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Variations on 'Ass’-Skin'

We have four other variations of the above story, written down, with others, that we heard, but did not copy out. One, which much resembles the above, excepting in the commencement, opens with the proposal of a king's son to marry one of the three daughters of another king. This king asks his three daughters (like King Lear) how much they love him. The eldest says, "As much as I do my little finger." That did not please him. The second says, "As much as my middle finger." The youngest says, "As much as the bread loves the salt." In a rage the father sends her into the forest, with two servants, to be killed. They spare her, and carry the horse's heart to the king, and the girl lives in the forest "on the plants which the birds brought her, and on the flowers which the bees brought her." The king's son finds her there while hunting, takes her home, and marries her. At the wedding feast she gives her father bread without salt, and then discovers herself, and all is made right, and they live all happily, except the two sisters, who remain old maids.

Two others open like Campbell's "The King who Wished to Marry his Daughter." A king loses his wife, who on her deathbed makes him promise only to marry some one just like her. This is, of course, her daughter. The daughter will not, and takes counsel of her godmother. She bids her ask for a wedding dress made of the wings of flies; but this impossibility is performed. Then the daughter escapes--in the one tale in a ship, in the other on foot--and takes a place as servant. The king has a ball; the old woman appears, and gives her the nut with the dresses, etc. But in one of these tales, on the wedding-day she was more handsomely dressed than ever before, "and think! they had their dresses made for each other"--i.e., they dress each

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other! "I don't understand how it is," said the narrator, "but the story says so."

Our fifth version is short, and, as it puts the step-mother in an unusual light, we give it entire:--

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