All-kinds-of-fur (Allerleirauh)


Piele de magar

There was once on a time a King who had a wife with golden hair, and she was so beautiful that her equal was not to be found on earth. It came to pass that she lay ill, and as she felt that she must soon die, she called the King and said, "If thou wishest to marry again after my death, take no one who is not quite as beautiful as I am, and who has not just such golden hair as I have: this thou must promise me." And after the King had promised her this she closed her eyes and died.
For a long time the King could not be comforted, and had no thought of taking another wife. At length his councillors said, "There is no help for it, the King must marry again, that we may have a Queen." And now messengers were sent about far and wide, to seek a bride who equalled the late Queen in beauty. In the whole world, however, none was to be found, and even if one had been found, still there would have been no one who had such golden hair. So the messengers came home as they went.

Now the King had a daughter, who was just as beautiful as her dead mother, and had the same golden hair. When she was grown up the King looked at her one day, and saw that in every respect she was like his late wife, and suddenly felt a violent love for her. Then he spake to his councillors, "I will marry my daughter, for she is the counterpart of my late wife, otherwise I can find no bride who resembles her." When the councillors heard that, they were shocked, and said, "God has forbidden a father to marry his daughter, no good can come from such a crime, and the kingdom will be involved in the ruin."

The daughter was still more shocked when she became aware of her father's resolution, but hoped to turn him from his design. Then she said to him, "Before I fulfil your wish, I must have three dresses, one as golden as the sun, one as silvery as the moon, and one as bright as the stars; besides this, I wish for a mantle of a thousand different kinds of fur and hair joined together, and one of every kind of animal in your kingdom must give a piece of his skin for it." But she thought, "To get that will be quite impossible, and thus I shall divert my father from his wicked intentions." The King, however, did not give it up, and the cleverest maidens in his kingdom had to weave the three dresses, one as golden as the sun, one as silvery as the moon, and one as bright as the stars, and his huntsmen had to catch one of every kind of animal in the whole of his kingdom, and take from it a piece of its skin, and out of these was made a mantle of a thousand different kinds of fur. At length, when all was ready, the King caused the mantle to be brought, spread it out before her, and said, "The wedding shall be to-morrow."

When, therefore, the King's daughter saw that there was no longer any hope of turning her father's heart, she resolved to run away from him. In the night whilst every one was asleep, she got up, and took three different things from her treasures, a golden ring, a golden spinning-wheel, and a golden reel. The three dresses of the sun, moon, and stars she put into a nutshell, put on her mantle of all kinds of fur, and blackened her face and hands with soot. Then she commended herself to God, and went away, and walked the whole night until she reached a great forest. And as she was tired, she got into a hollow tree, and fell asleep.

The sun rose, and she slept on, and she was still sleeping when it was full day. Then it so happened that the King to whom this forest belonged, was hunting in it. When his dogs came to the tree, they sniffed, and ran barking round about it. The King said to the huntsmen, "Just see what kind of wild beast has hidden itself in there." The huntsmen obeyed his order, and when they came back they said, "A wondrous beast is lying in the hollow tree; we have never before seen one like it. Its skin is fur of a thousand different kinds, but it is lying asleep." Said the King, "See if you can catch it alive, and then fasten it to the carriage, and we will take it with us." When the huntsmen laid hold of the maiden, she awoke full of terror, and cried to them, "I am a poor child, deserted by father and mother; have pity on me, and take me with you." Then said they, "Allerleirauh, thou wilt be useful in the kitchen, come with us, and thou canst sweep up the ashes." So they put her in the carriage, and took her home to the royal palace. There they pointed out to her a closet under the stairs, where no daylight entered, and said, "Hairy animal, there canst thou live and sleep." Then she was sent into the kitchen, and there she carried wood and water, swept the hearth, plucked the fowls, picked the vegetables, raked the ashes, and did all the dirty work.

Allerleirauh lived there for a long time in great wretchedness. Alas, fair princess, what is to become of thee now! It happened, however, that one day a feast was held in the palace, and she said to the cook, "May I go up-stairs for a while, and look on? I will place myself outside the door." The cook answered, "Yes, go, but you must be back here in half-an-hour to sweep the hearth." Then she took her oil-lamp, went into her den, put off her fur-dress, and washed the soot off her face and hands, so that her full beauty once more came to light. And she opened the nut, and took out her dress which shone like the sun, and when she had done that she went up to the festival, and every one made way for her, for no one knew her, and thought no otherwise than that she was a king's daughter. The King came to meet her, gave his hand to her, and danced with her, and thought in his heart, "My eyes have never yet seen any one so beautiful!" When the dance was over she curtsied, and when the King looked round again she had vanished, and none knew whither. The guards who stood outside the palace were called and questioned, but no one had seen her.

She had, however, run into her little den, had quickly taken off her dress, made her face and hands black again, put on the fur-mantle, and again was Allerleirauh. And now when she went into the kitchen, and was about to get to her work and sweep up the ashes, the cook said, "Leave that alone till morning, and make me the soup for the King; I, too, will go upstairs awhile, and take a look; but let no hairs fall in, or in future thou shalt have nothing to eat." So the cook went away, and Allerleirauh made the soup for the king, and made bread soup and the best she could, and when it was ready she fetched her golden ring from her little den, and put it in the bowl in which the soup was served. When the dancing was over, the King had his soup brought and ate it, and he liked it so much that it seemed to him he had never tasted better. But when he came to the bottom of the bowl, he saw a golden ring lying, and could not conceive how it could have got there. Then he ordered the cook to appear before him. The cook was terrified when he heard the order, and said to Allerleirauh, "Thou hast certainly let a hair fall into the soup, and if thou hast, thou shalt be beaten for it." When he came before the King the latter asked who had made the soup? The cook replied, "I made it." But the King said, "That is not true, for it was much better than usual, and cooked differently." He answered, "I must acknowledge that I did not make it, it was made by the rough animal." The King said, "Go and bid it come up here."

When Allerleirauh came, the King said, "Who art thou?" - "I am a poor girl who no longer has any father or mother." He asked further, "Of what use art thou in my palace?" She answered, "I am good for nothing but to have boots thrown at my head." He continued, "Where didst thou get the ring which was in the soup?" She answered, "I know nothing about the ring." So the King could learn nothing, and had to send her away again.

After a while, there was another festival, and then, as before, Allerleirauh begged the cook for leave to go and look on. He answered, "Yes, but come back again in half-an-hour, and make the King the bread soup which he so much likes." Then she ran into her den, washed herself quickly, and took out of the nut the dress which was as silvery as the moon, and put it on. Then she went up and was like a princess, and the King stepped forward to meet her, and rejoiced to see her once more, and as the dance was just beginning they danced it together. But when it was ended, she again disappeared so quickly that the King could not observe where she went. She, however, sprang into her den, and once more made herself a hairy animal, and went into the kitchen to prepare the bread soup. When the cook had gone up-stairs, she fetched the little golden spinning-wheel, and put it in the bowl so that the soup covered it. Then it was taken to the King, who ate it, and liked it as much as before, and had the cook brought, who this time likewise was forced to confess that Allerleirauh had prepared the soup. Allerleirauh again came before the King, but she answered that she was good for nothing else but to have boots thrown at her head, and that she knew nothing at all about the little golden spinning-wheel.

When, for the third time, the King held a festival, all happened just as it had done before. The cook said, "Faith rough-skin, thou art a witch, and always puttest something in the soup which makes it so good that the King likes it better than that which I cook," but as she begged so hard, he let her go up at the appointed time. And now she put on the dress which shone like the stars, and thus entered the hall. Again the King danced with the beautiful maiden, and thought that she never yet had been so beautiful. And whilst she was dancing, he contrived, without her noticing it, to slip a golden ring on her finger, and he had given orders that the dance should last a very long time. When it was ended, he wanted to hold her fast by her hands, but she tore herself loose, and sprang away so quickly through the crowd that she vanished from his sight. She ran as fast as she could into her den beneath the stairs, but as she had been too long, and had stayed more than half-an-hour she could not take off her pretty dress, but only threw over it her fur-mantle, and in her haste she did not make herself quite black, but one finger remained white. Then Allerleirauh ran into the kitchen, and cooked the bread soup for the King, and as the cook was away, put her golden reel into it. When the King found the reel at the bottom of it, he caused Allerleirauh to be summoned, and then he espied the white finger, and saw the ring which he had put on it during the dance. Then he grasped her by the hand, and held her fast, and when she wanted to release herself and run away, her mantle of fur opened a little, and the star-dress shone forth. The King clutched the mantle and tore it off. Then her golden hair shone forth, and she stood there in full splendour, and could no longer hide herself. And when she had washed the soot and ashes from her face, she was more beautiful than anyone who had ever been seen on earth. But the King said, "Thou art my dear bride, and we will never more part from each other." Thereupon the marriage was solemnized, and they lived happily until their death.
A fost odata ca niciodata; ca de n-ar fi, nu s-ar mai povesti; de cand facea plopsorul pere si rachita micsunele; de cand se bateau ursii in coade; de cand se luau de gat lupii cu mieii de se sarutau, infratindu-se; de cand se potcovea puricele la un picior cu nouazeci si noua de oca de fier si s-arunca in slava cerului de ne aducea povesti. De cand se scria musca pe parete,mai mincinos cine nu crede.

A fost odata un imparat si o imparateasa. In casatoria lor ei au trait ca fratii, si numai o fata au fost facut. Ca si muma-sa, aceasta fata, din nastere, era cu o stea in frunte. Murind imparateasa, a lasat cu sufletul la ceasul mortii ei si cu juramant ca imparatul, sotul ei, sa nu vaduveasca, ci sa ia de sotie pe aceea la care se va potrivi condurul ei. imparatul o iubea, nevoie mare. Si nici in ruptul capului nu voia sa se insoare de a doua oara. Un an intreg, intregulet o planse dupa inmormantarea ei. Sfatul imparatiei, stiind hotararea imparatesei, lasata cu grai de moarte, se tot tinea de imparat ca sa se insoare, si mai multe nu. El se tot impotrivea cu fel de fel de cuvinte.

Daca vazu si vazu ca scapare nu este, se lasa si el dupa sfatul mai-marilor imparatiei. Dete condurul raposatei imparatese si doi trimisi ai Sfatului imparatesc razbatu tari si cetati, cautand la cine s-ar potrivi condurul. Nu trecu mult si se intoarsera precum se dusera, fara nici o isprava. Pasamite, condurul nu se potrivi la nici o fata de imparat, la nici o cucoana, la nici o jupaneasa, la nici o taranca, ba chiar la nici o roaba. Imparatul nu mai putea de bucurie de aceasta intamplare. Condurul sta d-a pururea pe masa in camara imparatului. Oricine voia sa-l incerce avea toata voia.

Intr-una din zile cand imparatul tinea sfat cu boierii cei mari pentru trebile imparatiei, iaca si fie-sa ca vine si se juca si se zbenguia p-acolo prin camara. Trecand si pe langa masa si vazand condurul, il ia si il incalta; cand, ce sa vedeti d-voastra, cinstiti boieri, parca fusese d-acolo. Incepu a alerga iara dupa jucarii, ca un copil ce era. Ea luase condurul fara sa stie al cui este si pentru ce sta pe masa. Cand vazura boierii una ca aceasta, ramasera inmarmuriti de uimire. Ce sa faca ei? Hotararea imparatesei era lamurita. Sa nu vaduveasca imparatul dupa pristavirea ei, ci sa ia pe aceea la care se va potrivi condurul ei. Sa lase pe imparatul sa vaduveasca pentru ca nu s-a potrivit condurul la nici o muiere, calca juramantul imparatesei de la ceasul mortii sale; sa sileasca pe imparatul sa ia de sotie pe fie-sa, se temea de Dumnezeu. Ce sa faca dar?

Dupa multe chibzuiri, Sfatul imparatiei gasi cu cale ca imparatul n-ar pacatui de ar lua de sotie pe fie-sa, fiindca asa lasase cu sufletul imparateasa si pentru ca Dumnezeu chiar oranduise asa, deoarece la nimeni de pe lume nu se potrivise condurul raposatei. Numaidecat mai-marii tarii zisera fetei sa se gateasca de nunta.Acum alta nevoie. Nici fata nu voia sa ia pe tata-sau de sot. Ea zise:
- Unde ati mai auzit, boieri dumneavoastra, batjocura ca aceasta, sa ia tatal de sotie pe fie-sa.
- Nu te supara, domnita, si nu fii asa tantosa. Are sa curga multa apa pe garla pana s-ajungi a cunoaste tainele imparatiei ca noi. Si apoi, raposata maica imparatiei tale, cea atat de vestita in lume de cuminte, a lasat cu sufletul ca imparatul, tatal tau, sa nu vaduveasca, ci sa se insoare cu aceea la care se va potrivi pe picior condurul ei.
- Cautati, mai zise fata, si gasiti pe vreauna la care sa se potriveasca condurul mamei pe piciorul ei.
- Am razbatut, raspunsera boierii, imparatii si cetati, targuri si catune, am incercat si la bun si la rau, la tinere si la batrane, la femei de neam si la de cele proaste, pana si la roabe, si la nimeni nu s-a potrivit. Dumnezeu ne-a aratat pe aceea pe care imparatul nostru trebuie sa o ia de sotie.

Vazand fata ca n-are incotro, ceru timp de trei zile in care sa se gandeasca si apoi sa-si dea raspunsul. Si trecand in camara ei, se puse pe un plans, de sa te fereasca Dumnezeu; varsa niste lacrami cat pumnul si suspina de sa-i sparga pieptul. Planse ce planse, dara vazu ca de la plans nu castiga nimic. Se duse deci la dadaca-sa, ii spuse cele intamplate si ii ceru sfat. Dadaca, dupa ce se gandi si se razgandi, ii zise sa ceara a i se face trei randuri de haine: unul de aur, altul de margaritar si al treilea de diamante, si sa spuie ca dupa aceea se va gati. Cererea ei se indeplini tocmai pe tocmai.

In vremea aceasta, dadaca ii pregati toate cele trebuincioase pentru fuga. Cand ii aduse hainele, ii mai zise o data sa se gateasca de nunta. Fata raspunse ca este gata. Boierii ramasera multumiti, auzind raspunsul fetei; ei crezura ca in cele din urma ea a cunoscut ca trebuie sa se supuie Sfatului imparatiei. Seara, ii aduse si dadaca cele pentru fuga. Isi baga hainele cele frumoase ce le capatase in desagi, se imbraca cu o piele de magar pe care i-o adusese dadaca si fugi. Ascultati, boieri, cuvantul din poveste; Caci d-aci nainte mai frumos imi este.

Fugind fata imparatului de la curtea tatane-sau, apuca pe cai dosnice, pe carari neumblate de picior de om. Ea se feri ca sa nu o vaza nimeni, si fugi si fugi, pana ce iesi din imparatia tatalui sau. Trecand hotarul, ii mai veni nitica inima. Unde pana aci umbla cu moartea in san, acum se mai linisti olecuta. Merse ce merse, si ajungand la curtea imparatului locului aceluia, se puse la poarta cu chip umilit si smerit. Iara daca iesi bucatareasa si o vazu, i se facu mila de dansa si induplecandu-se de rugaciunile ei, o primi inauntru. Spuse si imparatesei ca o fata sarmana si nenorocita a nazuit la curtea imparateasca si o ruga ca sa o primeasca sa fie gainareasa curtii. Imparateasa se induiosi cand auzi ca o sirimana nevoiasa cere adapost de la dansa si porunci ca sa o puie ingrijitoare de gaini; dara ea, bucatareasa, sa raspunza de dansa.

Fiind sub ascultarea bucataresei, fata de imparat se silea in toate chipurile sa-i fie pe plac. Unde sa se adune ea cu celelalte slugi din curte? Unde sa scoata ea un cuvintel de para sau de zazanie? Unde sa calce ea cuvantul bucataresei si sa se amestece in certurile si becisniciile celorlalti? Ferit-a Dumnezeu! Ea ingrijea de pasarile din curtea imparateasca, ca de ale dansei; dupa ce deschidea cotetele, si le da de mancare, apoi le cuibarea, punea clostile si vedea de pui, mai cu mila decat clostile. Mancarea si apa, mai cu seama, nu le lipsea niciodata.

Iara daca ispravea treaba cu gainile, venea pe langa bucatareasa si-i da si ei ajutor. Toti slujbasii curtii o luau in nume de bine, vazandu-i vrednicia, si toti aveau mila de ea. Se dusese vestea pana la imparateasa de harnicia, de barbatia si de curatenia de inima a gainaresei. Imparateasa ceru sa i se infatiseze ca sa o vaza si dansa. Smerenia, nevinovatia si sfiala ce baga de seama imparateasa la gainareasa ii placu. Ea porunci bucataresei sa o ia mai de aproape, spre a nu cadea in gurile barfitorilor.

Nu trecu mult si imparatul cu imparateasa si cu fiul lor fura poftiti la nunta la un alt imparat. Ei se dusera. In ziua aceea se ceru si gainareasa de la bucatareasa cu rugaciune ca sa o lase sa se duca si ea prin cetate, sa se mai rasufle putintel. Bucatareasa ii dete voie. Gainareasa se imbraca cu hainele de aur si zicand: "Lumina inainte, intuneric inapoi, nimeni sa nu ma vaza ce voi face," se duse ca vantul si, ajungand la nunta, se prinse in hora tocmai langa fiul imparatului. Acesta cum o vazu, ii cazu tronc! la inima. Se indragosti dupa dansa, vai de lume! El o intreba a cui fata este, si de unde. Ea ii spuse alte vorbe. Iara el tot vorbind cu dansa, ii lua un inel si nu mai voi sa i-l dea.

Cand fu inspre seara, ea, cu grije, iara zise vorbele ce zisese la venire, si pieri ca o naluca din mijlocul horei. Bucatareasa o certa ca prea zabovise. Ea isi ceru iertare si se fagadui ca alta dat nu va mai face asa. Fiul imparatului nu mai putea de inima rea, ca-i scapase asa bucatica buna. Dupa putin timp, acest imparat fu iarasi poftit la o nunta de imparat. Fiul imparatului se duse si el cu tata-sau si cu muma-sa. Gainareasa se ceru si ea de la bucatareasa. si capatand voie se duse, ca si intai, imbracandu-se in hainele cu margaritare. Se prinse in hora, iarasi langa fiul imparatului. Pana seara nu juca cu altul, decat numai si numai cu dansul. Cand dete in amurg, ca si de la rand, ea pieri. Sa se prapadeasca fiul imparatului de parere de rau ca o pierduse. Nu-l mai incapea locul. O cauta prin toate partile, dara ia-o de unde nu e! Se intoarse dara cu inima zdrobita. Un fel de lancezeala il coprinse. Gainareasa, indata ce se intoarse acasa, iute, iute, se imbraca iarasi cu pielea de magar, si cauta de gaini cu voie buna si tot cantand.

Mai trecu ce mai trecu, si iarasi fu chemat imparatul la o nunta a altui imparat. El se duse iarasi cu fiul sau. Se ceru si gainareasa in ziua aceea. Dara bucatareasa nu mai voia sa-i dea drumul. Abia, abia, dupa multe rugaciuni, si cu fagaduinta de a nu se mai cere niciodata, se indupleca bucatareasa a-i da voie. Se imbraca deci in hainele sale cele cu diamante, si zicand vorbele cele ce o ascundeau de la ochii oamenilor, ea se duse si se prinse in hora iarasi langa fiul imparatului. Acesta, cum o vazu, ii veni inima la loc, fiindca fata cam intarziase. Fiul imparatului juca ce juca, si tot se uita la dansa, parca o tot pierdea din ochi. Si in adevar avea si ce vedea. Asa de bine ii sedea gatita, de parea ca este o zana. Sclipea diamantele de pe dansa de luau ochii celor ce se uitau la dansa. Fiul imparatului era mandru nevoie mare! fiindca zana numai cu dansul juca cat tinu hora. Si unde se rotea pe langa dansa si se ingamfa ca un curcan.

Iara cand fu a da inde seara, gainareasa pieri iarasi ca o naluca. Cand vazu fiul imparatului ca zana lipseste, atata ii fu. Cazu la grea boala. Pasamite prinsese lipici. Se adusera toti vracii, toate babele si toti cititorii de stele; ramasera insa rusinati, caci n-avura ce-i face. Atunci fiul imparatului spuse ma-sii ca pana n-or gasi pe fata la care se va potrivi inelul ce-i dete el, nu se va face bine. Muma-sa ruga pe imparatul sa asculte rugaciunea fiului lor. Iara imparatul porunci sa umble niste boieri din casa in casa sa incerce inelul, si la ce fata ori muiere se va potrivi, sa o aduca cu cinste la curtea imparateasca.

Umblara boierii si razbatura toate coltuletele, si ca sa se potriveasca inelul la cineva, ba. Se intoarsera deci cum s-au fost dus. Sa se dea fiul imparatului de ceasul mortii, de ciuda, cand auzi una ca aceasta! in cele mai de pe urma porunci sa se cerceteze si prin curtea imparateasca. Chema de fata pe toate muierile, slujnicile si roabele. Toate se grabira a veni. Incerca inelul si la nici una nu se potrivi. Pasamite pe gainareasa o uitasera toti cu totul. Bucatareasa isi aduse aminte si spuse imparatesei de dansa.
- Sa vie si ea, sa vie si ea, raspunse imparateasa.

O adusera cu nepusa in masa, caci ei nu-i prea era voia sa se dea la iveala imbracata in pielea de magar. Dara cine o asculta! Cum o vazura slugile, se umflara de ras. Ea, cu capul plecat si plina de rusine de batjocura tutulor slujitorilor, veni si cu sfiala se apropie. Cum ii puse inelul, parca fu de acolo; si de unde sa nu fie asa!Cum auzi fiul imparatului ca s-a potrivit inelul, odata rasari ca din somn. Porunci de o aduse in fata imparatului. Acestuia nu prea ii venea a crede ca fiu-sau sa fi cazut la boala pentru o asa netrebnica, si cat p-aci era sa-i oropseasca.

Fiul imparatului si muma-sa cazura cu rugaciune la gainareasa ca sa se faca cum era la nunta. Dupa mai multe tagaduiri, se indupleca si, ducandu-se in cocioaba ei, se imbraca si apoi veni sus, imbracata si frumoasa ca o zana. Imparatul bleojdi ochii la dansa si ramase mult timp uimit de frumusetea ei. Vazu si el acum ca buna bucatica isi alesese fiul lui. Atunci imparatul isi scoase stema din cap si o puse in capul fiului sau; tot asa facu si imparateasa, puind stema sa in capul gainaresei.

Fiul imparatului o data sari din pat. Pare ca nu mai fusese bolnav de cand lumea. Atunci gainareasa, dupa staruinta tutulor, isi spuse toata istoria. Nunta se hotari si imparatul, tatal gainaresei, fu si el poftit. Acesta cand vazu pe fie-sa la cununie, ramase ca trasnit de Dumnezeu. El o credea pierita, socotind ca-si facuse seama singura. Apoi se veselira veselie imparateasca, si traira cat traieste lumea, bucurandu-se in pace de toate fericirile pamantesti.
Iara eu incalecai p-o sea si v-o spusei dumneavoastra asa.

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