Meier, Ernst, Deutsche Volksmärchen aus Schwaben, aus dem Munde des Volks gesammelt. Stuttgart, 1852. No. IV. pp. 16-20. (From Schwabisch-Hall.)
Ill-treated heroine (by step-mother and younger step-sisters)--Hearth abode--Menial heroine--Task, grain-sorting--Gifts chosen by three daughters from father. Heroine chooses twig-- Help (at well)--Dwarf gives magic wand--Magic dresses-- Meeting-place (ball)-Threefold flight--Pitch-trap--Lost shoe--Shoe marriage test--Mutilated feet --Happy marriage.
(1) Heroine is ill-treated by stepmother, and ordered about by two step-sisters, who are younger than herself. She does all house-work, wears old clothes, and is nicknamed Aschengrittel. -- (2) Stepsisters throw handfuls of lentils in the ashes for her to sort.-- (3) Father goes a journey, and asks what gifts he shall bring for daughters. Younger daughters choose splendid dresses, ear-rings, and necklaces. Heroine asks for first little twig that hits father's hat. Stepsisters mock at her; but she places twig in her bosom, and carries it always with her.-- (4) Next day heroine goes to well to draw water; a tiny, white-bearded dwarf appears, and promises to perform three good and three evil wishes for heroine. She will not take the bad ones, but wishes, first, that stepmother and stepsisters may be kind to her in future. Dwarf wonders at this, but, seeing she has good heart, gives her golden wand, that will perform anything she wishes. She has only to strike edge of well with wand, and name her wants.-- (5) Young king, wishing to choose bride, gives grand ball. Stepsisters go, but heroine is kept at home, because of her dirt and rags. Heroine finishes her work quickly, washes and combs herself, goes to well, strikes edge with wand, and wishes for beautiful ball-dress and ornaments. Instantly wonderful dress with gold and pearls is before her. Clad in this she goes to ball at castle, is admired by all, and king dances with her. She disappears before the rest leave, and king is greatly concerned.-- (6) He gives second ball, which heroine attends as before, in inure splendid attire. King begs to accompany her home, but she escapes alone.-- (7) King his no peace of mind till he gives third ball. Heroine appears in still more gorgeous dress, and is beyond measure happy. King has every door but one closed, and this is smeared with pitch. He pursues heroine, and in her flight she leaves golden shoe sticking to the pitch rather than let king follow her home.-- (8) He is delighted to have shoe, and gives notice that he will wed whomsoever it fits. Goes himself from house to house trying it, and comes to house of stepmother, who makes one daughter cut off big toe, and the other daughter piece of heel. King sees blood in shoe, and says:
There is blood in the shoe;
This bride is not the true."
-- (9) When he learns that woman has stepdaughter, he insists on seeing her, though they say she is too ugly and dirty to appear. He recognises her and marries her.