Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/435

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[No. 33.] "• Title of Story.— Vaccarella.

Dramatis Personae — widower, father of Maria.— Widow, stepmother.— Two children, Maria (Heroine) and stepmother's daughter. — Vaccarella (fairy cow). — Man who kills cow. — King's son. — Prince's men. — OflBcer. — Step- mother's servants. — Little daughter born after father's marriage with step- mother.

Abstract of Story. — (l) Widower and widow have each one little girl. Man sends his child to be taught with widow's child. Widow sends message every evening, saying, " Why doesn't your father marry me? " Father does not want to, but yields at last, widow solemnly promising to treat his daughter Maria as tenderly as her own. — (2) Before many months Maria treated with every kind of harshness; stepmother sends her to Campagna to tend cow, has to litter its stall freshly every day and take it to graze; though work is hard she gets so fond of cow that she finds pleasure in tending it. — (3) Stepmother sees this, and to vex her gives her a lot of hemp to spin, Maria urges she has never been taught; stepmother thi-eatens punishment if she does not bring it home that night properly spun. Maria goes to Cam- pagna, complains to cow. Cow is enchanted cow and says, " Throw it on to the horns of me and go along get grass for me." Maria obeys, when she comes back finds heap of hemp beautifully spun. — (4) Next day stepmother gives quantity of spun hemp to be woven into a piece of cloth. Maria complains to cow as before, cow answers as before, when Maria comes with grass she finds all her work done. — (5) Stepmother conceals herself next day, having given Maria shirt to make up. When Maria has given piece of stuff to cow and gone for grass, stepmother sees cow turn into woman and sit down and stitch away, till very shortly shirt is made, when woman immediately becomes cow again — (6) Stepmother tells Maria she is going to kill cow. Maria runs to warn cow, who says there is no need for her to escape, as killing will not hurt her; but Maria is to put her hand under cow's heart, when killed, where she will find golden ball; she is to take it, and whenever she is tired of present state of life, she is to say to it on some fitting occasion, " Golden ball, golden ball, dress me in gold and give me a lover." Stepmother comes with a man, who slaughters cow at her order. Maria finds ball and hides it away carefully. — (7) Shortly there is a novena (a short service held for nine days before a great festival in preparation for it). Stepmother dares not keep Maria at home, for fear neighbours should cry " shame." Maria goes to church, slips away in the crowd, speaks to ball, which opens and envelops her in beautiful clothing like a princess. Prince sees her, sends servants for her after prayers ; she has restored raiment to ball and passes on undiscovered in, her sordid attire. — (8) Every day this happens till last day of novena; prince's attendants use extra