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

97. Three Sisters, The

Salmelainen, Eero. Tales and Fables of the Finns. Part I. Helsingfors, 1871. No. VII, iii, pp. 73-77. (Collected in Tavastland by A. E. Nylander. 1850-1. No. XXXIII.)



Ill-treated heroine (by elder sisters) ---Pig asks to have trough in front of it removed. Cow, with pail on horns, asks to be milked, offering milk as reward. Old man asks to have his head searched, offering staff as reward. Elder sisters refuse demands of these; enter service of King at castle. Heroine grants requests and receives rewards. Is told to strike rock near castle with switch, to obtain everything desired--Menial heroine (swineherd at castle)--Grain-sorting task (performed by old man)--Magic dresses -- Meeting-place (church) -- Three-fold flight --Pitch trap--Lost shoe--Money scattered to detain pursuers. Skin thrown over magic dress--Marriage shoe-test--Mutilated foot--Magic dress seen through disguise--Happy Marriage--Villain Nemesis.


(1) There are three sisters, two good and one worse, but all beautiful. Their parents dying suddenly, they have to go into service. The two elder ones propose taking service at the king's castle, and, being proud, will not let the youngest accompany them. On their way they encounter a pig with a trough in front of it, which it asks them to remove or it will burst. They scornfully refuse. Then they meet a cow with a pail attached to its horns. She asks them to milk her, to drink the milk as a reward, to throw the remainder on her hocks, and replace the pail. This they decline to do. Next they meet an old man, who asks to have his head searched, offering his staff as a reward. This, too, they refuse to do. On reaching the castle they enter the service of the king.-- (2) The youngest sister thinks of offering herself as swineherd at the castle, and starts thither. Encountering the pi and hearing its request, she removes the trough. Meeting the cow and hearing its request, she cheerfully complies. She also searches the old man's head; is given his staff, and told if she strikes a certain sock near the castle she will find there whatever she wishes or needs. She then goes to the castle and is taken on as swineherd.-- (3) Her sisters Continue to annoy her, and oat Sunday give her one bean and one grain of corn to cook their dinner of, while they are at church. While she is crying over this task, the old toss that had given her the staff tells her to go to church and he will cook. She goes to the rock, strikes it, obtains from it a beautiful carriage, horses, and fine clothes, and drives to church. All are astonished at her beauty, but no one knows her. After leaving church she drives back hastily, changes her clothes, and walks to the castle. Her sisters find the food so good they can say nothing, and speak of the beautiful girl they saw in church.-- (4) Nest Sunday the same occurs again, but the young king, who happened to be In church, hurries after her without being able to overtake her.-- (5) Nest Sunday the two sisters again go to church, leaving the youngest one at home, who, after getting fine clothes, a carriage, and money from the rock, follows them. In leaving church her shoe sticks to the threshold, which the king has had tarred. The people try to catch her, but she scatters the money among them, and all but the king stop to pick it up. He follows so closely behind her that she has only time to throw a skin over her fine clothes and escape home.-- (6) The king takes the golden shoe, assembles the people, and announces he will marry whomsoever it fits. All the girls try it on in vain. The elder sisters file down and whittle their toes to no purpose. At last the king sends for the swineherd-girl, and the shoe exactly fits. In putting it on the king notices her golden dress under the skin-coat, which he pulls off, and, guessing she is the beauty he had seen in church, asks her to be his bride. The wedding is held with great joy, but the elder sisters could not be present, as their feet were damaged from the filing and whittling.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: 97. Three Sisters, 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
Classification: ATU 510A: Cinderella

Back to Top