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

15. Lime-Tree Queen, The [Lindedronningen] [NOTE 6]

Asbjornsen, P. Chr., og Jorgen Moe, Norske Folke-eventyr. 2nd edition. Christiania, 1852, p. 420. (From Fjeldberg.)

(The Lime-tree Queen).


Ill-treated heroine (by step-mother) from lime-tree queen -- Magic dresses -- Meeting-place (church) -- Threefold flight--Lost shoe--Shoe marriage test--Mutilated foot-- Animal witness (birds)--Happy marriage.


(1) Widower with beautiful daughter marries widow with two wicked daughters. Stepmother ill-treats heroine, clothing her in rags.-- (2) One Sunday heroine is sitting sorrowfully tinder a large lime-tree growing near the farm, when suddenly a door in the tree opens, and out steps the lime-tree queen. She is so strangely fair and shining that heroine must needs close her eyes.-- (3) Queen takes her into tree, dresses her, and lets her drive to church, where prince sees her, and falls in love with her. She disappears, saying:

 "White before, behind me black;
The way I go let no one track." [1]

 She returns to tree and dons her old rags.-- (4) Next Sunday she knocks at lime-tree, saying:

"Open, lime-tree, open, pray
I want to go to church to-day."

She goes in coach-and-four,-- (5) Third Sunday she goes in coach-and-six, and loses her gold shoe. It is tried by everyone.-- (6) The denouncing birds are driven away by stepmother's daughter, until prince forbids it. Then he hears them sing

"A bit off the toe, and off the heel, too!
You may see it is so; full of blood is the shoe.'

-- (7) Prince marries heroine.


[1]: See Note 6.

Note 6

In "Jamfrju Solntaar" (see A. E. Vang's Gamla Reglo aa Rispo ifraa Valdris, Christiania, 1850, p. 66), the hero, who is in quest of a stolen princess, gets a magic horse, which says, "White before and black behind! Nobody shall see where I go!" The hero passes three nights with three friendly trolls, and eventually carries off the princess on horseback.

 The same formula occurs in Nos. 39, 41, 46, 47, 59, 61, 63, 64, 65, 77, 78, 79, 82, 83, 86, 88, 119, 125, 146, 164, 175, 265, and 266.


 In some of the stories the heroine effects her escape by surrounding herself with mist. See Nos. 57 (soap and threads create mist), 88, 94, 183 (ashes scattered turn to mist), 204, 207, 269 (mist, rain, and wind), and 281. In No. 38 the heroine, and in No. 332 the hero make use of a bag of mist. This recalls the bag of the winds which Aeolus gave to Ulysses in the 10th Od. In Greek mythology, the gods, to screen themselves from sight, shed a mist around; in the same way they protect their favourites, withdrawing them from the enemy's eye. Comp. Iliad, 3, 381; 5, 776; 18, 205; 21, 549, 597. It is called [Greek names].


Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: 15. Lime-Tree Queen, The [Lindedronningen] [NOTE 6]
Tale Author/Editor: Asbjørnsen, Peter Christen & Moe, Jørgen Engebretsen
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: Norway
Classification: ATU 510A: Cinderella

Back to Top