Thursday, July 10, 2014

Grimm: Aschenputtel (end)

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).

Aschenputtel (end)

On the third day, when the parents and the step-children had set off, Aschenputtel went again to her mother's grave, and said to the tree,

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

Then the bird cast down a dress, the like of which had never been seen for splendour and brilliancy, and slippers that were of gold. And when she appeared in this dress at the feast nobody knew what to say for wonderment. The prince danced with her alone, and if any one else asked her, he answered, "She is my partner."

And when it was evening, Aschenputtel wanted to go home, and the prince was about to go with her when she ran past him so quickly that he could not follow her. But he had laid a plan and had caused all the steps to be spread with pitch so that as she rushed down them, the left shoe of the maiden remained sticking in it. The prince picked it up and saw that it was of gold, and very small and slender.

The next morning, he went to the father and told him that none should be his bride save the one whose foot the golden shoe should fit. Then the two sisters were very glad because they had pretty feet. The eldest went to her room to try on the shoe, and her mother stood by. But she could not get her great toe into it, for the shoe was too small; then her mother handed her a knife and said, "Cut the toe off, for when you are queen, you will never have to go on foot."

So the girl cut her toe off, squeezed her foot into the shoe, concealed the pain, and went down to the prince. Then he took her with him on his horse as his bride and rode off. They had to pass by the grave, and there sat the two pigeons on the hazel bush and cried,

There they go, there they go!
There is blood on her shoe;
The shoe is too small, —
Not the right bride at all!

Then the prince looked at her shoe and saw the blood flowing. And he turned his horse round and took the false bride home again, saying she was not the right one, and that the other sister must try on the shoe.

So, she went into her room to do so and got her toes comfortably in, but her heel was too large. Then her mother handed her the knife, saying, "Cut a piece off your heel; when you are queen, you will never have to go on foot."

So the girl cut a piece off her heel and thrust her foot into the shoe, concealed the pain, and went down to the prince, who took his bride before him on his horse and rode off. When they passed by the hazel bush the two pigeons sat there and cried,

There they go, there they go!
There is blood on her shoe;
The shoe is too small, —
Not the right bride at all!"

Then the prince looked at her foot and saw how the blood was flowing from the shoe and staining the white stocking. And he turned his horse round and brought the false bride home again.

"This is not the right one," said he; "have you no other daughter?"

"No," said the man, "only my dead wife left behind her a little stunted Aschenputtel; it is impossible that she can be the bride."

But the King's son ordered her to be sent for, but the mother said, "Oh no! She is much too dirty; I could not let her be seen."

But he would have her fetched, and so Aschenputtel had to appear.

First she washed her face and hands quite clean, and went in and curtseyed to the prince, who held out to her the golden shoe. Then she sat down on a stool, drew her foot out of the heavy wooden shoe, and slipped it into the golden one, which fitted it perfectly. And when she stood up, and the prince looked in her face, he knew again the beautiful maiden that had danced with him, and he cried, "This is the right bride!"

The step-mother and the two sisters were thunderstruck and grew pale with anger, but he put Aschenputtel before him on his horse and rode off. And as they passed the hazel bush, the two white pigeons cried,

There they go, there they go!
No blood on her shoe;
The shoe's not too small:
The right bride is she after all.

And when they had thus cried, they came flying after and perched on Aschenputtel's shoulders —  one on the right, the other on the left — and so remained.

And when her wedding with the prince was appointed to be held, the false sisters came, hoping to curry favour and to take part in the festivities. So, as the bridal procession went to the church, the eldest walked on the right side and the younger on the left, and the pigeons picked out an eye of each of them. And as they returned the elder was on the left side and the younger on the right, and the pigeons picked out the other eye of each of them. And so they were condemned to go blind for the rest of their days because of their wickedness and falsehood.





(900 words)





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