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Every version of Cinderella in one beautifully formatted e-book with stunning original art.The Cat CinderellaThe Little Glass SlipperAschenputtelThe Baba YagaThe Little Glass SlipperKatie WoodencloakTattercoatsAshey PeltThe Sharp Grey SheepRashin-CoatieCap O’RushesThe Hearth CatThe Princess and The Golden ShoesThe Twelve MonthsYeh-ShenKongji and PatzziBawang Putih And Bawang MerahThe Story of Tấm and CámFair, Brown, and TremblingAnd more ...*Illustrated with original art from renowned artists Harry Clarke, Elenore Abbott, Gustave Doré and others.*Includes the famous essay on Cinderella by W.R.S. Ralston.*Links to free, full-length audio recordings of different versions of Cinderella.*Cinderella At The Movies - Comprehensive list of movie adaptations from 1911-2014.
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THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION
Cinderella: The Ultimate Collection.
Copyright © 2014 by Enhanced Media.
All rights reserved.
This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Printed in the United States of America.
First Printing, 2014.
Enhanced Media Publishing.
Cinderella: The Ultimate Collection (Illustrated. Annotated. 29 Different Versions + Exclusive Bonus Features)
The Cat Cinderella | by | Giambattista Basile
Cinderella, | or The Little Glass Slipper | by | Charles Perrault
Aschenputtel | by | Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
The Baba Yaga | by | W. R. S. Ralston
The Little Glass Slipper | by | Henry W. Hewet
Katie Woodencloak | by | Peter Christen Asbjørnsen | and | Jørgen Moe
Tattercoats | by | Joseph Jacobs
Ashey Pelt | by | M. Damant
The Sharp Grey Sheep | by | J. F. Campbell
Rashin-Coatie | by | George Brisbane Scott Douglas
Cap O’Rushes | by | Joseph Jacobs
The Hearth Cat | by | Consiglieri Pedroso
Conkiajgharuna | The Little Rag Girl | by | Marjory Wardrop
Pepelyouga | by | Woislave M. Petrovitch
The Wonderful Birch | by | Andrew Lang
Maria and The Golden Slipper | by | Dean S. Fansler
The Turkey Herd | by | Elsie Clews Parsons
The Indian Cinderella | by | Cyrus Macmillan
The Little Gold Shoe | By | Jeremy Thorpe
The Twelve Months | A Slav Legend | by | Alexander Chodzko
Yeh-Shen | by | Unknown, China (9th Century)
The Green Knight | by | Svendt Grundtvig
The Cinder Maid | by | Joseph Jacobs
Little Gold Star | by | Unknown | (Spanish Oral Tradition)
Kongji and Patzzi | by | Unknown | (Korean Oral Tradition)
The Girl With The Rose Red Slippers | by | Aesop
Bawang Putih And Bawang Merah | by | Unknown (Indonesia)
The Story of Tấm and Cám | by | Unknown (Vietnam)
Fair, Brown, and Trembling | by | Jeremiah Curtin
THE RALSTON ESSAY
Free audio recordings of Cinderella
Cinderella At The Movies
Further Reading: Steampunk Six Pack
Illustrations by HARRY CLARKE, JOHN DUNCAN, GUSTAVE DORÉ, H. J. FORD, CHARLES ROBINSON, ARTHUR RACKHAM, MARGARET EVANS PRICE and PETER NEWELL.
There was once a Prince who was a widower, and he had a daughter so dear to him that he saw with no other eyes but hers. He gave her an excellent teacher of sewing, who taught her chainwork, openwork, fringes and hems and showed her more love than was possible to describe. The father, however, shortly remarried, and his wife was an evil, malicious, bad-tempered woman who began at once to hate her step-daughter and threw sour looks, wry faces and scowling glances on her enough to make her jump with fright.
The poor child was always complaining to her governess of her step-mother’s ill-treatment, finishing up with “O would to God that you could be my little mother, who are so kind and loving to me,” and she so often repeated this song to her that she put a wasp in her ear and, at last, tempted by the devil, her teacher ended by saying, “If you must follow this madcap idea, I will be a mother to you and you shall be the apple of my eye.” She was going on with the prologue, when Zezolla (as the girl was called) interrupted her by saying, “Forgive my taking the words out of your mouth. I know you love me well, mum’s the word, and sufficit; teach me the way, for I am new; you write and I will sign.”
“Well, then,” answered the governess, “listen carefully; keep your ears open and you shall always enjoy the whitest bread from the finest flour. When your father leaves the house, tell your step-mother that you would like one of those old dresses that are kept in the big chest in the closet, to save the one you now have on. As she always wants to see you in rags and tatters, she will open the chest and say, ‘Hold the lid.’ You must hold it while she is rummaging inside and then suddenly let it fall so that it breaks her neck. After that, you know well that your father would even coin false money to please you, so when he fondles you, beg him to take me for his wife, and then you shall be happy and the mistress even of my life.”
When Zezolla had heard the plan, every hour seemed a thousand years until she had carried out her governess’ advice in every particular. When the period of mourning for her step-mother was over, she began to sound her father about marrying the governess. At first the Prince took it as a joke, but Zezolla so often struck with the flat that at last she thrust with the point, and he gave way to the persuasive words of his daughter. Her therefore married Carmosina, the governess, with great celebrations.
Now while this couple were enjoying themselves, Zezolla was standing at a balcony of her house, when a dove flew on to the wall and said to her, “If ever you desire anything, send to ask for it from the dove of the fairies of the Island of Sardinia, and you will at once have it.”
For five or six days the new step-mother lavished every sort of caress on Zezolla, making her take the best seat at table, giving her the best tidbits, and dressing her in the finest clothes. But after a little time the service that Zezolla had done her was forgotten, and banished from her memory (how sorry is the mind that has an evil mistress!) and she began to push forward six daughters of her own that she had kept in hiding till then, and so worked on her husband that they won his good graces and he let his own daughter slip out of his heart. So that, a loser today and a pauper tomorrow, Zezolla was finally brought to such a pass that she fell from the salon to the kitchen, from the canopy to the grate, from splendid silks and gold to dish-clouts, from sceptres to spits; not only did she change her state, but also her name, and was no longer called Zezolla, but “Cat Cinderella.”
Now it happened that the Prince was forced to go to Sardinia on important affairs of State, and before he left he asked one by one of his step-daughters, Imperia, Colomba, Fiorella, Diamante, Colombina, and Pascarella, what they wanted him to bring back for them on his return. One asked for a splendid gown, another for a head-dress, one for cosmetics for the face, and another games to pass the time; one thing and one another. At last, and almost to make fun of her, he asked his daughter, “And you! what would you like?’ and she answered, “Nothing, except to commend me to the dove of the fairies and beg them to send me something; and if you forget, may it be impossible for you to go forward or back. Bear in mind what I say: thy intent, thy reward.”
The Prince went away, transacted his affairs in Sardinia, and bought the things his step-daughters had asked for, but Zezolla went quite out of his mind. But when they were embarked with the sails ready unfurled, it was found impossible to make the vessel leave the harbour: it seemed as if it were detained by a sea-lamprey. The captain of the ship, who was almost in despair, dropped off to sleep with weariness and in his dreams a fairy appeared to him who said, “Do you know why you cannot leave the harbour? Because the Prince who is with you has broken his promise to his daughter, remembering all the others except his own flesh and blood.” As soon as he woke up the captain told his dream to the Prince, who was overcome with confusion at his omission. He went to the grotto of the fairies, and commending his daughter to them, begged that they should send her some gift.
Behold, out of the grotto there came a young girl, beautiful as a gonfalon, who bade him thank his daughter for her kind remembrances and tell her to be of good cheer for love of her. With these words, she gave him a date tree, a spade and a golden can with a silken napkin; the date tree for planting and the other articles to keep and cultivate it.
The Prince, surprised at this present, took leave of the fairy and turned towards his own land. When he arrived, he gave his step-daughters the things they had asked for, and lastly he handed the fairy’s present to his own daughter. Zezolla nearly jumped out of her skin with joy and planted the date tree in a fine pot, watering it every day and then drying it with the silken napkin.
As a result of these attentions, within four days the date tree grew to the size of a woman, and a fairy came out who said to the girl, “What do you want?” Zezolla answered that she would like sometimes to leave the house without the sisters knowing it. The fairy replied, “Whenever you want this, come to the plant and say:
O my golden date tree,
With golden spade, I’ve dug thee,
With golden can I’ve watered thee,
With golden napkin dried thee,
Strip thyself and robe thou me.
Then when you want to undress, change the last line and say: “Strip thou me and robe thou thee.”
One day it happened to be a feast day, and the governess’ daughters went out of the house in a procession all fluttering, bedaubed and painted, all ribbons, bells and gewgaws, all flowers and perfumes, roses and posies. Zezolla then ran to the plant and uttered the words the fairy had taught her, and at once she was decked out like a queen, seated on a white horse with twelve smartly attired pages. She too went where the sisters had gone, and though they did not recognize her, they felt their mouths water at the beauty of this lovely dove.
As luck would have it, the King came to this same place and was quite bewitched by the extraordinary loveliness of Zezolla. He ordered his most trusty attendant to find out about this fair creature, who she was and where she lived. The servant at once began to dog her footsteps, but she, noticing the trap, threw down a handful of crowns that she had obtained for that purpose from the date tree. The servant, fired by the desire for these glittering pieces, forgot to follow the palfrey and stopped to pick up the money, whilst she, at a bound, reached the house and quickly undressed in the way the fairy had told her. Those six harpies, her sisters, soon returned, and to vex and mortify her, described at length all the fine things that they had seen at the feast.
The servant in the meantime had returned to the King and had told him about the crowns, whereupon the King was furious, and angrily told him that he had sold his pleasure for a few paltry coins and that at the next feast he was at all costs to discover who this lovely girl was and where nested so fair a bird.
When the next feast-day came, the sisters went out, all bedecked and bedizened, leaving the despised Zezolla by the hearth. But she at once ran to the date tree and uttered the same words as before, and behold a band of maidens came out, one with the mirror and one with the flask of pumpkin water, one with the curling-tongs and another with the rouge, one with the comb and another with the pins, one with the dresses and one with the necklace and earrings. They all placed themselves round her and made her as beautiful as a sun and then mounted her in a coach with the six horses accompanied by footmen and pages in livery. She drove to the same place as before and kindled envy in the hearts of the sisters and flames in the breast of the King.
This time too, when she went away, the servant followed her, but so that he should not catch her up, she threw down a handful of pearls and jewels, which this trusty fellow was unable to resist pecking at, since they were not things to let slip. In this way Zezolla had time to reach home and undress herself as usual. The servant, quite stunned, went back to the King, who said, “By the soul of your departed, if you don’t find that girl again, I’ll give you a most thorough beating and as many kicks on your seat as you have hairs in your beard.”
On the next feast-day, when the sisters had already started off, Zezolla went up to the date tree. She repeated the magic spell and was again magnificently dressed and placed in a golden coach with so many attendants around it that it looked as if she were a courtesan arrested in the public promenade and surrounded by police agents. After having excited the envy and wonder of her sisters, she left, followed by the King’s servant, who this time fastened himself to the carriage by double thread. Zezolla, seeing that he was always at her side, cried, “Drive on,” and the coach set off at such a gallop that in her agitation she let slip from her foot the richest and prettiest pattern you could imagine.
The servant, not being able to catch up to the carriage, which was now flying along, picked up the pattern and carried it to the King, telling him what had happened. The King took it in his hands and broke out into these words: “If the foundation is so fair, what must be the mansion? Oh, lovely candlestick which holds the candle that consumes me! Oh, tripod of the lovely cauldron in which my life is boiling! Oh, beauteous corks attached to the fishing-line of Love with which he has caught his soul! Behold, I embrace and enfold you, and if I cannot reach the plant, I worship the roots; if I cannot possess the capitals, I kiss the base: you first imprisoned a white foot, now you have ensnared a stricken heart. Through you, she who sways my life was taller by a span and a half; through you, my life grows by that much in sweetness so long as I keep you in my possession.”
The King having said this called a secretary and ordered out the trumpeters and tantarara, and had it proclaimed that all the women in the land were to come to a festival and banquet which he had determined to give. On the appointed day, my goodness, what an eating and feasting there was! Where did all the tarts and cakes come from? Where all the stews and rissoles? All the macaroni and ravioli which were enough to stuff an entire army? The women were all there, of every kind and quality, of high degree and low degree, the rich and the poor, old and young, the well-favoured and the ill-favoured. When they had all thoroughly worked their jaws, the King spoke the proficiat and started to try the pattern on his guests, one by one, to see whom it fitted to a hair, so that he could find by the shape of the slipper the one whom he was seeking. But he could find no foot to fit it, so that he was on the point of despair.
Nevertheless, he ordered a general silence and said, “Come back tomorrow to fast with me, but as you love me well, do not leave behind a single woman, whoever she may be!” The Prince then said, “I have a daughter, but she always stays to mind the hearth, for she is a sorry, worthless creature, not fit to take her place at the table where you eat.” The King answered, “Let her be at the top of the list, for such is my wish.”
So they all went away, and came back the next day, and Zezolla came with Carmosina’s daughters. As soon as the King saw her, he thought she was the one he wanted, but he hid his thoughts. After the banquet came the trial of the pattern. The moment it came near Zezolla’s foot, it darted forward of itself to shoe that painted Lover’s egg, as the iron flies to the magnet. The king then took Zezolla in his arms and led her to the canopy, where he put a crown on her head and ordered every one to make obeisance to her as to their queen. The sisters, livid with envy and unable to bear the torment of their breaking hearts, crept quietly home to their mother, confessing in spite of themselves that:
He is mad who would oppose the stars.
Once there was a gentleman who married, for his second wife, the proudest and most haughty woman that was ever seen. She had, by a former husband, two daughters of her own, who were, indeed, exactly like her in all things. He had likewise, by another wife, a young daughter, but of unparalleled goodness and sweetness of temper, which she took from her mother, who was the best creature in the world.
No sooner were the ceremonies of the wedding over but the stepmother began to show herself in her true colors. She could not bear the good qualities of this pretty girl, and the less because they made her own daughters appear the more odious. She employed her in the meanest work of the house. She scoured the dishes, tables, etc., and cleaned madam's chamber, and those of misses, her daughters. She slept in a sorry garret, on a wretched straw bed, while her sisters slept in fine rooms, with floors all inlaid, on beds of the very newest fashion, and where they had looking glasses so large that they could see themselves at their full length from head to foot.
The poor girl bore it all patiently, and dared not tell her father, who would have scolded her; for his wife governed him entirely. When she had done her work, she used to go to the chimney corner, and sit down there in the cinders and ashes, which caused her to be called Cinderwench. Only the younger sister, who was not so rude and uncivil as the older one, called her Cinderella. However, Cinderella, notwithstanding her coarse apparel, was a hundred times more beautiful than her sisters, although they were always dressed very richly.
It happened that the king's son gave a ball, and invited all persons of fashion to it. Our young misses were also invited, for they cut a very grand figure among those of quality. They were mightily delighted at this invitation, and wonderfully busy in selecting the gowns, petticoats, and hair dressing that would best become them. This was a new difficulty for Cinderella; for it was she who ironed her sister's linen and pleated their ruffles. They talked all day long of nothing but how they should be dressed.
"For my part," said the eldest, "I will wear my red velvet suit with French trimming."
"And I," said the youngest, "shall have my usual petticoat; but then, to make amends for that, I will put on my gold-flowered cloak, and my diamond stomacher, which is far from being the most ordinary one in the world."
They sent for the best hairdresser they could get to make up their headpieces and adjust their hairdos, and they had their red brushes and patches from Mademoiselle de la Poche.
They also consulted Cinderella in all these matters, for she had excellent ideas, and her advice was always good. Indeed, she even offered her services to fix their hair, which they very willingly accepted. As she was doing this, they said to her, "Cinderella, would you not like to go to the ball?"
"Alas!" said she, "you only jeer me; it is not for such as I am to go to such a place."
"You are quite right," they replied. "It would make the people laugh to see a Cinderwench at a ball."
Anyone but Cinderella would have fixed their hair awry, but she was very good, and dressed them perfectly well. They were so excited that they hadn't eaten a thing for almost two days. Then they broke more than a dozen laces trying to have themselves laced up tightly enough to give them a fine slender shape. They were continually in front of their looking glass. At last the happy day came. They went to court, and Cinderella followed them with her eyes as long as she could. When she lost sight of them, she started to cry.
Her godmother, who saw her all in tears, asked her what was the matter.
"I wish I could. I wish I could." She was not able to speak the rest, being interrupted by her tears and sobbing.
This godmother of hers, who was a fairy, said to her, "You wish that you could go to the ball; is it not so?"
"Yes," cried Cinderella, with a great sigh.
"Well," said her godmother, "be but a good girl, and I will contrive that you shall go." Then she took her into her chamber, and said to her, "Run into the garden, and bring me a pumpkin."
Cinderella went immediately to gather the finest she could get, and brought it to her godmother, not being able to imagine how this pumpkin could help her go to the ball. Her godmother scooped out all the inside of it, leaving nothing but the rind. Having done this, she struck the pumpkin with her wand, and it was instantly turned into a fine coach, gilded all over with gold.
She then went to look into her mousetrap, where she found six mice, all alive, and ordered Cinderella to lift up a little the trapdoor. She gave each mouse, as it went out, a little tap with her wand, and the mouse was that moment turned into a fine horse, which altogether made a very fine set of six horses of a beautiful mouse colored dapple gray.
Being at a loss for a coachman, Cinderella said, "I will go and see if there is not a rat in the rat trap that we can turn into a coachman."
"You are right," replied her godmother, "Go and look."
Cinderella brought the trap to her, and in it there were three huge rats. The fairy chose the one which had the largest beard, touched him with her wand, and turned him into a fat, jolly coachman, who had the smartest whiskers that eyes ever beheld.
After that, she said to her, "Go again into the garden, and you will find six lizards behind the watering pot. Bring them to me."
She had no sooner done so but her godmother turned them into six footmen, who skipped up immediately behind the coach, with their liveries all bedaubed with gold and silver, and clung as close behind each other as if they had done nothing else their whole lives. The fairy then said to Cinderella, "Well, you see here an equipage fit to go to the ball with; are you not pleased with it?"
"Oh, yes," she cried; "but must I go in these nasty rags?"
Her godmother then touched her with her wand, and, at the same instant, her clothes turned into cloth of gold and silver, all beset with jewels. This done, she gave her a pair of glass slippers, the prettiest in the whole world. Being thus decked out, she got up into her coach; but her godmother, above all things, commanded her not to stay past midnight, telling her, at the same time, that if she stayed one moment longer, the coach would be a pumpkin again, her horses mice, her coachman a rat, her footmen lizards, and that her clothes would become just as they were before.
She promised her godmother to leave the ball before midnight; and then drove away, scarcely able to contain herself for joy. The king's son, who was told that a great princess, whom nobody knew, had arrived, ran out to receive her. He gave her his hand as she alighted from the coach, and led her into the hall, among all the company. There was immediately a profound silence. Everyone stopped dancing, and the violins ceased to play, so entranced was everyone with the singular beauties of the unknown newcomer.
Nothing was then heard but a confused noise of, "How beautiful she is! How beautiful she is!"
The king himself, old as he was, could not help watching her, and telling the queen softly that it was a long time since he had seen so beautiful and lovely a creature.
All the ladies were busied in considering her clothes and headdress, hoping to have some made next day after the same pattern, provided they could find such fine materials and as able hands to make them.
The king's son led her to the most honorable seat, and afterwards took her out to dance with him. She danced so very gracefully that they all more and more admired her. A fine meal was served up, but the young prince ate not a morsel, so intently was he busied in gazing on her.
She went and sat down by her sisters, showing them a thousand civilities, giving them part of the oranges and citrons which the prince had presented her with, which very much surprised them, for they did not know her. While Cinderella was thus amusing her sisters, she heard the clock strike eleven and three-quarters, whereupon she immediately made a courtesy to the company and hurried away as fast as she could.
Arriving home, she ran to seek out her godmother, and, after having thanked her, she said she could not but heartily wish she might go to the ball the next day as well, because the king's son had invited her.
As she was eagerly telling her godmother everything that had happened at the ball, her two sisters knocked at the door, which Cinderella ran and opened.
"You stayed such a long time!" she cried, gaping, rubbing her eyes and stretching herself as if she had been sleeping; she had not, however, had any manner of inclination to sleep while they were away from home.
"If you had been at the ball," said one of her sisters, "you would not have been tired with it. The finest princess was there, the most beautiful that mortal eyes have ever seen. She showed us a thousand civilities, and gave us oranges and citrons."
Cinderella seemed very indifferent in the matter. Indeed, she asked them the name of that princess; but they told her they did not know it, and that the king's son was very uneasy on her account and would give all the world to know who she was. At this Cinderella, smiling, replied, "She must, then, be very beautiful indeed; how happy you have been! Could not I see her? Ah, dear Charlotte, do lend me your yellow dress which you wear every day."
"Yes, to be sure!" cried Charlotte; "lend my clothes to such a dirty Cinderwench as you are! I should be such a fool."
Cinderella, indeed, well expected such an answer, and was very glad of the refusal; for she would have been sadly put to it, if her sister had lent her what she asked for jestingly.
The next day the two sisters were at the ball, and so was Cinderella, but dressed even more magnificently than before. The king's son was always by her, and never ceased his compliments and kind speeches to her. All this was so far from being tiresome to her, and, indeed, she quite forgot what her godmother had told her. She thought that it was no later than eleven when she counted the clock striking twelve. She jumped up and fled, as nimble as a deer. The prince followed, but could not overtake her. She left behind one of her glass slippers, which the prince picked up most carefully. She reached home, but quite out of breath, and in her nasty old clothes, having nothing left of all her finery but one of the little slippers, the mate to the one that she had dropped.
The guards at the palace gate were asked if they had not seen a princess go out. They replied that they had seen nobody leave but a young girl, very shabbily dressed, and who had more the air of a poor country wench than a gentlewoman.
When the two sisters returned from the ball Cinderella asked them if they had been well entertained, and if the fine lady had been there.
They told her, yes, but that she hurried away immediately when it struck twelve, and with so much haste that she dropped one of her little glass slippers, the prettiest in the world, which the king's son had picked up; that he had done nothing but look at her all the time at the ball, and that most certainly he was very much in love with the beautiful person who owned the glass slipper.
What they said was very true; for a few days later, the king's son had it proclaimed, by sound of trumpet, that he would marry her whose foot this slipper would just fit. They began to try it on the princesses, then the duchesses and all the court, but in vain; it was brought to the two sisters, who did all they possibly could to force their foot into the slipper, but they did not succeed.
Cinderella, who saw all this, and knew that it was her slipper, said to them, laughing, "Let me see if it will not fit me."
Her sisters burst out laughing, and began to banter with her. The gentleman who was sent to try the slipper looked earnestly at Cinderella, and, finding her very handsome, said that it was only just that she should try as well, and that he had orders to let everyone try.
He had Cinderella sit down, and, putting the slipper to her foot, he found that it went on very easily, fitting her as if it had been made of wax. Her two sisters were greatly astonished, but then even more so, when Cinderella pulled out of her pocket the other slipper, and put it on her other foot. Then in came her godmother and touched her wand to Cinderella's clothes, making them richer and more magnificent than any of those she had worn before.
And now her two sisters found her to be that fine, beautiful lady whom they had seen at the ball. They threw themselves at her feet to beg pardon for all the ill treatment they had made her undergo. Cinderella took them up, and, as she embraced them, said that she forgave them with all her heart, and wanted them always to love her.
She was taken to the young prince, dressed as she was. He thought she was more charming than before, and, a few days after, married her. Cinderella, who was no less good than beautiful, gave her two sisters lodgings in the palace, and that very same day matched them with two great lords of the court.
Moral: Beauty in a woman is a rare treasure that will always be admired. Graciousness, however, is priceless and of even greater value. This is what Cinderella's godmother gave to her when she taught her to behave like a queen. Young women, in the winning of a heart, graciousness is more important than a beautiful hairdo. It is a true gift of the fairies. Without it nothing is possible; with it, one can do anything.
Another moral: Without doubt it is a great advantage to have intelligence, courage, good breeding, and common sense. These, and similar talents come only from heaven, and it is good to have them. However, even these may fail to bring you success, without the blessing of a godfather or a godmother.
The wife of a rich man fell sick; and when she felt that her end drew nigh, she called her only daughter to her bed-side, and said, ’Always be a good girl, and I will look down from heaven and watch over you.’ Soon afterwards she shut her eyes and died, and was buried in the garden; and the little girl went every day to her grave and wept, and was always good and kind to all about her. And the snow fell and spread a beautiful white covering over the grave; but by the time the spring came, and the sun had melted it away again, her father had married another wife. This new wife had two daughters of her own, that she brought home with her; they were fair in face but foul at heart, and it was now a sorry time for the poor little girl. ’What does the good-for-nothing want in the parlour?’ said they; ’they who would eat bread should first earn it; away with the kitchen-maid!’ Then they took away her fine clothes, and gave her an old grey frock to put on, and laughed at her, and turned her into the kitchen.
There she was forced to do hard work; to rise early before daylight, to bring the water, to make the fire, to cook and to wash. Besides that, the sisters plagued her in all sorts of ways, and laughed at her. In the evening when she was tired, she had no bed to lie down on, but was made to lie by the hearth among the ashes; and as this, of course, made her always dusty and dirty, they called her Ashputtel.
It happened once that the father was going to the fair, and asked his wife’s daughters what he should bring them. ’Fine clothes,’ said the first; ’Pearls and diamonds,’ cried the second. ’Now, child,’ said he to his own daughter, ’what will you have?’ ’The first twig, dear father, that brushes against your hat when you turn your face to come homewards,’ said she. Then he bought for the first two the fine clothes and pearls and diamonds they had asked for: and on his way home, as he rode through a green copse, a hazel twig brushed against him, and almost pushed off his hat: so he broke it off and brought it away; and when he got home he gave it to his daughter. Then she took it, and went to her mother’s grave and planted it there; and cried so much that it was watered with her tears; and there it grew and became a fine tree. Three times every day she went to it and cried; and soon a little bird came and built its nest upon the tree, and talked with her, and watched over her, and brought her whatever she wished for.
Now it happened that the king of that land held a feast, which was to last three days; and out of those who came to it his son was to choose a bride for himself. Ashputtel’s two sisters were asked to come; so they called her up, and said, ’Now, comb our hair, brush our shoes, and tie our sashes for us, for we are going to dance at the king’s feast.’ Then she did as she was told; but when all was done she could not help crying, for she thought to herself, she should so have liked to have gone with them to the ball; and at last she begged her mother very hard to let her go. ’You, Ashputtel!’ said she; ’you who have nothing to wear, no clothes at all, and who cannot even dance–you want to go to the ball? And when she kept on begging, she said at last, to get rid of her, ’I will throw this dishful of peas into the ash-heap, and if in two hours’ time you have picked them all out, you shall go to the feast too.’
Then she threw the peas down among the ashes, but the little maiden ran out at the back door into the garden, and cried out:
’Hither, hither, through the sky,
Turtle-doves and linnets, fly!
Blackbird, thrush, and chaffinch gay,
Hither, hither, haste away!
One and all come help me, quick!
Haste ye, haste ye!–pick, pick, pick!’
Then first came two white doves, flying in at the kitchen window; next came two turtle-doves; and after them came all the little birds under heaven, chirping and fluttering in: and they flew down into the ashes. And the little doves stooped their heads down and set to work, pick, pick, pick; and then the others began to pick, pick, pick: and among them all they soon picked out all the good grain, and put it into a dish but left the ashes. Long before the end of the hour the work was quite done, and all flew out again at the windows.
Then Ashputtel brought the dish to her mother, overjoyed at the thought that now she should go to the ball. But the mother said, ’No, no! you slut, you have no clothes, and cannot dance; you shall not go.’ And when Ashputtel begged very hard to go, she said, ’If you can in one hour’s time pick two of those dishes of peas out of the ashes, you shall go too.’ And thus she thought she should at least get rid of her. So she shook two dishes of peas into the ashes.
But the little maiden went out into the garden at the back of the house, and cried out as before:
’Hither, hither, through the sky,
Turtle-doves and linnets, fly!
Blackbird, thrush, and chaffinch gay,
Hither, hither, haste away!
One and all come help me, quick!
Haste ye, haste ye!–pick, pick, pick!’
Then first came two white doves in at the kitchen window; next came two turtle-doves; and after them came all the little birds under heaven, chirping and hopping about. And they flew down into the ashes; and the little doves put their heads down and set to work, pick, pick, pick; and then the others began pick, pick, pick; and they put all the good grain into the dishes, and left all the ashes. Before half an hour’s time all was done, and out they flew again. And then Ashputtel took the dishes to her mother, rejoicing to think that she should now go to the ball. But her mother said, ’It is all of no use, you cannot go; you have no clothes, and cannot dance, and you would only put us to shame’: and off she went with her two daughters to the ball.
Now when all were gone, and nobody left at home, Ashputtel went sorrowfully and sat down under the hazel-tree, and cried out:
’Shake, shake, hazel-tree,
Gold and silver over me!’
Then her friend the bird flew out of the tree, and brought a gold and silver dress for her, and slippers of spangled silk; and she put them on, and followed her sisters to the feast. But they did not know her, and thought it must be some strange princess, she looked so fine and beautiful in her rich clothes; and they never once thought of Ashputtel, taking it for granted that she was safe at home in the dirt.
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