During the European Middle Ages , the peasant population was subjected to servitude , a form of work in which the serfs (peasants) had no freedom, were tied to their lord's land and owed him a series of obligations. Therefore, the peasant population was subjected to the exploitation of the nobles, in addition, taxes were paid by the peasants, leaving the nobles exempt from these taxes.
In most peasant tales of the Middle Ages, the main object of desire was food . What were the reasons for the peasant desire for food? Could it be the precarious food of the peasants? Yes, because most of the agricultural production carried out by the serfs was passed on to the noble (feudal lord) land owner.
There is a peasant version of the Cinderella story which became known as Little Anette . In this story, the young Anette, an orphan, lived with her stepmother and her daughters. Anette ate a loaf of bread a day given to her by her stepmother. The girl became thin due to poor diet. The stepmother's daughters were fed daily with mutton and many other delicious foods, while the orphan girl worked in the fields and still washed the dirty dishes from the meals she didn't have.
One fine day, the situation of the orphan girl changed, little Anette received from the Virgin Mary a magic wand that produced a huge feast when touched to a black sheep . Quickly, Anette was getting chubby, according to her wish, as the little young woman was adhering to the beauty standards of the Middle Ages (in this period, the female beauty standard was the overweight woman).
With Anette gaining weight through magic, soon her stepmother discovered her secret and had the sheep killed. The sheep's liver was offered to Anette, who buried it without her stepmother's knowledge.
The orphan, after burying her liver, was surprised, because a huge tree grew on the spot that no one could pick up the fruit. Only Anette fed on the fruits of that big tree, which lowered the branches for the girl to reach the fruits.
As time passed, a gluttonous prince made a promise to marry the person who managed to reap the rewards. As the tree obeyed only Anette, the girl harvested the fruits for the prince, who married the girl and they lived happily ever after.
The orphaned peasant rose to nobility, gained perks and was exempt from paying taxes. However, this peasant social ascension in the Middle Ages was practically unfeasible, only possible in tales.