The Three Spinning Women French folktale

There was once a poor woman who had a beautiful daughter. They lived near a hotel. Every morning after the last stroke of seven the mother exclaimed: "And seven have passed!" By that he meant that her daughter had already swallowed seven platefuls of soup.

One day the king's son came to that part of the country and stopped in the hotel. He went to the window and saw the beautiful girl and fell in love with her. The next morning, when seven o'clock came while he was at the window, he heard the the old woman say. "And seven have passed!"

He wanted to know what these words meant and asked the hostess to explain. The hostess's replied, "They are poor in that family; they have only the work of the young girl to feed them. I guess that what her mother says means that by seven o'clock in the morning her daughter has already spun seven spindles."

A few moments later he went over to the old woman and asked for her daughter in marriage. The mother said that it would be difficult, but the prince listened to nothing, and within an hour he married the young girl.

A few years later, the prince had to go away and fight enemies. Before leaving, he left three rooms full of hemp for her to spin. After he left, his wife, who did not even know how to hold the spindle in her hands, spent her days crying.

One day she saw three old women passing by. They greeted her and asked her why she grieved, and she told it to them.

who go saluted and asked him the cause of his sadness, she told them. "Don't torment yourself any more. We'll do it instead of you. In one hour all your hemp will be spun. In return we want to be invited to dinner when your husband returns. You have to call us aunts then. Then, when your husband asks you to go and get us, go to the stairway and shout: "Aunt Persi, Auth Sophie, Aunt Cruci, the time has come!" And we shall appear.

Then the queen took the old women to the three rooms, each in her own room, and they were spinning, spinning and spinning fast. In one hour everything was spun and the three old women disappeared.

Shortly after her husband returned from the war and praised her for all the hard spinning work.

The queen told him: "I have three old aunts who would like to dine with us once. Can I invite them?"

"Certainly, go and get them today."

"There's no need to run," said the beautiful queen; and, from the stairway she called "Aunt Persi, Aunt Sophie, Aunt Cruci, the time has come!"

Suddenly they heard a loud noise and three improbably ugly women appeared. One of them had eyelashes that reached to her knees. One had lips that reached her waist. The arms of the third were so long that they were sweeping the floor,. The king and queen were horrified at the sight of them.

Towards the end of the dinner one of the three aunts said: "Sire, it surprises you to see how ugly we are. So allow us to tell how we have become like this. If I have long eyelashes it's because I spend all my evenings spinning."

"My lips have become so thick and sagging," said the second, "because while spinning I put my fingers to my lips to wet them and twine the thread better."

"My arms have become so long after turning the spindle with force," said the third. "The same thing could happen to your wife if she should go on spinning."

The king decided that his beautiful queen would never have to work again in her life, and she lived long and was very happy at doing nothing.