Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Author: Adolfo Coelho - 1879

Translated into English
  by Maarten Janssen - 2014

Original title (Portuguese):
Os Sapatinhos Encantados

Country of origin: Portugal

Story type: Snow White (ATU 709)


English - aligned

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The Enchanted Shoes

Adolfo Coelho / Maarten Janssen

There once was a very beautiful woman who worked in an inn, and all the muleteers that passed by there were asked it they had ever seen a woman more beautiful than she. She had a very handsome daughter, and she had her locked up so that nobody would see her. One day a muleteer told her: "Just now, I saw a more beautiful woman at the window combing her hair." "Woe! That was my daughter, I will have to have her killed."

She asked two servants to kill her on a hill nearby, and there the daughter asked them not to kill her, but leave her behind, if she promised never to return home. The servants took pity on her and left her behind. The daughter walked until she came to a mountain one night and saw a house. She asked if they would let her in but she did not see anybody. She went inside and made herself some food, and when she had finished, she hid herself. A group of thieves arrived that came from a robbery, and when they saw the food prepared, they said: "Aye, I would like to know who made this dinner. If there is someone here, show yourself!" And the daughter came out of hiding and the poor thing explained her situation. And the thieves said: "Don't worry now, stay with us now, and we will look after you like a sister."

After that, she always stayed when the thieves went on their robberies, and they liked her a lot and took good care of her.

An old woman, who was always on errands across the country, passed by the house of her mother. And the mother asked her: "You, who comes across so many countries, tell me, have you ever seen a face more beautiful than mine?" And the woman told her: "Yes, I did see a woman in a gang that was even more beautiful than you." "When are you going there again? I want you to bring her some shoes." She gave the old woman a pair of shoes and told her: "Take them to her, and tell her that it was her mother than sent them. But make sure she puts them on before you leave, I want to be certain that she wears them. I will pay you well." The woman took the shoes to the daughter, and when she got there she said: "Here is a pair of shoes that your mother sent you." The daughter said: "I don't want any shoes; my brothers give me all the shoes I need, and I don't want them." The old woman insisted so much that she took them anyway. She put the first one on, and one of her eyes closed. She put on the second, and she dropped dead. When the thieves came back, they cried and cried at her feet, and were heartbroken over her death. They said: "This beautiful face should not go under the ground yet. We will put her in a coffin and bring her to that mountain where the son of the king comes to hunt, so that he can see this flower."

They took her there, and the son of the king came and thought that she was very beautiful. He took one of her shoes off, and she opened one eye. He took the other shoe off, and she came alive again. Then he took her home and married her. Then they went to visit her mother, who even then tried to have her killed. But she failed.