Thursday, July 10, 2014

Grimm: Aschenputtel (cont.)

This story is part of the Brothers Grimm (Crane) unit. Story source: Household Stories by the Brothers Grimm, translated by Lucy Crane and illustrated by Walter Crane (1886).

(illustration by Otto Ubbelohde)


Aschenputtel (cont.)

When she had strewed two dishes full of lentils among the ashes the maiden went through the back-door into the garden, and cried,

O gentle doves, O turtle-doves,
And all the birds that be,
The lentils that in ashes lie
Come and pick up for me!
The good must be put in the dish,
The bad you may eat if you wish.

So there came to the kitchen-window two white doves, and then some turtle-doves, and at last a crowd of all the other birds under heaven, chirping and fluttering, and they alighted among the ashes, and the doves nodded with their heads and began to pick, peck, pick, peck and then all the others began to pick, peck, pick, peck and put all the good grains into the dish. And before half-an-hour was over it was all done, and they flew away.

Then the maiden took the dishes to the step-mother, feeling joyful and thinking that now she should go with them to the feast, but she said, "All this is of no good to you; you cannot come with us, for you have no proper clothes, and cannot dance; you would put us to shame."

Then she turned her back on poor Aschenputtel and made haste to set out with her two proud daughters.

And as there was no one left in the house, Aschenputtel went to her mother's grave, under the hazel bush, and cried,

Little tree, little tree,
shake over me,
That silver and gold
may come down and cover me.

Then the bird threw down a dress of gold and silver, and a pair of slippers embroidered with silk and silver. And in all haste she put on the dress and went to the festival.

But her step-mother and sisters did not know her and thought she must be a foreign princess, she looked so beautiful in her golden dress. Of Aschenputtel they never thought at all and supposed that she was sitting at home and picking the lentils out of the ashes.

The King's son came to meet her, and took her by the hand, and danced with her, and he refused to stand up with any one else so that he might not be obliged to let go her hand, and when any one came to claim it he answered, "She is my partner."

And when the evening came, she wanted to go home, but the prince said he would go with her to take care of her for he wanted to see where the beautiful maiden lived. But she escaped him and jumped up into the pigeon-house.

Then the prince waited until the father came and told him the strange maiden had jumped into the pigeon-house.

The father thought to himself, "It cannot surely be Aschenputtel," and called for axes and hatchets, and had the pigeon-house cut down, but there was no one in it.

And when they entered the house, there sat Aschenputtel in her dirty clothes among the cinders, and a little oil-lamp burnt dimly in the chimney, for Aschenputtel had been very quick, and had jumped out of the pigeon-house again, and had run to the hazel bush, and there she had taken off her beautiful dress and had laid it on the grave, and the bird had carried it away again, and then she had put on her little gray kirtle again and had sat down in the kitchen among the cinders.

The next day, when the festival began anew, and the parents and step-sisters had gone to it, Aschenputtel went to the hazel bush and cried,

Little tree, little tree,
shake over me,
That silver and gold
may come down and cover me.

Then the bird cast down a still more splendid dress than on the day before. And when she appeared in it among the guests, everyone was astonished at her beauty. The prince had been waiting until she came, and he took her hand and danced with her alone. And when any one else came to invite her, he said, "She is my partner."

And when the evening came, she wanted to go home, and the prince followed her for he wanted to see to what house she belonged, but she broke away from him and ran into the garden at the back of the house. There stood a fine large tree, bearing splendid pears; she leapt as lightly as a squirrel among the branches, and the prince did not know what had become of her. So he waited until the father came, and then he told him that the strange maiden had rushed from him and that he thought she had gone up into the pear-tree.

The father thought to himself, "It cannot surely be Aschenputtel," and called for an axe, and felled the tree, but there was no one in it.

And when they went into the kitchen, there sat Aschenputtel among the cinders, as usual, for she had got down the other side of the tree, and had taken back her beautiful clothes to the bird on the hazel bush, and had put on her old gray kirtle again.


(900 words)







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