An analytic response focuses on the deeper meaning as opposed to a summary. An analysis includes identifying the setting, purpose, symbolism, and theme(s) of a piece of writing to grasp the underlying meaning.Setting – The setting is where and when the story takes place.Purpose – What was the author hoping to accomplish or communicate in writing this story?Symbolism – A symbol is a character, place, thing or event that stands for something else, often an abstract idea.Theme – A theme is a general message or insight into life revealed through a literary work. It is basically what the writer suggests about people or life.
ashputtle_story.pdf

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A rich man’s wife fell sick and, feeling that her end was near, she called her only daughter to her
bedside and said: “Dear child, be good and say your prayers; God will help you, and I shall look
down on you from heaven and always be with you.” With that she closed her eyes and died.
Every day the little girl went out to her mother’s grave and wept, and she went on being good
and saying her prayers. When winter came, the snow spread a white cloth over the grave, and
when spring took it off, the man remarried.
His new wife brought two daughters into the house. Their faces were beautiful and lily-white,
but their hearts were ugly and black. That was the beginning of a bad time for the poor stepchild.
“Why should this silly goose sit in the parlor with us?” they said. “People who want to eat bread
must earn it. Get into the kitchen where you belong!” They took away her fine clothes and gave
her an old gray dress and wooden shoes to wear. “Look at the haughty princess in her finery!”
they cried and, laughing, led her to the kitchen. From then on she had to do all the work, getting
up before daybreak, carrying water, lighting fires, cooking and washing. In addition the sisters
did everything they could to plague her. They jeered at her and poured peas and lentils into the
ashes, so that she had to sit there picking them out. At night, when she was tired out with work,
she had no bed to sleep in but had to lie in the ashes by the hearth. And they took to calling her
Ashputtle because she always looked dusty and dirty.
One day when her father was going to the fair, he asked his two stepdaughters what he should
bring them. “Beautiful dresses,” said one. “Diamonds and pearls,” said the other. “And you,
Ashputtle. What would you like?” “Father,” she said, “break off the first branch that brushes
against your hat on your way home, and bring it to me.” So he bought beautiful dresses,
diamonds and pearls for his two stepdaughters, and on the way home, as he was riding through a
copse, a hazel branch brushed against him and knocked off his hat. So he broke off the branch
and took it home with him. When he got home, he gave the stepdaughters what they had asked
for, and gave Ashputtle the branch. After thanking him, she went to her mother’s grave and
planted the hazel sprig over it and cried so hard that her tears fell on the sprig and watered it. It
grew and became a beautiful tree. Three times a day Ashputtle went and sat under it and wept
and prayed. Each time a little white bird came and perched on the tree, and when Ashputtle made
a wish the little bird threw down what she had wished for.
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Now it so happened that the king arranged for a celebration. It was to go on for three days and all
the beautiful girls in the kingdom were invited, in order that his son might choose a bride. When
the two stepsisters heard they had been asked, they were delighted. They called Ashputtle and
said: “Comb our hair, brush our shoes, and fasten our buckles. We’re going to the wedding at the
king’s palace.” Ashputtle obeyed, but she wept, for she too would have liked to go dancing, and
she begged her stepmother to let her go. “You little sloven!” said the stepmother. “How can you
go to a wedding when you’re all dusty and dirty? How can you go dancing when you have
neither dress nor shoes?” But when Ashputtle begged and begged, the stepmother finally said:
“Here, I’ve dumped a bowlful of lentils in the ashes. If you can pick them out in two hours, you
may go.” 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 put
the good ones in the pot,
the bad ones in your crop. ”
Two little white doves came flying through the kitchen window, and then came the turtledoves,
and finally all the birds under heaven came flapping and fluttering and settled down by the ashes.
The doves nodded their little heads and started in, peck peck peck peck, and all the others started
in, peck peck peck peck, and they sorted out all the good lentils and put them in the bowl. Hardly
an hour had passed before they finished and flew away. Then the girl brought the bowl to her
stepmother, and she was happy, for she thought she’d be allowed to go to the wedding. But the
stepmother said: “No, Ashputtle. You have nothing to wear and you don’t know how to dance;
the people would only laugh at you.” When Ashputtle began to cry, the stepmother said: “If you
can pick two bowlfuls of lentils out of the ashes in an hour, you may come.” And she thought:
“She’ll never be able to do it.” When she had dumped the two bowlfuls of lentils in the ashes,
Ashputtle 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 put
the good ones in the pot,
the bad ones in your crop. ”
Then two little white doves came flying through the kitchen window, and then came the
turtledoves, and finally all the birds under heaven came flapping and fluttering and settled down
by the ashes. The doves nodded their little heads and started in, peck peck peck peck, and all the
others started in, peck peck peck peck, and they sorted out all the good lentils and put them in the
bowls. Before half an hour had passed, they had finished and they all flew away. Then the girl
brought the bowls to her stepmother, and she was happy, for she thought she’d be allowed to go
to the wedding. But her stepmother said: “It’s no use. You can’t come, because you have nothing
to wear and you don’t know how to dance. We’d only be ashamed of you.” Then she turned her
back and hurried away with her two proud daughters.
When they had all gone out, Ashputtle went to her mother’s grave. She stood under the hazel tree
and cried:
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“Shake your branches, little tree,
Throw gold and silver down on me. ”
Whereupon the bird tossed down a gold and silver dress and slippers embroidered with silk and
silver. Ashputtle slipped into the dress as fast as she could and went to the wedding. Her sisters
and stepmother didn’t recognize her. 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 Ashputtle, for
they thought she was sitting at home in her filthy rags, picking lentils out of the ashes. The king’s
son came up to her, took her by the hand and danced with her. He wouldn’t dance with anyone
else and he never let go her hand. When someone else asked for a dance, he said: “She is my
partner.”
She danced until evening, and then she wanted to go home. The king’s son said: “I’ll go with
you, I’ll see you home,” for he wanted to find out whom the beautiful girl belonged to. But she
got away from him and slipped into the dovecote. The king’s son waited until her father arrived,
and told him the strange girl had slipped into the dovecote. The old man thought: “Could it be
Ashputtle?” and he sent for an ax and a pick and broke into the dovecote, but there was no one
inside. When they went indoors, Ashputtle was lying in the ashes in her filthy clothes and a dim
oil lamp was burning on the chimney piece, for Ashputtle had slipped out the back end of the
dovecote and run to the hazel tree. There she had taken off her fine clothes and put them on the
grave, and the bird had taken them away. Then she had put her gray dress on again, crept into the
kitchen and lain down in the ashes.
Next day when the festivities started in again and her parents and stepsisters had gone, Ashputtle
went to the hazel tree and said:
“Shake your branches, little tree,
Throw gold and silver down on me. ”
Whereupon the bird threw down a dress that was even more dazzling than the first one. And
when she appeared at the wedding, everyone marveled at her beauty. 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.” When evening came, she said she was going home.
The king’s son followed her, wishing to see which house she went into, but she ran away and
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. He waited until her father arrived and said to
him: “The strange girl has got away from me and I think she has climbed up in the pear tree.”
Her father thought: “Could it be Ashputtle?” He sent for an ax and chopped the tree down, but
there was no one in it. When they went into the kitchen, Ashputtle was lying there in the ashes as
usual, for she had jumped down on the other side of the tree, brought her fine clothes back to the
bird in the hazel tree, and put on her filthy gray dress.
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On the third day, after her parents and sisters had gone, Ashputtle went back to her mother’s
grave and said to the tree:
“Shake your branches, little tree,
Throw gold and silver down on me. ”
Whereupon the bird threw down a dress that was more radiant than either of the others, and the
slippers were all gold. When she appeared at the wedding, the people were too amazed to speak.
The king’s son danced with no one but her, and when someone else asked her for a dance, he
said: “She is my partner.”
When evening came, Ashputtle wanted to go home, and the king’s son said he’d go with her, but
she slipped away so quickly that he couldn’t follow. But he had thought up a trick. He had
arranged to have the whole staircase brushed with pitch, and as she was running down it the pitch
pulled her left slipper off. The king’s son picked it up, and it was tiny and delicate and all gold.
Next morning he went to the father and said: “No girl shall be my wife but the one this golden
shoe fits.” The sisters were overjoyed, for they had beautiful feet. The eldest took the shoe to her
room to try it on and her mother went with her. But the shoe was too small 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 girl cut her toe off, forced her foot into the shoe, gritted
her teeth against the pain, and went out to the king’s son. He accepted her as his bride-to-be,
lifted her up on his horse, and rode away with her. But they had to pass the grave. The two doves
were sitting in the hazel tree and they cried out:
“Roocoo, roocoo,
There’s blood in the shoe.
The foot’s too long, the foot’s too wide,
That’s not the proper bride. ”
He looked down at her foot and saw the blood spurting. At that he turned his horse around and
took the false bride home again. “No,” he said, “this isn’t the right girl; let her sister try the shoe
on.” The sister went to her room and managed to get her toes into the shoe, but her heel was too
big. So her mother handed her a knife and said: “Cut off a chunk of your heel. Once you’re
queen you won’t have to walk any more.” The girl cut off a chunk of her heel, forced her foot
into the shoe, gritted her teeth against the pain, and went out to the king’s son. He accepted her
as his bride-to-be, lifted her up on his horse, and rode away with her. As they passed the hazel
tree, the two doves were sitting there, and they cried out:
“Roocoo, roocoo,
There’s blood in the shoe.
Page 5
The foot’s too long, the foot’s too wide,
That’s not the proper bride. ”
He looked down at her foot and saw that blood was spurting from her shoe and staining her white
stocking all red. He turned his horse around and took the false bride home again. “This isn’t the
right girl, either,” he said. “Haven’t you got another daughter?” “No,” said the man, “there’s only
a puny little kitchen drudge that my dead wife left me. She couldn’t possibly be the bride.”
“Send her up,” said the king’s son, but the mother said: “Oh no, she’s much too dirty to be seen.”
But he insisted and they had to call her. First she washed her face and hands, and when they were
clean, she went upstairs and curtseyed to the king’s son. He handed her the golden slipper and sat
down on a footstool, took her foot out of her heavy wooden shoe, and put it into the slipper. It
fitted perfectly. And when she stood up and the king’s son looked into 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. But he lifted Ashputtle up on his horse and rode
away with her. As they passed the hazel tree, the two white doves called out:
“Roocoo, roocoo,
No blood in the shoe.
Her foot is neither long nor wide,
This one is the proper bride. ”
Then they flew down and alighted on Ashputtle’s shoulders, one on the right and one on the left,
and there they sat.
On the day of Ashputtle’s wedding, the two stepsisters came and tried to ingratiate themselves
and share in her happiness. On the way to church the elder was on the right side of the bridal
couple and the younger on the left. The doves came along and pecked out one of the elder
sister’s eyes and one of the younger sister’s eyes. Afterward, on the way out, the elder was on the
left side and the younger on the right, and the doves pecked out both the remaining eyes. So both
sisters were punished with blindness to the end of their days for being so wicked and false.

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