THE SHOE

Once upon a time there was a king who had a wife and a daughter. His wife fell ill and went terribly bad, and when she felt she wouldn’t live for too long, she called her husband and said:

- Order the shoemaker to make a pair of shoes, not too big, neither too small, just take my size.

Then send a servant to the city, and the woman whom the shoe fits to, that’s the one you should marry.

- After the wife died, he sent the servant to the town, but he couldn’t find a woman, whom the shoe could fit to.

Then the servant turned back to the palace and said to the king:

- Even though I tried a lot, I couldn’t find the woman this shoe could fit to.

One day, his daughter found the shoes to see how they looked on her, and the shoe fit her foot.

At that moment her father called her to bring some water, and she went at once wearing those shoes.

When he saw the shoes, he said to his daughter:

 -I will marry because your mother’s last will was: ‘Marry the woman whom these shoes will fit to.’

The daughter told him:

- I want you to make two candlesticks for me, as wide and as long as I am, and to open and close as the doors do.

So the king ordered for them instantly. Two or three days later they brought the candlesticks in the court. And the girl hid inside them. When the king went to crown, he didn’t find his daughter there and it didn’t cross his mind that she might have hidden inside the candlesticks. He was so sad that he called one of his servants and ordered him to take and sell the candlesticks, because he didn’t want to see them ever again. On his way in another town, the servant saw a prince standing by the window and staring. The prince said:

How much do you want for the candlesticks?

As much as you want, sir. – the servant answered.

The boy gave him a bag full of gold and took the candlesticks in the room were he was staying. He was affianced to a princess and he used to wake up in the middle of the night to eat a meal, that’s why his servants brought him lots of dishes in his room.

One night, when the boy was sleeping, the girl got out of the candlesticks. She ate food, took the soap from the boy’s hands and washed her hands, then she put it back and hid. When the boy woke up in the morning, he saw that someone had eaten from the dishes and his hands were soapy. The next morning the boy told the servants:

Did you touch my dishes? Or the cat entered here and ate them?

The servants answered:

- No, your Majesty, nor us neither the cat enters your room, these words are such a surprise to us.

Okay then, be careful and beware if a cat may enter my room. – the boy said.

But, again that night, when the boy got up, his dishes were touched. So the next night, he feigned like he was sleeping. The girl went out of the candlesticks and after she finished eating, she went closer to the boy. He was amazed by her beauty and said instantly:

- So, you are the one who eats my dishes……even though I am engaged, I will marry you, you’re so beautiful.

So they were married without a wedding party. But it was time for the prince to go to the war, and he said to the girl:

- I am going to war, but you must stay here in the room and never get deceived to go outside. When I come back few months later, you must be right here. Now I’m going to the servants and order them to bring all kinds of food you want, but never forget to go inside the candlesticks so that they do not see you.

Then the prince went to war. One day, the prince’s mother-in-law went to his room but she found the girl in there. She was very surprised and ordered the servants to take her and throw her in place full of bushes where she would broil and couldn’t stand on her feet. At that place an old woman was picking up some herbage. After she saw the girl in the bushes, she asked her what she was doing there, and the girl said:

- Some people hate me and they threw me right in here so that I broil amongst the bushes. Please, take me home and I will do the house works for you because you’re old and you’re unable to do all that stuff.

But the old woman said: I cannot take you with me, I’m poor and I don’t have room enough for you.

Oh, but I’m staying where you’re staying. – the girl begged.

Few months passed and prince came back from war. He was expecting that she would come out of the candlesticks, but she did not appear. Then he grew very ill, his wife was lost. One day, he wanted to eat some cabbage, so he ordered his servants to bring cabbage from all over the country. People brought the cabbage, and amongst the people was the old woman. The girl had ground the cabbage from the inside and had put the ring he had given her when they got married. After he ate the cabbages, he found the ring. And he told the old woman:

Tomorrow I am going at your house.

You’re welcome, Your Majesty. – old woman answered.

He went the next morning at the old woman’s house, looked all around the place so maybe he could find the girl, but he didn’t see her.

When he saw a dough-trough hung on the wall, he said:

What do you keep in here?

The old woman said:

There are some birds in here, but please, be careful you might hurt them. – old woman said.

He took down the dough-trough and could notice his wife in there, and he said to her:

What are you doing here? I told you to never go out of the room?!

Then the girl told him the whole story of what had happened to her, from the day his mother-in-law had thrown her in the bushes till the moment they met with each-other. He heard till the end, then he gave the old woman two bags full of gold to thank her for keeping the girl at her house, then they turned back to the palace. Few days later he called the mother-in-law to come to the palace and said:

For all the evils you did to my wife, I won’t marry your daughter, I’m annulling the engagement.

After that, he showed throughout the country that the girl was his wife and their queen.