The Black Bride and the White One

ENVY drives a stepmother and a stepsister
to an evil plot…

I

n a field a girl was cutting hay with her stepmother and stepsister. The Lord, passing by, asked for directions to the village. The stepmother and stepsister answered rudely but the girl showed him the way, and he offered her three wishes. She asked for beauty, riches and, finally, the promise of Heaven. For their rudeness and their ENVY of the girl’s blessings, the Lord turned her stepmother and stepsister ugly and black of heart.
            The girl’s brother, Reginer, had a portrait of her. He was a coachman for the king, who fell in love with the girl’s image and told him he wished to marry her. Reginer traveled home to bring his sister to the king, but her stepmother bewitched and deceived both brother and sister. Before the end of the journey, she pushed the young woman off a bridge, after convincing her to trade gowns with her stepsister. Regnier was none the wiser.
           The king, repulsed by an ugly bride that did not look like the portrait that Reginer possessed, threw his coachman into a snake pit. However, the king succumbed to the wicked stepmother’s magic and married her ugly daughter.
           Soon a white duck began to visit the king’s kitchen and talk to a servant about its missing brother — Reginer.The king came to see the disturbing sight of a talking duck but when he cut off its head the duck transformed into a beautiful White Bride, and the envious stepsister’s days were numbered.