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

67. Tahier-Tahaer [NOTE 47]

Kristensen, E. T., Unpublished Collection. (Narrated by Maria Vind, Hornum, Jutland.)



English princess, an orphan, is confined by grandmother in high tower, because of her extreme beauty. Foreign princes try in vain to see her. Spanish prince lodges opposite tower; pro vides himself wings, and visits heroine. Suspicious grandmother sticks needles and awls in window-sill; prince wounded, loses nine drops of blood; returns to Spain in dudgeon--Heroine escapes; journeys to Spain; hears three animals outside king's palace relating how palace may be entered, how magic wishing- rod may be obtained, how sick king may be restored--Menial heroine (scullion at palace); pretends to be halt-witted; puts the nine drops of blood, three at a time, in eel-soup for sick king. He is cured--Heroine carries ewer, towel, and comb to king--Magic dresses--Meeting-place (church)--Token objects named--Threefold flight--Lost boot--Boot marriage test--Heroine appears in English costume; recognition--Happy marriage.


(1) A beautiful princess whose parents are dead lives with her grandmother in England. The old lady, fearing the men, confines her in a high turret, with a chambermaid to serve her. Rumour of her beauty spreads afar, and many come desiring to see her; but in vain. At last a prince of Spain arrives, and takes lodgings at an inn opposite the tower. He signs to the princess from his window; she at length responds, and the end of it is that he makes himself wings, by means of which he crosses the street, then talks with the princess, and plans her escape with him.-- (2) The old lady hears of it, and puts needles and awls in the window-sill, [1] and the next time prince flies across and sits on the sill he gets wounded, and nine drops of blood fall from him, he feels the bitter pain, and is angered against the princess because of her apparent treachery, and instantly flies away and returns to Spain. Princess is very sorrowful, and at a loss to understand his behaviour, till at last she discovers the nine drops of blood on the window-sill, and sees the needles and the awls.-- (3) Then she escapes one evening with the help of her chambermaid. She has sold all her belongings for cash, and feigns to be half-witted, calling her gold coins "counters", and giving a handful of them in payment for anything she wants. At length she reaches Spain, and goes to king's castle, where king is said to be dying, and none can save him.-- (4) It is St. John's Eve. She is dressed in a poor Spanish dress. Three animals-- a bear, a wolf, and a lion-- are lying by the castle entrance. She hears one say to the others, "If somebody knew what I know, she would just throw her apron over us, and then, if she is a pure virgin, she could pass us unhurt," The second adds, "If she is a pure virgin she may pull out a rod from under the large stone outside the gate, and if she strikes the stone thrice with the rod she may wish anything, and get it." Then says the bear: "The king is dying, and die he must, unless he can get back the nine drops of blood spilled on the window casement, and take three drops at a time in eel-soup on three consecutive Thursdays. Then he would recover;" and he adds, "but this is the greatest secret!" -- (5) The princess throws down her apron and enters the gate, then gets the rod. Next morning she goes to the back door of the castle, and, pretending to be half-witted, says: "My name is Tahier-Tahaer" (meaningless words, resembling in sound "this here", ''that there".) "I want employment. I can carry out the ashes or polish knives. You can get some fun out of me!" She is engaged as help, and is much liked. She gets to know the cook, and one day says to him "Tahier-Tahaer cooks well!" She wants to be allowed to cook the dinner on Thursday, and offers cook a handful of her yellow counters for the privilege. He takes the money and gives her leave. She strikes the stone and demands an eel, then makes eel-soup for the king. She has always carried the nine drops of blood about with her, and now puts three into the soup. King eats, and is better. Next Thursday the same, and on the third Thursday.-- (6) The king is fully recovered, and the first thing he would do is to go to church. Tahier-Tahaer must stay at home, but everybody else goes. King is dressing for church, and heroine offers his servant a handful of her coins to be allowed to take him ewer, towel, and comb. She brings them to the king, muttering in a silly way: "Here comes Tahier-Tahaer, bringing his Majesty his ewer, towel, and comb!" The king knows all about her from the talk of the servants. When she is left behind alone, she whips Out of the stone a coach-and-four with coachman and servants, and a princess's dress with silk stockings and boots. King notices her in church, and sends servants to inquire whence she comes, and to invite her to dinner. But stepping into her coach, she bids them give her compliments to his Majesty, and say she lives in Towel-land.-- (7) Everything happens the same on the two following Sundays, when she says she comes from Comb-land and from Ewer-land.-- (8) As she declines to appear at the king's table, he orders his servants to catch her on the third Sunday. In her hasty flight she loses one boot.-- (9) King announces his wish to wed the girl who can wear the boot. Many come from far and near, but it fits nobody. Tahier-Tahaer is at last the only one left. People make fun of her trying, but remembering the mysterious countries, king insists. Heroine appears in her dirty old greasy rags, and says foolishly: "Ha, ha is T. -T. to try the boot too, your Majesty?" The silk boot fits as though made for her. The king is astounded.-- (10) She leaves them, and presently returns in the dress that the king has seen her wear in England. She tells him everything. He sees that she has suffered as much as he, and he makes her his queen.



[1]: See Note 47.

Note 47

(P. 295.) In the 13th century Lai d'Yvenec, by Marie de France, the lover, in the form of a bird, visits his beloved in the tower, and is cut by knives which have stealthily been placed there. She follows the track of the blood. Mad. d'Aulnoy's "L'Oiseau bleu" is connected with this lay.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: 67. Tahier-Tahaer [NOTE 47]
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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