Roumanian Fairy Tales and Legends. London, 1881. Pp. 1-20.
"THE SLIPPERS OF THE TWELVE PRINCESSES."
[Compare to The Twelve Dancing Princesses and its additional variants.]
Menial hero (cow-herd)-- Fairy aid in dream-- Menial hero (gardener to emperor)-- Princess as prize to anyone who discovers how twelve princesses wear out shoes-- Laurel branches from fairy, planted by hero, become wishing-trees-- Hero, rendered in visible, accompanies twelve princesses to their revels-- Magic clothes from laurels-- Happy marriage.
(1) A zina, or fairy, appears thrice in a dream to cowherd, bids him go to court of a certain emperor, and he will marry a princess.-- (2) He is engaged as gardener; must every day give bouquet to each of the princesses. Emperor proclaims that anyone discovering how twelve princesses wear out their shoes in a single night1 shall wed any one of them.-- (3) Fairy appears to hero, gives him two laurel branches, gold spade, gold watering-pot, and silk veil. He plants laurels as bidden, says, "Beautiful laurels, with a golden spade I have dug you, with golden watering-pot I have watered you, with silken veil I have wiped you", and gets every wish fulfilled.-- (4) Becomes invisible, hides in princesses' room, follows them through invisible door to enchanted bowers with leaves of silver and gold and jewels; sees them row on lake in twelve boats with twelve emperors' sons, to whom they have given enchanted beverage, and with whom they afterwards dance till shoes are in holes.-- (5) Hero falls in love with one of the princesses, and on three following days gives her in the usual bouquet the branch of silver leaves, gold leaves, and jewel leaves which he has plucked the preceding night.-- (6) Princesses, finding secret discovered, invite gardener to their revels, meaning to give him enchanted beverage. Hero gets magic clothes from laurels, and fourth night accompanies princesses, having emperor's permission to hide in their room, as others have done, to discover their secret.-- (7) Eventually he marries his favourite princess.
(P. 456.) With story of shoes danced to pieces cf. Grimm,
and note; Gipsy-lore Journal, iii, 81 ff.; Rudolf von Sowa,
Slovak Gipsy Stories (Gottingen, 1887), No. I; Stier, p. 51.
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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