Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/317

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Tabulation or folktales.

35

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[No. 14.] Title of Story.— The Three Little Men in the Wood.

Dramatis Personse. — Widower, his daughter. — Widow, her daughter.— Three little dwarfs. — King — Scullion. — Little duck (= queen transformed). — Queen's baby.

Abstract of Story. — (l) A. widower and widow have each a daughter, and these girls are friends. The woman one day bids the widower's daughter tell her father she would like to marry him, and then his daughter should have milk to wash in and wine to drink, while her own daughter should wash in water and drink water. Hearing this the man deliberates awhile, and, coming to no decision, directs his daughter to hang up in the loft a boot with a hole in the sole ; if it holds water he will again take a wife, if it leaks he will not. The girl reports that the water draws the hole together, and the boot is full to the top. — (2) He examines it for himself, and forthwith wooes and weds the widow. Next morning the man's daughter has milk to wash in and wine to drink, while the woman's daughter has only water for both uses. On the second morning there is water only for both girls. On the third morning and henceforward the man's daughter has the water, the woman's daughter the milk and wine, The woman becomes bitterly and ever increasingly unkind to her step-daughter, who is beautiful and lovable, while her own daughter is ugly and repulsive. — (3) Once when the ground was frozen hard and covered deep in snow, the woman bids her step-daughter don a paper frock and go into the wood to gather strawberries. The girl demurs, and scolding her severely, her step- mother gives her a little piece of hard bread, and warns her not to show her face again without the basketful of strawberries. Clad in the paper frock, the maiden wanders far and Avide over the snow with her basket. — (4) Sees three little dwarfs peeping out of their small house in the wood. Greets them civilly, and being told to enter, warms herself at the stove, and begins to eat her breakfast. The elves ask for a share, and she divides with them her bit of bread. Having wondered at her thin attire, and learnt the nature of her errand, they give her a broom with which to sweep away the snow behind the little house, and there she finds real ripe strawberries. — (5) The little men confer how best to reward her generosity. The first says she shall grow every day more beautiful; the second, that gold pieces shall fall from her mouth whenever she speaks ; the third, that a king shall marry her. Having filled her basket with strawberries and thanked the little men, the girl runs home to her step-mother. She relates what has happened, and gold pieces fall from her mouth — covering the whole room. — (6) Her step-sister is abusive and envious, and, in spite of the cold, anxious herself to seek straw- berries. Her mother dresses her in fur and gives her bread and butter and cake to take with her, but she does not greet the little men when they peep

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