Sebillot, Paul, Litterature orale de la Haute-Bretagne. Paris, 1881. Pp. 45-52. (Told in 1878 by Aime Pierre of Liffre, a farm-boy, aged 19.)
King Lear judgment--Loving like salt--Outcast heroine-- Heroine disguise (old woman's rags)-- Menial heroine (minds sheep)--Heroine discovered by hunting prince--Lovesick prince--Recognition food, contains heroine's ring --Ring marriage test--Happy marriage--Value of salt.
(1) King asks his two daughters how much they love him, meaning to give kingdom to the one who loves him best. First daughter says she loves him like the apple of her eye; younger says, "You are lovable to me as the flavour of salt in food." He banishes her from the court.-- (2) Heroine makes bundle of her clothes, takes her rings, and sets out. In order to escape notice, on account of her beauty, she exchanges her dress for the rags of an old beggar-woman whom she meets, soils her face, covers her hands with mud, and lets her hair hang down all tangled. She tries to get engaged as goose-girl or shepherdess, but farmers, seeing how dirty she is, will not take her; they give her bread.-- (3) After walking several days she reaches large farm where they are wanting shepherdess, and she is engaged. When near the fire heroine throws in pinches of salt to make believe they are lice. Mistress reproves her for dirty trick; though she discontinues it, she is always called "Pouilleuse".-- (4) One day, whilst minding sheep far from farm, she washes in brook, and dresses up in clothes out of bundle which she always carries about with her. King's son, who has lost his way out hunting, sees her from afar. Aware of his approach, she flies. Prince runs after her, catches his foot in tree-root, and falls. Meanwhile she has disappeared, doffed finery, and soiled her hands anew. Prince enters farm-house for draught of cider, and inquires who is the lovely lady who minds the sheep. Everyone laughs, says she is the dirtiest creature living, and always called Pouilleuse.-- (5) He suspects some enchant- meet; goes home, and cannot help thinking of lovely girl, till he becomes quite ill, he dares not tell parents what is amiss, fearing to be teased, and only says he wants to eat some white bread made by the girl Pouilleuse, servant at such a farm.-- (6) King sends the order to farm, and heroine asks for flour, water, and salt, and to he left alone in little room near oven, where there is a kneading-trough. She cleans herself, and even puts on her rings, one of which falls into flour whilst she is mixing the paste. When she has finished, she soil, face again, and leaves some of the paste sticking to her fingers. The loaf is taken to prince, and, on cutting it open. He finds ring, and tells parents he will wed anyone who can wear it.-- (7) Ladies come in crowds to try, and in time every girl in the kingdom, peasants and all; but it is too small for everybody. Then king's son remembers that Pouilleuse has not tried. She is fetched, and appears in her usual rags, but with cleaner hands than usual. Ring goes on easily. Prince will keep his promise, but parents object to his marrying shepherdess. She says she is a princess, and asks for water, and to be left alone for a space. She reappears as a princess, is recognised by prince, and promises to marry him if he will send to invite her father to wedding.-- (8) Father, rejoiced to hear heroine is still living, arrives with other daughter. By bride's order father is only served with bread without salt and meat not seasoned. He makes a grimace, and heroine asks if food is not to his taste, he replies that the dishes are choice enough, but unbearably insipid. "Didn't I tell you, father, that salt is the most lovable thing going? etc., etc." King embraces her and acknowledges his injustice.
[Note.--In an unpublished story called "Cendrouse", which M. Sébillot collected at Ercé, there are two sisters jealous of their stepfather's child. They do her all the harm they can, send her to mind cows, and give her next to nothing to eat. She is befriended by a fairy, who finishes by giving her a carriage, obtained as in Perrault's "Cendrillon". When out driving, she meets fairy clad as a beggar. She stops her carriage for the beggar to get in, and the fairy, delighted with the kind act, marries her to a fine gentleman.]
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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