promise--Deceased wife's ring marriage test--Unnatural father--Father-confessor aid--Counter-tasks--Magic dresses, provided by devil--Heroine disguise (pig-skin)--}Heroine flight--Father deceived by splashing of doves in heroine's basin--Hunting prince finds heroine, takes her to hen-house--Menial heroine--Meeting-place (ball)--Three flight--Pursuers detained by scattering jewels--Recognition food. Cook's loaves are burnt. Heroine's loaves contain presents received at balls-- Prince forsakes fiancée--Happy marriage.


(1) A rich man has an only daughter, who is extremely beautiful. His wife exacts promise on her death-bed that he will only marry someone who can wear her ring.-- (2) Daughter, looking over dead mother's jewels, comes across ring, puts it on, and cannot get it off again. Afraid of father's reproof, she winds rag round finger, and tells him she has cut it. He wishes to look; she refuses to let him. He is angry, tears off the rag, and seeing ring on finger, says he must marry her.-- (3) She is aghast, and begs leave first to see her father-confessor. He advises her to demand, as condition of marriage, a dress like heaven, with sun, moon, and stars upon it. Father searches in vain for such a dress. At last, at his wit's end, he is pacing along, when a fine gentleman accosts him, and asks why he hangs his head, and, learning the reason, undertakes to procure dress for him. After short time the stranger, who is the devil, returns with it. Daughter is terrified on receiving dress, and says she must once more visit father-confessor. He bids her demand dress like the sea, having all marine flowers and fishes upon it. Father fails to find such. At last seeks aid of devil, who procures dress. Daughter is next advised to demand a dress with all the animals and plants of the earth upon it. This father obtains at once from the devil. Father-confessor tells her to ask now for dress of grey pigskin. This also is supplied by the devil. Then she asks for two measures of pearls and precious stones, and, having these, resolves to fly.-- (4) She makes a bundle of the magic gifts, then fills a basin with water, and puts two doves in it. Father knocks at her door, and she says she is washing herself. Then she puts on pigskin, and escapes in the twilight, through a back door. Father waits for her, and, listening at door, hears doves splashing in the water, and thinks she is still washing. At last, losing patience, he bursts into the room, to find no one there.-- (5) Meanwhile heroine reaches forest, and the king's son, who is hunting, is about to shoot the curious grey-skinned animal, when she calls out. He is amazed, and in the name of God would know who she is. Heroine says she is a baptised soul, and is called Hairy Betty, Prince takes her to castle, where she elects to live in hen-house. She tends the poultry, and prince comes daily to talk with her, and bring her dainty morsels.-- (6) One day he tells her he is soon going to be married, and there will be three days' festival. He invites her to ball that night, but she declines. But when evening arrives, she throws off pigskin, washes herself, and wishes for a lady's-maid; for, having the magic dresses in her possession, she has only to wish for anything, and she has it.1 Accordingly lady's maid, appears instantly to dress her in the first magic dress, and adorn her with mother's jewels. Heroine now wishes for carriage and livened servants, and goes to ball. Prince forsakes his bride, and dances the whole evening with lovely stranger. He gives her a gold pin. She escapes at end of the dance, and he bids servants follow carriage and see where she goes. She scatters so many pearls and jewels, that servants are blinded. She hastens to hen- house, and resumes disguise. Prince comes to tell her about the beauty at ball whom she has missed seeing. She says she has preferred being asleep.-- (7) Next day he invites her again to ball. She says he should not make fun of her. But in the evening she goes as before, wearing second magic dress, and prince gives her a gold watch. His bride is very angry. Servants again fail to track her, being blinded by the jewels she throws.-- (8) Next morning prince tells heroine there is one more ball, and he must discover this time who lovely stranger is. He says servants will lose their heads if they fail to follow her. All happens as before; heroine wears third dress; bride is very jealous, for prince dances only with the stranger, and gives her a costly ring. Servants are baffled as before.-- (9) Heroine dons disguise over hall-dress. Servants kneel to plead for pardon. Prince goes to tell Betty, who says he is not to plague her with his lovely ladies. He is very despairing. Next morning, when cook is making bread for the royal table, heroine begs a little dough to make loaf for herself. To be rid of her, cook at last gives it.-- (10) Heroine puts gold pin in her loaf, which she persuades cook to place in oven. Presently cook finds all the bread burnt, except the little white loaf that Betty has made. He begs for this to set before the king, who finding ring in it, sends for cook, and asks who made the beautiful bread. Cook says he did. King does not believe it, but is silent. Next morning the same thing happens, and Betty's loaf gets taken to king, who finds gold watch inside. Cook again declares he made it. Third day heroine puts ring in loaf, and king, who expected to find it, tells cook he will lose his place if he does not tell truth.-- (11) Cook confesses all, and Betty is sent for. Prince shuts all the doors, then tells heroine what he has found in the bread; that he knows she is not what she makes believe, and begs her to say who she really is. Heroine replies that she is 1-lairy Betty, and does not know what he means. Prince says if she does not tell him she shall be beheaded. Then she throws off the pigskin. He embraces her, and says she must marry him. He calls his mother, who rejoices to see his spirits restored.-- (12) Grand wedding is arranged, and the other bride has to return home.

[Note:--In another version, instead of pigskin dress, heroine has a wooden case with limbs. During her life in the forest, this gets grown all over with moss, and at the king's Court she passes for some talking wild beast.]


1: See Note 19.

Note 19

(P. 192.) With the wishing-box in Nos. 34, 224, and 279, compare the wishing-pipe in Nos. 114 and 117, the wishing-dresses in Nos. 110 and 160; the ring in No. 190, the ball in No. 197, the sword in No. 268, the wishing-eggs in No. 309, the wishing-bell in No. 324, the magic whips in No. 326, the talismans in No. 328, and the laurel, which grants every wish, in No. 335. Similar talismans are found in the following stories Am. F.-L. Journal, iii. 270; Busk, F.-L. R., pp. 31, 146-54, 129, 131 (horn), 143 (wand), 152 (ring), 160 ff. (lantern); Campbell, ii, 293, 303; Clouston, i, 314 ff.,"Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp"; Cosquin, i, 121, "La Bourse, le Sifflet, et la Chapeau," and variants; ii, 1-8, "L'Homme de Fer," and variants (candle); ii, 80 (sabre); 284 (violin); 307, "La Baguette Merveilleuse"; Dasent, "Three Princesses of Whiteland" (ring), p 184; "Soria Moria Castle," p. 402; Dozon, No. 11; Folk-lore Rec., iv, 142, Portuguese story (devil's ear); F.-L. Journal, ii, 240, Mod. Gr. story, "The Enchanted Lake" (gold and silver rods); ib., vii, 307 ff., Indo-Burmese story (ring); Gesta Rom., "Prince Jonathas"; Gonzenbach, Nos. 30, 31, 32; Grimm, No. 116, "The Blue Light"; No. 122, "Donkey Cabbages" (cloak); Groome, In Gypsy Tents, p. 201, "Jack and his Golden Snuff-box"; Hahn, variant of No. 9; Kennedy, Fireside Stories, p. 67; Fictions of the Irish Celts, p. 49; Mabinogion, p. 419 (wand); MacInnes, p. 347 (rod); Maspons, Rondallayre, iii, p. 58; Pitré, Nos. 26, 28; Prohle, i, No. 27 (purse, trumpet, hat, and mantle); Ralston, p. 100; Sagas from Far East, pp. 58, 133; Sebillot, Haute Bret., i, Nos. 5, 29; Sparks, The Decisions of Princess Thoodhamma Tsari (Burmese Buddhist Aladdin); Steere, Swahili Tales, p. 393, No. 13 (ring); Stokes, No. 23, "The Princess who loved her Father like Salt" (sun-jewel box containing seven little fairies), and No. 25; Symington, Sketches of Faroe and Iceland, p. 225, "The Goblin's Whistle"; Theal, p. 77, and see p. 45; Vernaleken, pp. 62, 80; Webster, 94-100, 597; Wide-Awake Stories, 190 (box); Wolf p. 16; Zingerle, ii, 142. Compare the tarn-cap, Wish's or Wuotan's hat, Pluto's or Orcus's helmet ([Greek name], Il., 5, 845; Hesiod, Scut., 227); the fairy-purse of Fortunatus, and other wishing-gear. For wishing -purse, -rod, -cloth, etc., see Grimm, Teut. Myth., 871, 976, and see 142 ff. on the personification of Wish. Volund's arm-ring brings wealth (see Rydberg, Teut. Myth., 432). With the magic wand, which occurs in Nos. 1, 20, 21, 22, 27, 47, 55, 74, 89, 91, 96, 103, 106, 107, 108, (109), 120, 122, 124, 137, 146, 165, 184, 185, 208, 209, 230, 232, 233, 238, 250, 252, 253, 265, 269, 281, compare the caduceus of Hermes; the rod of Moses; also rods used in divination (on which see Grimm, T. M., 975, 1598). (Elisha's staff was believed, apparently, to possess miraculous virtue, though it proved inoperative in the hands of his servant. 2 Kings, iv, 29 sq.) There is a story of a wishing-staff which St. Columban gave away to a poor man, and which he smashed at the bidding of his wife (Adamanni Scoti, Vita S. Columbae, cap. 24). The gods have a golden staff with which they touch and transform: [Greek name] (Od., 16. 172, 456; 13. 429). Circe strikes with her staff (Od., 10. 238). Skirni threatens with a magic wand ("Lay of Skirni," C. P. B., i, 111). Shiva has a miraculous bow, so has Indra, according to the Vedas. Apollo's bow carries plague: cf. Odin's spear, Gungnir, the hurling of which brings victory; and Thor's hammer, Miölner, which comes crashing down as a thunderbolt, and of itself returns to the hand. Freyr had a sword of similar nature that swung itself. Such gear the Greeks call [Greek name] (Il., 18. 376). Mr. Grant Allen considers the notion of Thor's hammer to be derived from the shape of the supposed thunderbolt. "Thor's hammer is itself merely the picture which our northern ancestors formed to themselves, by compounding the idea of thunder and lightning with the idea of the polished stone hatchets they dug up among the fields and meadows." These were preserved from motives of superstition, since the possession of a thunderbolt gives one some sort of hold over the thunder-god himself. "This is the secret, too, of all the rings, lamps, gems and boxes, possession of which gives a man power over fairies, spirits, gnomes, and genii. All magic proceeds upon the prime belief that you must possess some thing belonging to the person you wish to control, constrain, or injure" (Essay on "Thunderbolts", by Grant Allen: Falling in Love, and other Essays, pp. 137-158).
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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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