Asbjornsen, P. Chr.; og Moe, Jorgen. Norske Folke-eventyr. 2nd ed. Christiania, 1852. p. 418. (From Hardanger, Norway.)
Ill-treated hero (by stepmother and stepsister)--Menial hero (herds cattle)-- Helpful animal (ewe) gives milk-- Stepsister, sent to spy, is twice put to sleep by hairdressing third time, magpie eye in her neck sees hero suck grey ewe-- Slaying of helpful animal-- Attempt to starve hero-- Helpful animal (ox)-- Step sister sent to spy magpie eve sees hero suck ear of ox-- Slaying of helpful animal Pro; hero strikes stepmother instead of ox; is driven from home by father-- Hero flight on ox through brass, silver, and gold forests; he disobeys injunction and takes (1) brass, (2) silver, (3) gold ladles and stirring-rods, causing to appear (1) two-headed, (2) four-headed, (3) six-headed giants, whom ox fights and kills. Ox nearly vanquished, because hero called him by name-- They reach castle, where is a wedding-- Hero chops off ox's head, transforming ox to prince-- Menial hero and prince (in castle kitchen)-- Hero uses brass, silver, and gold ladles and stirring-rods, causing dishes to shine with corresponding lustre-- King, seeing hero's ladles and stirring-rods, would prefer him as son-in-law. Hero conducts king to brass, silver, and gold forests-- Happy marriage.
(1) Widower with one son marries widow with one daughter. Hero is ill-treated by stepmother and stepsister, sent in all weathers to herd cattle, and allowed no food but a few grains of barley in his box.-- (2) Among the sheep is a big grey ewe with a large teat which hero sucks, and so looks well-nourished. Stepmother thrice sends daughter to spy. On the first and second occasions hero puts her to sleep by lousing her.-- (3) The third day stepmother puts a magpie's eye down her neck. In the evening, when asked by what means the boy lives, stepsister answers, "I saw nothing!" But magpie-eye says, "I saw the whole thing. He sucks the grey sheep."-- (5) The sheep is at once slain, yet hero keeps healthy.-- (6) There is further attempt to discover the secret, and on the third day the magpie-eye again reveals it: "He sucks the car of the brown ox."-- (7) Ox is to be killed; step-mother is to hold it whilst hero strikes. He manages to strike stepmother instead, and is driven away by angry father, though allowed to keep the brown ox.-- (8) They go out into the world together; come to a brass wood; brass ladle and brass stirring-rods (tvarer1) hang from all the branches; he is forbidden to touch, but cannot resist; takes a ladle and a stirring-rod. A two-headed giant appears "Who touches my wood?" He is killed by the ox.-- (9) They come to a silver wood; same thing happens; ox kills four-headed giant.-- (10) They come to a gold wood; the hero takes a gold ladle and stirring-rod. "'Tis ill done", says the ox, "but beware not to pronounce my name." Six-headed giant fights the ox; ox falls on his knees. "Courage, my brown ox!" says hero. At that the ox is almost vanquished, but collects himself for a last effort, and kills the giant.-- (11) They travel on and reach a king's castle. Ox bids hero chop off his bead; he at length does so, and ox is transformed into a prince. They go together to castle where a wedding is being celebrated.-- (12) Hero and prince are set to dress the dinner in kitchen. Hero stirs the pots and pans with his brass ladle and tavare, and all the dishes get a brass lustre. King and guests marvel thereat. Afterwards hero uses the silver, and then the golden ladles and tavarer, with corresponding results. When king sees hero's ladles and tavarer he would prefer him as a son-in-law if he has other riches.-- (13) Hero asks king to accompany him, and shows him first the brass wood, then the silver, lastly the gold wood. So hero weds the princess, and the brown ox that became a prince is next to him in the kingdom.
1: A tvare is a rod some 12 inches
in length, made from a fir-twig, with three branching twigs at the end,
It is commonly used in Norway for stirring food over the fire.--F.
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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