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Main > English folktales > Fairy tale "Caporushes"

Caporushes

And when he fished it up, lo! it was his own ring! Then he sate up in bed and said quite loud, "Send for the cook!" And when she came he asked her who made the gruel.

"I did," she said, for she was half-pleased and half-frightened.

Then he looked at her all over and said, "No, you didn't! You're too stout! Tell me who made it and you shan't be harmed!"

Then the cook began to cry. "If you please, sir, I did make it; but Caporushes stirred it."

"And who is Caporushes?" asked the young man.

"If you please, sir, Caporushes is the scullion," whimpered the cook.

Then the young man sighed and fell back on his pillow. "Send Caporushes here," he said in a faint voice; for he really was very near dying.

And when Caporushes came he just looked at her cap and her robe of rushes and turned his face to the wall; but he asked her in a weak little voice, "From whom did you get that ring?"

Now when Caporushes saw the poor young man so weak and worn with love for her, her heart melted, and she replied softly:

"From him that gave it me," quoth she, and offed with her cap and robe of rushes, and there she was as fine and tidy as ever with her beautiful golden hair all silvered over with pearls.

And the young man caught sight of her with the tail of his eye, and sate up in bed as strong as may be, and drew her to him and gave her a great big kiss.

So, of course, they were to be married in spite of her being only a scullery-maid, for she told no one who she was. Now every one far and near was asked to the wedding. Amongst the invited guests was Caporushes' father, who, from grief at losing his favourite daughter, had lost his sight, and was very dull and miserable. However, as a friend of the family, he had to come to the young master's wedding.

Now the marriage feast was to be the finest ever seen; but Caporushes went to her friend the cook and said:

"Dress every dish without one mite of salt."

"That'll be rare and nasty," replied the cook; but because she prided herself on having let Caporushes stir the gruel and so saved the young master's life, she did as she was asked, and dressed every dish for the wedding breakfast without one mite of salt.

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