Halliwell, James Orchard, Nursery Rhymes and Nursery Tales of England. Story No. XLV, in verse. [London, 1853.] (Taken down previous to 1841, from a nurse aged 81)
"THE STORY OF CATSKIN."
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Outcast heroine, because father is disappointed of heir-- Heroine disguise (catskin dress)--Rank dresses hidden in forest-- Menial heroine (scullion)--Cook throws basin of water at heroine; beats her with ladle; with skimmer--Meeting-place (ball)--Token objects named--Threefold flight--Third time young lord follows heroine, hides in forest and spies--Lovesick lord--will only be nursed by Catskin -- Happy marriage -- Mother-in-law taunts heroine with poor parentage.--Husband seeks her father, who, now bereft of wife and children, joyfully owns outcast daughter.
(1) Gentleman has several daughters, but wants an heir. Tells wife if next child is a daughter it shall be outcast. Wife bears daughter, sends her away, and afterwards to school, till she is fifteen.-- (2) Then girl determines to go to service, hides gay dresses in bundle in forest, and dons catskin robe.-- (3) She is engaged as scullion at castle, where cook ill-treats her.-- (4) There is to be a ball; heroine wants to go, and is ridiculed by cook, who dashes basin of water in her face. She goes to forest, washes in waterfall, dons beautiful dress, and goes to ball. Young master dances with her, falls in love, and asks where she lives. "At the sign of the basin of water," she says, and flies from the ball-room.-- (5) Next day young lord confides his love to his mother. There is a second ball; all happens as before. Cook breaks heroine's head with ladle. She goes to ball; tells young lord she comes from "the sign of the broken ladle".-- (6) Third time cook hits her with skimmer, and at third ball heroine says she lives at "the sign of the broken skimmer". But this time young lord follows when she leaves, hides in forest, and watches her.-- (7) Next day he takes to his bed, sends for doctor, con. fides to him his love for Catskin, and begs that none but she shall be allowed to come into his room.--- (8) He gets well, and marries Catskin.-- (9) Some time after, heroine's child gives alms to a beggar's child, and grandmother says, "See how beggars' brats take to each other." Stung by the taunt, heroine persuades husband to seek her father, who, in the meantime, has lost all his other children. Father is overjoyed at having outcast daughter restored to him.
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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