Daughter escapes murder by stepmother, flees with Roland. He disappears. She remains faithful to him and gets him as her husband after all.
Once upon a time there was a woman who was a real witch and had two daughters, one ugly and bad, whom she loved because she was her real daughter, and one beautiful and good, whom she hated because she was her stepdaughter. At one time the stepdaughter had a beautiful apron which pleased the other, so that she was envious and told her mother she wanted and had to have the apron. Be quiet, my child,' said the old woman, 'you shall have it too. Your stepsister has long since deserved death, tonight when she is asleep I will come and cut off her head. Just make sure that you get into the back of the bed and push her right in front. The poor girl would have been devastated if she had not been standing in a corner and listening to everything. She was not allowed to go out of the door all day, and when bedtime came, she had to get into bed first, so that she could lie down at the back; but when she had fallen asleep, she pushed her gently in front and took her place at the back of the wall. In the night the old woman came creeping along, holding an axe in her right hand, and with her left she first felt whether someone was lying in front, and then she took hold of the axe with both hands and cut and chopped off her own child's head.
When she had gone, the girl got up and went to her sweetheart, whose name was Roland, and knocked on his door. When he came out, she said to him, "Listen, dearest Roland, we must flee quickly, the stepmother wanted to kill me, but she hit her own child. When the day comes and she sees what she has done, we are lost.' But I advise you," said Roland, "to take her wand away first, otherwise we can't save ourselves if she follows us and chases us. The girl had the wand, and then she took the dead head and dripped three drops of blood on the ground, one in front of the bed, one in the kitchen, and one on the stairs. Then she hurried away with her beloved.
When the old witch got up in the morning, she called her daughter and wanted to give her the apron, but she did not come. Then she called out, "Where are you?" "Here, on the stairs, I'm sweeping," answered the one drop of blood. The old woman went out, but saw no one on the stairs and called out again, "Where are you?" "Here in the kitchen, I'm getting warm," called the second drop of blood. She went into the kitchen, but found no one. Then she called out again, "Where are you?" "Oh, here in bed, I'm sleeping," called out the third drop of blood. She went into the chamber to the bed. What did she see there? Her own child, swimming in his blood, and she herself had cut off his head.
The witch flew into a rage, jumped to the window, and as she could see far into the world, she saw her stepdaughter hurrying away with her beloved Roland. That shall not help you,' she cried, 'even if you are already far away, you will not escape from me. She put on her mile boots, in which she made an hour with every step, and it was not long before she had caught up with them both. The girl, however, as she saw the old woman striding along, transformed her beloved Roland into a lake with her magic wand, and herself into a duck swimming in the middle of the lake. The witch stood on the shore, threw chunks of bread into it and tried hard to lure the duck, but the duck could not be lured, and the old woman had to turn back in the evening without having achieved anything. Then the girl and her beloved Roland took on their natural form again, and they went on all night until daybreak. Then the girl turned into a beautiful flower standing in the middle of a thorn hedge, and her lover Roland turned into a violin player. Not long after, the witch came striding up and said to the minstrel, 'Dear minstrel, may I break off the beautiful flower?' 'Oh yes,' he answered, 'I will play to it.' When she crawled into the hedge with haste and wanted to break the flower, for she knew well who the flower was, he began to play, and, she might want to or not, she had to dance, for it was a magic dance. The faster he played, the more powerful jumps she had to make, and the thorns tore her clothes off her body, stung her bloody and sore, and since he did not stop, she had to dance until she lay dead.
When they were released, Roland said, "Now I will go to my father and order the wedding. In the meantime I will stay here," said the girl, "and wait for you, and so that no one will recognize me, I will turn into a red boulder. Then Roland went away, and the girl stood as a red stone in the field and waited for her beloved. But when Roland came home, he fell into the trap of another, who made him forget the girl. The poor girl stood there for a long time, but when he finally didn't come back at all, she became sad and turned into a flower and thought, "Someone will probably go along and kick me over.
But it happened that a shepherd was tending his sheep in the field and saw the flower, and because it was so beautiful, he broke it off, took it with him, and put it in his box. From that time on, things went strangely in the shepherd's house. When he got up in the morning, all the work was already done: the parlor was swept, the table and benches were cleaned, the fire was built on the stove, and water was carried; and at noon, when he came home, the table was laid and a good meal was served. He could not understand how this happened, for he never saw anyone in his house, nor could there have been anyone hiding in the little hut. The good service pleased him, of course, but at last he became frightened, so that he went to a wise woman and asked her for advice. The wise woman said, "There is magic behind it; once in the morning, early in the morning, pay attention to whether something is stirring in the room, and if you see something, it may be whatever it wants, so quickly throw a white cloth over it, then the magic will be inhibited. The shepherd did as she said, and the next morning, just as the day was dawning, he saw the box open and the flower come out. He quickly jumped to it and threw a white cloth over it. Immediately the transformation was over, and a beautiful girl stood before him, who confessed to him that she had been the flower and had taken care of his household until now. She told him her fate, and because she pleased him, he asked her if she wanted to marry him, but she answered 'no,' for she wanted to remain faithful to her beloved Roland, although he had left her: but she promised that she would not go away, but would continue to keep house with him.
Now the time was approaching for Roland to hold the wedding, and according to the old custom, it was announced in the country that all the girls should gather and sing in honor of the bride and groom. The faithful girl, when she heard of this, became so sad that she thought her heart would burst in her womb and did not want to go, but the others came and fetched her. But when the time came for it to sing, it stepped back until it was the only one left, and then it could not help itself. But when it began its song, and it came to Roland's ears, he jumped up and cried, 'I know that voice, that is the right bride, I do not desire any other. Everything that he had forgotten and had disappeared from his mind had suddenly come home to his heart. There the faithful girl held wedding with his beloved Roland, and his sorrow was over and began his joy.