Robin Redbreast

Robin Redbreast
Birds can represent the fluttering, darting thoughts of intuition. This is why little birds helped Cinderella help herself.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cinderella #15 One Eye! Two Eyes! Three Eyes! A Very Grimm Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, in a cottage in the woods, there lived three sisters. The cottage was very, very, deep in the woods. So deep, in fact, that the three sisters had never, ever seen anyone else! In their whole lives. Now, the older two sisters were the bossy kind, who liked to make personal remarks about their littlest sister. They thought that she was terribly ugly, the poor thing, so they made her wear the ugliest old clothes in the house and gave her the worst scraps to eat. They were so ashamed of her, I guess maybe they hoped that she would just go away. Now, the reason they were so ashamed of her, and thought of her as Ugly, was this: the poor thing only had TWO EYES!  The eldest sister in the family "was no different from other people. Her name was One Eye. She had  just one eye, right in the middle of her forehead. The middle sister was also quite ordinary. Her name was Three Eyes. She had one eye on her forehead and one on each side of her face. " Boy, was their little sister a weirdo! The girls owned a goat, and it was Two Eyes' job to take it out to pasture every day. One day, when everything seemed to make her feel worse than usua, little Two Eyes " sat on the grass and cried her two eyes out." Suddenly, a little old lady was in front of her. She had just appeared out of thin air, which was strange. But even stranger: she had two eyes! "What's wrong, my dear?" asked the woman. "It's my sisters. They never give me enough to eat." So the kind woman gave her a secret rhyme to say to the goat. It went like this: Bleat, goat, bleat. And bring me lots to eat! That would bring plenty. To clean up the leftovers, all she had to chant was: Bleat, goat, bleat. I've had so much to eat! The woman vanished and the girl gave the chant a try. It worked! " A little table and chair appeared. The table was set with a tablecloth, plate, and sliver ware" and food of all kinds. Roasted turkeys,  salmon with lemon butter, fruits and cakes and puddings, and oh, how that girl ate. When she was done, she did the clean up chant and took her goat home. Her sisters had left her a little bowl of yucky-looking leftovers, the way they always did, and tonight, Two Eyes didn't have to force herself to eat it. Which made her sisters suspicious. And in the morning, mean One Eye followed her sister to the meadow. She hung around all day long, so poor hungry Two Eyes did not get to eat her magic lunch. Home in the meadow, she cried with hunger. And the little old woman appeared, and asked what was wrong. " Don't worry about that!" she said. " You can stop her if you like, just sing her this song: Is your eye awake? Is your eye asleep? Is your eye awake? Is your eye asleep? Keep singing that, and she'll sleep soon enough." With that, the woman vanished. And Two Eyes tried the new song the next day, when suspicious One Eye came again, and it worked! But now Three Eyes was angry. Why couldn't One Eye tell her what was going on? She would go the next day to find out. And when they got to the meadow, Two Eyes began to sing. But Three Eyes had THREE EYES! And that was too many for the song. The one on her forehead went to sleep, but the ones on the side of her head were only pretending! Secretly, they peeked, and saw Two Eyes sing to the goat, watched the feast appear, be eaten, and then cleaned up! And was Three Eyes ever mad now! Out of spite, when she got home and told One Eye what had happened, the sisters decided to get rid of the goat. So they did. Poor Two Eyes, how she cried when found her goat gone. But the little old woman whispered more advice. She reminded her that the orininal song had asked, "Is your EYE awake?" but that she had been singing it to a sister with THREE EYES! Next time, she said, make sure you remember to use the plural. Also, she gave her new magic. This was an apple seed, which would grow quickly, producing "leaves of silver and apples of gold". The song for that was, " Apple hanging on the tree, I am Two Eyes, come to me!". First chance she got, that girl planted the seed and watered it. The next morning, there was the tree, just as described. As the three sisters stood staring at the tree, a stranger came riding  down the road. It was a knight in armor, the visor of his helmet pulled down over his face. The older girls squealed with excitement, and then remembered their ugly sister. "Quick! Hide our little sister!" they said to each other, as they put a barrel over her head. " Good morning ladies, " said the knight, " beautiful tree you have there! ...I would grant anything in my power to the lady who first gave me one. " Well, you can imagine how the two big sisters scrambled to climb the tree and pick an apple. They climbed and kicked but the apples always seemed to be just out of reach. That's when Two Eyes kicked a pebble over to the knight, who said, " That's odd. That stone seems to have come form that barrel. Does anyone happen to be in there?". And the big sisters said, "No", but Two Eyes said, "Yes!" so the knight made them let her out. And that's when he took off his visor, and said, " My word! She's the loveliest young lady I've ever seen!" But the sisters screamed, because they realized that he was the ugliest young man they had ever seen. He had TWO EYES just like their sister! And that's when Two Eyes sang the apple song, " Apple hanging on the tree, I am Two Eyes, come to me!". So it did, and when the knight asked what he could grant her, she said, " Well, to start with, you can take me away from my horrid sisters!" So he did, and they found they had much in common. For starters, they both had two eyes! As for those bad old sisters? They thought they were smart because they had heard the apple song. Every day, " they stood under that tree and repeated their sister's words: Apple hanging on the tree, I am Two-Eyes, come to me! But the apples never fell for them and they never did figure out why."

Notes: This tale is one collected by the Grimms in the 19th century. The only difference I can see to this story and a "real Cinderella" is that there are no shoes involved. The helper animal as a goat is a great touch, and the illustrations in this are goofball good!

I took this picture of an alpine goat at Tilden Little Farm
Montessori Connection: 6-9 The Noun, Singular and Plural. Find: eye/ eyes, sister/sisters, apple/apples. Be sure to look for: leaves. What is the singular form of that word?  9-12: Scientific Classification. Goat: mammal, ungulate, bovid, subfamily Antilopinae.