The Golden Slipper
“Well, little mother,” said they, “we will take this daughter away with us.”––“What! take a slattern like that? Why, all the people will laugh at you!”––“Maybe they will,” said they.––Then the old woman scolded, and wouldn’t let her go. “How can such a slut become the consort of the Tsar’s son?” screeched she.––“Nay, but she must come!” said they; “go, dress thyself, maiden!”––“Wait but a moment,” said she, “and I’ll tire myself as is meet!”––Then she went to the spring beneath the willow-tree, and washed and dressed herself, and she came back so lovely and splendid that the like of it can neither be thought of nor guessed at, but only told of in tales. As she entered the hut she shone like the sun, and her stepmother had not another word to say.
So they put her in a carriage and drove off, and when the Tsarevich saw her, he could not contain himself. “Make haste, O my father!” cried he, “and give us thy blessing.” So the Tsar blessed them, and they were wedded. Then they made a great feast and invited all the world to it. And they lived happily together, and ate wheat-bread to their hearts’ content.