Perrault, Contes du Temps passé. 1697. (First printed in Moetjen's Recueil, in 1694. Vide Lang's Perrault, xxi.)
[You can read Perrault's Peau d'Ane on SurLaLune.]
Death-bed -promise (second wife must be more beautiful than deceased wife)--Unnatural father--Fairy godmother aid-- Counter-tasks--Magic dresses--Gold-ass killed by father at heroine's request--Magic wand makes casket of jewels travel underground and appear at command--Heroine disguise-- Heroine flight--Menial heroine--Heroine discovered (through key-hole)--Love-sick prince--Recognition food-- Ring marriage test--Happy marriage--Father forgiven--(Moral).
(1) Queen exacts promise on her death-bed from devoted husband that he will never marry again, except he finds a woman more beautiful than herself. Mourning over, search is made for fitting bride. King discovers that only his daughter is more beautiful than her mother.-- (2) Princess, dismayed at Lather's intention to marry her, seeks aid of fairy-godmother, who lives in a grotto of pearl and coral. She bids princess ask first of her father a robe of aerial hue, for such he can surely not furnish. Father hears request, and threatens tailors if they do not provide dress at once. Next day an azure robe is produced. Princess sees no way of evading compact. Fairy-godmother bids her ask for robe of colour of the moon. King commands for such to be made, and within appointed time it is produced. Prompted by godmother, princess now demands dress like the sun. A robe of gold and diamonds is supplied.-- (3) Godmother bids her crave skin of ass, which produces gold,1 and is source of all their wealth. Even this is not denied, and princess must take to flight as only resource.-- (4) Godmother gives casket in which to put dresses, jewels, and mirror; gives also wand, princess having which in hand, casket hidden beneath ground will always accompany her, and will appear when ground is struck with it. Disguised in ass's skin, with face soiled, princess escapes, and is sought for in vain. She tries to take service, but no one will hire her.-- (5) At last reaches farm-house, where farmer's wile engages her to clean pig-troughs. She is put in kitchen-corner, and mocked at by other servants. Having leisure on Sunday, she shuts herself in her hovel, washes and arrays herself before mirror in dresses from casket. Prince to whom farm belongs rests there after hunting, and, chancing to pass hovel, looks through key-hole and sees Peau d'Ane in dress like the sun. Is enraptured. Has not courage to force door. Returns to palace, forsakes his pleasures, and falls ill with love of apparition. Inquires who lives in hovel; learns it is Peau d'Ane.-- (6) Queen-mother tries vainly to discover cause of his despondency. Prince will not reply; only craves cake made by the hand of Peau d'Ane. She shuts herself in hovel, cleans herself, and mixes cake, dropping in one of her rings. Prince enjoys cake, and, hides ring under pillow.-- (7) Doctors counsel him to marry he consents, provided they find damsel whom ring will fit. Girls of all ranks try to get it on; various means are employed to make finger small enough; none succeeds. When all have essayed except Peau d'Ane, prince sends fur her. Ring fits her. She begs leave to dress herself, then appears before king and court in splendid apparel.-- (8) Prince weds her; all neighbouring kings attend ceremony, among them princess's father, now repentant, who recognises her with joy. Fairy-godmother appears and explains all.
(P. 343) There is a gold ass also in No. 145, which story, having also the fairy-godmother, is probably derived from or influenced by Perrault's version.
For gold-producing animals, cf. Arnason, p. 566 (mare);
Asbjornsen, No. 7 (goat); Dozon, No. 17 (lion); Erdelyi-Stier, No. 12
(lamb); Etlar, p. 150 (hen); F.-L. Journal, vi, 21, Aino tale (gold
puppy and silver puppy); Glinski, iv, 106 (lamb); Gonzenhach, No. 52 (ass);
Baring Gould (Appendix on Household stories, in Henderson's North.
Counties, 1866), No. 7 (ass); Grimm, No.
36 (ass), No.
122 (heart of bird); Lootens, p. 9 (sheep); Pantschatantra,
bk. iii, Fable 5 (swan's gold feather), and Fable 13 (bird); Pentamerone,
i, 1 (ass); Natesa Sastri, Dravidian Nights, pp. 129, 149 ff.;
Schneller, No. 15 (ass); Schott, No. 20 (ass); Strackerjan, ii, 312 (hen);
Vernaleken, No. 11 (she-goat); Waldau, p. 41 (ram); Wojcicki, p 108 (ram
and hen); Zingerle, ii, 84 (hen), 185 (ass). Compare the gold-producing
birds in the Mahabharata (also the gold-producing son of King Srinjaya,
see Clouston, i, 124); AEsop's fable of the goose that laid the golden
egg; and the golden eggs of the hen in the stories
of "Jack the Giant-Killer" and "Jack and the Beanstalk".
In La Fontaine's Contes et Nouvelles there is a dog "qui secoue
de l'argent et des pierreries". Cf. Sagas from the Far East,
p. 18, "The Gold-spitting Prince."
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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