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

64. Whip-in-the-Ashes [Pish-i-Aske]

Kristensen, E. T., Unpublished Collection. (Narrated by Mette Tailors, Sundby, Jutland.)

(Whip-in-the-Ashes). [1]


Ill-treated heroine (by step-mother)--Dead mother help at grave--Tasks (to gather pease from ashes)--Task-performing doves--Magic dresses, from under flagstone in stable--Meeting- place (church)--Twofold flight--Lost shoe--Shoe marriage test--Heroine wears rags over magic dress--Happy marriage.


(1) Widower marries again, and his daughter is ill-treated by stepmother, made the drudge of the house, nicknamed "Whip-in-the-Ashes", and never allowed to go to church. One evening she goes to her mother's grave and weeps. Dead mother rises from grave and asks why, then gives her souse instructions to follow.-- (2) Next Sunday heroine asks leave to go to church. Stepmother forbids her, and throws a bushel of pease into the ashes, telling her to pick them out while she and her daughter are at church. A white dove comes flying in. Heroine says, "Little dove, don't pick them up to put into your crop, but into my bushel "Dove gathers up the pease in no time. Heroine goes to stable, lifts a flagstone, and pulls from under it a dress like the moon. This she dons, then says, "Coach and coachman, appear!" Instantly they are there; she jumps into the coach and says:

"Before me light, behind me dark!
The way I go let no man mark!"

All in church are greatly astonished. Prince wants to speak to heroine, but she hurries out, speaks the magic words, and vanishes. Mother and sister return and tell her of the lovely lady, and abuse her for wanting to go and see her.-- (3) Next Sunday a bushel of rye is thrown in the ashes. Dove performs task. Heroine goes to church in dress like the sun. Prince follows her so closely when she runs to her coach that he treads off one of her shoes. She is again abused at home.-- (4) Some time afterwards prince orders all girls to appear at castle. Whoever can wear a certain gold shoe which he possesses shall be queen. None can get it on. "There must be somebody left," says the prince. At length stepmother tells of heroine, who is at once sent for. She dons the sun-dress, covering it with her rags that stepmother may not see it. The shoe fits her as though made for her, and she raises her rags a little as she puts it on. Prince catches a glimpse of the gold dress, and is at once satisfied that she is the right girl.-- (5) He marries her.



[1]: In the large manors it was the duty of the lowest of all the servants, who was called "Whipper-of-the-Ashes", to remove all the ashes and every kind of refuse from the dunghill in a small two-wheeled cart. Therefore Cinderella in the Danish tales is nicknamed "Whipper-of-the-Ashes", as the meanest of the mean. "To whip" is now used figuratively in the sense of "to stir, to puke".-- F.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: 64. Whip-in-the-Ashes [Pish-i-Aske]
Tale Author/Editor: Kristensen, E. T.
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: Denmark
Classification: ATU 510A: Cinderella

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