- The king's younger daughter is unloved - The king enters the castle of the gray wolf - The gray wolf demands from the king one of his three daughters for wife - Only the younger girl agrees to marry the gray wolf - She is happy with her husband - She goes to the wedding of both of her sisters and comes home too late each time -
The gray wolf's wife
The wolf turns into a prince and disappears, with three bloodstains on his shirt - The wolf's wife is transported to the foot of Crystal Mountain, at the top of which her prince is to remarry - On the way, she cleans the stained shirt of blood - She gets to spend a night with her prince, who falls asleep and does not recognize her - The third night, the prince manages to stay awake and recognizes his first wife - He reveals the truth on the day of the banquet and leaves with his first wife.
There was once a king who had three daughters.
He liked the two older ones more than the younger ones, and he bought them all kinds of beautiful clothes and adornments and never refused them anything. Every day for them it was parties, balls and fun parties.
And during that time, their younger daughter stayed at home and had no other clothes than what her sisters no longer wanted. She always stood in the kitchen, with the servants, and sat on a stepladder in the corner of the fireplace at night to listen to their songs and stories. So her sisters had nicknamed her Luduennic, that is to say Cinderella, and paid no attention to her.
The old king was very fond of hunting. One day he wandered off into a large forest. He encountered an old castle, which he did not know, and knocked on the door. The door opened and he found himself in the presence of a huge gray wolf. He recoiled in fear and wanted to flee. But, the gray wolf said to him:
- Do not be afraid, sire; enter my castle, to spend the night there; I have to talk to you, and tomorrow, we will put you back on the right path, to return home, because we will not hurt you here.
The king entered, although not very reassured.
Nothing was missing in this castle. He supped with two wolves, who sat down at the table like men, then they led him to a beautiful bedroom, where there was an excellent feather bed.
The next morning, when he came down from his room, the two wolves were waiting for him near a beautifully served table. After they had eaten and drunk, one of the wolves (they were brothers) said to the king:
- Now that, King of France, let's talk about business now. I know that you have three daughters, and one of them must consent to marry me, or there is only death for you; moreover, my brother and I and our people will put your whole kingdom to fire and blood. First ask your eldest daughter if she agrees to take me for her husband, and come tomorrow and give me her answer.
Here is the king, much embarrassed and very anxious. "I'll tell my eldest daughter about it," he replied. The two wolves then put him back on the right path to return home, and left him, recommending him not to fail to return the next day.
- Alas! He said to himself as he walked, my eldest daughter will never want to take a wolf for her husband; I am a lost man!…
When he arrived at his palace, he first saw Cinderella, who was waiting for him near the door, sad and with red eyes, at having wept, fearing that some bad luck had happened to her father. As soon as she saw him, she ran to kiss him. But, the king did not pay attention to her and he hastened to go to his two eldest elders. They were, as always, busy adorning themselves and mirroring each other.
- Where did you stay to spend the night, father? You made us wait last night and caused some concern.
- Alas! My poor children, if you only knew what happened to me! ...
- What ? Tell us quickly, father.
- I got lost, in the forest, while hunting, and I spent the night in an old castle, where two wolves gave me hospitality.
- Two wolves, father? You are probably kidding, or you dreamed about it. And what did they tell you, these
- What they told me?… Alas! Nothing good, my poor children.
- But still ? Tell us quickly, father.
- One of them, my poor children, told me that he needs one of my three daughters for a wife, or else there is only death for me, and besides, they will put the whole kingdom to death. fire and blood. Will you take him for your husband, my eldest daughter?
'You must have lost your mind, father, to make such a request of me; me, take a wolf for my husband, when there are so many handsome princes wooing me!
- But, my daughter, if he kills me, and if he puts the whole kingdom to fire and blood, as he promised? ...
- And what do I care, after all? For me, I'll never be a wolf's wife, believe it.
And the old king withdrew on it, sad and worried.
The next day he returned to the Forest Castle, as recommended.
- Well ! Asked the gray wolf, what did your eldest daughter say to you?
- Alas! She replied that I must have lost my mind to make a similar proposition to her.
- Ah! did she answer you that? Well ! Go home, and ask your second daughter the same.
And the king returned again, his heart full of sorrow and sorrow, and made the same request to his second daughter.
- How, old fool, answered the latter, can you ask me such a request? I'm not meant to be a wolf's wife, I guess.
And she turned her back on her father and went to look at herself. The next day, the king returned to the forest castle with a deep soul.
- What did your second daughter say to you? Asked the gray wolf.
"Like her eldest child," replied the unhappy father.
- Well ! Now ask the younger girl if she agrees to take me for her husband.
The king returned home again, overcome with grief and believing himself lost.
He summoned Cinderella, who, as usual, was in the kitchen with the servants, to his room, and said to him:
- I want to marry you, my child.
"I am at your service, father," replied the young girl, astonished.
- Yes, you marry a wolf.
- To a wolf, my father!… She cried, quite frightened.
- Yes, my darling child, because this is what happened to me: the day I got lost in the forest, I spent the night in an old castle where I only found two enormous wolves as inhabitants, one of whom, a gray wolf, told me that he would have to have one of my daughters for a wife, otherwise there was only death for me, and that moreover he would set my whole kingdom on fire and blood. I have already spoken to your two older sisters about it, and both of them told me that no matter what, they would never agree to take a wolf for their husband. So I have no more hope except in you, my darling daughter.
- Well ! My father, replied Cinderella, without hesitation, tell the wolf that I will take him for my husband.
The next day, the king returned, for the third time, to the castle in the forest, and he was not so sad anymore this time.
- Well ! What did your youngest daughter say to you? Asked the gray wolf.
- She replied that she consents to marry you.
- It's good ; but then you have to have the wedding without wasting time.
The wedding was celebrated eight days later, and there were many guests and great feasts, and beautiful feasts. The newlywed and his brother were at the wolf table, which surprised everyone, and Cinderella's sisters laughed and joked about such a strange union.
When the feasts and celebrations were over, the newlywed and his brother bid farewell to the company and returned to their castle, in the middle of the woods, taking Cinderella with them.
Cinderella was happy with her husband, and whatever she wanted she got from him. At the end of two or three months, the gray wolf (for he was still a wolf) said to him, one day;
- Your older sister's wedding is tomorrow. You will go, and my brother and I will stay at home. Here is a gold ring to put on your finger, and you will not see its equal at the party. When you feel it prick your finger lightly, you will be right back home, regardless of the time and whatever effort is made to hold you back.
The next day, Cinderella therefore went to her sister's wedding, in a beautiful carriage all gilded, and magnificently adorned. Everyone was dazzled by her beauty and the richness and luster of her clothes and adornments.
- Look at the wolf's wife! Her sisters said with vexation and jealousy, for no one could compete with her in beauty or dress. They overwhelmed her with questions: whether her husband was well; why he hadn't come to the wedding; if he slept with her like a wolf; if she was happy with him, and the like.
After the feast there were dances and games of all kinds, and Cinderella also took part and had a great time. Around midnight, she felt her ring pricking her finger slightly. She immediately said:
- I must go home immediately, my husband is expecting me.
- Already ? Stay a while longer, her sisters and all those around her urging her with questions told her. Have fun, while you are at it you will always have enough of your wolf's company.
And she stayed a little longer. But, her ring pricked her harder, and she stood up abruptly, left the ballroom, got into her carriage, and left.
When she arrived at the castle, she found her husband lying on his back in the middle of the courtyard, and on the verge of death.
- O my beloved husband, what happened to you? she cried.
- Alas replied the wolf, you did not come home, as soon as you felt your ring prick your finger, and from there comes all the trouble.
She threw herself on him and kissed him and watered him with her tears, and the wolf then got up, relieved, and returned with her to the castle.
About two or three months later, the gray wolf still said to Cinderella:
- Your second sister is getting married tomorrow, and you will go to the wedding again. But be careful not to stay there too late, like the other time, and not to come home, as soon as you feel your ring prick your finger, otherwise you will never see me again.
- Oh ! she replied, this time I will come back, at the first bite I will feel, be sure.
And she got into her beautiful golden coach, more adorned and more beautiful than the first time, and set off.
We only talked about her and her husband, at her father's court, during the holidays. She was pregnant, and her sisters and all those who envied her were telling her:
- God ! Are you not afraid of giving birth to a little wolf?
"God only knows," she replied, "and whatever he pleases will happen."
There was still music, dances and games of all kinds, and we had a lot of fun. Around midnight, Cinderella felt her ring pricking her slightly. - Yes, she thought, it's time for me to go, because this time I don't want to be home too late,
But, she was surrounded so well and they asked her so many questions about her husband, they praised so much his beauty and his diamonds and his adornments, that she forgot herself again, and even later than the first time.
When she returned, she found her wolf still lying on his back in the yard, eyes closed, mouth open and no longer showing any sign of life. She threw herself on him, pressed him to her heart, watered it with her tears, exclaiming:
- O my poor husband, I forgot myself again, and I deeply regret it! ...
And she cried hot tears and hugged him to her heart; but unfortunately ! He neither spoke nor moved; he was cold and stiff as a corpse. She took him in her arms, carried him into the house, placed him on the hearthstone and lit a good fire in the hearth. Then she rubbed him so much so that he stirred a little, then parted her eyelids and looked at her tenderly. Finally, he spoke to her like this:
- Alas! You haven't obeyed your ring warning soon enough, and you've come home too late! Now I must leave you, and you will never see me again. I no longer had to stay in this wolf form: as soon as you gave me a child, I would have recovered a first form, that of a handsome prince, as I was before. Now I am going to dwell on Crystal Mountain, across the Blue Sea and the Red Sea, and you will not see me again until you have worn out looking for me a pair of iron shoes and a pair of steel shoes.
And he threw his wolf skin to the ground and left, in the form of a handsome prince. His brother followed him.
Poor Cinderella was sorry and she was crying, and cried out:
- O stay! Stay, or take me with you!…
But, seeing that he was not listening to her, she ran after him, shouting:
- Wherever you go, I will follow you, even to the end of the world!
- Don't follow me! He shouted at her.
But, she didn't listen to him, and started running after him.
He threw a golden ball at her, to linger, while she picked it up. Cinderella picked up the gold ball, put it in her pocket and continued her pursuit. Her husband dropped a second gold ball, then a third, which she also picked up, without ceasing to run. She ran better than him, and, feeling her on her heels, he turned away and punched her in the face. The blood flowed in abundance, and three drops spurted on the prince's white shirt, who resumed his course, with a vengeance. Alas! Poor Cinderella could no longer follow him, seeing which she cried out to him:
- I wish no one could wipe off those three drops of blood on your shirt, until I come to remove them myself!
The prince continued on his way, and Cinderella, who had sat by the side of the road, said, when her nose had stopped bleeding:
- I will not stop walking, day or night, until I have found him, even if I had to go to the end of the world!
So she had a pair of iron shoes made for herself, and a pair of steel shoes, dressed as a simple peasant, took a stick in her hand and set out.
She walked, walked, night and day; she went far, far, further still… Everywhere she asked for news of the mountain of Crystal, located beyond the Blue Sea and the Red Sea, and no one could give it to her.
Here is his worn pair of iron shoes. She then puts on her steel shoes and continues on her way… In short, she walked so and so, always going in front of her, that her steel shoes were also almost worn, when she arrived at the seaside. She saw there, at the corner of two rocks, a hut of the most miserable appearance. She approached it, pushed open the door, and saw inside a little woman, as old as the earth, whose teeth were long and sharp like those of an iron rake.
- Hello grandmother ! She told him.
- Hello, my child; what are you looking for here? replied the old woman.
- Alas! Grandmother, I am looking for my husband, who left me and retired to Crystal Mountain, beyond the Blue Sea and the Red Sea.
- And you have come a long way and suffered a lot to come here, my child?
- Oh ! Yes, my God, a long way and a lot of trouble!… And perhaps in vain?… I have already worn out a pair of iron shoes, and the steel shoes on my feet are also almost worn out, .. Can you tell me, grandmother, if I am still far from Crystal Mountain?
- You are on the right road, my child; but, you will still have to walk and suffer a lot before you get there.
- In the name of God, help me, grandmother.
- You interest me, my child, and I want to do something for you. I will call my son, who will take you across the Blue Sea and the Red Sea and will put you, in no time, at the foot of Crystal Mountain.
She uttered a piercing cry on the threshold of her door, and a moment later Cinderella saw a large bird coming towards her, wing-pulling, crying: Oak! Oak!… It was an eagle. He went down to the old woman's feet and asked her:
- Why are you calling me, mother?
- To pass the Blue Sea and the Red Sea to this child and drop her off at the foot of Crystal Mountain.
"Very well," replied the eagle; let her ride on my back, and we'll go.
Cinderella sat on the eagle's back and the eagle soared with her into the air, high up, crossed the Blue Sea and the Red Sea, and laid her burden at the foot of Crystal Mountain; then he left. But the mountain was high, the slope steep and slippery, and poor Cinderella did not know how to get to the top. She saw a fox playing with golden balls, similar to those her husband had thrown at her in his hasty flight, and which she still had in her pockets. The fox rolled his golden balls from the top of the mountain, then he came to pick them up at the bottom. He saw Cinderella, and asked her what she was looking for there.
Cinderella told her her story.
- Ah! Yes, he replied, you are Cinderella, no doubt, the youngest daughter of the King of France? Your husband is to be married tomorrow with the daughter of the master of the beautiful castle which is on the top of Crystal Mountain.
- My God ! What are you telling me there? cried the poor girl. I would like to talk to him; but, how to climb this mountain?
"Take the tail with both hands, hold on tight, and I'll take you to the top," replied the fox.
Cinderella took the tail of the fox with both hands and was able to climb to the top of the mountain. The fox showed her the castle where her husband was and then returned to his golden balls.
As Cinderella made her way to the castle, she saw washerwomen washing clothes on a pond. She stopped looking at them for a moment. One of them was holding a shirt with three stains of blood on it, and she was trying in vain to erase them. Seeing that it was a waste of time, she said to her neighbor:
- Here is a fine shirt which has three bloodstains which I cannot come to the end of removing, and yet the Lord wants to put it on tomorrow, to go and marry at church, because it is his most beautiful.
Cinderella heard these words, and, having approached the washerwoman, she recognized her husband's shirt and said:
- If you want to give me the shirt, just a moment, I think I will get rid of the stains.
The washerwoman gave him the shirt; she spat on the three stains, soaked the cloth in water, rubbed it, and the stains disappeared.
To recognize this service, the washerwoman invited Cinderella to come with her to the castle, where she would be occupied, while the wedding and the celebrations lasted.
The next day, when the procession was on its way to the church, Cinderella was in its path, and near her we noticed a beautiful gold ball placed on a white cloth. The beautiful bride saw the golden ball, as she passed, admired it and expressed the desire to possess it. She sent her maid to buy it for her.
- How much do you want to sell me your beautiful gold ball? she asked Cinderella.
- Tell your mistress that I will not give my gold ball either for silver or for gold.
"My mistress has a good desire to have it, however," resumed the chambermaid.
- Well ! Tell her that if she wants to let me sleep tonight with her fiancé, she will get him; but for nothing else in the world.
- She will never want to consent to that.
- So she won't have my golden ball; but, go and report my answer to him.
The maid returned to her mistress and said to her:
- If you only knew, mistress, what this girl is asking for her golden ball? ...
- How much is she asking?
- How many?… Oh! She asks neither for silver nor for gold.
- What ?
- She will have to sleep tonight with your fiancé, she said, or you won't have his golden ball.
- Sleeping with my husband, the first night of my wedding!… What a shameless!
- She is determined not to give up her ball unless.
- I need it, however, at all costs. I will make my husband drink a narcotic before he goes to bed, so that he sleeps soundly, all night long, and it will be okay. Go tell this girl that I accept, and bring me the ball.
The maid returned to Cinderella and said:
- Give me your golden ball and accompany me to the castle, my mistress accepts.
Here is the princess in possession of the golden ball and happy. During the evening meal she poured narcotic into her husband's glass, without his noticing it, and soon after he fell into such an irresistible sleep that he had to be led to his bed, before the dances began.
A moment later, Cinderella was also shown to her room.
She threw herself on him, in his bed, and kissed him, weeping for joy and saying:
- So I have finally found you, oh my beloved husband! Ah! If you only knew at the cost of how much trouble and pain!
And she pressed him to her heart and watered her face with her tears. But he was still sleeping soundly and nothing could wake him. The poor woman spent the whole night crying and mourning, unable to snatch either a word or a look from her husband. At daybreak, the princess's maid came to open the door for her and secretly let her out.
That day, after dinner, we went for a walk in the woods surrounding the castle. Cinderella had again spread a white cloth on the lawn and placed a second gold ball on it, and she was standing beside it.
The princess noticed the golden ball again, as she passed, and again sent her maid to buy it.
- How much is your gold ball today? she asked.
"The same price as yesterday," Cinderella replied. The maid reported the answer to her mistress.
- Well ! said the latter, tell her that I accept, and that she gives you her golden ball.
During the evening meal, the prince, who had still been poured narcotic into his glass, fell asleep at the table and was carried to his bed, while they danced and amused themselves throughout the castle, and, as on the previous day, poor Cinderella spent the whole night with him, weeping and moaning, without being able to wake him.
However, the newlywed's brother, who had his room next door, heard the poor woman's moans and these words, which greatly astonished her: “Ah! If you only knew how much trouble I had to come here!… I married you, when you were a wolf and none of my sisters wanted you, and now you receive me that way! … Ah! How unhappy I am!… I will come to spend one more night with you, the last, and if I still find you asleep and I cannot wake you, we will never see each other again!… ”
And she cried and was sorry, heartbreaking.
The bridegroom's brother understood from these words what was happening, and the next morning he said to his brother:
- Cinderella is here! Here are two nights that she spends near you, in your room, crying and mourning, and you, you sleep like a rock, and you do not hear her, because your fiancee pours you narcotic in your glass . But I heard her, and her tears and her pain moved me deeply. She will spend this night in your room again, but for the last time. So be careful not to drink the wine that your fiancée will pour you this evening, so that you can stay awake, because if you are still asleep tonight you will never see her again.
After the midday meal, we went again that day, to walk in the wood, and Cinderella was still there with her third gold ball placed on a white cloth, and, to shorten it, she gave it to the princess of same conditions as the first two.
But this time, during the evening meal, the prince did not drink the narcotic; he threw it under the table, without the princess noticing. Yet he pretended to succumb to an irresistible sleep again, and was carried to his room and laid in bed. But he was not asleep when Cinderella was introduced to him for the third time. They embraced each other in transport, weeping with joy and happiness. Then, Cinderella told her husband about the different episodes of his trip, and all the pain and all the pain she had felt in searching for it. He clearly saw that she loved him above all else in the world and vowed to return with her to her country and to leave without regret his other wife, who did not love him.
The next morning, Cinderella was given nice clothes, and she dressed like a princess, which she indeed was. At dinner, the prince made her sit down at the table next to him, and he introduced her to the company as one of his close relatives. No one knew her, and all eyes were fixed on her, especially those of the princess, who was not without concern and did not augur well from the presence of this stranger.
Towards the end of the meal, old or new songs were sung, as usual, some fine and rare feats were recounted, some fairly nimble jokes even, and each did his best to entertain and enliven the society.
"And you, my son-in-law, won't you sing us something too, unless you prefer to tell us some beautiful story?" said the master of the castle.
"I have not much to say, father-in-law," replied the prince. There is one thing, however, that bothers me, and on which I would like to have your opinion and that of the wise and experienced men who are here. Here is: I had a charming little box, with a golden key on it. I lost one box and had a new one made. But, as soon as I got the new box, I found the old one, so that I have two today, and one is enough for me. Which of the two should I keep, father-in-law, the old or the new?
"Respect and honor always for what is ancient," replied the old man; keep your old box, my son-in-law.
- This is also my opinion: keep your daughter! As for me, I am going back to his country, with my first wife, who is here, and who loves me more than the other!
And he rose from the table, in the midst of the silence and general astonishment, took Cinderella by the hand and went with her.
The two wolves of the old castle in the forest were princes, sons of a powerful king. They had been forced to put on wolf skins, as a punishment for some fault.
Their father died shortly after their return to their homeland, and Cinderella's husband succeeded him to the throne, so that Cinderella became queen.
Her two sisters had made bad marriages. As she was always good, she forgot their wrongs towards her, and called them to her, to the court, and remarried them appropriately.