Kristensen, E. T., Jyske Folkeminder. AEventyr fra Jylland. Kobenhavn, 1881. No. IV, pp. 38-45. (Told by Niels Pedersen in Mejrup, Jutland, to Mr. Kristensen.)
"DEN RODE KO"
Death-bed promise--Deceased wife's clothes marriage test-- Unnatural father--Heroine goes to drown herself--Old woman aid--Countertasks-- Gown of crows' bills --Helpful animal--(red cow)--Heroine flight on red cow--They pass copper, silver, gold forests. Spite of warning heroine plucks a leaf in each, causing three bulls to appear and fight cow, who is each time victorious. Cow stays on green hill sends heroine to palace-- Menial heroine (cook)--Meeting place (church)--Cow does kitchen-work--Heroine wears crows' bill gown; on leaving she throws behind her (1) copper, (2) silver, (3) gold leaf--Threefold flight--Lost shoe--Shoe marriage test--Mutilated feet--Happy marriage--Father attends wedding.
(1) King promises dying queen he will only marry a woman whom her black gown fits. Queen dies, and the gown fits nobody.-- (2) King's servants and his daughter want to try it, and wait till king has gone to bed. It fits the daughter. King, hearing boisterous laughter, surprises them. He declares he will marry his daughter.-- (3) In despair, she goes to drown herself, and meets old woman, who, hearing her trouble, advises her to demand, as condition of marriage, a gown made of crows' bills. Father must produce it within twenty-four hours. Should he succeed in procuring it, heroine must go to stable and tell red cow. Heroine does as bidden. Lots of crows are shot, the gown made ready, and the wedding-day appointed.-- (4) Heroine goes weeping to stable, and red cow asks what is the matter; then bids her fetch her gown, return and loose her, and get on her back. Cow carries her off. Presently cow bids her rise up to spy ahead. Heroine sees something sparkling like copper. Cow says, "It is a copper forest; in it is a bull. If you gather one single leaf; the bull kills me." Heroine cannot resist temptation to pluck a leaf. Instantly the bull appears. "Get off my back", says the cow; "we must fight." They fight the whole day, and the cow is victorious. After that they rest a day, then proceed.-- (5) They come to a silver forest, where there is a bull twice as strong. The same words and incidents follow. They fight two days, rest two days, then proceed.-- (6) Next they come to gold forest, where there is a bull thrice as strong as the last. Heroine plucks a leaf; spite of warning. They fight three days; the cow wins. They rest three days, then proceed.-- (7) The fourth time heroine is told to look ahead, she says, "I see something like a green bush." Cow says thither they are bound. A green hill is there, where cow will remain whilst heroine goes to neighbouring palace, to take situation as cook.-- (8) The following Sunday, whilst all are at church, heroine visits red cow, who tells her to put on crows'-bill gown, take the copper-leaf, and go to church. She must be sure to leave first, throw copper-leaf behind her, and say, "Light before me, darkness behind me!" Cow will do her kitchen-work till she returns. Everybody in church looks wonderingly at heroine. She throws the copper-leaf behind her, and vanishes. When people return, they find her in her cook's dress before the hearth.-- (9) Next Sunday everything happens as before. She takes the silverleaf. The king's soil is at church, but misses her.-- (10) The third Sunday she throws the gold leaf; but the prince, having watched her, catches her shoe as she runs away. All the ladies of the court assemble to try the shoe, some cutting their heel and some their toe, but all in vain.-- (11) At last queen inquires for the cook, and she is brought. The shoe fits her, and prince asks whether she was at church those three Sundays. She says yes, and goes to don her crows' bill gown.-- (12) Then they all recognise her, and the prince would wed her, and is overjoyed to learn that she is a real princess. Her father is invited to the wedding.
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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