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Main > Ukrainian folktales > Fairy tale "The Golden Slipper"

The Golden Slipper

So the Tsar’s councillors went through all the towns and villages, and measured the feet of all the maidens against the golden slippers, and she was to be the bride of the Tsarevich whom the golden slippers fitted. They went to the houses of all the princes, and all the nobles, and all the rich merchants, but it was of no avail. The feet of all the maidens were either too little or too large. Then they hied them to the huts of the peasants.

They went on and on, they measured and measured, and at last they were so tired that they could scarce draw one foot after the other. Then they looked about them and saw a beautiful willow-tree standing by a hut, and beneath the willow-tree was a spring of water. “Let us go and rest in the cool shade,” said they. So they went and rested, and the old woman came out of the hut to them.––“Hast thou a daughter, little mother?” said they.––“Yes, that I have,” said she.––“One or two?” they asked.––“Well, there is another,” said she, “but she is not my daughter, she is a mere kitchen slut, the very look of her is nasty.”––“Very well,” said they, “we will measure them with the golden slippers.”––“Good!” cried the old woman. Then she said to her own daughter, “Go, my dear little daughter, tidy thyself up a bit, and wash thy little feet!”––But the old man’s daughter she drove behind the stove, and the poor thing was neither washed nor dressed. “Sit there, thou daughter of a dog!” said she.––Then the Tsar’s councillors came into the hut to measure, and the old woman said to her daughter, “Put out thy little foot, darling!”––The councillors then measured with the slippers, but they wouldn’t fit her at all. Then they said, “Tell us, little mother, where is thy other daughter?”––“Oh, as for her, she is a mere slut, and besides she isn’t dressed.”––“No matter,” said they; “where is she?”––Then she came out from behind the stove, and her stepmother hustled her and said, “Get along, thou sluttish hussy!”––Then they measured her with the slippers, and they fitted like gloves, whereupon the courtiers rejoiced exceedingly and praised the Lord.

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