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

75. Eschenfidle

Meier, Ernst, Deutsche Volksmärchen aus Schwaben. Stuttgart, 1852. No. XLIII. Pp. 154-58. (From Heubach.)



Ill-treated heroine (by mother and sister)--Menial heroine- Hearth abode--Help (at tree)--Dwarf teaches magic formula-- Magic dresses-- Meeting-place (church)--Flight (sixfold)-- Pitch-trap--Lost shoe--Shoe marriage test--Mutilated foot, (not sister's)--Happy marriage.


(1) Old woman with two daughters loves one and ill-treats the other; gives one beautiful clothes and takes her everywhere, hoping to get her husband. But the other must always remain at home, do menial work in use cowshed, the kitchen, and the garden, and being ill-clad, may never show herself. She has to sit on the hearth, and is nicknamed Eschenfidle. [1]-- (2) Her greatest grief is that her mother forbids her going to church. One Sunday she sits under tree in garden weeping bitterly, when little white man appears, bids her be cheered, and when she wants to go to church to come to tree [2] and say:

"Little tree, shake yourself; little tree;
Shake gold and silver over me!"

Then she will have beautiful clothes. But she must always wait till everyone else is in church, and must be the first to leave. Then she must return dress to tree, saying:

"Little tree, shake yourself; little tree;
Draw all the silver and gold to thee!"

Next Sunday heroine does as bidden.-- (3) She goes to church clad in gold and silver, leaves first, and returns everything to tree. Sister returns and tells her about the lovely stranger.-- (4) Next Sunday all happens as before. Rich young merchant espies her, and falls in love with her. He goes early to church on following Sunday to watch for her, and stays last, but she escapes as before.-- (5) She goes thus five times to church, and on the sixth Sunday young merchant lets everyone except heroine enter, then smears church door with pitch, and waits hard by. He hopes to be able to help free her from pitch, and then talk with her; but heroine leaves one shoe sticking, and enters church without speaking to him. Merchant takes shoe home. Heroine returns to tree and repeats verse as before; but tree will not take clothes, as shoe is missing, and heroine takes them home and puts them in her bed.-- (6) Merchant makes inquiry as to who has lost golden shoe, and goes himself from house to house, saying he will wed whomsoever it fits. Many try in vain. One girl cuts oft big toe, but to no purpose. Merchant comes to heroine's home. Mother says she has indeed two daughters, but one is too hideous to be shown. She presents favourite daughter, whose foot is pretty, but too large for shoe. Merchant importunes mother, till at length she brings other daughter, who, seeing golden shoe, exclaims, "Why, that is my long- lost shoe!" and puts it on. Merchant rejoices.-- (7)They are betrothed on the spot, and married soon afterwards.



[1]: With the expression "Eschenfidle" cp. Abersel, Abarschel for an Aschenbrodel.

[2]: The tree of our story reminds one of the five trees in Indra's heavenly paradise, which grant every wish. -- ED.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: 75. Eschenfidle
Tale Author/Editor: Meier, Ernst
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: Germany
Classification: ATU 510A: Cinderella

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