Roman Legends: A Collection of the Fables and Folk-lore of Rome | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in October 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

Maria Wood (Maria di Legno): Third Version


IN ANOTHER version, on the princess refusing to do what the king wishes, he sends his servants to take her to a high tower he has out in the Campagna, and bids them carry her to the top and drop her down.

               They take her there; but have not the heart to throw her down. In a corner of the upper story of the tower they see a large case or press.

               'Suppose we shut her up in this great press, and leave her in the middle of the open Campagna, a long way off, to the providence of God? It will be better than killing her,' says one of them.

               'We have nothing against the plan,' answered the others; 'provided we take her so far that she cannot possibly come back to our king's country.'

               So they locked her up in the great box, and carried the box a long, long way out in the open Campagna, and left it there to the providence of God.

               The poor princess was very glad to have escaped death; but she felt very desolate in the box. As she was wondering what would happen to her, she was suddenly frightened by a great barking of dogs round the box. A king's son had come by hunting, and his dogs had smelt human blood in the box.

               'Call the dogs off, and let's see what's in the box,' said the prince.

               So they opened the box; and when they saw the princess inside, they saw she was no common maiden, for she had a stomacher and earrings of brilliants. So they brought her to the prince, and she pleased him, and he married her.


This way of introducing the box incident is more like Straparola's, and again connects this group with the former one in which I have had occasion to mention it.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Maria Wood (Maria di Legno): Third Version
Tale Author/Editor: Busk, Rachel Harriette
Book Title: Roman Legends: A Collection of the Fables and Folk-lore of Rome
Book Author/Editor: Busk, Rachel Harriette
Publisher: Estes and Lauriat
Publication City: Boston
Year of Publication: 1877
Country of Origin: Italy
Classification: ATU 510B: Peau d'Asne

Back to Top