Allerleirauh looks like a difficult word to pronounce. I actually have no idea how to pronounce it. It doesn’t even look German to me, but I could totally be wrong. I don’t really know enough about German to make the final call on that. I do want to say that the word appears to have more of an Arabic flair. I could also be wrong on that. The word does remind me of the word Hallelujah, which is spelled several different ways, one of those ways being awfully similar to this word, but not meaning anything close to what this word means.

Once upon a time there was a king who had a beautiful wife. She was so very pretty and her hair shone of gold. The queen knew she was going to die. She called her husband to her beside and told him that if he should remarry, he should promise not to marry anyone who did not equal her beauty. Then she died.

The king was alone for a while, but his advisors soon wanted him to be married again. The kingdom wanted a queen. He looked high and low, but could not find a woman as beautiful as his wife, until he looked in his own house. He observed that his daughter, was quite beautiful and had inherited all the beauty of his late wife. He told his advisors that he was going to marry his daughter. I know, I know, let me finish the story. The advisers told him it wasn’t right for fathers to go around marrying their daughters. The daughter also wasn’t very pleased with this, but she played along.

She told her father she would marry him if he could get her a dress as golden as the son, a dress as silvery as the moon, and another dress as bright as the stars. She also asked for a mantle made from skin from all the different animals of the kingdom. She thought there was no way her father could procure these items, but he did. The girl determined that she should run away.

The girl prepared for her journey. She packed three things from her treasures a golden ring, a golden spinning-wheel, and a golden reel. She then packed her three dresses into a nutshell(previously owned by Mary Poppins, only used on Sundays). She then blackened her face and hands with soot and put on her mantle of a thousand different furs.

She left home and walked and walked. She came to a forest and fell asleep in a hollow tree. How quaint. The king, who owned the forest, happened to be hunting in it. His dogs came to the tree and sniffed it and barked at it. The king had his huntsmen check to see what kind of creature his dogs had found. The huntsmen came back with the reply that it was some strange sleeping creature with a thousand different kinds of fur. The king told them to catch the creature alive and they would take it back to the castle. The girl, told the huntsmen that she was a poor child deserted by her mother and father.

The huntsmen called her Allerleirauh and told her that she would be useful in the kitchen and that she could sweep up the ashes. They took her back and let her live in a cupboard under the stairs. She did much of the hard work of the castle and she was there for a very long time.

There happened to be a party going on one time and Allerleirauh asked the cook if she could go upstairs and watch. The cook said, “Ok, but only for thirty minutes.” Allerleirauh runs back to her cupboard and puts on her dress as golden as the sun. She takes off all her blackened makeup and joins the party. Everyone thinks she is so beautiful. The king danced with her and was quite impressed. When the time was up, she ran quickly away. The cook told her to make soup for the king. When she did so, she dropped her golden ring into it.

The king ate his soup, but was a bit surprised to find a golden ring in it. He asked the cook if she knew anything about it and she did not, so she had to confess that Allerleirauh had made the soup. The king called Allerleirauh up to ask her, and she said she didn’t know anything about a ring. So the king was just confused for a while.

There was soon another party. Allerleirauh asked the cook if she could go up and watch. The cook said it was alright and that she had thirty minutes. Allerleirauh ran back to her cupboard and put on her dress as silvery as the moon. She washed her face and hands. She then went to the party and danced with the king again. The king is now getting a little flummoxed in concerns to this beautiful woman who keeps showing up for thirty minutes. When the time is up, Allerleirauh runs back to her cupboard, puts on her regular get up and blackens her hands and face with ash.

The cook tells Allerleirauh to make the soup again because the king liked it so much. She makes the soup, but this time she puts her golden spinning wheel in it, apparently it’s a small spinning wheel, or a very large bowl of soup. The king eats all of his soup and finds the golden spinning wheel. The king talks to Allerleirauh again, each time he has talked to her she has said that she is a poor and lonely girl without mother or father and that she is only good for having boots  thrown at her head. She relays all of this to the king and he lets her go.

The cook gets a little suspicious, she doesn’t know how Allerleirauh is making soup so much more delicious than her own soup. The cook brushes it off though. There is another party and Allerleirauh asks, again, to be allowed to go. The cook says it’s ok. Allerleirauh runs to her cupboard and puts on the dress that shines like the stars. This time the king is ready for her. While Allerleirauh isn’t paying attention during an especially long dance the king ordered to be lengthy on purpose, he slips a golden ring on one of her fingers.

Because the dance was so long, Allerleirauh doesn’t have much time to change her clothes. She puts the furry mantle on over her dress that shone like the stars and hastily make-upped herself with ash. She missed the finger with the ring on it though.

Once again, the cook tells her to make the soup the king likes so much. Allerleirauh makes the soup, but this time, she puts her golden reel in it. The king calls Allerleirauh up. He looks at her and spies the one white finger that she didn’t cover with ash. He also sees the golden ring on that finger. The king grabbed her and she tried to run away, but when she tried to get free the mantle of furs fell to reveal the dress that shone like the stars. The king pulled the mantle all the way off and he could see her golden hair and her great beauty.

The king pretty much says, “Yup, we’re getting married.” They get married and lived happily until their death.

The End


The word Allerleirauh means “of many kinds of  different fur” according to my Grimm’s anthology. Like I said before, I have no idea where this word comes from. It does not appear to be German in origin, but like I said, I could totally be wrong. It really does remind me of the word Hallelujah.

This is a Cinderella story. It has much of that same ring to it. Although, I must admit, Cinderella’s dad never tried to marry her. If you remember, Cinderella also had three beautiful dresses, she did not, however, have three treasures to show to her potential suitor.

Allerleirauh almost seems to bribe this king with her treasures. I don’t really like the sound of that. This might have been considered her dowry, money your parents paid a man to take you off their hands. The dowry was a stupid tradition, of course. I can see some of the monetary benefits. Here you go, here’s money to start your new life, but mostly it was just, here’s money for your new husband to blow on ale and hookers. We’ve mainly replaced this tradition with expensive weddings, which the parents of the bride usually pay for. I never had an expensive wedding, so I wouldn’t know.

Allerleirauh’s nutshell must have previously belonged to Mary Poppins. There is no way three dresses would fit in a nutshell, even if it’s like a Brazilian nut or a coconut. Formal dresses are big and heavy. There is lots of fabric and there is just no way this could all fit in any type of nutshell. The nutshell is magic that is all I can figure out. It’s kin to the tardis. It was probably like genie’s bottle from the show I Dream of Genie. It was small, but once she got in there, it was pretty swanky. Allerleirauh probably had the same thing going on in her nutshell. Every night she probably shrunk herself down and went into her nutshell that was outfitted like the Barbie Dream House, complete with a jacuzzi.

The men in this story are terrible. First, Allerleirauh’s own father wants to marry her. Look, that doesn’t happen. We’re along way off from Lot sleeping with his two daughters while he was drunk because they thought it was the end of the world. This is a very “no-no” type of relationship the king is trying to make happen. It’s very taboo, even if you’re the marrying your cousin type of person, this is a “no-fly” zone. The second king is very stalker-like.

One must ask oneself, why this king is single, or if he is single at all? Consider the facts you know about history. Kings do not stay single for long. Their advisers strive very hard to have them married and working on the next heir to the throne, even if the king had already been married and was now widowed, his advisers would be pushing pretty hard for a new queen. This story states that Allerleirauh is at this castle for a long time. In that time, it would only be reasonable that the king was only single for part of it. He most likely had a wife when he met Allerleirauh in the woods. These parties were probably for the purpose of inviting all the local heiresses and nobility to pick out a new wife.

On the other hand, this king may not be single at all. This marriage he ends up having with Allerleirauh, may not be legal. It may be a false marriage. It may be that Allerleirauh is simply his mistress. No one knows that she is actually a princess. He may have a queen in another castle. He may have a “princess” in every castle. I’ve mentioned before that these types of things were arranged in the past where kings were concerned. This may simply be a case of this king thinking Allerleirauh is pretty and that he could use another mistress.


Yes, this tale is three-heavy and another version of Cinderella, that’s the easy stuff.

There are two things I’m feeling from this story. I feel that this story is definitely saying something about the idea of father-daughter incest, but I also feel it’s saying something about how abused people cope with life.

People do not like incest. You’re not supposed to go around sleeping with people related to you, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. The potential-incest which we encounter in this story is of the father-daughter variety. I don’t have numbers, but I would bet that this is probably the most common form of non-consensual incest there is. I don’t know if non-consensual incest is a real term or not, but as far as I am concerned, it is now. I created it. Consensual incest would be like if you married your cousin, on purpose, because you wanted to.

It’s a sad thing that girls are abused by their fathers at all, but it does happen. There are fathers who sleep with their daughters when Mom’s back is turned. It happens more often than anybody wants to admit. I get the feeling that Allerleirauh is probably no stranger to this. I want to say, there is a good chance the king is already diddling around with Allerleirauh before he ever proposes the idea of marriage to his daughter.

The people back in the days when these tales were created, were no strangers to the idea of a father sleeping with his daughter. It happened and it probably happened with more frequency than it happens today. You have to remember that these are tales for entertainment, but they’re also tales that portray society. Society is reflected in these tales. If someone took the time to create a story in which a princess is sexually abused or potentially sexually abused by her own father, the king, then it was actually happening somewhere.

These tales were not overt. You’ve never read an original-ish version of a Grimm’s tale that says, “Once upon a time a king found a princess in the woods and had sex with her, the end.” These tales used more gentle ways to say this type of thing. They uses insinuations and metaphors. Knowing that, I do really think this is a tale about a father sexually abusing his daughter. That’s why Allerleirauh runs away. Surely, a man’s own daughter could talk him out of the crazy idea of marrying her. That would make sense, but not if that relationship is already unhealthy.

Take into consideration that Allerleirauh says, “I am good for nothing but to have boots thrown at my head.” Why would anyone ever say anything like that about themselves? This is not a humbling phrase. It’s not an, “Oh, I’m not worthy,” type of thing. This is an admission of depression and guilt. This statement is abusive in nature. Allerleirauh feels guilt for something. If what I say about her possible incestuous relationship with her father is true, then Allerleirauh is feeling guilt because she knows what happened was wrong. She probably feels she did something to bring it on, but she did nothing except look like her dead mother.

She feels like she should be physically abused to atone for this. She’s depressed. Who rubs soot all over themselves? Someone who is trying to hide their true self, that’s who. Allerleirauh probably feels her beauty has brought bad things to her, so she hides out as a monster.

Think about how she tries to buy the king. She offers up three items, which are, most likely, worth a lot of money. She doesn’t feel she has enough value in and of herself to be of any worth to this king. She talks about how boots should be thrown at her head, she dresses like a filthy, sooty animal, and she tries to bribe the king with riches. Bribery is a technique that people who don’t have the best self-esteem will use to get into a relationship or keep a relationship. They may be bribing the other party in the relationship or they may be bribing themselves. A person who feels that they are worthless will offer to do more for the other party in the relationship, just as long as the relationship can continue. They will give everything and anything. They will do things they aren’t comfortable doing and cross lines they don’t feel they should cross. They reason with themselves that they’re worthless and they might as well cross a few lines just to keep this one person, the only person who will ever care for them. That’s the idea. It’s not correct, but that’s the idea.

This tale is very psychological. I really would like to discuss Allerleirauh in more detail, but this post is already much too long. You get the basic idea of what I am trying to say.


Remember, these tales reflect society. Sure, society has gotten more technologically advanced and in some ways more civilized, but you will find that throughout history, society has the save undertones. People generally  act and react in the same manner that they have for hundreds or thousands of years. Just change a few names and modernize it up a bit and this tale could be about someone you know. This tale could be about a teenage girl you know running away from her sexually abusive father and then offering up everything she has of value to an almost stranger just for an ounce of love and affection all while trying to hide the extreme guilt she feels from being abused.



About The Author


There's way too much to write in this tiny space, but let's be short about this. Ashe is the creator, maintainer, and writer of One-Elevenbooks and has been since 2011. She likes to make artwork and write novels. She also likes the outside, in general. Ashe has a BA in Fine Arts and a BS in Information Technology.

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