How Essie Pattle was found to fit the golden slippers, and b...

Date 18 December 1972
Track ID 71783
Part 1

Track Information

Original Track ID


Original Tape ID



How Essie Pattle was found to fit the golden slippers, and became a princess despite her nasty stepsisters.

T. A. Robertson heard the story of Essie Pattle, the Shetland Cinderella, in Lerwick, from Mrs Laurenson, who belonged to Firth in Delting. He wrote it down the way she told it.

A long time sinsyne [ago] a woman died, leaving her husband and one peerie [little] girl. The girl baked brunies [beremeal scones] and had a lamb and a tame crow. The man married a widow with two older daughters, who made the young girl work hard around the house. They had the best of everything and went to all the foys [celebrations]; she had to stay by the cheek of the fire. They called her Essie Pattle [Ash Scraper]. Despite this treatment, Essie Pattle grew bonnier [prettier], while the other daughters got coarser. The caddie [pet] lamb grew into a blue ewe and nyarmed [bleated] back when the crow spoke to it.

Essie Pattle couldn't go with the others to see the king and the prince, as she had no clothes to wear. The crow told her to go to the blue ewe, who gave her a silk gown. No one in the crowd recognised her. The king sent an attendant round the country with a pair of gold slippers: the girl they fitted was to marry the prince. The two sisters clipped their toenails till they bled. When the chiel [fellow] came to their house, he said that, less an duil [alas and woe], he could find no one to fit the shoes. The oldest sister rolled up her stocking to the cuits [ankles] and jammed her feet into the slippers. The attendant took her on his horse, but the crow flew around saying, "Nippit fit and clippit fit ower the meadow rides, but bonny fit and blyde [happy] fit hame in bower bides." The sister was sent back, and when the attendant saw Essie Pattle's feet he asked her to try the slippers. They fitted her perfectly, and the king's man picked her up in his skurt [bosom] and took her to the palace. She married the prince and lived happily ever after.

Item Notes

The story is told again in English on the next track on the same tape (SA1972.238).

Item Subject/Person

Essie Pattle

Recording Location

County - Shetland


English, Scots



Source Type

Reel to reel

Audio Quality