Kletke, H., Märchensaal. Märchen aller Volker fur Jung und Alt. Berlin, 1845. Vol. i, pp. 149-63. (Taken from d'Aulnoy.)
King and queen, poor, plan to desert three daughters--Youngest, overhearing, gets clue of thread from Fairy god-mother, and leads sisters home --Second time she gets sack of ashes and Magic dresses (afterwards stolen by sisters). Third time sisters make trail of grain, which birds eat. Tree grows from acorns planted by heroine; she mounts it to spy; sees house to which they travel. One-eyed cannibal giant and giantess put to death by heroine's device--Ill-treated heroine (by elder sisters)--Menial heroine-- Heroine finds gold key in ashes; it opens chest containing Magic dresses--Meeting-place (ball) --Flight (manifold)--Lost shoe-- Lovesick prince -- Shoe marriage test -- Magic steed takes heroine to palace --Father's restoration task--Happy marriage--Sisters marry princes.
(1) King and queen, reduced to poverty, sell by degrees all their pos. sessions, and determine to live by making nets for catching fish and birds. Queen insists they must get rid of their three daughters, whom they cannot afford to keep. King laments.-- (2) Youngest daughter, Finette, overhears them arranging to take children a long way off and desert them, and runs to her godmother, the fairy Merlusche, who lives in a distant grotto. She takes butter, eggs, milk, and meal to make godmother a cake. On the way she is very tired, and sits down and cries. Horse with diamond trappings bows his knees before her; carries her to godmother, whose hair she combs, and from whom she receives ball of thread, by means of which she can find way home when mother deserts her, also a sackful of gold and silver clothes. Heroine rides home on magic steed.-- (3) Next morning mother takes three daughters a long way, then leaves them asleep: heroine stays awake. Sisters flatter her, and promise gifts if she will take them home. Mother thinks she sees their ghosts when they return. Sisters are unkind to heroine, instead of keeping their promises.-- (4) All happens again as before. This time god-mother gives heroine sack of ashes with which to make trail, and tells her not to bring sisters home with her; but she does so.-- (5) Having disobeyed, heroine does not like to visit godmother again. Elder sisters fill their pockets with grain to make trail, and are quite contented. Heroine carries her sack of clothes and diamonds. Birds eat grain, and sisters cannot find way home.-- (6) They are hungry, and want to eat acorns heroine has found, but she plants them instead. Oak-tree grows; elder sisters try to mount it, and it bends to the ground with them. Heroine climbs tree frequently to spy. Once, meanwhile, sisters open her sack, take out contents, and fill it with stones. Another day heroine descries from tree-top a lovely house with jewelled walls. Next night, whilst heroine sleeps, sisters put on her lovely dresses, and will not restore them to her, but jeer at her.-- (7) They set out for the house, knock at the door, which is opened by a hideous old woman with one eye in the middle of her forehead. She is fifteen feet high and thirty feet round. Her husband is a cannibal, but she will let them live for three days. They try to escape, but she brings them back, and, meaning to keep them for her own eating, puts them under a large tub.-- (8) Her one-eyed cannibal husband is six times her size, and when he speaks the house trembles. He carries basket containing fifteen children, whom he devours like eggs. Wife persuades him to spare three sisters, saying she wants them as servants. Heroine says she can cook makes huge fire, puts butter in oven, and tells cannibal to lick it with his tongue to test if oven is hot enough. He is pushed in, and burnt to death.-- (9) Heroine tells giantess that proper dressing would make her look beautiful. They begin to comb her hair, and heroine chops off her head. Sisters rejoice. They find all sorts of treasures in the house. -- (10) Elder sisters go to ball, leaving heroine at home to cook and scrub. She finds little gold key among the ashes, tries it in all the doors, and opens little chest full of costly dresses and treasures. Next day, when sisters are out, she dresses in these and goes to ball. Tells hostess her name is Aschenbrödel. She gets home before sisters, and, when they talk of the lovely lady at the ball, she murmurs, "That was I."-- (11) This happens again several times, till one day, in hurrying home, heroine loses a pearl-embroidered shoe, and cannot recover it in the darkness. Neat day it is found by prince out hunting, who preserves it lovingly, and falls ill doctors cannot cure.-- (12) Prince will wed only one who can wear shoe. Many try; amongst them, sisters go to palace. Heroine follows them, gorgeously dressed, and riding godmother's magic steed, which she has found at the door. Sisters recognise her as she overtakes them; they get covered with mud and dust. Prince, on seeing her, feels certain shoe will fit her. It slips on her foot, and he claims her as his bride.-- (13) She relates her history, and it is found that her father was former possessor of this throne. She will only marry when he is restored to it. Sisters are kindly received. Magic steed is sent to bid godmother find heroine's parents, who ate restored to their kingdom. Sisters marry princes.