• Clare

    Yay for folk lore Princesses! This story reminds me very much of the German fairy tale “Allerlairauh” and the French fairy tale “Donkeyskin”.

  • Rebecca Best

    It also reminds me of the “Sapsorrow” episode of Jim Henson’s The Storyteller series. It always fascinates me how different cultures have variations on the same story.

  • Deb Salisbury

    Yay, Jason is back! I missed your artwork and the wonderful stories you tell!

  • Caz

    yeah, definitely. I was thinking the same thing XD This story is basically Cinderella and Peau D’Âne ( Donkeyskin) mixed together ^^

  • Kiki

    There is also a chinese fairy tale with very similar themeing, but its been so long since college I don’t remember its name.

  • Aileen Brasche

    And the English story Catskin.

  • Mary Gallacher

    I was thinking the same thing

  • Sabine

    Thousandfur check boxes this whole time. And while I’m shamelessly bringing up beautiful girl in skin/fur, consider stopping by Erstwhiletales.com for a free reading of a European version of this tale.

  • Maria João Barata

    This is remarkably similar to a story which could be translated as “the princess with the donkey’s pelt” or some thing like that: her diseased-and-soon-to-be-deceased mother made her husband promise he would only marry a woman more beautiful than her, but it turned out the only woman that could fulfil that condition was his own daughter, so he asked her to marry him (at least he asked). Of course she didn’t want, but she tried to make it impossible, so she demanded him to make her three dresses out of impossible-to-find materials (what about a dress made of sunlight, another of moonlight, and another of clouds?). But somehow he did it, and, as a last resort, she asked him the pelt of a precious donkey, one that pooped gold (yup), convinced he wouldn’t dare to kill the donkey, as it was a favourite of the king. But he was blinded, and killed it, and gave the princess the pelt. Next night she noped outta there, with the donkey’s pelt as a cape of sorts, to a neighbouring kingdom, where she found a job as a pig keeper to the palace, and apparently also made shifts in the kitchen. One day there was a national party, and she didn’t want to attend, but she put on the cloud dress to distract herself a little, and then the prince passed by the window and fell sick with love. Doctors couldn’t cure him, until he confessed to his mother he was in love with a angel that descended on earth. She ordered a cake to be baked, in order to cheer him up, and the disguised princess (apparently no one took notice of the donkey pelt she wore all the time) was selected to cook it, but she let her ring fall in the dough. When the prince went to eat the cake he bit the ring, and recognized it, and he ordered all the maidens in the palace to try in the ring (like cinderella, only with a ring instead of a shoe), and all who tried had fingers too thick to fit. First the princesses, then the noblewomen, then the bourguoise, then the servants. The princess was last, covered in her donkey pelt, and all laughed at her, but she fit the ring, and then she cast off the pelt, to reveal herself in the moonlight gown. The prince wanted to marry her right away, but she wanted to talk to her father, whom she didn’t see in three years or so, to apologize and to ask for his blessing. He had fetched himslef quite the hottie in the meantime, so he was okay with it, and she married in the sunlight gown and everyone was happy ever after.

  • Maria João Barata

    And I think there was a fairy godmother somewhere in the middle of this story, but I’m not sure where.

  • A.

    There is a Czech (movie) fairy-tale very similar to this one, actually. Except it doesn’t include incest but a coward father and a fiancé with a VERY bad personality.

  • Mónica Elisabeth Sacco

    Hi! Juleidah’s story may be the ancestor of Perrault’s “Peau d’ane” (Donkeyskin”)

  • beacuzz

    Same here. Except I think Donkeyskins has a fairy god mother who is the brains. At least the one I read but their are many versions for every tale.
    It is interesting to me how many similar stories are in different cultures.

  • It’s actually based on a tale recorded in the 19th century by Božena Němcová (who’s a bit of a Czech Brothers Grimm in singular, female form – oh, she would be a great candidate for a Princess, too!), which does include the incestuous motif. And in that written version, the prince discovers the mysterious lady’s identity, wait for it, by spying on the female servants while they’re bathing (although if I remember correctly, a ring does play a role, too).
    In this version (and the film version as well), the identifying thing she inherits from her mother is a golden star on her forehead. She delays the unwanted marriage by asking for three seemingly impossible gowns (which she promptly gets anyway), and then hides in a “mouse furcoat” (interpreted in the film as a coat/cloak sewn together from hundreds if not thousands of mouse pelts). Then she wears those gowns while showing up at three consecutive balls (which I think was compressed into one ball in the film). Oh, and she hides those gowns in a hollow willow tree or under a stone or something on the banks of a fishponds, and asks a fish to guard them. Just to put a Czech twist on the story.

    Whoah. Seriously, why didn’t I think of this earlier? She’s become a bit of a hallowed figure thanks to her contributions to the Czech National Revival and her passage into the realm of literary classics; but Němcová is full-blown Rejected Princess material including that telling rebellious streak and a lot of human fallings.
    (Note of warning: The English Wikipedia page on her is… lacking. Her books are categorised badly, for one thing, with everything that’s not a novel lumped under “Fairy tales and legends”, even though half of the works listed there are actually neither.)

  • Thank you! Looking into her when I get a chance. Here’s a better article on her: http://www.encyclopedia.com/people/literature-and-arts/russian-and-eastern-European-literature-biographies/bozena-nemcova

  • You’re probably drowining in ideas by now, aren’t you? :-)

    That is, indeed, a better one, although there’s still some crucial info missing / misrepresented, some of which I’m aware of thanks to her letters. All her published works, by the way, including her letters as have been published, are available online – in Czech, of course – on the site of the Pargue Municipal Library: https://www.mlp.cz/cz/projekty/on-line-projekty/bozena-nemcova/
    (The letters are there under “Listy”.)

    So, what I’m missing in that article:
    Her parents’ employer was actually Wilhelmine von Sagan (known in Czech as Kateřina Zaháňská, by another of her many names – daughter of Peter von Biron, the last Duke of Courland), a pretty important historical figure in her own right. Who never married, and had some important lovers, and the theories are apparently much more in the line that Božena’s mother was someone from that family (so this part the Wikipadia page got better). Ratibořice was just one of several of Wilhelmine’s holdings – it’s a fairly small chateau, even for the small Czech circumstances, and I believe it was just her summer residence; but the Pankels, or at least the mother, would have apparently stayed there all year long.
    Barbora/Božena did grow up in Ratibořice and surrounds (she attended school in some nearby places eventually), which is in a hilly/mountainous region (mountainous for us Czechs, but it’s nowhere near an Alpine level :-) ). Her childhod was apparently fairly free, simple, with her spending a lot of her time outdoors, and that followed her for the rest of her life: by her own accounts, she thrived among the straightforward, unpretentious peasants of the equally mountainous Domažlice region and Slovakia, and whenever she had a chance to spend time outdoors, because it reminded her of her childhood, while she never fit in with the bourgeois society of cities and towns or the more well-off farmers of lowlands.
    Which goes a long way towards explaining her occasional idealisation of the Czech / Slovak peasants and their lifestyle, and why she would have been driven to spend much of her adult life trying to document it.
    It wasn’t the Austro-Hungarian Empire yet in 1850s; just Austrian.
    Hungary was part of it, but not yet raised to that more equal status it
    gained later.
    It leaves out a lot of the trouble her husband and she with him got into for their opinions – he had to change places of work often, and she actually first visited Slovakia because he was employed somewhere in the Hungarian part of the Empire. (She even briefly got in touch with the South Slavic cultures thanks to visiting him in another of his places of employment.) Sadly, this uncertainty also contributed to their strained relations.
    She did self-educate, and learned other languages – there’s mentions of
    learning Russian in her letters; she apparently came under the spell of
    the then-rampant Panslavism to some extent.
    It leaves out her continued health troubles – and the fact that she employed them cleverly to gain an opportunity to travel to Slovakia again for that reported trip, on the pretext of visiting a spa (which she did need, and utilised).
    And it leaves out her other literary female friends in the National Revival movement, which is a serious yet somehow not surprising oversight. She was good friends with the somewhat younger generation, including the woman who would come to be known as Karolina Světlá, and is therefore also a bit of a godmother to Czech female and feminist writers.

    A lot of her stories involve headstrong, capable women, and the struggles of women in general. Two of her short stories / novellas concern village girls who went to serve in households in cities, Vienna and Prague, and the harsh realities of that as well as hints to how such servant-employer relations could be bettered. She tends to give her protagonists idealistic happy endings, but that doesn’t change the fact that she can be very critical of society!

  • Jae Ackert-Reaney

    You wrote burqa but drew a niqab, was there any reason? Or has the exact designation of name changed over the years?

  • esmeralda

    what is it with dads in these stories and marrying thier daughters or men marrying thier sisters