The great thing about this French story is its name:
The DIRTY Shepherdess.
The thing was that I was a naturally grubby child, and I'd always been realistic enough to know that even if I became the heroine of a fairy tale I unlikely to bag a handsome prince because my floating chiffon skirts were more likely than not to be off-puttingly splodged with gravy.
But if there was a fairy story about someone dirty. Hm. Perhaps I could hack the whole heroine thing after all.
is Paul Sébillot, who first wrote down the story of The Dirty Shepherdess. I agree he's not that decorative, but I've put him in so we can admire the beautifully waxed tips to his moustache.
As for the story itself, it begins with yet another king demanding to know how much his children love him, has a Cinderella moment in the middle (only with a ring, not a slipper) and ends, of course, Happily Ever After.
The disappointing thing about the story is that the shepherdess heroine is only beautiful when she's clean and wearing her princess clothes.
Ah well. At least the idiot king gets to look very foolish indeed.
Word To Use Today: heroine. This word comes from the Latin word hērōina, which the Romans pinched from the Greek hērōine.
It didn't arrive in England until the 1600s.