The next class to which we shall direct our attention is the one in which jealous relatives (usually envious sisters or mother-in-law), steal a mother's new-born children, who are exposed and afterwards rescued and brought up far from their home by some childless person; or the mother is accused of having devoured them, and is repudiated or punished, and finally delivered and restored to her former position by her children, who are discovered by their father. 
The following story, belonging to this class, is from Pitrè (No. 36), slightly condensed.
IV. THE DANCING WATER, THE SINGING APPLE, AND THE SPEAKING BIRD. 
THERE was once an herb-gatherer who had three daughters who earned their living by spinning. One day their father died and left them all alone in the world. Now the king had a habit of going about the streets at night, and listening at the doors to hear what the people said of him. One night he listened at the door of the house where the three sisters lived, and heard them disputing about something. The oldest said: "If I were the wife of the royal butler, I would give the whole court to drink out of one glass of water, and there would be some left." The second said: "If I were the wife of the keeper of the royal wardrobe, with one piece of cloth I would clothe all the attendants, and have some left." The youngest said: "Were I the king's wife, I would bear him three children: two sons with apples in their hands, and a daughter with a star on her brow."
The king went back to his palace, and the next morning sent for the sisters, and said to them: "Do not be frightened, but tell me what you said last night." The oldest told him what she had said, and the king had a glass of water brought, and commanded her to prove her words. She took the glass, and gave all the attendants to drink, and there was some water left. "Bravo!" cried the king, and summoned the butler. "This is your husband. Now it is your turn," said the king to the next sister, and commanded a piece of cloth to be brought, and the young girl at once cut out garments for all the attendants, and had some cloth left. "Bravo!" cried the king again, and gave her the keeper of the wardrobe for her husband. "Now it is your turn," said the king to the youngest. "Your Majesty, I said that were I the king's wife, I would bear him three children: two sons with apples in their hands, and a daughter with a star on her brow." The king replied: "If that is true, you shall be queen; if not, you shall die," and straightway he married her.
Very soon the two older sisters began to be envious of the youngest. "Look," said they: "she is going to be queen, and we must be servants!" and they began to hate her. A few months before the queen's children were to be born, the king declared war, and was obliged to depart; but he left word that if the queen had three children: two sons with apples in their hands and a girl with a star on her brow, the mother was to be respected as queen; if not, he was to be informed of it, and would tell his servants what to do. Then he departed for the war.
When the queen's children were born, as she had promised, the envious sisters bribed the nurse to put little dogs in the place of the queen's children, and sent word to the king that his wife had given birth to three puppies. He wrote back that she should be taken care of for two weeks, and then put into a tread-mill.
Meanwhile the nurse took the little babies, and carried them out of doors, saying: "I will make the dogs eat them up," and she left them alone. While they were thus exposed, three fairies passed by and exclaimed: "Oh how beautiful these children are!" and one of the fairies said: "What present shall we make these children?" One answered: "I will give them a deer to nurse them." "And I a purse always full of money." "And I," said the third fairy, "will give them a ring which will change color when any misfortune happens to one of them."
The deer nursed and took care of the children until they grew up. Then the fairy who had given them the deer came and said: "Now that you have grown up, how can you stay here any longer?" "Very well," said one of the brothers, "I will go to the city and hire a house." "Take care," said the deer, "that you hire one opposite the royal palace." So they all went to the city and hired a palace as directed, and furnished it as if they had been royal personages. When the aunts saw these three youths, imagine their terror! "They are alive!" they said. They could not be mistaken, for there were the apples in their hands, and the star on the girl's brow. They called the nurse and said to her: "Nurse, what does this mean? are our nephews and niece alive?" The nurse watched at the window until she saw the two brothers go out, and then she went over as if to make a visit to the new house. She entered and said: "What is the matter, my daughter; how do you do? Are you perfectly happy? You lack nothing. But do you know what is necessary to make you really happy? It is the Dancing Water. If your brothers love you, they will get it for you!" She remained a moment longer and then departed.
When one of the brothers returned, his sister said to him: "Ah! my brother, if you love me go and get me the Dancing Water." He consented, and next morning saddled a fine horse, and departed. On his way he met a hermit, who asked him, "Where are you going, cavalier?" "I am going for the Dancing Water." "You are going to your death, my son; but keep on until you find a hermit older than I." He continued his journey until he met another hermit, who asked him the same question, and gave him the same direction. Finally he met a third hermit, older than the other two, with a white beard that came down to his feet, who gave him the following directions: "You must climb yonder mountain. On top of it you will find a great plain and a house with a beautiful gate. Before the gate you will see four giants with swords in their hands. Take heed; do not make a mistake; for if you do that is the end of you! When the giants have their eyes closed, do not enter; when they have their eyes open, enter. Then you will come to a door. If you find it open, do not enter; if you find it shut, push it open and enter. Then you will find four lions. When they have their eyes shut, do not enter; when their eyes are open, enter, and you will see the Dancing Water." The youth took leave of the hermit, and hastened on his way.
Meanwhile the sister kept looking at the ring constantly, to see whether the stone in it changed color; but as it did not, she remained undisturbed.
A few days after leaving the hermit the youth arrived at the top of the mountain, and saw the palace with the four giants before it. They had their eyes shut, and the door was open. "No," said the youth, "that won't do." And so he remained on the lookout a while. When the giants opened their eyes, and the door closed, he entered, waited until the lions opened their eyes, and passed in. There he found the Dancing Water, and filled his bottles with it, and escaped when the lions again opened their eyes.
The aunts, meanwhile, were delighted because their nephew did not return; but in a few days he appeared and embraced his sister. Then they had two golden basins made, and put into them the Dancing Water, which leaped from one basin to the other. When the aunts saw it they exclaimed: "Ah! how did he manage to get that water?" and called the nurse, who again waited until the sister was alone, and then visited her. "You see," said she, "how beautiful the Dancing Water is! But do you know what you want now? The Singing Apple." Then she departed. When the brother who had brought the Dancing Water returned, his sister said to him: "If you love me you must get for me the Singing Apple." "Yes, my sister, I will go and get it."
Next morning he mounted his horse, and set out. After a time he met the first hermit, who sent him to an older one. He asked the youth where he was going, and said: "It is a difficult task to get the Singing Apple, but hear what you must do: Climb the mountain; beware of the giants, the door, and the lions; then you will find a little door and a pair of shears in it. If the shears are open, enter; if closed, do not risk it." The youth continued his way, found the palace, entered, and found everything favorable. When he saw the shears open, he went in a room and saw a wonderful tree, on top of which was an apple. He climbed up and tried to pick the apple, but the top of the tree swayed now this way, now that. He waited until it was still a moment, seized the branch, and picked the apple. He succeeded in getting safely out of the palace, mounted his horse, and rode home, and all the time he was carrying the apple it kept making a sound.
The aunts were again delighted because their nephew was so long absent; but when they saw him return, they felt as though the house had fallen on them. Again they summoned the nurse, and again she visited the young girl, and said: "See how beautiful they are, the Dancing Water and the Singing Apple! But should you see the Speaking Bird, there would be nothing left for you to see." "Very well," said the young girl; "we will see whether my brother will get it for me."
When her brother came she asked him for the Speaking Bird, and he promised to get it for her. He met, as usual on his journey, the first hermit, who sent him to the second, who sent him on to a third one, who said to him: "Climb the mountain and enter the palace. You will find many statues. Then you will come to a garden, in the midst of which is a fountain, and on the basin is the Speaking Bird. If it should say anything to you, do not answer. Pick a feather from the bird's wing, dip it into a jar you will find there, and anoint all the statues. Keep your eyes open, and all will go well."
The youth already knew well the way, and soon was in the palace. He found the garden and the bird, which, as soon as it saw him, exclaimed: "What is the matter, noble sir; have you come for me? You have missed it. Your aunts have sent you to your death, and you must remain here. Your mother has been sent to the tread-mill." "My mother in the tread-mill?" cried the youth, and scarcely were the words out of his mouth when he became a statue like all the others.
When the sister looked at her ring she saw that it had changed its color to blue. "Ah!" she exclaimed, and sent her other brother after the first. Everything happened to him as to the first. He met the three hermits, received his instructions, and soon found himself in the palace, where he discovered the garden with the statues, the fountain, and the Speaking Bird.
Meanwhile the aunts, who saw that both their nephews were missing, were delighted; and the sister, on looking at her ring, saw that it had become clear again.
Now when the Speaking Bird saw the youth appear in the garden it said to him: "What has become of your brother? Your mother has been sent to the tread-mill." "Alas, my mother in the tread-mill!" And when he had spoken these words he became a statue.
The sister looked at her ring, and it had become black. Poor child! not having anything else to do, she dressed herself like a page and set out.
Like her brothers, she met the three hermits, and received their instructions. The third concluded thus: "Beware, for if you answer when the bird speaks you will lose your life." She continued her way, followed exactly the hermit's directions, and reached the garden in safety. When the bird saw her it exclaimed: "Ah! you here, too? Now you will meet the same fate as your brothers. Do you see them? one, two, and you make three. Your father is at the war. Your mother is in the tread-mill. Your aunts are rejoicing." She did not reply, but let the bird sing on. When it had nothing more to say it flew down, and the young girl caught it, pulled a feather from its wing, dipped it into the jar, and anointed her brothers' nostrils, and they at once came to life again. Then she did the same with all the other statues, with the lions and the giants, until all became alive again. Then she departed with her brothers, and all the noblemen, princes, barons, and kings' sons rejoiced greatly. Now when they had all come to life again the palace disappeared, and the hermits disappeared, for they were the three fairies.
The day after the brothers and sister reached the city where they lived, they summoned a goldsmith, and had him make a gold chain, and fasten the bird with it. The next time the aunts looked out they saw in the window of the palace opposite the Dancing Water, the Singing Apple, and the Speaking Bird. "Well," said they, "the real trouble is coming now!"
The bird directed the brothers and sister to procure a carriage finer than the king's, with twenty-four attendants, and to have the service of their palace, cooks and servants, more numerous and better than the king's. All of which the brothers did at once. And when the aunts saw these things they were ready to die of rage.
At last the king returned from the war, and his subjects told him all the news of the kingdom, and the thing they talked about the least was his wife and children. One day the king looked out of the window and saw the palace opposite furnished in a magnificent manner. "Who lives there?" he asked, but no one could answer him. He looked again and saw the brothers and sister, the former with the apples in their hands, and the latter with the star on her brow. "Gracious! if I did not know that my wife had given birth to three puppies, I should say that those were my children," exclaimed the king. Another day he stood by the window and enjoyed the Dancing Water and the Singing Apple, but the bird was silent. After the king had heard all the music, the bird said: "What does your Majesty think of it?" The king was astonished at hearing the Speaking Bird, and answered: "What should I think? It is marvellous." "There is something more marvellous," said the bird; "just wait." Then the bird told his mistress to call her brothers, and said: "There is the king; let us invite him to dinner on Sunday. Shall we not?" "Yes, yes," they all said. So the king was invited and accepted, and on Sunday the bird had a grand dinner prepared and the king came. When he saw the young people, he clapped his hands and said: "I cannot persuade myself; they seem my children."
He went over the palace and was astonished at its richness. Then they went to dinner, and while they were eating the king said: "Bird, every one is talking; you alone are silent." "Ah! your Majesty, I am ill; but next Sunday I shall be well and able to talk, and will come and dine at your palace with this lady and these gentlemen." The next Sunday the bird directed his mistress and her brothers to put on their finest clothes; so they dressed in royal style and took the bird with them. The king showed them through his palace and treated them with the greatest ceremony: the aunts were nearly dead with fear. When they had seated themselves at the table, the king said: "Come, bird, you promised me you would speak; have you nothing to say?" Then the bird began and related all that had happened from the time the king had listened at the door until his poor wife had been sent to the tread-mill; then the bird added: "These are your children, and your wife was sent to the mill, and is dying." When the king heard all this, he hastened to embrace his children, and then went to find his poor wife, who was reduced to skin and bones and was at the point of death. He knelt before her and begged her pardon, and then summoned her sisters and the nurse, and when they were in his presence he said to the bird: "Bird, you who have told me everything, now pronounce their sentence." Then the bird sentenced the nurse to be thrown out of the window, and the sisters to be cast into a cauldron of boiling oil. This was at once done. The king was never tired of embracing his wife. Then the bird departed and the king and his wife and children lived together in peace. 
 This class is named by Hahn from Geneviève de Brabant, whose legend may be found in Dict. des Légendes, p. 396, and, with copious references, in D'Ancona's Sacre Rappresentazioni, III. p. 235.
 The title of the original is "Li figghi di lu Cavuliciddaru," "The Herb-gatherer's Daughters."
 Another Sicilian version is "Re Sonnu," in Pitrè, Nuovo Saggio, No. 1. To the references in Pitrè, No. 36, and Gonz., No. 5, may be added: Fiabe Mant. No. 14, only as far as abstraction of children are concerned and accusation of murder against the mother; No. 46, a poor version, the beginning of which is lost; Comparetti, Nos. 6 (Basilicata), and 30 (Pisa); No. 17 (Pisa) is a defective version, the search for the marvellous objects being omitted; another distorted version from Monferrato is found in the same collection, No. 25. See also Prato, Quattro nov. pop. livornesi, No. 2, and Finamore, No. 39. Two of the traits of our story are found in many others; they are: "Sympathetic objects," ring, etc., and "Life-giving ointment or leaves." For the former, see notes to next two stories, and in general, Brueyre, p. 93; for the latter, see Gonz., No. 40; Comparetti, No. 32 (see Note 12); Bernoni, Punt. III. p. 84. In these stories the life-restoring substance is an ointment; leaves possessing the same power are found in Pitrè, No. 11, Pent. I. 7, La Posillecheata, No. 1, and Coronedi-Berti, No. 14. See also Grimm, No. 16, "The Three Snake-Leaves;" Basque Legends, p. 117; Benfey, Pant. I. 454, Cox, Aryan Myth. I. 160; and Germania, XXI. p. 68. For non-Italian versions of the story in the text see Köhler's notes in Mélusine, p. 213, to a Breton version, and Indian Fairy Tales, pp. 242, 277.
In the above formula are embraced several somewhat different stories in which the persecution of innocent wife proceeds from various persons. For instance, in the Italian legends Sta. Guglielma is persecuted by her brother-in-law; Sta. Ulila by her father and mother-in-law; and Stella by her stepmother. See D'Ancona, op. cit., pp. 199, 235, 317. A popular version, somewhat distorted, of the second of the above-mentioned legends may be found in Nerucci, No. 39; of the third in Gonz., No. 24.
More commonly, however, the persecution is on the part of envious sisters or wicked stepmother. The important rôle played by the last in tales of the North of Europe has its counterpart in those of the South. The following story from Siena (Pitrè, La Scatola di Cristallo) will sufficiently illustrate this class.
XXI. THE CRYSTAL CASKET.
THERE was once a widower who had a daughter. This daughter was between ten and twelve years old. Her father sent her to school, and as she was all alone in the world commended her always to her teacher. Now, the teacher, seeing that the child had no mother, fell in love with the father, and kept saying to the girl: "Ask your father if he would like me for a wife." This she said to her every day, and at last the girl said: "Papa, the school-mistress is always asking me if you will marry her." The father said: "Eh! my daughter, if I take another wife, you will have great troubles." But the girl persisted, and finally the father was persuaded to go one evening to the school-mistress' house. When she saw him she was well pleased, and they settled the marriage in a few days. Poor child! how bitterly she had to repent having found a stepmother so ungrateful and cruel to her! She sent her every day out on a terrace to water a pot of basil, and it was so dangerous that if she fell she would go into a large river.
One day there came by a large eagle, and said to her: "What are you doing here?" She was weeping because she saw how great the danger was of falling into the stream. The eagle said to her: "Get on my back, and I will carry you away, and you will be happier than with your new mamma." After a long journey they reached a great plain, where they found a beautiful palace all of crystal; the eagle knocked at the door and said: "Open, my ladies, open! for I have brought you a pretty girl." When the people in the palace opened the door, and saw that lovely girl, they were amazed, and kissed and caressed her. Meanwhile the door was closed, and they remained peaceful and contented.
Let us return to the eagle, who thought she was doing a spite to the stepmother. One day the eagle flew away to the terrace where the stepmother was watering the basil. "Where is your daughter?" asked the eagle. "Eh!" she replied, "perhaps she fell from this terrace and went into the river; I have not heard from her in ten days." The eagle answered: "What a fool you are! I carried her away; seeing that you treated her so harshly I carried her away to my fairies, and she is very well." Then the eagle flew away.
The stepmother, filled with rage and jealousy, called a witch from the city, and said to her: "You see my daughter is alive, and is in the house of some fairies of an eagle which often comes upon my terrace; now you must do me the favor to find some way to kill this stepdaughter of mine, for I am afraid that some day or other she will return, and my husband, discovering this matter, will certainly kill me." The witch answered: "Oh, you need not be afraid of that: leave it to me."
What did the witch do? She had made a little basketful of sweetmeats, in which she put a charm; then she wrote a letter, pretending that it was her father, who, having learned where she was, wished to make her this present, and the letter pretended that her father was so glad to hear that she was with the fairies.
Let us leave the witch who is arranging all this deception, and return to Ermellina (for so the young girl was named). The fairies had said to her: "See, Ermellina, we are going away, and shall be absent four days; now in this time take good care not to open the door to any one, for some treachery is being prepared for you by your stepmother." She promised to open the door to no one: "Do not be anxious, I am well off, and my stepmother has nothing to do with me." But it was not so. The fairies went away, and the next day when Ermellina was alone, she heard a knocking at the door, and said to herself: "Knock away! I don't open to any one." But meanwhile the blows redoubled, and curiosity forced her to look out of the window. What did she see? She saw one of the servant girls of her own home (for the witch had disguised herself as one of her father's servants). "O my dear Ermellina," she said, "your father is shedding tears of sorrow for you, because he really believed you were dead, but the eagle which carried you off came and told him the good news that you were here with the fairies. Meanwhile your father, not knowing what civility to show you, for he understands very well that you are in need of nothing, has thought to send you this little basket of sweetmeats." Ermellina had not yet opened the door; the servant begged her to come down and take the basket and the letter, but she said: "No, I wish nothing!" but finally, since women, and especially young girls, are fond of sweetmeats, she descended and opened the door. When the witch had given her the basket, she said: "Eat this," and broke off for her a piece of the sweetmeats which she had poisoned. When Ermellina took the first mouthful the old woman disappeared. Ermellina had scarcely time to close the door, when she fell down on the stairs.
When the fairies returned they knocked at the door, but no one opened it for them; then they perceived that there had been some treachery, and began to weep. Then the chief of the fairies said: "We must break open the door," and so they did, and saw Ermellina dead on the stairs. Her other friends who loved her so dearly begged the chief of the fairies to bring her to life, but she would not, "for," said she, "she has disobeyed me;" but one and the other asked her until she consented; she opened Ermellina's mouth, took out a piece of the sweetmeat which she had not yet swallowed, raised her up, and Ermellina came to life again.
We can imagine what a pleasure it was for her friends; but the chief of the fairies reproved her for her disobedience, and she promised not to do so again.
Once more the fairies were obliged to depart. Their chief said: "Remember, Ermellina: the first time I cured you, but the second I will have nothing to do with you." Ermellina said they need not worry, that she would not open to any one. But it was not so; for the eagle, thinking to increase her stepmother's anger, told her again that Ermellina was alive. The stepmother denied it all to the eagle, but she summoned anew the witch, and told her that her stepdaughter was still alive, saying: "Either you will really kill her, or I will be avenged on you." The old woman, finding herself caught, told her to buy a very handsome dress, one of the handsomest she could find, and transformed herself into a tailoress belonging to the family, took the dress, departed, went to poor Ermellina, knocked at the door and said: "Open, open, for I am your tailoress." Ermellina looked out of the window and saw her tailoress; and was, in truth, a little confused (indeed, anyone would have been so). The tailoress said, "Come down, I must fit a dress on you." She replied, "No, no; for I have been deceived once." "But I am not the old woman," replied the tailoress, "you know me, for I have always made your dresses." Poor Ermellina was persuaded, and descended the stairs; the tailoress took to flight while Ermellina was yet buttoning up the dress, and disappeared. Ermellina closed the door, and was mounting the stairs; but it was not permitted her to go up, for she fell down dead.
Let us return to the fairies, who came home and knocked at the door; but what good did it do to knock! There was no longer any one there. They began to weep. The chief of the fairies said: "I told you that she would betray me again; but now I will have nothing more to do with her." So they broke open the door, and saw the poor girl with that beautiful dress on; but she was dead. They all wept, because they really loved her. But there was nothing to do; the chief struck her enchanted wand, and commanded a beautiful rich casket all covered with diamonds and other precious stones to appear; then the others made a beautiful garland of flowers and gold, put it on the young girl, and then laid her in the casket, which was so rich and beautiful that it was marvellous to behold. Then the old fairy struck her wand as usual and commanded a handsome horse, the like of which not even the king possessed. Then they took the casket, put it on the horse's back, and led him into the public square of the city, and the chief of the fairies said: "Go, and do not stop until you find some one who says to you: 'Stop, for pity's sake, for I have lost my horse for you.'"
Now let us leave the afflicted fairies, and turn our attention to the horse, which ran away at full speed. Who happened to pass at that moment? The son of a king (the name of this king is not known); and saw this horse with that wonder on its back. Then the king began to spur his horse, and rode him so hard that he killed him, and had to leave him dead in the road; but the king kept running after the other horse. The poor king could endure it no longer; he saw himself lost, and exclaimed: "Stop, for pity's sake, for I have lost my horse for you!" Then the horse stopped (for those were the words). When the king saw that beautiful girl dead in the casket, he thought no more about his own horse, but took the other to the city. The king's mother knew that her son had gone hunting; when she saw him returning with this loaded horse, she did not know what to think. The son had no father, wherefore he was all powerful. He reached the palace, had the horse unloaded, and the casket carried to his chamber; then he called his mother and said: "Mother, I went hunting, but I have found a wife." "But what is it? A doll? A dead woman?" "Mother," replied her son, "don't trouble yourself about what it is, it is my wife." His mother began to laugh, and withdrew to her own room (what could she do, poor mother?).
Now this poor king no longer went hunting, took no diversion, did not even go to the table, but ate in his own room. By a fatality it happened that war was declared against him, and he was obliged to depart. He called his mother, and said: "Mother, I wish two careful chambermaids, whose business it shall be to guard this casket; for if on my return I find that anything has happened to my casket, I shall have the chambermaids killed." His mother, who loved him, said: "Go, my son, fear nothing, for I myself will watch over your casket." He wept several days at being obliged to abandon this treasure of his, but there was no help for it, he had to go.
After his departure he did nothing but commend his wife (so he called her) to his mother in his letters. Let us return to the mother, who no longer thought about the matter, not even to have the casket dusted; but all at once there came a letter which informed her that the king had been victorious, and should return to his palace in a few days. The mother called the chambermaids, and said to them: "Girls, we are ruined." They replied: "Why, Highness?" "Because my son will be back in a few days, and how have we taken care of the doll?" They said: "True, true; now let us go and wash the doll's face." They went to the king's room and saw that the doll's face and hands were covered with dust and fly-specks, so they took a sponge and washed her face, but some drops of water fell on her dress and spotted it. The poor chambermaids began to weep, and went to the queen for advice. The queen said: "Do you know what to do! call a tailoress, and have a dress precisely like this bought, and take off this one before my son comes." They did so, and the chambermaids went to the room and began to unbutton the dress. The moment that they took off the first sleeve, Ermellina opened her eyes. The poor chambermaids sprang up in terror, but one of the most courageous said: "I am a woman, and so is this one; she will not eat me." To cut the matter short, she took off the dress, and when it was removed Ermellina began to get out of the casket to walk about and see where she was. The chambermaids fell on their knees before her and begged her to tell them who she was. She, poor girl, told them the whole story. Then she said: "I wish to know where I am?" Then the chambermaids called the king's mother to explain it to her. The mother did not fail to tell her everything, and she, poor girl, did nothing but weep penitently, thinking of what the fairies had done for her.
The king was on the point of arriving, and his mother said to the doll: "Come here; put on one of my best dresses." In short, she arrayed her like a queen. Then came her son. They shut the doll up in a small room, so that she could not be seen. The king came with great joy, with trumpets blowing, and banners flying for the victory. But he took no interest in all this, and ran at once to his room to see the doll; the chambermaids fell on their knees before him saying that the doll smelled so badly that they could not stay in the palace, and were obliged to bury her. The king would not listen to this excuse, but at once called two of the palace servants to erect the gallows. His mother comforted him in vain: "My son, it was a dead woman." "No, no, I will not listen to any reasons; dead or alive, you should have left it for me." Finally, when his mother saw that he was in earnest about the gallows, she rang a little bell, and there came forth no longer the doll, but a very beautiful girl, whose like was never seen. The king was amazed, and said: "What is this!" Then his mother, the chambermaids, and Ermellina, were obliged to tell him all that had happened. He said: "Mother, since I adored her when dead, and called her my wife, now I mean her to be my wife in truth." "Yes, my son," replied his mother, "do so, for I am willing." They arranged the wedding, and in a few days were man and wife.
* * * * *
Sicilian versions of this story may be found in Pitrè, Nos. 57, 58; Gonz., Nos. 2-4. To the copious references in the notes to the stories just mentioned may be added: Fiabe Mant. No. 28; Tuscan Fairy Tales, No. IX.; Nov. fior. pp. 232, 239; De Nino, XLI., XLIX., L.; Nov. tosc. 9. Other European versions are: Grimm, No. 53, "Little Snow-White;" Hahn, No. 103; Lo Rondallayre, No. 46: see also Köhler's notes to Gonz., Nos. 2-4.
The last class of "stepmother" stories which we shall mention is Hahn's Formula 15, "Phryxos and Helle," in which both brother and sister are persecuted by stepmother. A good example of this class is Pitrè, No. 283.
XXII. THE STEPMOTHER.
THERE was once a husband and a wife who had two children, a son and a daughter. The wife died, and the husband married a woman who had a daughter blind of one eye. The husband was a farmer, and went to work in a field. The stepmother hated her husband's children, and to get rid of them she baked some bread, and sent it by them to her husband, but directed them to the wrong field, so that they might get lost. When the children reached a mountain they began to call their father, but no one answered. Now the girl was enchanted; and when they came to a spring and the brother wanted to drink, she said to him: "Do not drink of this fountain, or you will become an ass." Afterwards they found another spring, and the brother wanted to drink; but his sister said to him: "Do not drink of it, or you will become a calf." However, the boy would drink, and became a calf with golden horns. They continued their journey, and came to the sea-shore, where there was a handsome villa belonging to the prince. When the prince saw the young girl, and beheld how beautiful she was, he married her, and afterwards asked her what there was about the little calf, and she replied: "I am fond of him because I have brought him up."
Let us now return to her father, who, from the great grief he had on account of his children's disappearance, had gone out to divert himself, and wandered away, gathering fennel. He arrived at last at the villa, where was his daughter who had married the king. His daughter looked out of the window and said to him: "Come up, friend." His daughter had recognized him, and asked: "Friend, do you not know me?" "No, I do not recognize you." Then she said: "I am your daughter, whom you believed lost." She threw herself at his feet, and said: "Pardon me, dear father; I came by chance to this villa, and the king's son was here and married me." The father was greatly consoled at finding his daughter so well married. "Now, my father," said she, "empty this sack of fennel, for I will fill it with gold for you." And then she begged him to bring his wife, and the daughter blind of one eye. The father returned home with his bag full of money, and his wife asked in terror: "Who gave you this money?" He answered: "O wife! do you know that I have found my daughter, and she is the king's wife, and filled this bag with money?" She, instead of being happy, was angry at hearing that her stepdaughter was still alive; however, she said to her husband: "I will go and take my daughter." So they went, the husband, the wife, and the blind daughter, and came to the husband's daughter, who received her stepmother very kindly. But the latter, seeing that the king was away, and that her stepdaughter was alone, seized her and threw her from a window into the sea; and what did she do then? She took her blind daughter and dressed her in the other's clothes, and said to her: "When the king comes and finds you here weeping, say to him: 'The little calf has blinded me with his horn, and I have only one eye!'" Then the stepmother returned to her own house. The king came and found her daughter in bed weeping, and said to her: "Why are you weeping?" "The little calf struck me with his horn and put out one of my eyes." The king cried at once: "Go call the butcher to kill the calf?" When the calf heard that he was to be killed, he went out on the balcony and called to his sister in the sea:--
For me the water is heated,
And the knives are sharpened."
The sister replied from the sea:--
"Oh! brother, I cannot help you,
I am in the dog-fish's mouth."
When the king heard the calf utter these words, he looked out of the window, and when he saw his wife in the sea, he summoned two sailors, and had them take her out and bring her up and restore her. Then he took the blind girl and killed her and cut her in pieces and salted her like tunny-fish, and sent her to her mother. When her husband found it out he left her and went to live with his daughter.
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It may not be amiss to mention here another class of stories which come under the formula of "Persecuted Maiden." The class resembles in some respects the story of King Lear. The youngest daughter is persecuted by her father because he thinks she does not love him as much as her older sisters. A good example of this class is Pitrè, No. 10, L'Acqua e lu Sali.
XXIII. WATER AND SALT.
A VERY fine story is related and told to your worships. Once upon a time there was a king with three daughters. These three daughters being at table one day, their father said: "Come now, let us see which of you three loves me." The oldest said: "Papa, I love you as much as my eyes." The second answered: "I love you as much as my heart." The youngest said: "I love you as much as water and salt." The king heard her with amazement: "Do you value me like water and salt? Quick! call the executioners, for I will have her killed immediately." The other sisters privately gave the executioners a little dog, and told them to kill it and rend one of the youngest sister's garments, but to leave her in a cave. This they did, and brought back to the king the dog's tongue and the rent garment: "Royal Majesty, here is her tongue and garment." And his Majesty gave them a reward. The unfortunate princess was found in the forest by a magician, who took her to his house opposite the royal palace. Here the king's son saw her and fell desperately in love with her, and the match was soon agreed upon. Then the magician came and said: "You must kill me the day before the wedding. You must invite three kings, your father the first. You must order the servants to pass water and salt to all the guests except your father." Now let us return to the father of this young girl, who the longer he lived the more his love for her increased, and he was sick of grief. When he received the invitation he said: "And how can I go with this love for my daughter?" And he would not go. Then he thought: "But this king will be offended if I do not go, and will declare war against me some time." He accepted and went. The day before the wedding they killed the magician and quartered him, and put a quarter in each of four rooms, and sprinkled his blood in all the rooms and on the stairway, and the blood and flesh became gold and precious stones. When the three kings came and saw the golden stairs, they did not like to step on them. "Never mind," said the prince, "go up: this is nothing." That evening they were married: the next day they had a banquet. The prince gave orders: "No salt and water to that king." They sat down at table, and the young queen was near her father, but he did not eat. His daughter said: "Royal Majesty, why do you not eat? Does not the food please you?" "What an idea! It is very fine." "Why don't you eat then?" "I don't feel very well." The bride and groom helped him to some bits of meat, but the king did not want it, and chewed his food over and over again like a goat (as if he could eat it without salt!). When they finished eating they began to tell stories, and the king told them all about his daughter. She asked him if he could still recognize her, and stepping out of the room put on the same dress she wore when he sent her away to be killed. "You caused me to be killed because I told you I loved you as much as salt and water: now you have seen what it is to eat without salt and water." Her father could not say a word, but embraced her and begged her pardon. They remained happy and contented, and here we are with nothing.
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A Venetian version (Bernoni, No. 14) is translated in the Cornhill Magazine, July, 1875, p. 80, a Bolognese version may be found in Coronedi-Berti, No. 5, and from the Abruzzi in Finamore, Nos. 18, 26. Compare also Pomiglianesi, p. 42. For transmutation of magician's body see Zoöl. Myth. I. p. 123, Benfey, Pant. I. pp. 477, 478, Ralston, R. F. T. p. 223, and Indian Fairy Tales, p. 164.
Other Sicilian versions are in Gonz., Nos. 48, 49. A Neapolitan is in Pent. V. 8; a Mantuan, in Fiabe Mant. No. 16; a Tuscan, in Archivio per le Trad. pop. I. p. 44, and one from the Abruzzi in Archivio, III. 546. The same story is in Grimm, Nos. 11 and 141. "The Little Brother and Sister" and "The Little Lamb and the Little Fish." See also Hahn, No. 1. The latter part of the story is connected with "False Bride." See note 21 of this chapter.
Dancing Water, the Singing Apple, and the Speaking Bird, The
Italian Popular Tales
Crane, Thomas Frederick
Houghton Mifflin and Company
Year of Publication:
Country of Origin:
ATU 707: The Three Golden Children