Comparetti, Domenico, Novelline popolari Italiane. Roma, Torino, Firenze, 1875. No. XXIII, pp. 95-100. (Being vol. vi or Canti e Racconti del Popolo Italiano, pubblicati per cura di Domenico Comparetti et Alessandro d'Ancona.) (From Pisa.)
Ill-treated heroine (by mother) -- Hearth-abode -- Menial heroine minds ducks--Task (spinning)--Old woman aid--Old woman lends heroine magic comb, which makes fall from her hair corn for ducks and jewels. Task performed by means of magic wand. Same things happen several days--dresses provided by bird Verdirio given heroine by old woman--Meeting-place (ball)--Three-fold flight--Money and Shoe thrown to pursuers--Prince fetches heroine from parents who, at first, refuse to show her. The jingling of hells on heroine's magic dress is mistaken for noise of fire-irons--Happy marriage-- Heroine gives presents to parents and sister.
(1) A man and woman have two daughters, one more beautiful than the other. One sits always in the chimney-corner, and is hence called "the Cenerentola".-- (2) Her mother sends her out every day to mind ducks, and gives her a pound of hemp to spin. One morning she drives ducks into a ditch, and says,
"Dill, dill, drink, drink.
If it is muddy, do not drink;
If it is clear, drink without fear."
She has scarcely spoken, when she sees before her an old woman, who, learning that she has ducks to mind and hemp to spin, asks whether mother never sends other daughter. --(3) Then old woman gives her a comb, and bids her comb herself. Heroine begins combing one side of her hair, when a quantity of corn falls from it, which the ducks devour. Then she combs the other side, and diamonds and rubies fall. Old woman gives her box in which to put jewels, and tells her to take them home and hide them in her room. Heroine says, "But now I have got to spin hemp." Old woman says, "Don't trouble yourself about that," and, striking with her wand, she commands hemp to be spun, and it is done. She then sends heroine home, bidding her return every day to see her. Heroine tells no one what has happened, but Sits in her chimney-corner. Every day she visits old woman, who makes her comb herself and spins her hemp for her.-- (4) One day, old woman says, "To-night king gives a ball, to which your father, mother, and sister are invited. They will ask you, for fun, if you would like to go, but you must say 'No.' Take this little bird, hide it in your room, and tonight, when they have all gone, say to it,
'Little bird Verdirio,
Make toe more lovely than I know,'
and you will be dressed ready for the ball. Take this little wand, and str, with it, then a carriage will appear. Go to the ball, where no one will know you, and the king's son will dance with you. Take care to leave when they go to the refreshment-room, for no one must see whither you go. Return to bird and say,
'Little bird Verdirio,
Make me more ugly than I know,'
and you will be as before.' heroine takes bird, and does everything as bidden. When mother asks if she would like to go to ball, she says "No". King's son falls in love with her, and is vexed to have lost sight of her.--(5) He gives another ball in the hope of seeing her again. Mother and sister talk of lovely stranger to heroine, who again tells mother she does not want to go to ball. In the morning she goes out as usual with ducks, and old woman tells her to go that night to ball, arid be sure and leave as before, and if she sees anyone following, to strike wand, and say, 'Quattrini," and throw these to pursuers. All happens as before. King has told servants to follow her, but she throws out money, and they lose sight of her.-- (6) King determines to give a third ball. Mother returns, and tells heroine, who appears not to care to hear about it. She buds old woman next morning, who tells her that tonight she will have a dress covered with little golden bells, and a pair of gold shoes. If she is followed, she is to throw money and one shoe; but, above all things, not let it be discovered where she enters. All happens as before. Servants follow carriage, and she throws out money and shoe. But servants have been told by king that, on pain of death, they must not fail to see where she enters; so they disregard money. One picks up the shoe, and they run so fast that they see where the carriage stops, and report, and give shoe to king, who rewards them.-- (7) Next morning, when heroine drives ducks, old woman says, "You will have to be very quick back this morning, because the king is coming for you," and she at once gives her the comb and the spun hemp, and sends her home. Mother remarks how early she has returned to-day, and heroine says, "Look at the ducks, how gorged they are." At noon the king's son arrives, and they all run forward, except heroine, who goes to bird and says as before, obtaining dress with golden bells, arid one gold shoe.-- (8) Meanwhile king asks man how many daughters he has. At first he only shows one; afterwards confesses that he has another, of whom he is ashamed, because she is always on the hearth, and is covered with ashes. Prince has her called. Bells jingle as she descends stairs. Mother says the stupid is dragging behind her the shovel and tongs. Prince recognises heroine; gives her gold shoe, which she puts on, blushing.-- (9) He asks to marry her, and parents cannot refuse. Heroine takes with her the bird and all the jewels which old woman had given her. She gives presents to parents and sister.