Kristensen, E. T., Unpublished Collection. (Narrated by Mr. Knudsen, Teacher, Heldum, Jutland.)
(The Golden Shoe).
Dying father divides inheritance between elder daughters; heroine gets only a white dog--Ill-treated heroine (by elder sisters)--H animal (dog) works for heroine; provides Magic dresses--Meeting-place (church)--Threefold flight-- Lost shoe--Shoe marriage test--Mutilated feet--Animal witness (crows) --Happy marriage.
(1) A widower has three daughters. He falls ill and is dying. Eldest daughter takes leave of him, and receives as inheritance half of his farm and goods; second daughter gets the other half.-- (2) Youngest daughter asks father whether he has given away the white dog in the forest too. No, he has not; she may have it if she likes. It is the only thing she wishes for. Elder sisters do no work, heroine being their drudge.-- (3) On Sunday they go to church, leaving heroine at home. The white dog comes "Is our lady not going to church to-day?" "Fain would I, but I must stay and sweep and carry peat, and wash the table and cook the dinner." "I'll sweep with my tail, wash the table with my tongue, and stir the pot with my leg. But you must go to the gate by the wood: there you will find a coach, with coachman and servants, and inside a beautiful dress and shoes." So it comes to pass. She drives to church, where all marvel; and as soon as clergyman leaves the pulpit she goes out, says, "Light before and dark behind!" and disappears. She is at home in her rags when sisters return and talk of the lovely lady.-- (4) Next Sunday she asks leave to go to church, but is refused. All happens as before. She goes in silver dress and shoes, in silver coach.-- (5) The third Sunday everything is of gold. This time king's son comes so close that he treads off one of her shoes just as she vanishes.-- (6) The sisters are reading the newspapers at home, and see the announcement that all young girls between eighteen and twenty years of age must appear at the castle on a certain day to try the golden shoe; for prince will wed whomsoever it fits. Elder sisters, though being past twenty, want to try; so do many, many more. Whilst they are trying the shoe, some crows fly over the castle, cawing:
"They chop off their toes and they cut their heels too;
She is sitting at home who can wear the gold shoe!"
Prince hears, and inquires who is sitting at home. Sisters at length confess.-- (7) Heroine is ordered to appear. She goes to the gate in the wood, finds coach, and drives up to castle door with one golden shoe on, Prince receives her with the other shoe in his hand; she puts it on. They are married, and the little white dog lives with them in the castle.