Maspona y Labros, La Rondallayre. (Quentos populars Catalans). Part II. Barcelona, 1872. No. XVI, pp. 72-75.
"LA PELL D'ASE"
Death-bed promise--Deceased wife's resemblance marriage test--Unnatural father--Old woman aid Heroine dresses iii ass-skin, and makes herself dirty, but fails to repulse father--Counter-tasks --Magic dresses - Heroine disguise --Heroine flight --Menial heroine (goose-girl at king farm)-- Heroine at river-bank doffs disguise and puts on finery. Geese in their admiration will not feed; grow thinner daily. Prince hears them sing about lovely lady; goes to spy--Heroine discovered--Prince seeks her vainly after this; takes her ring from her room--Love-sick prince--Ring marriage test-- Happy marriage.
(1) A lady, at the point of death, urges her husband never to marry again unless he finds a woman exactly resembling herself, that in this way she may ever be present to his memory.-- (2) After remaining a widower for some time he wishes to marry again, and, having sought in vain for a lady exactly like his late wife, he resolves to marry his own daughter, who is her mother's living image.-- (3) Hearing of his intention, heroine weeps without comfort till she meets a little old woman, who bids her have no fear, but get an ass -skin, put it on, then make herself so dirty as to disgust her father, and he will cease to care for her. Heroine does as bidden, but, in spite of it all, father insists he will marry her.-- (4) Heroine cries and cries till the little old woman appears again, bids her not fear, but tell her father that she will only marry him if he first gets her the loveliest and most costly dresses and jewels. But at whatever cost, father determines to procure these, and brings them to her.-- (5) Heroine is in despair, but the little old woman gives her a golden coffer, bids her put the dresses and jewels into it, hide it under the ass-skin, which she must don; and then, when her father's asses are turned out, she must mix amongst them, and thus make her escape.-- (6) Heroine does as bidden, and, once escaped, goes on and on till she reaches a farm-house, where she asks for work. Here they engage her to tend the geese, although she is so dirty.-- (7) Every morning she has to take the geese to the river bank to feed them, and, for amusement, she washes herself, and puts on all the grand dresses and jewels, and admires her reflection in the water. Meanwhile, the geese refuse to eat, being so enchanted with her beauty. They can but gaze upon her; and when they get back to the farm, they say:
(8) It is one of the king's farms, and the prince heating the geese, and noticing that the more they went to that place the thinner they became, determines to climb to the top of a hill overlooking the river-bank. Thence he sees the girl dressing herself, and is so much struck with her beauty that he falls in love with her. He tells no one, but returns to the farm, and when heroine comes home with her geese, he goes to her room seeking her.-- (9) But she is not there, and all that he finds is a ring, which he keeps. He goes about trying to find her without the ass-skin, so that he may show her to his parents. But he never again succeeds in seeing her as he had seen her, till at length he gets quite ill, and no one knows why.-- (10) At last his parents question him so much that he confesses he is lovesick, and wants to marry the girl to whom the ring belongs. The ring is at once sent round to all the princesses of the kingdom, but none can squeeze a finger into it, it is so very small. Then it is sent to all the nobility, but none can wear it.-- (11) At last the prince's parents send for the servants and menials, and when they come to Ass-skin the ring fits her so easily that the prince resolves to marry her. His parents object, till she reveals who she is, and shews the dresses and jewels.
[Note.--Variants of the above story are given by Señor Hernandez de Soto in the third volume (not yet published) of his Cuentos de Extremadura. They are entitled "La Ternerita" (The Little Calf), and "Agata". Instead of tending geese, the heroine in these stories meets the prince at three balls, which she attends incognita. In "El Rapa" (The Flower of the Olive Tree), and in "Periquillo", from the same collection, heroine escapes, not from her father, but from a distasteful lover, with the presents she has obtained from him. She becomes gooseherd at the king's farm, and the ending is the same as in the stories collected by Señor Maspons.]
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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