Cinderella #285 Tattercoats Number Three (Cox)
|Up close and personal, or|
should I say, taking a gander?
Tilden Little Farm
Once upon a time, a child is born. But as she draws her first breath, her mother draws her last. Care of the babe falls to her grandfather, who cannot stand the sight of her. Thus the child is reared among the servants, given scant food and clothing to survive on. Her only true friend is the boy who herds the geese. One day, her grandfather "goes to meet the king". How his granddaughter wants to go! As she weeps evermore bitterly, the goose boy "proposes to take her", saying that at least, they can witness the spectacle. With these kind words, the two set off. Along the way they meet with a mounted youth. He dismounts and walks along with them, delighted at the fluting of the herd boy. Talking with the maiden in rags was so delightful that the "rich youth, (who is the king's son)" is smitten with love for Tattercoats. He then "persuades her to go that night to [the] ball with her geese, and in torn petticoat and with bare feet, and promises to dance with her." That is when "the herd boy plays his pipes and the heroine's rags become silk", a golden crown appears on her head, and the geese themselves are transformed. They "become page-boys, bearing her train", and when Tattercoats walks into the ball the music stops. The prince declares his love for her before all, and they are soon married.
From Cox, M. R. (1893/2011)
Notes: This is reminiscent of The Turkey Girl the American Indian Cinderella in which the turkeys actually preen and dress the girl, and follow her around in a flock. The flock of doves and pigeons that help Cinderella in other versions is supersized here, with big birds in a big gaggle.