Gubernatis, Angelo de, Le Novelline di Santo Stefano, raccolte da. Torino, 1869. No. I, pp. 16-17. (Narrated by a girl named Nunziatina, who heard it at Ripolano, above Siena.)
"LA BELLA E LA BRUTTA."
Ill-treated heroine (by step-mother)--Menial heroine (cow herd) --Old woman aid-- Task (spinning) --Task-performing animal (cow) --Spy on heroine. Sister sent to sleep by hair dressing. Second day sister stays awake; task is unperformed, and heroine beaten Heroine moves stone whilst picking salad, revealing glass-stair. Descends; finds cat in first room sweeping; sweeps for it. Scours for cat in second room; makes bread for third cat; combs fourth cat; is blessed by all. Lady gives her choice of gifts. She chooses plain dress and sham jewels; gets splendid dress and real jewels. Is told not to turn when donkey brays, hut when cock crows; heroine does so; gets gold star on brow. Step-sister, sent to get same, offends cats, gets worst dress and sham jewels; turns when donkey brays and gets tail on brow. Prince comes for heroine; step-mother hides her in cask, sends own daughter--False bride--Animal witness (cat)--Happy marriage--Villain Nemesis. Mother boils own daughter by mistake.
(1) Stepmother ill-treats heroine from the moment she has a daughter of her own, and sends her to pasture the cow, giving her half-a-pound of wool to spin.-- (2) Nena begins to cry at task, when an old woman, passing by, bids her go and say to cow, "My cow, spin with your mouth and wind with your horns, and I'll get you forage." When she returns with a branch, the cow has really spun it all for her.-- (3) She lakes the thread to stepmother, who is suspicious, and next day gives heroine a whole pound to spin, and sends stepsister with her. This time old woman finds her weeping, and bids her comb sister's hair1 to send her to sleep, and meanwhile old woman does the spinning.-- (4) On the morrow heroine is sent again to pasture with a pound and a half to spin; but as stepsister does not sleep this time, she re turns home with task unperformed, and stepmother beats her.-- (5) The fourth day heroine is sent into the field to make a salad. She finds some rampion (raponzolo) and is about to pick it, when a stone is dislodged and reveals a glass staircase, and a voice cries to her to go softly. She takes off her shoes and descends.-- (6) In one room she finds a cat sweeping with her tail; she takes pity on it, and sweeps for it; the cat thanks her, and wishes her well.-- (7) In another room a cat is scouring; heroine takes pity, and scours for it; cat thanks her, and wishes her well.-- (8) In a third room a cat is making bread; heroine does its work, and is thanked.-- (9) In a fourth room a cat is combing itself. Heroine, in pity, combs it, and cat asks, "What have you found?" "Pearls and gold!" And the cat rejoins, "Pearls and gold you shall have when you are married."-- (10) At last she meets a lady who bids her choose between a beautiful and an ugly dress, real and false jewels. Heroine chooses the plain dress and the sham jewels as befitting her station; but, because she is beautiful and good, she obtains the beautiful dress and the real jewels, and this piece of advice: "When you hear the donkey bray, do not turn; when you hear the cock crow, turn round." Having followed this advice, heroine has a gold star shining from her brow.-- (11) Stepmother is envious, and sends stepsister to get the same. But she does with such an ill-grace what heroine tells her, and gives such a rough answer to the fourth cat who asks what she finds whilst combing her, and is so inconsiderate in her choice of gifts, that she obtains the worst dress and the sham jewels, and is told to turn round when the donkey brays. And, following this advice, Caterina gets a tail on her brow, and goes home complaining. And the more they cut it the more the tail grows.-- (12) A great prince comes to marry Nena, and stepmother decides to palm off Caterina instead. So she bids her not remove veil from her brow. Nena is put in a cask, which is to be filled with boiling water.-- (13) But whilst the prince is going off with the veiled Caterina, a cat jumps on to the rick and sings: "Miau, miau, the cat is on the tick; the beauty is in the cask; the ugly girl is in the saddle; the prince's white horse is carrying her." The prince is suspicious, and tears off the veil, and discovers the ugly girl. - (14) Then, rushing to the cask, he releases the beauty, and puts stepsister in her place.-- (15) The mother soon comes, and, unaware of the exchange, boils her daughter to death, whilst Nena is off with the prince to a happy bridal.
For hair-combing, see Campbell, i, 61; iv, 283; Dasent,
Folk-lore Journal, iii, 293, "Prince Jalma" (Chilian
tale); Grimm, i, 356, 369 ff., 430; etc.; and see Nos. 239,
240, 241. It is a favourite
incident in numerous Lapp Stories.
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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