Arnason, Jon, Icelandic Legends. Translated by Powell and Magnusson (2nd series). London, 1866. Pp. 490-98.
"THE TALE OF HOW THREE DAMSELS WENT TO FETCH FIRE."
Ill-treated heroine (by parents and elder
sisters)--Eldest sister, sent to fetch fire, returns without it, after
having disregarded voice, damaged food in cave, and kicked dog, who has
thereupon bitten off her hand. Second sister acts similarly, and dog bites
off her nose--Heroine replies civilly to voice, cooks food, eating none
till giant gives permission. Being terrified in dog's lair, heroine rests
at giant's side. Giant thereupon transformed to
(1) Old man and woman, living far from inhabited parts, in cottage by the sea, have three daughters, Ingiborg, Sigridr, and Helga. The youngest is ill-treated and made a drudge.-- (2) The cottage fire having gone out, eldest daughter is sent a long journey to fetch fire. Passing a mound, she hears a voice asking, "Will you have me with you or against you?" She does not care which. She reaches a cave, where she finds fire, a kettle of half-cooked meat, and some unbaked flat-breads; she kindles fire, cooks the food, burning the bread, except one which she eats. Big dog comes up and begs for food; she kicks him; he bites off her hand. She is frightened and runs home, forgetting to take fire.-- (3) Second daughter is sent and fares similarly, except that dog bites off her nose. She returns without fire.-- (4) Heroine is sent, replies civilly to voice in the mound, and cooks the meat and bread carefully, wasting none, resolving to take nothing without owner's leave. Hideous giant enters with savage-looking dog, invites her kindly to take fond, and to sleep either with his dog or himself. Whilst lying down in the dog's lair she is so terrified by thunderous tremblings and noises that she is at length persuaded to rest by the giant's side.-- (5) Thereupon he changes into beautiful prince, and heroine seizes the troll's shape and burns it to ashes, thereby releasing him from spell.-- (6) Next morning prince promises to fetch her later to marry him, gives her a tunic which she must wear out of sight under her clothes, also a chest, which she is not to hide, filled with precious things, and two splendid dresses. Dog brings her a ring, and she hies to the cottage carrying the fire.-- (7) All her presents, except the tunic, are taken from her.-- (8) After a time a vessel anchors opposite cottage. Heroine's father converses with the master, not knowing him to be prince, and tells him he has a wife and two daughters. Daughters are fetched, and appear in heroine's fine clothes, but one is hiding a hand, the other covering her nose.-- (9} Stranger insists on knowing why, and at length induces father to produce youngest daughter, who appears before him in dirty rags. Stranger tears rags off her and she stands forth in shining tunic.-- (10) He strips elder sisters of stolen finery and flings them heroine's rags; then he sails away with heroine and marries her.
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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