Once upon a time there was a widow who had two daughters. The elder was so much like her, both in looks and character, that whoever saw the daughter saw the mother. They were both so disagreeable and so proud that it was impossible to live with them. The younger, who was the very picture of her father, was one of the most beautiful girls ever seen. As people naturally love their own likeness, this mother doted on her elder daughter, and at the same time had a great aversion for the younger. She made her eat in the kitchen and work continually.
Among other things, this unfortunate child had to go twice a day to draw water more than a mile and a half from the house, and bring home a pitcher full of it. One day, as she was at this fountain, there came to her a poor woman, who begged of her to let her drink.
“Oh, yes, of course“
said this pretty little girl. So she took some of the best clearest water from the fountain, and gave it to her.
The good woman having drunk, said to her:
“You are so pretty and so good that I can not help giving you a gift.“
For this was a fairy, who had taken the form of a poor country-woman, to see how far the good manners of this pretty girl would go.
“I will give you for gift,“
continued the Fairy,
“that, at every word you speak, there shall come out of your mouth either a flower or a jewel.“
When this pretty girl returned, her mother scolded at her for staying so long at the fountain.
“I beg your pardon, mother,“
said the poor girl.
And in speaking these words there came out of her mouth two roses, two pearls, and two large diamonds.
“What is it I see there?“
said her mother, quite astonished.
“I think pearls and diamonds come out of the girl’s mouth! How happens this, my child?“
So the girl told her the story of the old woman.
cried the mother,
“I must send my own dear child there“
So the other girl went, but grumbled all the way, taking with her the best silver tankard in the house.
She no sooner reached the fountain than she saw coming out of the wood, a magnificently dressed lady, who came up to her, and asked to drink. This was the same fairy who had appeared to her sister, but she had now taken the air and dress of a princess, to see how far this girl’s rudeness would go.
“Did I come here to serve you with water, pray? I suppose this silver tankard was brought purely for your fancy, was it? However, you may drink out of it, if you want,“
said the proud ill-bred girl.
“You are not polite,“
answered the fairy, without anger.
“Well, then, since you are so disobliging, I will give you a gift. At every word you speak there shall come out of your mouth a snake or a toad.“
So soon as her mother saw her coming, she cried out:
answered the unhappy girl, throwing out of her mouth a snake and a toad.
cried the mother,
“what is it I see? It is her sister who has caused all this, but she shall pay for it,“
and immediately she ran to beat her. The poor child fled away from her, and went to hide herself in the forest nearby.
The King’s son, who was returning home, met her, and seeing her so beautiful, asked her what she did there alone and why she cried.
“Alas! sir, my mother has turned me out of the house.“
The King’s son, who saw five or six pearls and as many diamonds come out of her mouth, desired her to tell him how that happened. She told him the whole story. The King’s son fell in love with her, and, considering that such a gift was worth more than any marriage portion another bride could bring, conducted her to the palace of the King, his father, and there married her, and they lived happily ever after.