Robin Redbreast

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

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cinderella #239 Kari Trestakk (Zealand)

A sparkly gold shoe!

Once upon a time, there was a young girl who was left an orphan. Her mother was dead and her father was dead. At last, her ragged clothing fell off of her. All she could find to dress in was "a wooden petticoat." So, with this garment on, she set out to find a position in the king's castle. Knocking at the back door, Kari Trestakk meets Cook, who is lazy, and looking for a slavey to do the dirty work. So Cooks orders Kari Trestakk to lug the bathwater upstairs to the king. The girl makes so much noise, clattering up the stairs in her wooden petticoat, that the king is startled. He jumps out of the bath, causing much of his heated water to spill out, and hurls insults at Kari Trestakk. Then Cook sends the girl down the "the rivulet", to fetch more water. As she wades into the river to fill her jug, a large fish swims into it. At first, Kari Trestakk thinks that it will be a fine thing to take the fish to Cook. Then she hears a voice! It is the fish, and it says, "Oh, maiden grant me the boon of my life. In exchange  I will give you "a gold dress, a horse, and a golden saddle"." Kari Trestakk accepts this bargain, and releases the fish. She "gets the promised reward", and hides her treasures by the river. The next Sunday, she asks for permission to go to church. Cook says, What do you want with going to church, having nothing but a wooden dress?.'But she gets permission, and then hies to the rivulet where she gets her golden dress and all." She does go to church, and who should sit next to her but the King himself? When he tries to speak to her she calls out," Light before me, behind me, dark. Whither I ride, shall no one mark!" And with that, she disappears. But she loses one of the golden shoes that came with her golden gown, and the King finds  it. The next day, he commands that every girl in the kingdom shall try on the shoe. Although many try, and some come close, no one can fit the shoe on her foot. One young lady even "cuts her heel and toe and squeezes her foot into it. But a small bird in a tree warbles,"Cut off your heel, cut off your toe. The gold shoe fits a girl I know." Then the King knows that the bloody-footed girl is not his true bride. That is when Kari Trestakk steps forward, wearing the other shoe. They are married with great ceremony. 
From Cox, M.R. (1893/2011) p. 326
Notes: This seems to be a story with strong parallels to the one we typically think of  as "Cinderella", if Grimm is your touchpoint. It has the lost shoe, the golden slipper, the cutting off heel and toe, and the bird as give-away. However, my favorite part is the startled King jumping at the sound of the wooden petticoat in the hall! Talk about PTSD. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cinderella #238 A Coach for Cinderella (1936) Vintage Chevrolet Film

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cinderella #237 Cindy Goes to Kindergarden

Note: For kids ages 4-6
Two princesses by Kiana, age 5
Once upon a time,there was a girl named Cinderella.She was five years old, and went to Happy Times Preschool. She lived with her dad and stepmom. She had two stepsisters, who were both older than she was. She loved her dad and stepmom very much, but she did not like her big stepsisters. They were always so mean to her! Whenever they all made snacks in the kitchen, they left Cinderella to clean up the mess. When they had a game of hide and seek in the living room, and took all of the cushions off the sofa and turned all of the chairs upside down, they made Cinderella clean it up. And when they all went into the kitchen to make snacks, and used every knife and spoon and bowl they could find to make their super-delicious Carrot Lemonade and Cheese-and-Veggie sandwiches, they left all the dirty dishes for her to wash. That wasn't fair and Cindy knew it. But when she complained to her father, he just said,"Go and talk to your sisters about it."  So Cinderella did, but they just stuck their tongues out at her, called her a kindergarden-baby and ran away. Then Cinderella started to cry because she knew that soon she could not go back to Happy Times Preschool. She was going to have to go to kindergarden, and she was not at all sure that she was going to like it. Why did she have to have a new teacher? She liked old Mrs. Alice just fine. She thought about Mrs. Alice had told the children that soon they would "make new friends, but keep the old" and this made her cry even harder. That's when she heard a voice! It was a message coming from her dad's phone, and this is what it said: Good morning! This is Mrs. Marshmallow, Cinderella's new kindergarden teacher. Please remember that the first day of kindergarden is tomorrow! Cinderella, we are looking forward to meeting you!". Now Cinderella went and woke up her dad. When he had heard the message he said, "Let's go shopping today for new school things for you." When her stepsisters heard that there was going to be a shopping trip, they wanted to come too. "Buy me some cool new clothes!" said the oldest. "And buy me some sparkly earrings!" said the second oldest. But Cinderella's dad said, "No, girls. You already have everything you need. I'm just going to take Cinderella, because the first day of kindergarden is very important, and I want her to be ready." Then Cinderella got in the car with her dad. First they drove to the clothes store, and chose two new pairs of jeans. Cinderella picked out a t-shirt with a picture of a monster, and an orange hoodie with flowers embroidered on it to go with them.  Then her dad took her to the art store and let her choose a pad of paper and something to draw with. She picked a 48-pack of crayons, the kind that has a crayon sharpener on the back. Then they went to the shoe store and got her new shoes. Although they were pink and sparkly, they had rubber soles, and were good to run in. They felt good on her feet, and she could put them on herself. Her dad smiled and said,"Looks like those shoes are a good fit, Cinderella!". That night before bed, Cinderella drew a picture of herself on her first day of kindergarden. She was wearing her beautiful orange hoodie and pink sparkly shoes.  Then she went to bed. That night, she dreamed that she was in kindergarden. She had to go to the bathroom, but she didn't know where it was. She was hungry, but she could not find her lunch. She was lonely, and missed her friends from Happy Times Preschool. Suddenly, she heard a voice! It came from a little boy who was wearing a an orange hoodie with animals and their footprints embroidered all over it. "Hi!" the boy said. "Do you want to play with me?" Then Cinderella heard another voice. It was her stepmom, calling,"Cinderella! Wake up! It's time to go to kindergarden." So Cinderella jumped out of bed, got dressed, ate her breakfast, and got in the car. When they got to her new school, her stepmom held her hand and they went inside. Cinderella could hear Mrs. Marshmallow's voice, saying,"Welcome to kindergarden!". Then she saw a little boy smiling at her. He was wearing an orange hoodie with animals and their footprints embroidered all over it. He smiled at her and said,"Do you want to play with me?" Cinderella said she did, so she told her stepmom goodbye. And Cinderella and the little boy with animal prints played happily together for the whole day. The end. 
Notes: This story is for Sarah, Patrick, Cal, and all the other worried 5 year olds out there who are fretting over the mysteries of kindergarden. Have a great first day of school, everyone! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cinderella #236 Lita Kkersti (Little Kristina)

Illustration by
De Angeli, M.

Once upon a time, there lived a little girl whose mother had died, and father remarried. The second wife was a cruel one, and selfish enough to withhold food from her stepdaughter in favor of her own born child. At last, the orphaned girl was near to starving to death. She sat crying one day, shivering with the cold, upon her mother's grave. There she prayed and sobbed, pouring out her heart's desire to her mother's departed soul. All of a sudden, a little bird perched in front of her, upon a slender branch. Then Kristina heard her mother's voice! It told her to break off the branch, for it was a magic wand. If she was hungry, she should use one end of the wand to touch the horns of father's ox. This would produce food. Using the other end of the wand to touch the horns would cause fresh water to appear. So Kristina followed these directions, and in this way, she lived. Years passed and one day, as she was pasturing the ox, she saw a hill which had never been there before. She "walked thrice around' it saying,'White before me, black behind me!' and enters it." And deep under the hillside, Kristina finds victuals and fine wines. After she has eaten and drunk, she explores the cavern more fully. That is when she finds a white dress, hanging on the gate near a white horse. A fine carriage of porcelain is nearby. She continues walking and encounters another horse, this one with coat of shining silver, and a silver carriage nearby. Inside is a dress of threaded silver. She keeps walking and soon finds the most magnificent horse of all, with coat of glowing red-gold. A golden carriage is parked nearby. A dress of pure beaten gold hangs stiffly in the window. The following Sunday, as soon as Kristina's stepmother and stepsister have left for church, she rushes to her underground stable. There she changes into the white dress, hitches her white horse to her white carriage, and drives to church. Just as the service is ending, her stepmother notices the mysterious maiden in white. Kristina is so frightened and being recognized that she runs, losing a glove. The prince, who has been watching the whole time, picks this up. The next Sunday, Kristina prepares for church by dressing in her silver gown. When she arrives, driving her silver steed from her shining silver carriage, the prince helps her alight. But just as the service ends, she again sees her stepmother, gazing at her suspiciously. She flees, this time leaving behind a silver shoe. The prince gathers this up, and gazes thoughtfully after the silver carriage. The third Sunday, Kristina decides to go for the gold. She dons her golden dress and slippers, and adorns herself with several golden rings. Then she hitches her gold colored horse to her gold carriage, and away she goes. The sunlight reflected from her carriage dazzles everyone's eyes when she arrives at church. Now the prince escorts her to a seat and watches her closely throughout the service. As it ends, Kristina tries to run away, but the prince holds her tightly by the hand. There is a tussle, and the prince comes away with one of her rings. When, on the following Sunday, the mysterious lady with the metallic gowns does not come, the prince is desolate. He sends his retinue out looking the maiden who fits the glove, the shoe, and the ring. Though her stepsister tries and tries, she is unable to wear the items. At last, Kristina comes forth. She dons the glove and produces its mate. She dons the shoe and produces the other. Then she slips the ring onto her finger, and that is when the prince recognizes her as the well dressed lady at church. They are married at once. 
From Cox, M. R. (1893/2011) p.325
Notes: This story is identified as being "a fragment written down by J. Môe".  I ponder the significance of walking three times round the hill, and of the subterranean treasures. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cinderella #235 More Riddles

A little dog in the garden.

Q: Everyone knows that Prince Jasper found Cinderella because she fit the shoe. But Jasper had a twin brother, Prince Jacob, who is not so famous. At the same ball that Jasper got lucky at, Jacob too met a fine girl. Prince Jacob loved to cook, and the night of the ball, he was trying out a new recipe, when a girl he had never seen before wandered into the kitchen. She tasted the dish he was preparing, and helped him season it in the most delicious manner. Suddenly, the clock struck twelve, and the mysterious maiden ran away. Jacob sent a royal proclamation out the next day, looking for a certain girl. What did the proclamation say?
A: That he was looking for the girl who bit the stew.
Q:  We all know the story of the girl who swept the cinders. She earned a nickname that described her work. Few realize that she had a twin sister, whose job it was to gather the kindling and firewood for the cruel stepmother's hearth. What was her name?
A: Tinderella
Q: What do you get when you cross a girl who sweeps ashes and a banana?
A: Cinderyella
Q: What was the name of the pot-smoking chimney sweep?
A: Cindermella
Q: Why did Cinderella offer to carry the King's Christmas pie across the river?
A: Because she wanted to ferry the royal mince. 
Notes: These riddles were written by me, myself, and I, Rachel Hope Crossman.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cinderella #234 The Clever Farmer's Daughter (Grimm)

This girl is in Greece, where the donkey
could be seen as something akin to
a mountain bike. That brays. 

Once upon a time, there lived "a poor farmer" with an only child. She was a girl, and a very clever one. The king took pity on this father and his motherless child,and gave them a small piece of land for a garden. When they harvested, they were quite surprised to find that "a mortar of pure gold" was visible among the wheat stubble. The man declared that he would carry it to the king, but his daughter said,"Father, if we give the mortar without the pestle, then we'll have to find the pestle as well. I think we'd be better off if we kept quiet about the whole thing." But her father insisted. Sure enough, not sooner did the king lay eyes on the golden mortar, he demanded the golden pestle that must go with it. And when the poor farmer insisted that there was no pestle, "he was thrown into prison, where he was to stay until he produced the pestle."One day, some months later, the king overheard his prisoner sigh and say,"Oh, if only I had listened to my daughter!" He questioned the man, who told him that his daughter had told him "not to bring you the mortar; otherwise, you'd want to have the pestle as well". Then the king said,"If you have such a clever daughter, I want to see her." So the farmer sent for his daughter, and she had an audience with the king. He told her that if she could solve a certain riddle, he would marry her. The riddle was this: How could the farm girl appear before the king "Not undressed, nor naked, not on horse, nor by carriage, not on the road, nor off it".  So the girl said that she would try to do this. Then she went home and "got undressed so that she was completely naked, so that she was not dressed." Then she wrapped herself up in giant, twine fish net. Now she was not naked. Then "she took some money, leased a donkey, and tied the fishnet to its tail". It dragged along the road to the palace in a zigzag manner, and she managed to stay balance on her big toe. She wasn't on the road exactly, but she certainly wasn't off it. "Thus, when she appeared before the king this way, he said she had solved the riddle," and that he would marry her. So he did, and let her father out of jail. Some years later, a strange thing happened in front of the king's castle. A bunch of farmers were on their way home from market, when one of their mares began to foal. The odd thing was that, as soon as the little horse stood up, it ran over to a pair of oxen and began to suckle. When the man who owned the oxen saw this, he said that it was a miracle! His ox had delivered a foal! But the owner of the mare, who had witnessed the birth, claimed the little foal as his property. The king was called out to settle the argument, and he "declared that, wherever the foal had laid itself down, there it should stay." But the owner of the mare was not ready to accept the loss of the foal so easily. He "had heard that the queen came from a farmer's family", so he thought she might have a more reasonable view of the situation. He went to her, and begged for help. She agreed, on condition that he not reveal her hand in the plot. This promise he solemnly made, and she instructed him carefully. Then the farmer went back to the road before the palace.  When he got there, he sat down and took out a fishing pole and big net. These he cast to the dust, and sat calmly waiting. Eventually,the king's curiosity got the better of him,  and he sent a messenger over to ask "the foolish man what he was doing." The farmer said,"If two oxen can manage to give birth to a foal, then I can manage to catch a fish on dry land." When the king heard that he was furious. He recognized the clever answer as one made up by his wife, the queen. So he beat the farmer until he broke his promise, and admitted that he had received advice from the queen. Now the king told his wife,"Go back to the farmhouse, where you belong." As a favor, he said she could take the one thing that she held dearest in the palace with her, whatever it may be. So the queen-no-more answered,"Very well, dear husband. Your wish is my command." She called for wine, which she slipped a sleeping potion into. She offered the goblet to her husband, who drank deeply in toast to her. Then he fell into a deep, deep sleep. When he awoke, he found himself in a strange bed. He called for his servants, but none came. That's when the farmer's daughter came to his side. She told him that, of all of the things in the castle, she held him dearest of all. So "he took her back with him to the royal castle, and married her again. And I am sure that they are still living together, even today." 
From The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm (Zipes, 2003) p. 94
Notes: I love the  triple-axle reversal of fortune here, as the girl goes from poor farmer's daughter to queen, to rejected bride, and back to queen again. Also, gotta love the donkey! I was once, at the age of 7, set upon the back of a donkey by my grandfather. He had paid a man several drachmaas for this privelege. (We were somewhere in the countryside near Athens, Greece.) The donkey made a run for it, and I held on for dear life as we traversed bramble bushes and a scrubby olive orchard. Some decades have passed, but the memory is still vivid. At least I was not wrapped in a fishnet, balancing on one toe. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cinderella #233 Preschool Cinderella and Mean Mr. Teacher Man (Crossman, R.H., 2011)

Picture by
the other Emily, age 4. 

Note: This story is not meant to be read to preschoolers. Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Cinderella. Her mommy was dead and her daddy was dopey. He got married again and brought home a new mommy for Cinderella. But she was mean mommy! Every morning, little Cindy had to sweep the ashes from the hearth, scrub the kitchen floor and start the washing machine. Then her bad step-mommy took her to preschool, where she had to stay for the whole day. Her dopey daddy did not even have a job and he still made Cindy go to preschool every day. And it was not the nice kind of preschool, where you get to play with playdo and baby dolls and ride trikes and paint pictures. It was the yucky kind, with teachers who were even meaner than step-mommy. Especially Mr. Teacher Man. Oh, was he mean! Every day he cooked lunch for the children. This might sound like a nice thing to do, but when you are a terrible cook, and a cheap-skate to boot, then it is not nice to cook for people. To make it worse, he only cooked the kind of food that he liked, never the kind the children like. His favorite dish was called Spicy Rice. All the children hated it! For one thing, he used white rice, when everyone knows that the brown kind has more vitamins. Didn't Mr. Teacher Man want the children to be healthy? Well, he said he did, but what he wanted more was to have lots of money. And the more he spent on lunch, the less he had to jingle in his pockets. So he made Spicy Rice every day and then he made everyone eat it. The kids who refused were sent down to Baby Town, where Mr. Teacher Man squeezed their noses until they opened their mouths. Then he shoveled the food in, fast, so that they could not spit it out. The children did not like this. Mr. Teacher Man said that he would give them a choice: they could have Spicy Rice shoveled down their throats or they could go hungry. That was a hard choice for a little kid to make, but that's what they had to do. Cinderella said it was an easy choice: go hungry. Mr. Teacher Man could never make her eat, even if she got dead from never eating. That is what she told him. When Cinderella got home from preschool each evening, Mean Step Mommy and Daddy went into their office and closed the door. It was Cinderella's job to cook dinner. This is not really an appropriate activity for a preschool aged child, but they told Cinderella that she could have a choice: cook dinner or go hungry. Since she chose go hungry every day at lunch time, she chose to cook dinner every night at dinner time. She really did not want to get dead no matter what she said to Mr. Teacher Man, so she had learned how to make meals. She could open the refrigerator quite easily, now that she was almost four years old. It was full of foods of all colors, and Cinderella enjoyed picking out different shades to cook. She could not read, of course, so she had to taste the food to learn what it was. Her favorite dish was called Ants on a Log. She had seen pictures of this recipe at preschool, and memorized it: take one stick celery, 4 tablespoons peanut butter, and twelve raisins. Spread the peanut butter on the celery stick. Stick the raisins in a line down the middle. Cinderella's parents had learned to like the dish too. It happened one day that while Cinderella was spreading peanut butter on the celery sticks, Mean Step Mommy received a text message. Cinderella knew this because Mommy had left her iphone on the kitchen counter and it made that funny sound that meant there might be an interesting picture to look at or a note from one of Mean Step Mommy's friends. Cindy knew which buttons to push to see the message. She had seen Mommy do it so many, many times. Now she touched the screen and saw a funny man talking. He was wearing a shiny golden crown and telling Step Mommy something about a ball. Now Cinderella loved balls, but she never got the chance to play at preschool. There had been only one ball and when one of the big girls kicked it over the fence Mr. Teacher Man said, "Bye bye, ball!". So now they had none. Cindy watched the funny man, then pressed the button and watched him again. Then she carefully pressed twelve raisins down each celery stick, laid two of them on a plate, grabbed the third, and walked out the front door. She was going to play with balls! She hoped that they would be the big, bouncy red kind, but she would not mind if they were only the fuzzy green kind she had seen people throwing at dogs. When Cindy got to the house she had seen in the video, everyone turned and stared at her, like they had never seen a four year old child carrying a half-eaten celery stick with peanut butter and raisins on it before. Then they all started shouting at her, and one lady grabbed her, hard, by the arm. That's when Cinderella heard a voice. It said, "Stop! Stop! Stop!" about a hundred times in a row. And then things happened very fast. A small boy with red hair ran, super-hecka-fast over to the lady who had grabbed the kid with the sticky food. He pulled on the lady's dress and said,"Let go let go let go let go!". Cinderella was really impressed with how well the boy used his words. The lady let go of her arm and Cinderella gave the boy with the red hair a big kiss, right on the mouth. Then the little boy punched Cinderella, right in the nose! So she ran away. But when she ran, she lost one of her little pink Crocs. She did not care! She was getting out of there, even though she had not had a turn yet to play with the balls. She had not run very far when the boy caught up with her. He was running super-hecka-fast. When he was next to Cinderella she asked him, "Why did you punch me right in the nose?" and the boy said, "Sorry for punching you right in the nose. Can I have some of your Ants on a Log?". Cinderella said, "Sure!" and gave him six raisins. The boy was really impressed with how well Cinderella shared. "Do you want to come to my house and play with me?" he asked the sticky girl. Then he threw her little pink Croc at her and ran away. Cinderella liked this boy. She picked up her Croc and carried it back to the boy's house. They went into the back yard and there Cinderella saw lots and lots of little children, all bouncing balls and kicking balls and throwing balls. Everyone was laughing and a nice lady was passing out popsicles. She gave one to Cinderella and said, "I am your fairy preschool teacher. Would you like to stay here and do play do and ride bikes and  play ball and eat popsicles with us?" Cinderella nodded. She never went home again, and Mean Step Mommy and Dopey Daddy didn't even miss her.  Cinderella certainly did not miss them, and they died of the  flu the next winter. Nobody came to their funeral.  Mr. Teacher Man finally got busted by Community Care Licensing. His preschool was shut down and he was put in jail and given a choice: go hungry or have Spicy Rice shoveled into his mouth while the Big Policeman squeezed his nose. But Cinderella and the little boy became best friends and lived happily ever after.
Notes: Take it from this preschool teacher: call licensing and check out the school's history of complaints before leaving your kid there. Yeah, yeah, I know. Your school is  the greatest and the director is great with kids. Tell me about it. Then make that call. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cinderella #232 Rosemary (Italo Calvino)

Woodcut reproductions from
Proverbi milanesi,
Aldo Marello-Gunti,
Ed. S.p.A. Milan

Once upon a time, in Spain, there lived a king and queen. Being royal, however, does not guarantee happiness, and these two grieved for the lack of a child. One day the queen was walking in her herb garden when she saw a large rosemary bush, with many little seedlings sprouting from it. She exclaimed,"Just look at that! A mere rosemary bush has all these children, while I am a queen and childless!" And soon thereafter, she discovered herself to be with child. But when she delivered, it was not an infant but a tender rosemary bush. She planted it "in an exquisite pot, and watered it with milk". Some time passed, and one day, their nephew came to visit. He "was the king of Spain", and when he asked his aunt the queen what plant grew in the pot, she said,"Royal nephew, that is my daughter, and I water her four times a day with milk." And the nephew watched the queen as she tenderly cared for the little bush, and soon he fell in love with it. Then "he took it, pot and all, and carried it aboard his yacht, purchased a nanny goat for milk, and ordered the anchors raised. When he reached Spain, he ordered the pot carried ashore, and the bush planted in his private garden. Now, this young king loved to play the flute, and each morning he took his instrument out to the rosemary bush to play. The first time he had done this he was amazed when "a comely maiden with long hair emerged from the rosemary foliage and began dancing beside him". Each day he milked the nanny goat and dribbled  the milk onto the plant, and the girl grew more lovely each day. Soon he spent much of his time in the garden with his flute, so much time that his sisters became suspicious. It happened that the king was summoned to war. Now he instructed his gardener to milk the goat and feed the rosemary with it, four times a day. He also said that "if he found the plant withered upon his return, the gardener would be beheaded." Then he told his rosemary girl to stay in the bush until he came back. He would signal her with three notes of the flute. As soon as he left, all three of his sisters rushed into his private garden to see what fascinated their brother so. And that is when they found the flute. The first girl grabbed it and blew a note upon it. Then she handed it to her sister, who blew  a second note. When the third sister had taken her turn, and sounded a note on the flute, the girl jumped out of the rosemary bush. Then "they caught hold of the maiden and beat her unmercifully". They shoved her back into the plant and fled. The next day, the gardener came to milk the nanny goat and feed the rosemary, and was horrified to discover the rosemary bush half-wilted. Fearing his punishment, he fled, deep into the woods. He trudged mile upon mile, and, when he could no longer put one foot before the other, he climbed a tree. But "a dragon-man and a dragon-woman had agreed to meet" in that very spot, and he was in a position to overhear their conversation. Said the dragon-woman to the dragon-man,"What's new?". He told her the tidings of the king's withered rosemary bush. The dragon woman wanted to know how the misfortune had occurred. Now the dragon-man told her,"Well, the king went off to war, the sisters started playing his flute, and out of the rosemary came the enchanted girl. The sisters all but killed her with their blows. The bush is withering away." And when the dragon-woman asked if there wasn't a cure for it, he said that there was, though a gruesome one. It required parts of their own bodies. In particular, blood from the dragon-man's windpipe, and "the fat from the nape of your neck." If one boiled those things together and anointed the bush, the girl would recover. The bush, however, would die. Well, you may be sure that the moment the dragons were snoring soundly, the gardener jumped down,"ripped a knotty branch from the tree...and dealing two hearty blows, sent them both to kinddom-come". Then he bled the dragon-man's windpipe, and scraped fat from the nape of the dragon-woman's neck. He ran home, asked his wife to boil those things, and made a salve. Then he rushed to the garden and rubbed every twig of the bush. Sure enough, by morning, the girl was better and the bush was dead. He tucked the girl into bed and "served her a bowl of tasty hot broth".  The next day, the king came back. The first thing he did when he got home to his castle was to rush over to the rosemary plant. But no matter how many times he blew three notes, no girl came out of it. He could see that the bush was dead. Then he drew his sword and rushed to find the gardener. When he did, it was all the poor man could do to stay the king's blows long enough to tell him the story of the dragon's blood and fat, and the salve made from it to cure the rosemary girl after the king's own sisters had beaten her. And when the king had seen the maiden with his own eyes, and heard the tale from her own lips, "he decided to marry her, and wrote his uncle the king that the rosemary plant he stole had become a young lady". He was going to marry her, and the uncle and aunt were cordially invited to the wedding. So the came at once, and many cannons were fired in honor of the wedding. "All of Spain rejoiced and feasted."
From Calivino, I. Italian Folktales Selected and Retold (p. 161)
Notes: I love the dragon man and dragon woman, giving us both Anima and Animus in ancient form. The dragon, related to the lizard, is an ancient beast. Anthony Stevens says both are representations of a most elemental part of the psyche. Ariadne's Clue: A Guide to the Symbols of Humankind (Mythos: The Princeton/Bollingen Series in World Mythology)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cinderella #231 Sa Bitella de Sos Corros D'Oro (The Calf With Golden Horns)

A white cow. 

Once upon a time, in Italy, there lived a sad orphan girl. Her father had died, leaving her to live with his second wife. The wife did not love her stepchild, though she lavished love on her own daughter. The stepchild was made to do the ugliest, dirtiest work. She emptied the chamber pots in the morning, then swept and mopped and scrubbed the floors. Then she cleaned the fireplace and built  up the flames and cooked the meals, and then, when her work was done, she slept among the cinders. One day the stepmother ordered the girl to fetch water from the well. When the child there, she found an old woman waiting for her. When she had given Granny a drink, the old one pulled her close, so close that the girl could see her eyes sparkling. Granny whispered that she was a fairy, and would give the girl three gifts, to suit her kind heart. The first was that the girl would be beautiful. The second, that she would one day receive "a prince's love", and the third gift was a little calf. It was a very special calf, for it had golden horns. The fairy told her that she must care for the calf, and to obey its counsel. But when the girl had thanked the fairy, and gone home with her lovely face and her golden horned calf, her stepmother was jealous. She demanded to know where the animal came from, and how the girl had changed her face. When she heard the story of the fairy at the well, she insisted that her own daughter go, thereby to get some gifts. Yet this child, though she had never wanted for anything in her life and had no grounds for complaint, sulked and scuffed her feet. When she got to the well and saw the ragged old woman, she dashed a pitcher of water right in her face, and started to run away. But the fairy called her back, saying that she had a gift for her. One that matched her temperament. And when that hateful girl came back to the well, the fairy cursed her. At once, the young girl became bent like an old woman, her skin wrinkled, and her hair turned thin and gray. In horror she ran home. When her mother saw her she screamed,and declared that her stepdaughter would pay a price for this occurrence. She orders her to bring her calf, telling her that it will be slaughtered. Tearfully her stepdaughter goes to the barn to fetch the animal. And that is when the calf speaks to her, telling her that she must collect its bones when the flesh has been eaten, and bury them "under the grotto". So this the girl does, collecting them after her stepmother has gone to bed. She buries them, and thanks the calf for being her friend, if only for a short while. Then the voice of the calf calls to her, saying that whenever she has a wish, she need only whisper it to the bones and it will be granted. It happened that soon after that, an invitation arrives at the stepmother's home. It is from the King, announcing that a feast will be held, in honor of his son. Now the stepmother and her daughter command the stepdaughter to help them make ready for the feast. She sews their dresses, and puts combs into their hair. When they have gone, at last, she rushes to the grotto, and tells all to the bones. At once a gown appears, sewn all over with beads and pearls. There are a pair of slippers to match, of a blue like the sky. So the girl puts on these lovely things, and goes to see whether she can earn the prince's love at the feast. Gaining admittance to the feast, she is seated next to the prince. He cannot take his eyes off of this lovely girl. Suddenly, Step Mama and sister appear! They have recognized the girl, who runs away, losing a blue slipper. Now the prince is bereft, and refuses to eat or speak for the duration of his feast of honor. The next day, he sends his herald out with an announcement: all maidens must try on the small blue slipper found by the prince. The girl who can wear it will be his bride. When they come to the house of the cruel stepmother, she quickly sends the girl to the well for more water. Then she brings out her own daughter, declaring that she will surely fit the shoe. In fact, the shoe cannot be squeezed onto her foot, no matter how hard she tries. The prince demands to know if there are any other maidens in the house. Just as the stepmother insists there are not, her stepdaughter walks in with a full jug of water. The prince at once orders her to try on the shoe. She does, and it is a perfect fit. So the prince marries her the next day. As for the stepmother and her ugly daughter, if the two of them haven't killed each other from spite, they are living together still, in the little cottage near the well. 
From: Cox, M.R. p. 151

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cinderella #230 Wormwood (Calvino)

In the darkness under the trees,
the king dealt Wormwood a blow. 

Note: contains violence. "Over and over it has been told that once upon a time there was a king and queen." Though the queen bore many healthy children, they were all girls. The king wanted a boy, and finally told the queen,"If you have one more girl, I shall kill it." And when the queen soon bore another child, and it was a girl, she would not let the king see it. Instead, she said to the baby's godmother,"Take this infant and do as you think best." So the godmother took the baby and carried it deep into the countryside. There she spied a wormwood bush, and laid the babe upon it. Meanwhile, the hermit who lived nearby was unaware of the child. It was not until several days later that he found her. This is how: he had a pet doe with a pair of fawns. Every morning, the fawns would nurse  from their mother. But all of a sudden, "when the fawns attempted to suckle...the doe's udder was empty and the fawns went hungry." So the hermit followed the doe, and there he observed as the baby drank its milk. Then he said to the doe,"Divide your milk between her and the fawns." So it did. The baby grew to become a chubby child, as beautiful as the flowers of the meadow. As she grew to girlhood she tended to all of the hermits needs, cooking and cleaning and keeping the little hut clean. It happened one day that a king was hunting in the forest. A "fierce storm came up; the wind blew, there was thunder and lighting and it poured rain." The only shelter he could see was a small hut, and, when he knocked on the door, the hermit helped him in. Then he called out, "Wormwood! Bring a chair, light the fire, and make his Majesty comfortable." The king asked why such a lovely girl had such an odd name, and the hermit told of the babe's discovery in a wormwood bush. Now the king said,"Hermit, would you like to give her to me to take back to the palace?" And he offered to educate and clothe her, so the hermit agreed. When the king had taken Wormwood back to the palace and became "thoroughly acquainted with the girl's merits", he decided to marry her. Soon after, he announced that he must travel for some time, with " a company of princes and knights". As the party traveled on, talk among the men turned to their wives. The king bragged that his wife was not only the finest but the most loyal wife a man could have. That is when another knight said, "Majesty, I bet that if I went to Palermo in your absence I could make time with your wife." The king was outraged,and declared it impossible at first. But when the other knight proferred "a fiefdom" as prize, the king agreed. Then the knight rode to Palermo and took up watch outside the palace. For days he could not so much as glimpse the queen. One day, an old woman spoke to him, asking him why he looked so downcast. He told her of the bet he had made, and, for a price, she agreed to help him. Then she "packed a basket with eggs and fruit" and went to call on the queen. Feigning to be the queen's "long lost relative", she gained admittance to the palace. Wormwood, knowing herself to be a foundling, and longing for a granny of her own, delighted in the hag's company. Soon she allowed the woman to tend her chambers, and one night while the queen slept, the old lady "approached the bed, peeped under the cover, and saw that the queen's back was graced by a very beautiful mole" with two small hairs growing from it. She cut these off and returned to the knight, who paid her well. Thus supplied, the knight returned to the king and told him that the queen allowed strange knights to visit her chamber. The king would not believe the tale until the knight described the mole on the queen's back. Then he showed the little hairs, and the king knew that he had been betrayed. He rode home at once, dragged the queen onto his horse, and rode with her into the woods. There he struck her a terrible blow and threw her into the trees. "That day, a doctor and his wife were on their way to the Sanctuary of St. Rosalie, in fulfillment of a vow made before the birth of their son." Traveling with them was their "Moorish slave, Ali.", who secretly hated them. That is how they discovered poor Wormwood. They tended her, and carried her to their own home. When she was well, they kept her on as nursemaid to their little girl. One day they told Wormwood that they were going to travel to the Sanctuary again, and that they would leave their child in her care overnight. But in the deepest part of the night, the doctor's slave, Ali, ran back to the house. He cut the child's throat  and placed the bloody corpse into Wormwood's arms. In the morning, she awakened and "felt herself drenched with blood". In a panic, she fled, "running as fast as her legs would carry her". At last she collapsed, and looked around. That's when she saw the ruins of a castle. Seeking shelter from the night she went in, "but there was not a living soul in sight. She spied an old dilapidated sofa on which she sank down and promptly fell asleep." Now, "let us leave the young woman and turn back to the king", her father. He had learned that the infant he had ordered killed still lived. His heart had softened over the years. and now he was desperate for news of this daughter. He set off to see what he could learn. "Let us leave this father in search of his daughter and go back to the king" who had married Wormwood and then abandoned her. This king's search led him to "a desolate plain" where lay the ruins of an old castle. Entering, he sank down to rest in an old chair, and fell asleep. Some time later, the other king, questing for his daughter, he came to "a desolate plain", whereupon he discovered the ruins of an old castle. He entered and sank down to rest on a large chair. "Let us leave this king, and take up the doctor". Returning from the Sanctuary and discovering his child slain, he took his slave Ali and set off to find "the wicked woman" who he assumed had done  the deed. As night fell, they found themselves among the ruins of an old castle, so they went in. Now Wormwood slept on the sofa while her father, her husband, and the doctor slept beside one another in armchairs.  They were awakened when "a lantern, which was in the middle of the room, said 'I want oil". Next a little oil cruet walked over to the lantern. Now "the lantern let himself down and the cruet poured oil into him." When the cruet asked the lantern if he had any interesting news, it replied,"There was a king, who, wishing no more daughters, told his wife that if one more girl were born to her, he would kill the baby." The lantern described how the child was hidden, who had raised  her, and the story of the king who took her to the palace. As the details emerged, Ali the thief began to quiver with fear. As the lantern finished the story, announcing that the girl was upstairs on a sofa, and that the two kings and the doctor were right there in the room, all of the men ran upstairs. Ali ran away and was never seen again. And Wormwood woke up to hear  her father the king saying, "She's mine!' and her husband the king declaring "She's mine!" and the doctor saying,"She's mine! I saved her life!". But "in the end, she went to the king who was her husband." He invited the doctor and her father back to the palace for a celebration, and "from then on, they were one happy family."
From Italo Calvino's Italian Folktales, Selected and Retold (1953)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cinderella #229 Twelve Months (Baryshnikov)

Illustration from "The Twelve Months"
by Haviland, V. (1966)

Once upon a time, in a "small, cold village", there lived an unkind woman. She had a little girl, who she indulged in every way, and a stepdaughter, whose name was Christina. That poor child was worked nearly to death to keep the household clean and the fire blazing. The girl was sent out in bitter cold, driving rain, and scorching sun to gather firewood, do the laundry, and tend the garden. One cold December day, while the girl was out hunting for firewood, she was amazed to hear the animals of the woodland chattering in a language which she understood! Their speech so delighted her that an old soldier, who was passing by, offered to help her gather wood, and carry a large load of it home. And when he asked her why she was laughing in the cold and the dark of December, and she had told him about the animals and their language, he said,"It is a day for miracles. Today is the last day of the old year. ...Until midnight, all of the animals can speak in human voices." He also told her that it was a day for reflection, and for making plans for self betterment in the coming year. Then he told her a story that his own gret-great-grandfather had told him long ago. There were 12 brothers, he said, who met every year to choose "a kindhearted person to watch over for the year". And he asked the girl's help in completing a task of his own. That was to choose the Christmas tree for the young queen. She was an angry little girl, recently orphaned and mad with power. She commanded, at pain of death to her servants, whatever she wanted. He had been ordered to bring the best Christmas tree in the forest. So  the girl helped the old soldier, and he helped the girl,and before long, both had completed their tasks. When the girl and the soldier had stacked the huge load of firewood in front of her home, he departed. But when the girl tried to come inside to warm up, her stepmother forbade it! She thrust a basket into her hands instead, and ordered that she go and fill it with snowdrops. Though Christina protested in horror, saying that such flowers grew only in April.  She would die if she was forced to search for them now. But her stepmother told her that the young queen had decreed that a basket of gold would be given to the person who brought the flowers, and that if she did not go and search for them, then she would kill the girl herself. So the poor, tired girl trudged off into the forest, crying bitter tears. Darkness was falling, and wolves began to howl. The girl climbed to the top of the tallest tree she could find for safety. And that is how she saw the glow of a bonfire, in  a clearing not far away. So she climbed down again, and ran to it. And there was a blazing, wonderful fire, and she ran right to it, and warmed her frozen self. Then she realized that 12 gentlemen, all "beautifully dressed in fine robes and warm cloaks" were seated round the fire. She said,"I only wanted to get warm. I didn't mean to disturb you." And one of them answered, "Oh, please join us. But tell me, what is the basket for?"Then she told her story. And then the twelve brothers made a deal. January would lend April an hour of time, and, in this way, the snowdrops would bloom. The girl watched in amazement as the darkness lifted and the snow ran clear. Snowdrops bloomed, and she gather a basketful in no time. Then January guided her safely home, and returned to his brothers. Now a discussion took place about the cruelty the stepmother, and meanness of the stepsister. So the 12 months agreed that, since the girl was so kindhearted, they would watch over her for a year. And when morning came, the months strode silently through the woods, and listened at the windows of the girl's cottage. They heard the stepmother and her daughter abusing the poor girl, berating her for refusing to tell where she had picked the flowers. Then they burst through the door, driving the girl like a dog. When the stepmother kicked the girl along the path, and dragged her deep into the forest, the 12 months followed. And when the stepmother began to shiver with cold, and the stepsister wished aloud for a fur coat, even though it were made of dog fur, the months were listening. That is when they became visible again, and thrust a pair of dog fur coats at them. They said, "Take these coats, they are yours forever!" and then they transformed them into a pair of dogs! Then "Brother January harnessed the dogs to a sled and rode back to his brothers and the bonfire." Meanwhile, back at the palace, the queen was delighted by the tree which the old soldier had brought. In fact, so delighted that she ordered him to take her to the very part of the forest in which he had found it. And that is when she passed Christina, traveling with the brothers in a marvelous sled. It was "covered in silver bells and led by strong and graceful horses". At once, the young queen ordered her own sleight be stopped, and to changed places with Christina. But the twelve old months would not allow this, and so the Queen ordered her servants to kill the disobedient months. Then Brother February towered over her and made her tremble. He said, "You must learn manners befitting a queen. If you ask nicely, you might be surprised at the answer...Christina is a very nice girl. She could be your friend." So the queen tried again, saying, "Excuse me, Christina. May I have a ride with you? I'm very cold." And Christina agreed. The queen hopped under the cozy fur robes with Christina, and soon they were chattering  like old friends. Then Chirstina thanked the months, saying that she would "always remember [their] warm New Year's fire!" And the young queen said, "I will try in this new year to be a kinder and better person. I hope to learn how from my good friend, Christina." And the two girls rode off together, the warm deeds of the twelve months, and the kind words of those fellows, filling their hearts. 
From Mikhail Baryshnikov's Stories from My Childhood. (2002) New York: Harry N, Abramms Inc. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cinderella #228 The Thieving Dove (Calvino)

A morning dove swooped down. 

Once upon a time, in Palermo, there lived a princess. She was so beautiful and had such gorgeous long hair that "she would let no hairdresser touch it". Instead, she combed and brushed it herself while sitting in her window. One day, while in the midst of this, "a dove lit on the ledge, took the comb in its beak, and flew off with it." Though she called for the dove to return, it did not. The next day, the moment she set her her hair clasp on the window sill and began to comb her hair, the dove appeared again. Now it snatched the clasp, and flew away. Again the princess called out, but in vain. The following day, "she had no sooner done her hair and still had the cloth around her shoulders" when the dove dipped down and grabbed the cloth. It flew away, cooing. Now the princess was "truly vexed", so she climbed down a "silken ladder" and chased the bird. It led her on a maddening chase, and she soon found herself in the depths of the forest. There she saw a hut, and inside there was a handsome youth. She asked if he had seen a dove fly by carrying a cloth, and he replied "I am that very dove." Then he told her that "the fairies have cast a spell on me, and I can't go out in human guise until you have sat at the window of this hut for a year, a month, and a day, in sunlight and in starlight, with your eyes fixed on the mountain across the way, where I shall fly as a dove." So she did. Settled comfortably in a chair, with servants to wait upon her, she sat by the window for a year, a month, and a day. Without applying SPF 45 sunblock every four to six hours. And "little by little, she turned darker, ever darker, until she was as black as pitch". And when the prince came in and saw her on the morning of his freedom he said,"Phew!What a sight you are! Aren't you ashamed to show yourself after becoming so ugly for the sake of a man? Off with you!' And he spit on her." So she ran away, weeping. That is when she ran into a trio of fairies. They listened to her story, and then each gave her gift. The first "stroked the girl on the face and she was beautiful once again". The second "clothed her in an empress' gown". The third gave her "a basket of jewels". Then they told her where the young prince was, and helped her find his castle. Together, the fairies then built one a hundred times finer, and bade the princess sit on the balcony. Sure enough, the prince saw her and swooned for her beauty. When he saw that she was clothed in the pink dress of an empress, he fell in love. Though he tried to court her, she refused, for many days. At last, she consented to receive a message from him, and she replied to it by declaring that if would come to her palace, he must build "a landing stage [with] a carpet of rose petals two inches thick." So the prince set his household maids to picking roses and plucking the petals, and after one month of work, it was ready. Now the fairies advised the girl to walk across the stage, but to feign piercing by a thorn halfway across. This she did, and fell down screaming, howling that she would die. Needless to say, the prince did not succeed in visiting the maiden that day. In fact, it was forty days later, after the chemists and the doctors had declared her cured, that he sent her another message. This time she replied that he must build a stage with a carpet of jasmine petals three inches thick. So the prince nearly  bankrupted himself with hiring workers to strip jasmine petals, and build such a stage. At last it was done, and the prince invited the maiden to walk across it. So she did, but halfway across, she feigned being pricked by another thorn. Once again she took to her bed for forty days. Meanwhile, the prince began to fade from lovesickness. Soon, he was at death's door, as thin and gray looking as a corpse. And he sent a message to the princess begging her to come and see him. She answered this request by saying that the only way she would consent to see him was "if I saw him laid out in a coffin." So the prince had one built, and then he climbed in, and summoned the lady. She took one look at him and said, "Phew! Down with you! You did all this for the sake of a woman?' And spit on him." This made him suddenly look closely at her face, and he now recognized the maid who had sat in his window for a year and a month and a day for the princess he was hopelessly in love with. So, you can "imagine how upset he was. He almost changed from a false corpse into a real one". Then he jumped out of the coffin and "went in and asked her forgivenss. The royal chapel was immediately opened, and they got married."
From Italo Calvino's Italian Folktales Selected and Retold (1953)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cinderella #227 Old Rinkrank (Grimm, 1812)

"Jacob, have you heard the one
about the dirty old man
and the girl in the glass mountain?"
"Do tell,  Wilhelm!"

Once upon a time, "there was a king who had a daughter, and this king had a glass mountain built, and said that whoever could climb over the mountain without falling" would win the princess for a prize. That's when "a man who loved" the princess came in and said that he would try. Then the king told him that if he slipped and fell, the penalty would be to get his head chopped off and mounted on a pole. Now the princess said that she would climb the glass mountain right alongside her love, and the two of them set off. But suddenly, the girl slipped and fell. With a crash, she tumbled down the mountain, breaking the glass. It "opened and closed so that she became locked inside" The young man did not see her go down inside the mountain; all he knew was that his love had disappeared. Meanwhile, the princess landed into the depths of the  earth where "an old fellow with a very long gray beard had then come over to her" and began ordering her about. He threatened that if she would not serve him as he demanded, he would kill her. So she did the work. making his bed and cooking his dinner and washing the dishes for many years. At last, she was as old and gray as he. Now this old man was called Rinkrank, and he had given his servant girl the name of "Mother Mansrot". And one, when old Rinkrank had taken his treasure of silver and gold and climbed his ladder to the earth's surface, as he had done for so many years. Mother Mansrot decided that she had had enough. She calmly did the washing, and swept the floor and made the beds and cooked the dinner and washed the dishes. And then she closed all of the windows and all of the doors, except one window. This she left open a crack, with one end of a long rope tied to it, and the other held in her hand. And then she sat down to wait for Rinkrank to come back. When he did, he called, "Mother Mansrot, open the door for me!" And she replied, "No, I won't open the door for you old Rinkrank." Then he called, "Here I stand, poor Rinkrank, seventeen feet long I stand on planks...Mother Mansrot, wash my dishes." She retorted that she had. So he sang again," Here I stand, poor Rinkrank, seventeen feet long I stand on planks, on my tired-out feet. Mother Mansrot, make my bed." She said that she had. So he chanted, "Here I stand, poor Rinkrank, seventeen feet long I stand on planks...Mother Mansrot, open the door for me!" But she wouldn't. So he ran around the house and found the tiny window that was open a crack, and got suspicious, and peeked in. Seeing nothing but the empty room, he began to climb through, lowering his great, long beard down first. As soon as he had pushed the whole hairy length of it through, Mother Mansrot yanked the rope and slammed the window shut. Old Rinkrank was trapped tight by his beard. And though he howled and yelled with all his might and main, Mother Mansrot would not let him go until he told her where he had hidden his silver and gold, and the ladder to climb back to the earth's surface. First he said that he would not, and she told him that she would leave him to starve, or cut off his beard. At last, he gave in and told her the hiding place. As soon as she had taken out the sacks of gold and silver, and leaned them against the ladder, and pushed it up against the wall, she began to climb. When she was halfway up she stopped, and tied another long rope to the first. Then she did not stop climbing until she reached the earth's surface. She gave a tug, then, and let old Rinkrank out of the window. Then she went to her father "and told him all that had happened to her. The king was very glad and her bridegroom was still there." So she led them back to the ladder, and they climbed down and got the money, and killed old Rinkrank because he was evil. "And the king's daughter was still able to marry her bridegroom and they lived quite happily thereafter in splendor and joy."
From The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm (Ed. Zipes,2003)
Notes: Kids, don't climb glass  mountains! It is not safe. You could slip, fall, crash through the glass and find yourself trapped with an abusive old man with a dirty old beard. 
Montessori Elementary Connection: Geology/Composition of the Earth
1. Read this story and consider the layers of the earth: inner core, outer core, mantle, crust. 
2. Think about what each layer is composed of, and whether it might be possible to fall through the crust. 
3. Question:Could there really be a little old man liiving deep inside the earth? Answer: Sure, if he lived in a cave. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cinderella #226 Aschengrübel (1869)

These are not fir trees. 

Once upon a time, in Germany, there lived an orphan girl. Her parents had died, "leaving her nothing but a wonderful, scintillating dress and a testament." The girl decides that she will go and seek employment, carefully hiding the dress in a hollow fir tree. Then she goes to the grandest house in town, and begs for work. She is given the task of sweeping the cinders from the heath, and so takes the name of Aschengrübel. It happens that the son of the household is coming of age, and there is a grand ball in his honor. Now Aschengrübel begs permission to watch the party. She is given it, on condition that she does not dance. So the girl goes surreptitiously to her fir tree and changes into her marvelous dress. Back she goes to the party, where the young man of the house is taken by her looks, and begs her to dance. She steadfastly refuses, telling him that she has made an oath. When the evening ends, she rushes back to her fir tree, and is about to change clothes when "a tiny little man comes out from behind the tree, greets her kindly, and disappears suddenly." The next night the festivities are to continue, and again, Aschengrübel asks leave to watch. Once again she is told that she may, on condition that she does not dance. She goes to the fir tree and puts the dress on again, then runs back to the grand house. Again the young man of the household cannot keep his eyes off of her, and again, he begs her to dance. Yet she refuses. Now the man "tries to steal a kiss", so Aschengrübel runs back to the tree. After she has changed her clothes, "the little man comes forth, and greets her still more kindly". For the third night in a row, there is to be dancing. For the third night, Aschengrübel is told that she may go and watch, but not dance. This night the young man cannot keep his hands off of her, and grasps her firmly by the hand. He won't let her go until she promises to marry him! But she begs of him not to extract this promise from her, admitting to him that she is merely the hearth maid, his parents' Aschengrübel. He says that this does not matter to him, that he loves her for the sake of her own self. Who could resist such a promise? Certainly not Aschengrübel! But after she has promised, she runs back to the fir tree. There, "the little man meets her, beaming all over with friendliness". She tells him of her wedding plans, and he nods, and smiles. The next day, she changes for a final time, and prepares to leave the fir tree forever. Now the tiny little man says, "You have a dowry as well." He gives her a book, which is carefully wrapped. It is her "parent's testament, which says she is heiress to a great estate." She rushes to tell the young man of the house her true identity. They are married in splendor, and live happily ever after. 
From Cox, M. R. (1893/2011, p. 402)
Notes:This  is my new fave. I just love the little man and the fir tree; it reminds me of little gnomes and gnarled trees and thick white snow and the deep scent of fir.