- The Goose Girl
The Goose Girl is a German
fairy talecollected by the Brothers Grimm. Since the second edition published in 1819, "The Goose Girl" has been recorded as Tale no. 89. [Jacob and Wilheim Grimm, "Household tales", [http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/goosegirl/index.html "The Goose Girl"] ]
The story uses the false bride plot with a good-hearted princess being seized by her maid and turned into a common goose girl. It is
Aarne-Thompsontype 533. Another tale of this type is " The Golden Bracelet". [Heidi Anne Heiner, [http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/goosegirl/other.html "Tales Similar to the Goose Girl"] ] These motifs are also found in Child ballad271, " The Lord of Lorn and the False Steward". [Helen Child Sargent, ed; George Lymn Kittredge, ed "English and Scottish Popular Ballads: Cambridge Edition" p 586 Houghton Mifflin Company Boston 1904]
It was first published in
1815as no. 3 in vol. 2 of the first edition of their Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children's and Household Tales -- Grimms' Fairy Tales). It was translated into English by Margaret Hunt in 1884. Andrew Langincluded it in " The Blue Fairy Book".
A queen sends her daughter - who is betrothed to a prince in a far-off land - to her bridegroom. She sends her with a
trousseau, a waiting-maid, and a horse for each of them; the princess's horse is named Falada and has the ability to speak. The queen takes a small knifeand cuts herself, putting three drops of her bloodonto a white handkerchiefand bids her daughter to keep it with her, as it will aid her on her journey.
princessand her waiting-maid travel for a time, then the princess grows thirsty. She asks the maid to go and fetch her some water, but the girl refuses and so the princess goes and drinks water from the stream from her goblet. The princess sighs and the drops of blood - hidden in the princess's bodice- reply, "If your mother only knew, her heart would surely break in two." The princess and the waiting-maid travel on, and the princess grows thirsty again. by that time the princess had forgotten the waiting-maids rude speech earlier and asks the waiting-maid again "waiting maid please fetch me some water with my goblet for i have grew thirsty again", "no if you are thirsty, go and get it yourself i shall not be your waiting maid any longer" the maid sounded stern and furious. so she stops by herself and drops her goblet to be the same as everyone else and drinks with her hands while she is not paying attention the handkerchief with the drops of blood on it falls out of her bodice and into the stream. The princess does not notice this.
Deprived of the magical protection of her mother's handkerchief and blood, the princess is defenseless when the maid makes her change places, including horses and dresses. When they reach their destination, the maid continues the charade, going so far as to have the princess' horse, Falada, butchered, for fear he will reveal the secret. In addition, she informs the king that the princess is merely a peasant girl procured for the journey and now unneeded. He puts the princess to work in his castle.
The princess - now a goose girl - promises the butcher a piece of gold if he would give Falada a proper burial. The butcher hangs out Falada's head on the wall of the gate. Every morning, as she drives out the geese with Conrad, the goose herder, she sadly greets Falada's head and Falada's head repeats the same words previously spoken by the drops of blood: "If your mother only knew, her heart would surely break in two." Every day, she combs her hair in the pasture. Conrad always tries to steal some of the golden locks, and she charms the wind to blow his hat far away, so he can not return until she is finished.
Conrad goes to the king and declares he will not herd geese with her any longer because of the strange things that happen. The king tells him to do it one more time and watches; when they return, the king asks the princess to tell him her story. She explains that she took an oath not to tell. He tells her to tell her troubles to the iron stove and eavesdrops while she does so. The princess, in her sorrow, tells the entire story - that she is a princess and that her waiting-maid has conspired against her.
Upon learning this, the king causes royal garments to be given to her as befits her station, and brings her to the prince's attention. At dinner later that evening, everyone has eaten and drunk and are quite merry. The princess and the waiting-maid are present, although the waiting-maid does not recognize the princess in her new finery. The king tells the princess's story without naming any names, and asks the waiting-maid what the appropriate punishment would be. The waiting-maid answers that such a person should be put naked into a
barrellined with nails, which should be dragged by horses from street to street until the person is dead. The sentence is carried out on her, and the prince marries the true princess.
Some more recent versions of this fairy tale include: "The Goose Girl" By: Shannon Hale
*The Sleeping Prince
The White and the Black Bride
Udea and her Seven Brothers
Little Annie the Goose-Girl
* [http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm089.html "The Goose Girl"]
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