Skattegraveren, ix. p. 213. No. 580. (Jutland. Written down by a poor hunchbacked seamstress, Karen Marie Rasmussen, personally known to Rev. H. F. Feilberg.)
"DEN LILLE SKO"
(The Little Shoe).
Ill-treated heroine (by step-mother and step-sisters)-Helpful animal (eel)--Magic dresses--Meeting place (church)--Three fold flight--Lost shoe--Eel comforts heroine; foretells future happiness; she must every year throw four bushels of salt into eel- pond -- Shoe marriage test --Mutilated feet--Animal witness (caged parrot)-- -Gentleman promises to return in a year for heroine as bride--Happy marriage--Heroine forgets salt for eel--Step-mother cuts off little finger from each of heroine's three children whom she throws into pond--Heroine weeps at pond. Eel appears, forgives her, and on receiving twelve bushels of salt, restores her three children with little fingers missing--Villain Nemesis. Step-mother put into spiked cask and killed.
(1) Heroine is ill-treated by stepmother, who has two daughters of her own. She is not allowed to go to church, and, when stepsisters have started, goes weeping to the pond.-- (2) A large eel puts up its head and asks why she cries, then comforts her, and promises to take care of the house during her absence, and gives her a splendid dress. She must be sure and leave church before anyone else, and never look behind her. So it all happens three Sundays.-- (3) A gentleman follows her, and on the third Sunday treads on her shoe, which she loses, and she runs crying home. Eel comforts her, and says she is to be a fine lady; but to make her happiness complete she must every year have four bushels of salt thrown into the eel-pond.-- (4) The gentleman comes in his carriage to seek the owner of the shoe. Stepsisters cut heel and toe but a parrot in a cage shrieks out, "Cut heel and toe the girl who has lost the shoe is in the kitchen." Heroine is found, and the shoe fits her.-- (5) Gentleman goes away, promising to return in a year for his bride, who in the meantime must not work, but sit decking herself for his coming. He comes and marries her, and takes her to his beautiful castle, where she is too well off to give a thought to the eel,-- (6) Stepmother is with heroine when child is born, and after cutting off its little finger, throws the child into the pond. She does this also with heroine's second and third children.-- (7) Heroine walks to the pond and cries most pitifully, till the eel at last comes. He is angry, but is reconciled on getting twelve bushels of salt at once. Presently eel returns with heroine's three children, each with little finger missing. Stepmother is put into a cask with spikes and driven to death.