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Literature: Snow-White-Fire-Red
Snow-White-Fire-Red is an Italian Fairy Tale, collected by Thomas Crane.

A small prince breaks a pitcher wherein an ogress had carefully caught the last of an oil fountain (built in honor his birth). She curses him to be unable to marry anyone but Snow-White-Fire-Red.

When he grows up, he remembers this and goes in search of her. He finds a tower, where an ogress arrives and calls Snow-White-Fire-Red to let down her hair. As soon as the ogress leaves, he does the same, and wooes the girl. She hides him and when the ogress, whom she calls her mother, returns, asks her how she could escape if she ever wanted to. The ogress, believing her just curious, explains.

The girl enchants all the furniture to answer for her, and she and the prince run off. The ogress keeps calling up the tower and the furniture answers until finally she figures it out and chases after them. The girl throws down the balls of yarn she had taken, each of which transform into an obstacle until the last one drowns the ogress — but not before she curses Snow White Fire Red, to have the prince forget her as soon as his mother kisses him.

The prince goes to fetch proper clothes for her to appear in, his mother kisses him, and Snow-White-Fire-Red had to enchant two doves to go to the prince and jog his memory loose.

This is not a form of "Snow White" (or "Snow-White and Rose-Red", either), of course, but related to "Rapunzel". It appears to be an older form, still more closely related to the fairy tale types "The girl helps the hero flee" (such as "The White Dove") and "the forsaken fiancee" (such as the ending of "The Love of Three Oranges"). While in "Rapunzel" the heroine is kidnapped young, and in "the girl helps the hero flee", the heroine often is actually the witch/ogress/other villain's child, here it is ambiguous. Compare to the Child Ballad "Young Beichan" and "Prunella".

Full text here.

Tropes included


PrunellaItalian LiteratureSun, Moon, and Talia
Snow-White and Rose-RedFairy TaleSoria Moria Castle

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