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

96. Marvellous Oak, The

Salmelainen, Eero. Tales and Fables of the Finns. Part I. Helsingfors, 1871. No. VII, ii, pp. 68-73. (Collected by J. Cajan in Russian Carelia. 1836. No. VIII.)



Ill-treated heroine (by ogress-step-mother) -- Grain-sorting tasks (three-fold)--Help at grave (dead mother bids heroine strike stove cross-wise with switch, and tasks will he executed)--Ram with shears on its horns asks to be shorn, offering wool as reward. Old beggar-man asks to have his head searched, offering staff as reward. Ogress going to castle meets, but will not help these--Heroine fulfils requests obtaining rewards--Is directed by beggar-man to strike cross-wise, with switch, oak con taming treasures and horse--Magic dresses--Heroine rides to castle; not recognised at feast.--l Meeting-place (cast1e)--Ogress' daughter kicked when under table gnawing bones, (1) loses an eye; (2) has arm broken; (3) has leg broken--Three-fold flight. Heroine drops (1) Ear-ring; (2) Ring; (3) Shoe (golden), to detain pursuers--Hearth-abode--Marriage-shoe- (and ring-) tests-- Artificial limbs and eye for ogress' daughter--Mutilated foot (and finger) --Happy marriage.


(1) A man and woman had air only daughter, a pretty, tidy girl. Her mother dying, her father marries an Ogress, unwittingly, with a grownup daughter. The two latter plague her in every way.-- (2) The king holds a great feast, to which all are invited-- the poor, lame, and the blind. When the Ogress with her daughter starts for it, her stepdaughter, who wishes to accompany them, is angrily told she is not wanted. The Ogress knocks over the stove, upsets a quarter-measure of barley over it, and tells the girl she must put everything as it was by her return.-- (3) Weeping she goes to the grave of her mother, who hands her a switch, tells her to strike it crosswise against the stove, and her task will be executed. She does as advised; the barley-grains collect in the measure, and the stove resumes its former state.-- (4) On her way to the castle the Ogress meets a ram with a pair of shears on its horns, which implores her to shear it and take the wool as a reward. She rudely declines. Soon she meets an old beggar-mall, who asks her to search his head, for which he will give his staff, and gets a similar answer.-- (5) After performing her task, Cinderella Starts after the others; meets the ram, is asked the same question, complies, and gets the wool for her pails. She also complies with the old beggar's request, receives his staff as a reward, and is told that further on she will find a great oak, which she is to strike crosswise with the staff; when it will open up all sorts of good things for her. She does this, and finds treasures in the centre of the oak. Clothing herself beautifully, she takes a line horse and gallops to the castle. There she is given plenty to eat and drink; but, though all are astonished at the beautiful stranger, none recognise her. While the guests are eating, the Ogress's daughter is under the table gnawing bones, where she is kicked, and loses an eye. After feasting, Cinderella goes home, but is followed by the people. She throws away her ring, and, while the people are looking for it, gallops back to the oak. Here she changes her clothes, goes and sits behind the stove. On the return of the Ogress and her daughter, Cinderella asks what they have seen, and learns they saw the most beautiful girl imaginable. "Was it not I?" says Cinderella, a remark which is received with scorn.-- (6) Next day, before returning to the castle, the Ogre again overturns the stove, sifts rye over it, and gives the girl the same orders as before. From her mother she again gets the switch, therewith puts all to rights, goes to the oak, dresses splendidly, dashes off to the castle, and is entertained as before. The Ogress's daughter, when under the table, has an arm broken. This time Cinderella throws away an ear-ring for the people to pick up, and the same incidents follow as before.-- (7) The third day the Ogress, before starting, breaks the stove, spills turnip-seed, and gives Cinderella the same order as before. At the oak she gets finer clothes than before, and a horse the hair of which is partly gold and partly silver, on which she rides to the castle; she sits at the end of the table. This time the Ogress's daughter has a leg broken under the table. When taking her departure, to avoid being caught, Cinderella throws away her golden shoe, and, while they are looking for it, makes her escape unrecognised home. The Ogress and her daughter ridicule her when she says she has been at the castle.-- (8) On the fourth day a feast is held, to which all are invited, to discover who owns the ring, ear-ring, and golden shoe. The Ogress puts on her daughter a washing-bat as a leg, a pancake as an arm, and a horse-dropping as an eye, and goes to the castle. The king announces that whoever can fit on the rings and shoe is to be his son's bride. All the girls try them on, but in vain. The Ogress tries, by cutting at and filing her daughter's leg anti hand, to make them fit, but without success. The king then orders Cinderella to be brought from behind the stove. She could not go to the oak, but had to go in her working-clothes all over ashes. All the articles fit her. The king's son is alarmed at having to take such a bride. He takes her from palace to palace to show her his possessions, and she asks him to see what she has got. She takes him to the oak, strikes it with her staff; they take what they please; the bridegroom no, longer regrets his marriage; they go home and live happily.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: 96. Marvellous Oak, The
Tale Author/Editor: Salmelainen, Eero
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: Finland & Russia
Classification: ATU 510A: Cinderella

Back to Top