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

29. Fair, Brown and Trembling [NOTE 21 & 22]

Curtin, J., Myths and Folk-lore of Ireland. London, 1890. Pp. 78-92. (Taken down from the folk.)



Ill-treated heroine (by elder sisters)--Menial heroine--Hero loves eldest sister first--Henwife wears cloak of darkness; befriends heroine="Trembling "--Magic dresses, procured by clipping from old clothes--Hair clipt turns golden--Honey bird, honey finger, and magic steeds for heroine--Meeting-place (church); heroine must not go inside--Threefold flight--Lost shoe--Search for heroine by hero and other princes--Shoe marriage test-- Mutilated feet--Hero combats competitors for heroine--Happy marriage--Eldest sister, "Fair", visits heroine after birth of son; pushes her into sea, where whale swallows her-- Substituted bride detected by sword remaining cold--Heroine, thrown up three times by whale, sends tidings by cow-boy. Fair gives cow boy drink of oblivion, which he next time refuses, and tells hero, who shoots whale with silver bullet in vulnerable spot revealed by heroine. Speech taboo on heroine till this is done--Villain Nemesis--Cow-boy marries second child of hero and heroine.


(1) King (Aeah Carucha) has three daughters, Fair, Brown, and Trembling. -- (2) Two eldest have fresh gowns, and go to church on Sundays; youngest, from jealousy, is kept at home, cooking.-- (3) Son of King of Omanya falls in love with eldest daughter.-- (4) Henwife offers Trembling beautiful clothes to go to church in.-- (5) Trembling asks for dress white as snow, and for green shoes.-- (6) Henwife puts on cloak of darkness, clips a piece from Trembling's old clothes, and, asking for these objects, obtains them.-- (7) She further gives to Trembling a honey-bird for her right shoulder, a honey-finger for her left, and a milk-white mare. -- (8) Trembling is not to go inside church.-- (9) First visit to church ; flight ; wonder of beholders; sisters get dresses like stranger.-- (10) Second visit dress of black Satin, red shoes, and black mare. Third visit: dress red as a rose for skirt, and white as snow for bodice, cape of green, hat and shoes red, white, and green. Henwife clips a few locks of Trembling's hair, whereupon it becomes golden and long. Mare white and blue, with gold-coloured spots, and a bird singing between its ears.-- (11) King of Omanya's son forgets eldest daughter in admiration for stranger. Stays outside church; pursues her, and carries off her shoe.-- (12) Declares he will marry her, and sets off searching her with many other princes.-- (13) Many mutilate themselves, but in vain.-- (14) Trembling offers to try on shoe, but her sisters lock her up.-- (15) When her sisters fail, she calls out from cupboard, and the prince insists on seeing her, though the sisters say she is only used to put out the ashes.-- (16) Shoe fits; prince recognises her ; Trembling puts on the clothes.-- (17) Combat then ensues between prince and princes of Lochlin (nine hours), Spain (six hours), Nyerfoi (eight hours), Greece (four hours).-- (18) Wedding follows. A son is born, and Trembling asks her sister Fair to stay with her.-- (19) Walking by seaside, Fair pushes in Trembling, who is swallowed by a whale.-- (20) Fair passes herself off as her sister, but her husband lays sword between them at night. [1] If she is his wife, it will warm; if not, it will stay cold -- (21) A cowboy had seen what Fair did. On the morrow the whale throws up Trembling, and she bids the cowboy tell the tale. Three times she will be thrown up, and, unless the third time the whale is shot with a silver bullet [2] in a reddish-brown spot under the breast-fin, she is lost.-- (22) Fair gives cow-boy a drink of oblivion.-- (23) On the morrow, the same incident ; but cow boy refuses drink, and tells prince.-- (24) Latter shoots whale (Trembling might not speak to him until this was done), and delivers wife.-- (25) By father's counsel Fair is pot out to sea in a barrel with seven years' provisions.-- (26) Second child is a daughter, whom, when grown up, they marry to cowboy.-- (27) Hero and heroine leave fourteen children, and die of old age.


[1]: See Note 21.

Note 21

(P. 204.) Compare Sigudr and Brynhildr (Siegfried and Brunhilde, Corpus Poet. Boreale, i, 294, 303, 309, 394)--Swipday and Menglad--Hrolfr and Ingigerdr (see Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsalterthumer, Gottingen, 1828, pp. 168-170)--Gormo in Saxo Gramm., lib. ix, p. 179--Txistan and Isolt (see "Sir Tristrem", notes to Scott's ed., 1819, p. 345)--Wolfdietrich--Orendel and Frau Breide (Grimm, Teut. Myth., 374)--Fonzo and Fenizia (Pent., i, 9)--Amicus and Amelius (comp. the story of The Ravens in the O. E. prose version of "The Seven Wise Masters"). For folk-tale parallels cf. Busk, F.-L. R., "How Cajusse was Married," p. 162; Campbell, iii, 228, and No. 347; Dasent, cxxxiv, and p. 389; Grimm, No. 60, "The Two Brothers"; Gonzenbach, No. 40; Gubernatis, i, 330; MacInnes, p. 265. Compare two Cornish Mabinogion, which tell of King Pwyll (The Bardic Museum, Lond., 1802, pp. 17-30); the story of Aladdin, and the story of Prince Sayf el-Muluk, in Payne, vii, 94. See Clouston, Pop. Tales and Fictions, i, 316, note.

[2]: See Note 22.

Note 22

(P. 204.) "Sea-monsters (Sjo-skrimsli) cannot be killed by a leaden bullet, for their shell-coat of mail and their demon nature resist any such shot; but he who meets them is lucky if he have a silver button or coin at hand to thrust into his gun; for no monster, however fiendish, can withstand a silver shot." (Introductory Essay to Arnason's Icelandic Tales, p. lx, by Powell and Magnusson.) For drink of oblivion, see note 58.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: 29. Fair, Brown and Trembling [NOTE 21 & 22]
Tale Author/Editor: Curtin, Jeremiah
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: Ireland
Classification: ATU 510A: Cinderella

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