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

20. Cinder-Wench, The [La Conza-Senare]

Bernoni, Dom. Giuseppe, Fiabe popolari Veneziane. Venezia, 1873. Story No. VIII, pp. 36-44. (In dialect.)

(The Cinder-Wench).


Ill-treated heroine (by elder sisters) leaves home to take service--Fairy aid--Menial heroine called "Conza-Senare" at palace by prince--Magic dresses procured by means of fairy wand--Meeting-place (ball)--Three-fold flight--Sand and money and lastly shoe thrown at pursuers--(Prince has struck heroine with tongs, but token object is not named at ball)--Love-sick prince--Recognition food--Happy marriage.


(1) King and queen have three daughters. Both parents die, and the elder daughters ill-treat youngest, beating her and giving her neither food nor clothing, all because she is more beautiful than they. Heroine determines to leave home and take service somewhere. -- (2) A fairy meets her, asks where she is going all alone, and hearing her story, gives her a wand which will produce whatever she wants.-- (3) Heroine goes on and arrives at king's palace. Queen engages her to do menial work, tend the fire and scrub the hearth. One day queen's son goes into kitchen, and seeing heroine cleaning the hearth (conza senare), says, "What are you doing, Conza-Senare? Mind you don't touch anything, for the very sight of you makes me sick." She falls in love with him.-- (4) One day prince tells his mother that he wishes to give ball and invite all his royal acquaintances. The Conza-Senare hearing him, says softly, "I shall go too." Prince asks what she says. "Oh, nothing." The guests arrive and heroine strikes her wand, and asks for dress like the sky, covered with golden stars, a grand carriage and pair of horses with gold trappings; also for servants and a bag of sand. She goes to ball, and prince dances with her all the time ; asks who she is. "I am the Conza-Senare." He cannot understand her. She escapes at end of dance, and prince rushes to tell servants to follow quickly and see where she goes. They follow carriage, and heroine throws sand and blinds them. They return and tell prince. Heroine takes wand and transforms magic dress to rags.-- (5) Next morning prince tells mother of the lovely lady at ball. Heroine overhearing, says rapidly, "'Twas I," but prince says he cannot understand her mumbling, and bids her mind her business and be silent. In a few days there is another ball, which heroine attends. This time she has dress of pearls and diamonds, and a carriage with four horses, and she takes with her a bag of money. Prince asks again who she is, and gets same reply, which he cannot understand. When she leaves he sends servants to follow her, and she scatters so much money that they quite lose sight of her whilst picking it up.-- (6) Next morning he is telling his mother everything, when heroine interrupts as before, and seizing the tongs, he strikes her on the head. After some days there is a third ball, which heroine attends as before, and having a mantle like the sun, so dazzling that none can look at it. King watches from the balcony for her coming, again asks her name, and gets the same unintelligible reply. He puts a ring on her finger before she escapes. Servants follow and are blinded with the sand she throws. She also throws one diamond shoe, which they take to prince.-- (7) He falls sick, takes to his bed, and tells mother he must die. He asks her to prepare him some food, and to be sure that the dirty Conza-Senare does not touch it. Queen watches carefully by the fire whilst the gruel is cooking, but turns her head one moment, and then heroine throws in the ring. Queen takes gruel to prince, assuring him that none but herself has touched it. He begins to eat, finds ring, and after questioning mother, sends for the Conza-Senare, who is not to be found.-- (8) For heroine has gone to clothe herself in splendour by aid of magic wand, then goes to prince and lays, "Here is the Conza-Senare whom you struck on the head with the tongs, whom you have always called ugly names, and with whom you danced at three balls. Where is my shoe?" Prince then tries shoe and ring, and finding both fit, falls on his knees and begs her forgiveness. They are married.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: 20. Cinder-Wench, The [La Conza-Senare]
Tale Author/Editor: Bernoni, Dom
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: Italy
Classification: ATU 510A: Cinderella

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