Cinderella: Three Hundred and Forty-five Variants of Cinderella, Catskin, and Cap O' Rushes, abstracted and tabulated UNDER CONSTRUCTION | Annotated Tale

4. Ashpitel [NOTE 2]

Archaeological Review, vol. iii (March-July 1889.), pp. 24-27. (By Karl Blind.)



Ill-treated heroine (by step-mother and step-sisters)-- Menial heroine (minds sheep) -- Helpful animal -- Ear cornucopia--Spy on heroine--Slaying of helpful animal-- Old woman counsels heroine -- Revivified bones -- Task (to make big pot of soup out of thimbleful of water, one grain of barley, and one crumb of bread)--Task-performing animal-- Meeting-place (church)--Dresses (not magic) and glass slippers (her own)--Flight (two-fold)--Lost shoe--Shoe marriage test-- Mutilated foot --False bride-- Animal witness (raven) -- Happy marriage.


Note.-- The story was procured for the editor by Mr. George Sinclair from his mother-in-law, who had it from her grandfather, and he in turn had it from his grandmother. His mother-in-law is now (1888) an elderly woman. He is not aware that it was ever committed to writing in the family before. Her native place is a small town not far from Glasgow.


(1) Gentleman and lady have one little girl, very pretty and very good. When she is five years old, mother dies. Father is broken-hearted and little girl cannot understand why mother does not come to her. After a time father marries widow with two daughters older than little girl. They are both very plain and jealous of step-sister's beauty, and would banish her to kitchen, but step-mother fears husband's disapproval.-- (2) She devises a plan to cause in time step-daughter's death. Sheep have found hole leading to garden, and step-mother tells heroine, who loves the fields and the sheep, to stay and watch hole and not let sheep through. At dinner- time she sends her a thimbleful of broth, a grain of barley, a thread of meat, and a crumb of bread.-- (3) Little girl is hungry but dares not go home till night. She cries, and a little black lamb comes to ask why. Lamb bids her not cry but put her finger into its ear. [1] There she finds a big piece of bread. She is to feel in other ear, where she finds a big piece of cheese. She has a good dinner and is happy. In the evening step-mother is surprised not to find her tired and hungry.-- (4) Next day she sends her again but gives her no dinner. Little lamb supplies bread and cheese.-- (5) Third day step-mother sends man to watch, and he reports about lamb. Then she tells husband she wants a sheep killed, he says she may have any one; and the little black lamb is killed.-- (6) Next day whilst little girl sits crying in the field, funny little old woman comes to her, and when told about lamb, bids her not weep but gather all the bones and bring them to her. Little girl does so, but one shank bone is missing-- (7) When Sunday comes, little girl is left to cook dinner whilst others go to church. Step-mother leaves her a thimbleful of water, a grain of barley and a crumb of bread, and bids her make a big pot of soup. Little girl sits crying, wishing she had little lamb to help her. In comes the little lamb, limping because one shank-bone is a-wanting, and tells her not to cry but to dress and go to church, whilst it cooks dinner, but be sure and leave before the end.-- (8) She dresses, putting on pretty pair of glass slippers which she has. She sits near church door, and young prince, struck by her beauty, would follow her home. But she leaves first and he misses her. Then she puts on her old clothes and step-mother and step-sisters return and are astonished to find dinner ready.-- (9) Next Sunday she is again left at home and little lamb sends her to church. This time prince follows her and picks up shoe which she drops in her haste to get away.-- (10) But he does not catch her, and so makes proclamation next day that he will marry whomsoever the slipper fits. At length he comes to little girl's home, and one step-sister says she can wear shoe. She chops off her toes and a piece of her heel and gets slipper on.-- (11) Prince puts her on horse behind him to take her to castle. On the way they pass a tree where a raven sits and says,

"Haggit-heels and hewed toes
Behind the young prince rides;
But pretty foot and bonnie foot
Behind the caldron hides."

Prince asks what bird said; step-daughter replies, "Only nonsense." On the next tree another raven says same thing. Then prince dismounts, and seeing her bleeding foot; takes her back and insists on looking behind caldron.-- (12) There he finds little girl, who asks to go and dress and get other slipper. Prince recognises her and rides off with her. When passing first tree they hear bird say:

"Pretty foot and bonnie foot
Behind the young prince rides;
But haggit-heels and hewed toes
At home with mama bides."

They reach castle and live happily.


1: See Note 2.

Note 2

(P. 128.) For objects taken out of animals' ears or horns, cf. Folk-lore Record, ii, 188, Irish story of "Conn-Eda" (balsam, a basket of meat, and a knife, from horse's ear); ib., iii, 214, Danish story of "Mons Tro" (food and drink from horse's ears). In the Mongolian story (see Folk-lore Journal, iii, 321), an old man cuts his ox on the spine and lets it loose in a field. A magpie pecks at the sore, a wolf tears the ox from behind, a fox falls on it in front. The head alone is left, and says to old man: "Do not grieve; break my head in pieces, and in the two horns you will find enough to support you without alms for six years." Old man finds in one horn silver and in the other gold. See de Gubernatis, Zool. Myth., i, 179-81; Luzel, Basse-Bretagne, legende ii, 264; MacInnes, Folk and Hero Tales from Argyllshire, Pp. 173 (wine and bread from horse, who is transformed old man), 437. In ib., p. 1 ff., a thorn and stone from horse's ear create obstacles to pursuit, like the twig of sloe and the bladder of water from the ear of the grey filly in "The Battle of the Birds" (Campbell, i, 32-34).

Compare the goat Amaltheia, whose horn supplied the nymphs who had nursed Zeus with all they wished for. Another legend makes the nymph Amaltheia possess a bull's horn which gives all manner of meat and drink. This is the cornucopia of the goddess Fortuna. Grimm connects with this the [Greek name] of Luke i, 69. (Teut. Myth., 871, 872, 1569.) Perhaps one may equally compare the horn of David which was to bud, or, in the words of the LXXX [Greek name] (Ps. cxxxi, 17), and [Greek name] (Ez. xxix, 21). Oberon's horn was a wishing-horn. In No. 45 of this collection the heroine holds the green leaf behind the ear of the red calf, and wishes for food. In the Pentamerone (Liebrecht, ii, 112) we read of sitting down on the horns of a dead ox. These prove to be horns of plenty. In No. 98 the heroine cuts off the bull's horn and keeps her dresses in it. The ear cornucopia occurs in Nos. 13, 30, 45, 59, 99, 109, 110, 118; and in the hero tales, Nos. 336, 339 (in the latter the horn, when broken off the dead ox, still retains its magical virtue); also in "The Black Bull of Norroway" (see note 13). In No. 25 the cow gives milk; in No. 26 the sheep brings meat; in No. 82 the heroine must touch the horns of the ox with one end of the magic wand to get food, and with the other end to get drink; in No. 123, she must knock the old man's drawing of a sheep when she wants food, and in No. 228 she bows to the cow's right foot to obtain it. In Nos. 230, 232, and 233 she must gently strike the black sheep with her wand, and a table is spread; in No. 236 the goat covers a table with food, and in No. 242 the bull opens with its horns the oak-tree containing the food-supply. In No. 319 the hero takes a pipe out of the ox's left ear, and instantly the magic table-cloth appears; while in No. 331 the magic food-producing cloth is in the cow's right horn, which screws off. (In No. 10 the dead mother gives the food-producing cloth.) In No. 332 the hero strokes the bull's back to get food. In No. 320 he sucks the teat of the ewe and the ear of the ox. 

In No. 227 the heroine's task is performed through her creeping in at one of the cow's ears and out at the other; while in Nos. 54 and 127 the cow chews the flax and the thread comes out at her ear, and in No. 70 the flax is put in at one ear and the linen drawn out at the other.

In No. 52 the goat spins the wool on his horns, and in No. 92 the ewe does the work placed between her horns. In No. 34 the cow winds skeins, and in No. 89 she also hollows out the loaf with her horn. In Nos. 24, 240, and 249 she spins, and in Nos. 237, 246, 247, 249 she spins and winds. In No. 243 the black lamb spins.


Prof. Moe notes a story in J. H. Wang's Ti norske Eventyr(Throndhjem, 1868, pp. 8, 10, 11), called "Pigen og Lammet", wherein the girl drinks the blood of a living lamb, and it is changed into a costly drink; she eats its ears, and they are changed to costly dishes.


 In Nos. 25 and 320 the stepchild is nourished with the milk of the helpful animal. In "Les Deux Orphelins" (Rivière, Contes Kabyles, p. 67)--of which story, as belonging to the Cinderella type, an abstract may here be given:-- the boy and girl drink the milk of the pet cow bequeathed to them by their dead mother. Discovering this, the stepmother's children attempt likewise to suck the cow, and the girl is kicked and blinded. Father at length almost yields to wife's entreaty to sell cow, when an angel appears warning him not to do so. On the following day, however, he sells it, and the orphans weep on their mother's grave. Mother bids them beg the butcher for the cow's intestines, and lay them on her grave. They do so, and two teats appear on the spot, one yielding butter, the other honey for the children's support. But when stepmother's children, again sent to spy, would likewise suck, they get only filth and pitch in their mouths. Next day stepmother digs up the teats and throws them away, and the dead mother, no longer able to help her children, sends them away to beg. They reach a palace, and are admitted as servants. After a time the sultan marries the girl, and her biother eventually becomes sultan himself.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: 4. Ashpitel [NOTE 2]
Tale Author/Editor: Blind, Karl
Book Title: Cinderella: Three Hundred and Forty-five Variants of Cinderella, Catskin, and Cap O' Rushes, abstracted and tabulated UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Book Author/Editor: Cox, Marian Roalfe
Publisher: David Nutt for the Folklore Society
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1893
Country of Origin: Scotland
Classification: ATU 510A: Cinderella

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