Robin Redbreast

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

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cinderella #266 Cinderella Ate Her Mother! or La Cuzza Tzenere (The Ash Girl of the Dog Kennel)


Cinderella #266 Cinderella Ate Her Mother! 
 La Cuzza Tzenere (The Ash Girl of the Dog Kennel)
Cinderella ATE her MOTHER!
Note: Contains violence. Once upon a time, there was a woman with three daughters. Though all three were employed, they could not earn enough between them for their own keep. One day, as they sat together spinning, they "determined that the one who drops her spindle three times shall be killed and eaten by the others."But when the eldest sister commands the youngest to do the bloody deed, thrusting an axe into her hands, the girl refuses. When another of her sisters runs "to fetch the hatchet", the girl snatches a moment with her mother, telling her that, no matter what, she won't eat her. The mother then gives her child a wand of ash wood, and tells her to "collect her bones when [her] sisters have killed and eaten her." Mama explains that the bones can grant her wishes if she is in sore need. So, when the mother is slain, and the elder sisters begin to munch upon her, the youngest child sits, hungry but not eating, under the table. As her sisters tossed the bones down to the floor, she gathered them together. Within a week, Mama had been eaten all up, and the girl had a compete skeleton. She now buried this under the hearth.  Soon "it is carnival time" and the older sisters are getting ready for the ball. They each give their little sisters "3 measures of millet" to be ground by the time they get back  "or they will beat her". After they leave, the girl remembers the bones and wand. She taps the hearth three times and "hears a voice asking what it is she wants". She explains about the millet and there appears "a crowd of birds, which undertake to perform [the] task". Then she washes and dresses, and wishes for "a dress and shoes to match". They are given to her. When she gets downstairs, there is an elegant coach awaiting her. She goes to the ball, and, when the prince see her, will dance with no other. Just as the music ends, the girl hurries home. Changing clothes quickly, she is asleep among the cinders when her sisters get home. The next day, each sister orders her to grind "four measures of corn" before they return from the party. This time, their little sister is aided by a flock of chickens, courtesy of their dead mother's bones. Again she goes to the ball, and again, the king's son is smitten by her. Yet she runs away once more, just as the music ends. When the royal servants try  to follow the coach,she turns and throws "a handful of gold to detain pursuers". On the morning of the final carnival ball, each of the older sisters gives "thirty pounds of wool" to the youngest, ordering her to card it by midnight. Again she is helped, this time by a band of mighty little mice summoned by the voice of the bones. This time, she goes to the ball "in a dress covered with stars".The king's son has planned for this night, asking that the floor near the exit be smeared with tar after the strange girl enters. When she runs away on that fateful third night, a shoe is left behind in the black goo. The very next day, a proclamation is read around town: every household will be visited by the prince, as he seeks the girl who can wear the shoe he caught in tar. " When the shoe and prince arrive at this house, and the older sisters try it on, it does not fit. "The shoe is too narrow for one, too short for the other." Then the king's son demands to know if there are other girls in the house. When one sister says there are and the other says there aren't, he becomes suspicious. He orders the girls to bring their sister. Now they try and fix the raggy thing up a bit, offering her some of their own garments. ("No, really! I'll let you wear this top. I mean, no offense but, um, you king of look like....you know, a cinder girl...") She replies something along the lines of , "Thanks, but no thanks." Then she waves the wand over their mother's bones, causing the dress of stars to appear. Quickly slipping this on, she wishes again for the other shoe. Then she goes out to the prince, in her glittering dress, with one bare foot. He "recognizes her the instant he sees her, fits the other shoe on her, and takes her to be his bride."
From: Cox, M. R. (1893/2011) p. 416 "Narrated and written down in Italian by Signorina Alodia Riboldi," (1889)
Notes: OMG! Peggy Orenstein, read this and weep. Sorry about Cinderella eating your daughter and all (did she spit  her out yet?) but here is a truly unique twist to the tail!

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