Soegard, P. M., I Fjeldbygderne. Christania, 1868. Pp. 13-17.
"VESLE BRUNE OKSE"
Menial hero (shepherd)-- Mistress starves hero-- Helpful animal (ox)-- Ear cornucopia-- Spy on hero-- Slaying of helpful animal proposed. Hero strikes mistress instead of ox-- Hero eight on ox-- Princess on mountain will give tin twig to man whom she does not like, silver and gold twigs to one she loves. Hero alone can ride up mountain; receives gold twig--Happy marriage.
(1) Poor labourer, who has many children, sends eldest boy out into the world. He becomes a shepherd.-- (2) His mistress is an avaricious, wicked woman, and nearly starves him. When the rest of the cattle are sleeping a magic ox amongst them turns his ear to the boy, who finds therein butter, cakes, and cheese. When he is satisfied ox says, "Are you thirsty, John? Drink from my horn." Thence he drinks beer; has never tasted better. -- (3) After some time mistress sends daughter to discover secret. She feigns sleep, and watches everything.-- (4) Mistress orders ox to be slain. John asks leave to give the blow instead of butcher, he takes the axe, and happens to strike mistress on the head. She faints.-- (5) Ox jumps up, takes John on his back, and runs away.-- (6) They come across a number of horsemen, who ride up steep mountain to win princess. She sits on the top, holding a twig of gold, a twig of silver, and one of tin. If she does not care for a man she will give him tin twig, should he reach the top; if she likes him she will give him the silver twig, and he will have to try once more; if she loves him she will give him the golden twig.-- (7) None of the suitors have reached more than halfway up; but John gets to the top and receives the gold twig. From that day the little brown ox stands in the king's stable, and is caressed and cared for like the most beautiful horse.
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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