The Tale of the Silver Saucer and the Transparent Apple
The two elder ones looked in the looking-glass, and thought how fine they would look in the new necklace and the new dress; but the little pretty one took care of her old mother, and scrubbed and dusted and swept and cooked, and every day the other two said that the soup was burnt or the bread not properly baked.
Then one day there were a jingling of bells and a clattering of horses' hoofs, and the old merchant came driving back from the fair.
The sisters ran out.
"Where is the necklace?" asked the first.
"You haven't forgotten the dress?" asked the second.
But the little one, Little Stupid, helped her old father off with his coat, and asked him if he was tired.
"Well, little one," says the old merchant, "and don't you want your fairing too? I went from one end of the market to the other before I could get what you wanted. I bought the silver saucer from an old Jew, and the transparent apple from a Finnish hag."
"Oh, thank you, father," says the little one.
"And what will you do with them?" says he.
"I shall spin the apple in the saucer," says the little pretty one, and at that the old merchant burst out laughing.
"They don't call you 'Little Stupid' for nothing," says he.
Well, they all had their fairings, and the two elder sisters, the bad ones, they ran off and put on the new dress and the new necklace, and came out and strutted about, preening themselves like herons, now on one leg and now on the other, to see how they looked. But Little Stupid, she just sat herself down beside the stove, and took the transparent apple and set it in the silver saucer, and she laughed softly to herself. And then she began spinning the apple in the saucer.
Round and round the apple spun in the saucer, faster and faster, till you couldn't see the apple at all, nothing but a mist like a little whirlpool in the silver saucer. And the little good one looked at it, and her eyes shone like yours.
Her sisters laughed at her.
"Spinning an apple in a saucer and staring at it, the little stupid," they said, as they strutted about the room, listening to the rustle of the new dress and fingering the bright round stones of the necklace.