The True Princess
Tales of the North American Indians by Stith Thompson (1929) Source.
Once upon a time there was a young white man who married and a had a child, Aurelia, with a woman who passed shortly later. The man remarried and had another daughter. This wife, the stepmother to the first daughter, was terrible to Aurelia and always favored her own daughter, Nagela. One snowy day, the Stepmother sent Aurelia out to gather berries knowing there were not any in this weather. Aurelia was fed up and backed a basket of food with the intent of not returning. Shortly into her journey, she found a house where 4 brothers lived, they asked her why she was out in this weather. She told them about her Stepmother and unknown to her they were relatives and sympathized with her. They gave her a pick and sent her to the roof where under the snow was a bushel of berries. When she returned to ground level they asked if they could help her in anyway. Aurelia told them that she is thankful enough already but that she is poor and her clothing is tattered. The youngest brother then told her to spit, she obliged and when she did her spit turned to gold. The other brothers each took an article of her clothing and turned them into a beautiful dress, robe, and shoes that would never wear out. She thanked them and set home to rub her berry find in her stepmother's face
Aurelia returned home greeted by her stepmother who was shocked, not only at the full basket of berries, but with her step-daughter's appearance and gold spitting. Jealous, she then sent Nagela to follow her older sister's snow prints and find where she obtained these gifts. Nagela shortly met the 4 brothers in the same manner as Aurelia telling them she was also sent to gather berries and gathered some. Upon returning to the ground, she asked the brothers for gifts. The youngest asked her to spit, she was offended and refused. After a moment she did reluctantly but instead of spitting gold, she spat toenails. The other brothers only asked that she leave. When Nagela returned empty-handed, her mother was disappointed but asked her to spit. She saw the toenail and asked her not to do that again.
At a later day while Aurelia was washing her clothes, the son of the chief from the local native tribe noticed her. He was struck by her beauty and attire, he returned home and told his father of the maiden. He told the prince to meet with her again to be sure. This time the prince spoke with Aurelia who spit gold throughout the conversation. He told his father again what happened so the Chief went to speak with her himself. It was true, she spit gold so he gave the proposal his blessing. The Prince and Aurelia soon got married and had a huge wedding feast and even the other white villagers attended. The guest took home the unconventional wedding goodie bag full of gold.
Soon Aurelia became pregnant and her husband would be gone for a month around her due date so she requested his mother act as midwife since she did not trust her stepmother. The Prince shook her off and said that her stepmother was a successful midwife. So the birth of the child came and as Aurelia was about to give birth, the stepmother cut a hole in the floor below her. When the child was born the stepmother cut the cord and let the baby fall through the hole and handed her a cat instead. The prince came home and was disappointed but they tried again. The same process happened again but this time a snake was handed to Aurelia. The Prince spoke with the stepmother who suggested a woman birthing animals was no small matter and that Aurelia should be killed and he should try again with a new wife, possibly her own daughter.
A meeting was held and the town decided to kill Aurelia by sinking her in the ocean, and the Prince was to marry Nagela instead. The 4 brothers from a couple years prior heard what was happening and rescued Aurelia from drowning by turning her into a goose.
This entire time Aurelia's sons were alive, her childhood dog, Spioola, was caring for them under the home. Noticing Aurelia was not around, Spioola searched for the Wise Bird who knew all and told only the truth. Once he found the Bird he was told that Aurelia was in fact a local goose who was known to stare at the boys and emit strange noises. Spioola and the bird returned to their home under the house of the Prince where they had the boys play at whatever volume they wanted. The prince heard the strange childlike sounds and went to check it out when Spioola popped out and invited him in. The Prince claimed he could not fit but the Wise Bird told him he could if he tried. He saw a nice small home and two boys under his house. Spioola and the Bird told him all about what had happened and then told the Chief as well.
It was decided that Nagela and her mother to remain at home until a decision was made. The prince went to the lake and shook Aurelia until she was back in human form. Everyone then attended the meeting where Nagela and her mother were sentenced to death. The Prince was glad he was no longer married to Nagela since she spat and smelled like toenails.
|Aurelia aurita: a golden hued species of jellyfish. Source|
I decided to just tell the story in a more modern tongue and I chose to name the two daughters for clarity. Aurelia means "Golden" since -au- is the latin root for gold so I chose that to title the Elder gold-spitting daughter. Nagel means nail (from a phalange) so I made up Nagela to use for the sister that spits toe nails. I also decided to leave out the part where the boys are killed and then brought back to life. I did this to save space but also because I felt like it did not blend into the storyline as easily.