Von der Hagen, Friedrich Heinrich, Erzählungen und Märchen. Prenzlau, 1825. Vol. ii, pp. 339-43.
"THE THREE SISTERS."
Ill-treated heroine (by mother and sisters)--Tasks (sorting)-- Task-performing animal (white dove) --Magic dresses from willow-tree- (not as meeting-place)--Lost shoe--Shoe marriage test--Mutilated feet--False brides--Animal witness (dog)--Happy marriage --Garden-trees follow heroine to new home.
(1) Mother has three daughters. The youngest, who is extremely beautiful, is hated by mother and sisters, who make her do all menial work and wear rags.-- (2) Mother throws poppies into the ashes for her to sort. Once, when she is weeping over this task, a white dove asks if it can help her; heroine says "Yes":
"Help your crop, but that would not
Be helping for my little pot."
Dove helps, and before flying away says, if she would like to go to church and has no good clothes, she can go to large willow-tree behind the village, and say,
"Open, hollow willow-tree!
Give out lovely clothes to me,"
and she will be dressed better than her sisters.-- (3) Next Sunday heroine watches mother and sisters into church, then gets lovely raiment from tree and follows them. No one ever knows her, and mother and sisters often talk of the lovely princess who appears in church. -- (4) It happens one day that a neighbouring knight picks up a dainty little shoe, and wonders to what pretty foot it can belong. He hears tell of mother with the three pretty daughters; so he sends shoe to her house with the request that he may have the girl it fits for his bride.-- (5) Youngest is not told of it, but eldest cuts off toes and puts shoe on. Suitor comes to receive her as his bride, and takes her home. His little dog will not be pacified, but keeps running round him, barking,
Master has got the wrong bride now."
Then it is found that girl has cut off her toes so as to wear shoe.-- (6) She is taken back to mother, and second daughter fetched as bride. Dog denounces her in like manner; her toes also have been cut off; so she is returned.-- (7) Youngest daughter is no longer kept in hiding; she is brought forth, and shoe fits her. Dog barks,
Master's got the right girl now."
And the young trees in mother's garden uproot themselves to follow heroine, and plant themselves in her new garden.