Kristensen, E. T., Efterslaet lil Skattegraveren. 1890. P. 144, No. 107. (From the Danish Island of Falster.)
(The Golden Shoe).
Ill-treated heroine (by step-mother)--Good luck will befall anyone passing night in church--Stepsister sent, well supplied with food, which she refuses to share with hen and chickens; is terrified and chastised by apparition--Heroine sent with poor fare, which she shares with hen and chickens; apparition shows her hidden treasure--Shoe marriage test--Shoe is kept in royal family for the purpose-- Mutilated feet-- [Animal witness]. Bird counsels step-sister to cut foot--Happy marriage--Hidden treasure is heroine's dowry.
(1) Heroine is ill-treated by her stepmother, who has a daughter of her own. Father likes to rest when he returns home tired of an evening, and does not comfort heroine.-- (2) It is said in the town that whoever would pass a night in the church would have great good luck. Stepmother means her daughter to try for it, and gives her plenty of warm clothes and a pot of "sweet porridge" (i.e made of unskimmed milk), and sends her. Step-sister feels hungry in church, and begins eating her porridge-"Cluck, cluck." From choir a hen and quite a number of chickens come hopping up to her. The hen, clucking and scraping, looks up at her; but, when they come too close, she drives hen and chickens away, and goes on composedly eating her porridge. Just as she has finished, a dreadful noise and a horrible voice are heard outside: "Come, open to me and my gilt shanks!" Girl, frightened out of her wits, asks hen what to do. Hen says:
"All the porridge you ate,
And then licked the plate.
You must go your own gait!"
Again the awful voice is heard; something enters the church-door with a tremendous noise, comes up to the girl, and gives her half-a-dozen boxes on the ear. She swoons away; next morning goes home, and tells mother all that has passed.-- (3) Heroine must try her luck, and is sent to church with water-porridge. She begins to feel hungry. Hen and chickens appear, clucking. "Perhaps they are hungry, too!" she says, and she shares her poor fare with them, scattering some on the ground. The noise and the horrible voice are heard. "What am I to do, my little hen, my tiny chicks?" "Go and open the door," says the hen. At last heroine takes courage and opens the door. Outside there is a tall, slim person with gilt legs, who says: "Come, I'll show you something lucky," and takes her to the altar, where he raises a flag-stone, and draws from the hole a pot filled with money, saying, "Take it, preserve it, never speak of it: the time will come when you may want it." Then he vanishes. Next morning heroine goes home, but tells nothing.-- (4) The old king dies, and the prince, his successor, seeks a wife. In the royal family they have a beautiful small golden shoe, and it is the custom, when a queen is wanted, to seek a girl who can wear this shoe. Stepmother wants her daughter to be queen, but her foot is too large. A small bird in a tree warbles,
"A toe you'll cut, a heel you'll pare,
And then the golden shoe may wear."
Stepmother takes an axe and a huge pair of tailor's scissors. Her daughter groans. "You must suffer if you want to be beautiful, you know," urges the mother. The blood is staunched, and the shoe put on. Presently king discovers the trick by the dripping blood, and he drives her away.-- (5) Heroine can wear the shoe; and, as she wants a dowry, she fetches her treasure from the church, and does not come to the king empty-handed. They are married.