Long, long time ago, in a faraway kingdom, there lived a wealthy and kindhearted gentleman and his equally kindhearted wife.
They had a beautiful baby daughter named Cinderella.
They lived in a time when fairies abound so Cinderella got a fairy godmother of her own.
The couple loved their daughter so much that they pampered her, and gave her everything she needed and wanted.
The girl grew up to be as kindhearted as her father and mother but a little bratty. Without intending to do so, the parents had spoiled the child.
It was a sad day when the wife became ill and passed away leaving a young Cinderella and her inconsolable father.
The grief-stricken father took to drinking and lost most of his wealth.
Stepmother and Stepsisters
After a year, Cinderella’s father took a new wife to live with him and Cinderella. The new wife named Ursula came with her two daughters Matilda and Minerva.
Cinderella grudgingly accepted his father’s new wife and her stepsisters.
“It’s odd to suddenly have two sisters,” Cinderella said with displeasure.
“They will be your stepsisters, Cindy,” the new wife explained, trying to be pleasant.
“Whatever,” Cinderella rolled her eyes, “Please don’t call me Cindy. Only my mother calls me that.”
Cinderella’s father who stopped drinking, thanks to his new wife, was away most of the time on business trips.
The management of the household was left to Ursula whose first order of business was to get rid of the servants to save on their wages.
“And who will do the house chores?” Cinderella exclaimed. She had read so many wicked stepmothers forcing the stepdaughter to do the chores.
“Relax, Cinderella,” Ursula said calmly, “you are too beautiful to do the chores in this house.” She turned to her two daughters, “Matilda here can cook, and Minerva can do the cleaning and the laundry. They are trained to do housework because I have not raised spoiled brats. And I will take care of the garden,” she finished.
Cinderella was satisfied with the arrangements. And she continued to live like she did when there were servants in the house.
Her two stepsisters catered to her like the pretty little sister that she was. As kindhearted as she was, she never abused them. She had never raised her voice to them, no matter how tempting at times. The two stepsisters loved her like their own sister.
Ursula also treated Cinderella like her own daughter, so in time, Cinderella started calling her “Mother.”
The Royal Ball
Now, it came to pass that the king announced a ball at the palace because the Prince was going to choose his bride from the ladies in attendance.
Ursula was so excited.
“Cinderella, you have to attend the ball so the Prince can see you. I am sure he will be mesmerized by your beauty and choose you for his bride.”
Cinderella was the least interested. “I have no dress to wear at the ball, Mother.”
“Of course, you have. With all the money we have saved, we can buy a beautiful dress for you.”
The two stepdaughters chorused, “And for us, too, Mother?”
“Yes, yes, you’ll get new dresses, too,” she waved a hand to dismiss them, “but Cinderella will have the best dress. Oh, I can see it now, the prince will set eyes on you and he will not dance with anybody but you.”
Cinderella rolled her eyes, “Well, whatever, Mother…”
On the day of the ball, Cinderella’s dress arrived with the dresses of Matilda and Minerva. The two stepsisters looked at Cinderella’s dress with envy.
“Mother, how come my dress is not as beautiful as Cinderella’s?” Matilda asked.
“Matilda, with your looks, even the most beautiful dress would not change anything. You can never catch the Prince’s attention.”
“How about me, Mother?” Minerva asked hopefully.
“Look, I love both of you, but… if we want to get into the palace, Cinderella is our best bet. Now, you get ready while I get Cinderella dressed.”
But the dress did not impress Cinderella at all. “Mother, what is this?”
“Why, dear, what’s wrong?”
“What’s wrong? First, it looks so ordinary. Second, that color doesn’t complement my skin tone…”
“Oh, dear child… what can we do now? We have spent so much on that dress. Gowns don’t come cheap these days, you know.”
“Mother, if I wear that to the ball, the Prince won’t even look at me. I will be lost in the crowd because the dress does not look amazing enough to be different. It looks like any other gown.”
“But dear, we don’t have another dress…”
“Then I’m not going to the ball. It’s a waste of time. I’d rather stay home and read. I have to catch up on my reading…”
“But what would we do with this dress? We spent a fortune on this!” she cried in frustration.
Cinderella sighed, “You can get Minerva to wear it. She is a lot smaller than Matilda, and with some alterations, she could squeeze into it…”
Ursula heaved a sigh of resignation. “Oh, Cinderella…”
“Don’t worry, Mother, someday, my Prince will come.”
So Ursula and her daughters left for the palace.
The Fairy Godmother
Cinderella settled on her bed ready to curl up with a book when her fairy godmother appeared.
“Cinderella, what are you doing?”
“Oh, hello, godmother. As you can see I am about to read my book…”
“Get up. You are going to the ball,” the fairy godmother ordered.
“No, godmother, I am not going. I don’t have a dress, I don’t even have a ride to get into the ball on time.”
“Get up, get up,” fairy godmother insisted.
When she stood up, fairy godmother waved her wand and lo! and behold, she was dressed in a magnificent gown with glass slippers. Another wave and her hair and make-up were done.
To top it all, she came to the ball in a splendid carriage powered by mice turned into horses.
The fairy godmother warned her to leave the ball before the clock strikes twelve or everything would be back to original. Her gown would turn into her pajamas, the horses into mice.
Of course, she made a grand entrance and caught the eye of the Prince who refused to dance with anybody else except Cinderella.
Ursula’s keen eyes recognized her stepdaughter and she was overjoyed.
Long before twelve midnight, Cinderella left the ball. The Prince ran after her and found the glass slipper she left on the palace steps.
When Ursula came home, she found Cinderella quietly reading her book on her bed.
“Why did you leave the ball so early?”
When Cinderella did not even look up from her book, Ursula sat on her bed and asked eagerly, “So where did you get that amazing dress?”
“From my fairy godmother…”
“I knew it! And the Prince was so smitten by you. So when are you going to see him again?”
Cinderella looked up from her book and said, “Never!”
“What?” Ursula couldn’t believe her ears.
Cinderella put her book down, “Mother, I am sorry to disappoint you but no Prince for me this time.”
“Why? Why Cinderella, why? “
“Mother, did you see the Prince? Did you see him?”
“Yes, I did… he was princely enough…”
Cinderella sighed, “He’s fat, he’s bald, and worst of all… arrogant! I could not listen to him talk about himself another minute so I left the ball.”
“But Cindy…. Cinderella… he’s a Prince!” Ursula insisted.
“He’s not my Prince, Mother,” Cinderella said with finality.
The Glass Slipper
The next day, there was an announcement from the palace. The Prince would marry one whose foot could fit into the glass slippers left by the beautiful maiden at the palace steps.
“Oh, no… no-no-no-no-no!” Cinderella was adamant she will not try on the shoe no matter how Ursula coaxed her. “I told you I am not marrying that Prince, Mother!”
“Oh, this is the end of my dream. There is no chance my daughter could ever marry a Prince. If only my two daughters were not so plain…”
“Wait a minute, Mother… the announcement says the Prince will marry the maiden whose foot can fit into the glass slipper, right?”
“Yes, yes….” Ursula nodded expectantly.
“Leave it to me….” Cinderella said.
Just then the palace soldiers came to their door asking for the ladies of the house to fit the shoe.
“Mother, tell them there are only two maidens in this house,” Cinderella cautioned her stepmother.
Matilda tried the shoe first but her foot was undeniably huge.
When it was Minerva’s turn, it was clear her foot was a tad bigger than the shoe but when she pushed her foot into the shoe, it fit her foot perfectly.
At last the Prince found her princess.
When the soldiers left, Cinderella came out.
Ursula asked excitedly, “It’s your fairy godmother, she did it, right?”
“Yes, mother… now you have a princess daughter.”
Ursula was beyond happy.
Matilda asked Cinderella, “Why Minerva and not me?”
“Minerva’s foot is smaller than yours, dear sister. The glass slipper could not expand that much. It’s glass. Don’t worry, someday your prince will come.”
Three months later...
“Cinderella, there’s a prince at the door looking for Sleeping Beauty. Can you just pretend to be asleep while I ask him up so he thinks you are the Sleeping Beauty?”
“Motherrrr….!” Cinderella groaned.
This is a fractured fairy tale based on the Grimm Brothers Fairy Tale with the same title: Cinderella.
© 2020 Norma