Des Periers, Jean Bonaventure, Nouvelles Recreations et joyeux devis. Lyon, 1558. Nouvelle CXXIX.
("D'une jeune fille surnommée Peau d'Asne, et comment elle fut mariée par le moyen que luy donnerent les petitz formiz.")
Rich Italian merchant retires to farm residence. Neighbouring squire, coveting merchant's lands, pretends to desire marriage between his son and merchant's youngest daughter, Pernette-- Ill-treated heroine (by mother and jealous sisters)--Task, to pick up grain by grain with the tongue a bushel of scattered barley--Merchant, seeing proposed marriage displeases wife, makes heroine wear ass-skin, in order to disgust lover. [Heroine disguise (ass-skin)]--Faithful lover. Mother will agree to marriage if task is performed--Task-performing ants--Happy marriage.
(1) A rich merchant in an Italian town decides to retire to a farm to end his days with his wife and children. Amongst others, a neighbouring squire of ancient family calls upon him, and, being anxious to join with his own property certain lands belonging to the merchant, makes believe that he is very desirous to arrange a marriage between his son and the merchant's youngest daughter, Pernette. The merchant is flattered. The squire's son makes love to Pernette, and asks her father's consent to the marriage, which he grants, provided his wife does not object.--- (2) Pernette's sisters are very jealous of her advancement, and the mother will only consent to the marriage if Pernette can pick up, grain by grain, from the ground with her tongue a bushel of barley which she scatters.-- (3) And, seeing that the marriage does not please his wife and elder daughters, the merchant orders that from that day forward Pernette shall wear nothing but an ass-skin, which he buys for her, thinking in this way to disgust her lover.-- (4) Pernette often goes out clad in the ass- skin, and her lover, hearing of it, goes to father, who tells him he is quite willing to keep his promise, but his wife is not, until certain things are accomplished.-- (5) Pernette, overhearing, goes to ask father when she may begin the task; he fixes the day. Father and mother watch carefully to see that she does not take two grains at once. But a number of ants come and help her without being seen by her parents.--- (6) By this means Pernette marries the man who loves her as she deserves. The sobriquet of Peau d'Asne remains with her always.
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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