Khudyakov, Velikorusskiya Skazki. Moscow, 1860. Part II, p. 68. No. LIV.
Death-bed promise--Deceased wife's ring marriage test -- Unnatural father--Heroine's hiding-box (bedstead with secret drawer); sold to prince--Surprise rencontre--Prince clothes heroine in "wonder of wonders". His mother omits to feed her during his absence. Heroine runs away; climbs tree over hanging well--Three daughters of sacramental-wafer-maker see heroine's reflection, think it their own, and refuse to draw water. Mother goes to well; calls heroine down--Love-sick prince-- Recognition food (wafer made by heroine and having impression of her ring on it)--Happy marriage.
(1) Old man's wife dies, after giving him a ring, and saying he must marry whomsoever it fits. He wanders about the world with it, but it fits nobody. He returns home, and lays it on the window-sill.-- (2) His daughter puts it on her finger, and shows father that it fits her, whereupon he says he must marry her. She objects, but in the end is obliged to submit.-- (3) She asks father to have a bedstead made. There is a secret drawer contrived in it, into which she gets, and he cannot find her. The bedstead is sold to Prince Ivan, who puts it in his own room. Food is brought to the prince, and when he leaves his room, heroine comes out and helps herself to it.-- (4) On one occasion he hides, and when she comes out, surprises her. He clothes her in the dress which is called "The Wonder of Wonders", and tells his mother every time she takes food to give some to the girl.-- (5) Prince goes out hunting. His mother entirely forgets the Wonder of Wonders, and she is left standing in the corner of the room. Heroine doffs the wonderful dress, and runs away.-- (6) She comes to an oak by a well, and climbs up it. Hard by there lives a woman who makes sacramental wafers. She has three daughters, and she sends the eldest to draw some water. The girl goes to the well, and, seeing the reflection of heroine in the water,1 exclaims, "How lovely I am! I shan't fetch water any longer," throws down the bucket, and returns. Mother sends second daughter, and the same thing happens. Then the third daughter is sent, and she returns home.-- (7) After that, mother herself goes to the oak, and, seeing heroine, bids her come down. Meanwhile, Prince Ivan returns home, and finding that the girl has gone, falls ill with grief.-- (8) As soon as heroine hears of his illness, she makes him a wafer with an impression of her ring on the top of it. Prince eats it, and feeling much better, asks whence ii came, and sends for some more.-- (9) They bring him more, and he notices the device, and asks for the ring with which the impression was made, then sends for the person to whom the ring belongs, and marries her.
(P. 274.) In the following stories the woman's reflection
in the water reveals her presence in the tree overhead:--Busk, No. 2,
"The Three Love Oranges"; also pp. 17, 23, and note,
p. 25; Campbell, "The Battle of the Birds"; Dasent, "The
Lassie and her Godmother," p. 191; Folk-lore Journal,
i, 236 (Malagasy tale); 323 (Irish), "Grey Norris"; ii, 135
(Malagasy); 251 (tabn. of Chilian tale); iii, 290 (Chilian), "The
Black Woman and the Turtle Dove"; vi, 199 (Hungarian), "The
Three Lemons"; Lang, Custom and Myth, p. 91, "Nicht Nought
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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