Aschenputtel

Illustrations for the classic Grimm Brothers fairy tale. Aschenputtel is a variation of the Cinderella story, but much bloodier. There are no fairy godmothers, and the wicked stepsisters are beautiful (though evil), not ugly. Commissioned by http://kittychilsett.com/

A rich man’s wife fell sick and, feeling that her end was near, called her only daughter to her bedside…
Every day the little girl went out to her mother’s grave and wept.
Her father’s new wife brought two daughters into the house. Their faces were beautiful but their hearts were ugly and cruel.
They called Aschenputtel and said: “Comb our hair, brush our shoes, and fasten our buckles. We’re going to the celebration at the king’s palace.”
“The girl went out the back door to the garden and cried out; ‘O tame little doves, O turtledoves, and all the birds under heaven, come and help me…”
“The girl brought the bowl of lentils to her stepmother, and she was happy, for she thought she’d be allowed to go to the celebration.”
“Whereupon the birds tossed down a gold and silver dress and slippers embroidered with silk and silver.”
Dress Number One: “She was so beautiful in her golden dress that they thought she must be the daughter of some foreign king.”
“They never dreamed it could be Aschenputtel, for they thought she was sitting at home in her filthy rags. The king’s son came up to her, took her by the hand and danced with her.”
“The king’s son said ‘I’ll go with you, I’ll see you home,’ but she got away from him and slipped into the dovecote. The king’s son waited until her father arrived…the old man sent for a pick and broke in, but there was no one inside.”
Dress number two: “Whereupon the bird threw down a dress that was even more dazzling than the first one. And when she appeared at the celebration, everyone marveled at her beauty.”
“When she appeared at the celebration, the king’s son was waiting for her. He took her by the hand and danced with no one but her. When others came and asked her for a dance, he said: ‘she is my partner.'”
“She disappeared into the garden behind the house, where there was a big beautiful tree with the most wonderful pears growing on it. She climbed among the branches as nimbly as a squirrel and the king’s son didn’t know what had become of her.”
Dress number three
“The bird threw down a dress that was even more radiant than either of the others, and the slippers were all gold. When she appeared at the celebration, the people were too amazed to speak.”
“The king’s son picked up the shoe, and it was delicate and all gold. Next morning he went to his father and said: ‘No girl shall be my wife but the one this golden shoe fits.'”
“The shoe was too small for the eldest sister and she couldn’t get her big toe in. So her mother handed her a knife and said: ‘Cut your toe off. Once you’re queen you won’t have to walk any more.'”
“The two doves were sitting in the hazel tree and cried out: ‘There’s blood in the shoe, that’s not the proper bride.’ The king’s son looked down at her foot and saw the blood spurting. ‘No,’ he said, ‘this isn’t the right girl. Let her sister try the shoe on.'”
“He looked down at her foot and saw that blood was spurting from the second stepsister’s shoe and staining her gown all red. He turned his horse around and took the false bride home again. “
“The king’s son handed her the golden slipper and it fitted perfectly. When she stood up and he looked in her face, he recognized the beautiful girl he had danced with and cried out “this is my true bride!” The stepmother and the two sisters went pale with fear and rage.”