Webster, Wentworth, Basque Legends. London, 1877. Pp. 158-165.
[You can read Webster's Ass'-Skin on SurLaLune.]
Ill-treated heroine (by employers). Heroine is trusted servant to king and queen. Treasury is robbed and heroine unjustly accused and condemned to death. Assassins spare her and delude king with heart of ass--Heroine disguise (ass-skin).-- Menial heroine (goose-girl) at palace--Old woman aid--Magic dresses--Meeting-place (ball)--Token objects named--Threefold flight--Heroine promises to marry prince and accepts ring-- Lovesick prince -- Recognition food -- Happy marriage. During wedding feast bride relates her history. King, who ordered her death, is present. Bridegroom slays him--Villain Nemesis --Heroine's children die; parents follow them to heaven.
(1) Young girl, named Faithful, is engaged as servant by king and queen, and lives seven years with them. King gives her all the keys, even that of treasury. One day, when king and queen are out, Faithful goes to fountain, and thence sees seven robbers leaving palace. Runs to treasury and finds treasure missing. King and queen return; she tells them what has happened; but is disbelieved, and kept a year in prison. King condemns her to death, and sends her into forest with four men, who are to bring back her heart.-- (2) Men take pity on her, and, seeing ass, say they will take its heart instead to king. Heroine bids them flay ass, that she may wear its skin.-- (3) Men return to king, and heroine, seeking shelter, comes at nightfall to beautiful house, and is engaged as goose-girt. It is a king's house, and dwelt in by queen-mother and her son.-- (4) After some time old woman appears, tells heroine she has done penance enough, and is to ask permission to go to festival given by king's son, and bring her mistress all the news of ball. Old woman gives her nut containing dress, etc.; she is to break it on way to ball.-- (5) That evening heroine obtains permission to go, and on the way finds in nut a silver robe, which she dons. Young king admires her, and dances with her all the evening. He is called aside for a moment, and heroine escapes home and tells queen about girl who has fascinated king. Queen taunts her son on his return, and says, Ass-skin, who was there, has told her all.-- (6) King finds heroine, and gives her two blows with slippers, saying he will kill her if she goes again to ball. Heroine minds her geese; old woman appears, gives her walnut containing dress, and says she must go again that evening to ball, and if king asks her name, say "Braf-le-mandoufle".-- (7) Queen warns her that king will kill her if she is seen, but grants permission. She goes wearing golden dress. King asks why she left him last evening, and inquires her name. Finally, she escapes as before, and tells queen, who again taunts her son.-- (8) King threatens Ass-skin, and gives her two kicks with slipper.-- (9) All happens third time has before; old woman has given peach containing dress of diamonds. At ball, king obtains heroine's promise of marriage, and puts diamond ring on her finger. She escapes as before, and is telling everything to mistress, when the king enters, and is mocked at by queen.-- (10) King goes to bed ill. Queen one day suggests, "Can the lost lady be Ass-skin herself?" king must look at her. Ass-skin makes broth for him, and puts ring in middle of bread. Queen has her well dressed, and she goes to king, who is doubtful about her till he finds ring.-- (11) Then they are tube married directly, and all neighbouring kings are invited.-- (12) During wedding-feast bride is asked to relate some news, but says what she could tell would not please all present. King draws sword, and says any who speak shall be slain. Heroine tells her own story, and says king who ordered her death is present. Bridegroom slays him.-- (13) Hero and heroine live happily, and have two children. The first dies at the age of seven, telling parents he must go and prepare home for them in heaven. In another week girl dies also, saying she goes to keep home in heaven. In a year both parents die and go to heaven.
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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