Sebillot, Paul, Litterature orale de la Haute-Bretagne. Paris, 1881. Pp. 73-78. (Told in 1879 Pierre Menard, of Saint-Cast, cabin-boy, aged 13.)
Unnatural father--Counter-tasks-- -Magic dresses (declined by heroine)--Heroine flight with magic chest--Heroine disguise (ass-skin)--Menial heroine (goose-girl at farm) --Heroine discovered by young master--Tasks (to prove heroine worthy of marrying young master): (1) Spinning, performed by big-eyed woman; (2) knitting, performed by long-eared woman; (3) cooking, performed by woman with huge teeth; (4) sweeping, performed by man. Heroine promises to invite each benefactor to wedding; forgets man till just in time--Happy marriage.
(1) Man's wife dies, and he wants to marry his daughter. She refuses.-- (2) He will give her a dress like the stars; no. Like the sun; no. Like the light; no. Then he offers to buy her an ornamented chest, and she consents to marry him, intending to escape. She puts her best dresses into chest, which follows her everywhere, by land or sea, and sets out.-- (3) She finds a flayed donkey, and puts the skin over her clothes; reaches farm, and is engaged as goose-girl. Near where she takes geese there is hut to shelter goose-herd when it rains. Here she keeps her box of dresses.-- (4) One day she dresses herself up, and when son of the house comes to call her to dinner, he sees Peau d'Anette-- for so she is called-- dressed in her finery. He falls in love with her, and tells mother he means to marry her. Mother says he shall not wed a girl who comes goodness knows whence, who can neither spin, no, knit, nor clean rooms, nor cook. Son says he will, and perhaps girl is more capable than she thinks.-- (5) Heroine is sent for to be put to the proof, and is told that if she can spin the tow in her room she shall marry son of the house. When alone, heroine weeps, for she knows not how to work. A great big woman, with immense eyes, comes down chimney, and offers to spin foe her, and asks what heroine can give her for doing it. Heroine offers bowlful of soup brought for her own dinner, having naught else to give. Old woman does not want that; it will be enough if heroine will promise to invite her to her wedding.1 Heroine promises; tow is soon yarn, and all is spun by the time son of the house comes to fetch heroine to supper.-- (6) Next day they give her wool and needles to knit stockings. A big, long-eared woman comes down chimney, and will do the knitting if heroine will promise to invite her to her wedding.-- (7) Third day they put heroine in a room to cook. Old woman, with huge teeth, comes down chimney, and performs task for same promise.-- (8) Next day she has to sweep the rooms. Man with broom hanging on behind him comes down chimney and sweeps rooms for her, when she has promised to invite him to her wedding. Mother is satisfied with heroine, and willing for son to marry her.-- (9) On wedding-day heroine dons fine clothes, and calls, "Madam Big-Eyes," "Madam Big-Ears," "Madam Big-Teeth," and they appear. At the moment of sitting down to table heroine remembers she has not called the good man. Just then he appears, saying, "It is high time you called me, or you would never have been married."
(P. 376.) This incident recalls Grimm's story of "The
Three Spinners", in which three deformed women will spin for
the heroine, provided she wilt invite them to her wedding. They suggest
the three Moipai, daughters of [Greek name]. For variants of the spinning
story, see Busk, F.-L. R. pp. 375 ff.; Chambers, p. 76; Dasent,
p. 198; Grimm,
Journal, Jan. 15, 1878, "Tom
Tit Tot"; Henderson, Northern Counties, p. 258, "Habetrot";
Hunt, Pop. Romances, p. 239; Knoop, Volkssagen, Erzahlungen
und Märchen aus dem Oestlichen Hinterpommern, p. 223, No. 12, "Die
Spinnerin"; Magyar Folk-tales, p. 46; Pedroso, Port.-Tales,
p. 79; Symington, Pen and Pencil Sketches of Faroe and Iceland,
p. 240; Thorpe, xi and 168; Tuscan Fairy Tales, p. 43; Webster,
p. 56; etc.
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.
While the original text of this book is out of copyright, the special formatting and compilation available on SurLaLune Fairy Tales is copyrighted. Be aware that while the original content has been honored, page numbering, footnote numbering, redesigned charts, links, and other aspects are unique to this site's version of the text. Use at your own risk. For private and fair use educational purposes only.