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

90. Maiden and the Fish, The

Pedroso, Consiglieri, Portuguese Folk-Tales. Translated from the original MS by Miss Henriqueta Monteiro. (F.-L. Soc.). London, 1882. Tale No. XXIV, pp. 97-100.



Ill-treated heroine (by elder sisters)--Nicknamed "Hearth Cat"--Fish caught by father, preserved alive by heroine, requests to be put in well; persuades heroine to enter well and conducts her to palace at bottom and gives her dress for festival-Meeting-place (ball)--Flight--Lost shoe--Shoe marriage test--Heroine returns dress to well. Fish, who is enchanted prince, asks heroine to marry him. When she consents he regains human form--Shoe fits heroine, but she cannot marry king who found it. He is father of enchanted prince and rejoices to hear of his re-trans formation and betrothal to heroine--Happy marriage--Villain Nemesis.


(1) A widower has three daughters. The elder are vain and idle, and the youngest manages household and assists servants in kitchen. She is nick named "Hearth-Cat."-- (2) Father catches fish, which he brings home alive, and gives it heroine to cook. She admires yellow colour of fish, and asks leave to keep it in water. Sisters are annoyed. Heroine keeps fish in her bedroom, and at night it begs her to throw it in well. At last she does so. Walking in garden next day, she looks for it, and hears voice calling, "Maiden, come into well." She runs away frightened; but next day, when sisters have gone to festival, she goes to well, and is persuaded to enter. Fish takes her hand and conducts her to palace of gold and precious stones at bottom of well. Bids her enter chamber and don lovely dress and gold shoes, for he will send her in state carriage to festival, where sisters are.-- (3) She must be sure and leave before them, and return clothes to well. She is much admired at festival, but in her haste to leave drops shoe. King picks it up, and proclaims that he will wed whomsoever it fits. Heroine takes dresses to well, and fish bids her come again same evening. She is busy in kitchen when sisters return and tell her of king's proclamation. They repair to palace to try shoe, and heroine goes to well.-- (4) Fish asks her to marry him. She replies she cannot marry a fish; but he urges her till she consents. Instantly fish is transformed into man, who tells her he is an enchanted prince, son of the king who found shoe. He bids her go to palace and put it on, then inform king, when he wishes to marry her, that she is already engaged to his son, the enchanted prince. Sisters return very downcast, because they cannot wear shoe. Heroine says she is going to try, and they mock her. Sentinels at palace will not let shabby heroine pass till king, who sees her from window, orders them. Shoe slips on heroine's foot, and king would marry her, but hears of her engagement to prince, and rejoices. He sends grand retinue to fetch him to palace. Prince marries heroine. Sisters are very jealous, and are punished in having filth come from their mouths.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: 90. Maiden and the Fish, The
Tale Author/Editor: Pedroso, Consiglieri
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: Portugal
Classification: ATU 510A: Cinderella

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