Prunella (fairy tale)

Prunella is an Italian fairy tale. Andrew Lang included it "The Grey Fairy Book". [Andrew Lang, "The Grey Fairy Book", [http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/rapunzel/stories/prunella.html "Prunella"] ] It is Aarne-Thompson type 310, the Maiden in the Tower. [Heidi Anne Heiner, " [http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/rapunzel/other.html Tales Similar to Rapunzel] "]

A version of the tale also appears in "A Book of Witches", by Ruth Manning-Sanders.

Italo Calvino included a variant Prezzemolina in his "Italian Folktales". [Italo Calvino, "Italian Folktales" p 310 ISBN 0-15-645489-0] He took a variant from Florence, but noted that variants were found over all of Italy. [Italo Calvino, "Italian Folktales" p 733-4 ISBN 0-15-645489-0]

ynopsis

A girl went to school, and every day, she picked a plum from a tree along the way. She was called "Prunella" because of this. But the tree belonged to a witch and one day she caught the girl.

Prunella grew up as her captive. One day the witch sent her with a basket to the well, with orders to bring it back filled with water. The water seeped out every time, and Prunella cried. A handsome young man asked her what her trouble was, and told her that he was Bensiabel, the witch's son; if she kissed him, he would fill the basket. She refused, because he was a witch's son, but he filled the basket with water anyway. The witch then set her to make bread from wheat while she was gone, and Prunella, knowing it was impossible, set to it for a time, and then cried. Bensiabel appeared. She again refused to kiss a witch's son, but he made the bread for her.

Finally, the witch sent her over the mountains, to get a casket from her sister, knowing her sister was an even more cruel witch, who would starve her to death. Bensiabel told her and offered to save her if she kissed him; she refused. He gave her oil, bread, rope, and a broom, and told her, at his aunt's house, to oil the gate's hinges, give a fierce dog the bread, give the rope to a woman trying to lower the bucket into the well by her hair, and give the broom to a woman trying to clean the hearth with her tongue. Then she should take the casket from the cupboard and leave at once. She did this. As she left, the witch called to all of them to kill her, but they refused because of what Prunella had given them.

The witch was enraged when Prunella returned. She ordered Prunella to tell her in the night which cock had crowed, whenever one did. Prunella still refused to kiss Bensiabel, but he told her each time: the yellow, and the black.

When the third one crowed, Bensiabel hesitated, because he still hoped to lure Prunella to kiss him, and Prunella begged him to save her. He sprang on the witch, and she fell down the stairs and died.

Prunella was touched by his goodness and agreed to marry him.

Prezzemolina

Prezzemolina was captured not because of her own eating, but because of her mother's craving for, and theft of, fairies' parsley, as in "Rapunzel"; the girl was seized when going to school, but after the fairies had sent her to tell her mother to pay what she owed, and the mother sent back that the fairies should take it.

The hero, Memé, is not the son of a fairy but their cousin, though he helps her as Bensiabel did, despite refusal of kisses.

The tasks altered, in that she had to paint a coal room white and with all the birds in the air, and was sent to Morgan le Fay to be eaten. Finally, the fairies decided to boil her, and Memé warned her to say that there was not enough wood for the fire and to go to the cellar for it. When she did, he and she blew out the candles that were the fairies' souls, including Morgan le Fay's, and then lived in Morgan le Fay's castle, where they were generous with the servants who had not attacked her on Morgan's orders.

Commentary

The captor who demands his captive to do impossible tasks, and the person, usually the captor's child, who helps with them, is a very common fairy tale theme -- "Nix Nought Nothing", "The Battle of the Birds", "The Grateful Prince", or "The Master Maid" -- but this tale unusually makes the captive a girl and the person the captor's son.

ee also

*Puddocky
*Maroula

*The Witch
*The Two Caskets
*The Magic Swan Geese
*The Enchanted Canary
*The Little Girl Sold with the Pears
*The Water of Life
*The King of Love

*Fairer-than-a-Fairy

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • The Water of Life (German fairy tale) — The Water of Life ( de. Das Wasser des Lebens) is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, tale number 97. [Jacob and Wilheim Grimm, Household Tales , [http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/grimms/97wateroflife.html The Water of… …   Wikipedia

  • The Witch (fairy tale) — The Witch is a Russian fairy tale. Andrew Lang included it in The Yellow Fairy Book .A version of the tale, under the title The Twins and the Snarling Witch , appears in A Book of Witches , by Ruth Manning Sanders.ynopsisA poor widower with twin… …   Wikipedia

  • Prunella — can mean:* Prunella (bird) , also known as accentors or dunnocks * Prunella (plant) , also known as self heal * Prunella (Chinese home remedy) * Prunella (fairy tale) , an Italian fairy tale * Prunella , an alternative name used in some parts of… …   Wikipedia

  • List of fairy tales — This is a list of fairy tales, the dates of their earliest known printed version, the author and, if known, the collection of tales in which it was published. It should be noted, however, that not all stories listed below would be categorized as… …   Wikipedia

  • Andrew Lang's Fairy Books — Rumpelstiltskin from The Blue Fairy Book, by Henry J. Ford Andrew Lang s Fairy Books also known as Andrew Lang s Coloured Fairy Books or Andrew Lang s Fairy Books of Many Colors are a series of twelve collections of fairy tales, published between …   Wikipedia

  • Fairer-than-a-Fairy — is a French literary fairy tale written by Charlotte Rose de Caumont La Force. [Jack Zipes, The Great Fairy Tale Tradition: From Straparola and Basile to the Brothers Grimm , p 830, ISBN 0 393 97636 X] Andrew Lang included it in The Yellow Fairy… …   Wikipedia

  • Rapunzel — This article is about the traditional fairy tale. For the Disney character, see Rapunzel (Disney). For other uses, see Rapunzel (disambiguation). Illustration by Johnny Gruelle Rapunzel (English: / …   Wikipedia

  • List of magicians in fantasy — Famous magicians in fantasy fiction include the following:Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends* Circe Greek sorceress * Merlin the famous wizard from Arthurian legends and their modern retellings. * Morgan le Fay an enchantress in both the Matter of… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Manning-Sanders tales by region — A region by region list of fairy and folk tales collected and retold by Ruth Manning Sanders (1895 1988). Regions (or cultural groups) are as listed by Manning Sanders in either the table of contents, the forewords or the introductions of her… …   Wikipedia

  • performing arts — arts or skills that require public performance, as acting, singing, or dancing. [1945 50] * * * ▪ 2009 Introduction Music Classical.       The last vestiges of the Cold War seemed to thaw for a moment on Feb. 26, 2008, when the unfamiliar strains …   Universalium


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.