Robin Redbreast

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

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cinderella #217 Pussel in the Skin Dress (1893)

Illustration by Jacob Grimm, age 10.

Once upon a time, in Jutland, there lived a King and Queen. They had one child, a little girl. Alas, when the girl was still a child, her mother died. The lonely years passed, and, perhaps, something gave way in the King's mind. He took the idea into his head that he would marry his daughter, and nothing that she said would change his mind. At length, she had no recourse but to attempt to delay the wedding. She asked her father for "a dress like the flowers of the field." But the King procured this immediately, and announced that he would marry her in the morning. So the girl agreed that she would marry the King, just as soon as he obtained for her a dress "like gold and diamonds". She felt sure that it would take some time for even the King to find such a dress. But in the morning, the King summoned his daughter, and presented her with a dress that shimmered with the thousand faceted diamonds against the threads of gold.  And he announced that he would marry the girl the next morning. Now his daughter made another request. Could she have a dress "like the sun, moon, and stars"? If she had such a dress, she declared, she would obey the King. And the very next morning, the King summoned her, and gave her a dress patterned so that when she put it on and twirled, the Solar System seemed to spread out around her.  And then her father, the King, demanded that she marry him immediately.  She implored her father to wait until the morning, promising to marry him first thing the next day. So he agreed, and left her alone. While she is alone, "she sews up a skin dress for herself". By the time the King knocks on her door in the morning, she has taken all three of her splendid dresses and fled, clad in her leather gown. Traveling steadily for seven days, she arrives at the castle of a neighboring prince. She knocks on the kitchen door and begs to be taken in as scullery maid. Cook agrees, and the Pussel in the Skin Dress is allowed to sleep by the hearth at the end of each day's work. "She goes thrice to church in her magnificent dresses", each time tantalizing the prince with her mysterious presence. At last, he manages to grab one of her golden shoes as she flees. A search for the girl commences, and, at length, the servants are allowed to try on the shoe as well. Thus, the prince discovers that the Pussel in the Skin Dress is none other than the beauty from the ball. They are married, and never hear from the girl's father again. 
From Cinderella: 345 Variants of Cinderella, Catskin and Cap O' Rushes by Marian Roalfe Cox, 1893/2011. (p.232)
Notes: I have no idea what Pussel means; I thought it might be German but it isn't in the dictionary I have. The story is identified as being from Jutland. I am only slightly embarrassed to admit that I have absolutely no idea if Jutland is still even a country. Come on, all you geography snobs out there: if you can aswer that question, please do. 
Montessori Connection: Language/Multiple Meanings of Words in English
1. Read this story.
2. Notice that the girl makes herself a dress out of skin
3. Think about the word skin. Write down what you think it means. 
4. Consider that words can have more than one meaning. Example: The word saw means a sharp tool for cutting wood. It also is the past tense of the verb to see, as in, I saw you at the park yesterday. 
5. Learn that the word skin can mean leather. In the story The Velveteen Rabbit, there is a skin horse
6. Read  The Velveteen Rabbit: Or How Toys Became Real