Cinderella :

Once upon a time there lived an old man who had a dear little daughter. It so happened that this girl's mother had died and she was alone with her father who was a merchant. Now, since this old man was a merchant, he often had to travel a lot. Though he loved his daughter dearly he hardly had any time to take care of her properly due to his travels. Therefore, one day he married another lady to look after his daughter. This lady gave birth to another two girls. Often times the old man had to go away to far of countries and hence did not know how his second wife looked after his daughter. But he was always under the impression that she used to care of his daughter dearly. But, he hardly knew that the step mother was being very unkind to his daughter. She used to make her own daughters sing and dance day long whereas make his daughter do all the works. His daughter’s only entertainment was to sit in front of the fire in the kitchen corner and relax her tired limbs and for this reason her sisters mockingly nicknamed her CINDERELLA. The sisters' fine clothes made Cinderella feel very shabby. But, in her little torn frock and ragged shoes, she was a thousand times more lovely than they.

One day, it so happened that the prince of that kingdom dreamt himself with a lovely girl all dressed in a pretty long white gown, dancing with him in a ball. But when he woke up he realized that it was just a dream. The prince slowly got obsessed with her and started to wonder what he should do to get her into his hands. After much thought he sent an announcement that there would be a huge ball in the town and that all the ladies in the town were invited. The step mother and her daughters heard this announcement and they were very excited about it. They were just awaiting the day on which they could dress up their best and try to impress the prince. When at last the grand day arrived, Cinderella was kept running about from early till late decking the sisters and dressing their hair.

One of the sisters mockingly asked her, “Don’t you want to come with us for the ball Dear?”

“Of course yes! I would love to,” answered Cinderella not knowing that they were mocking at her.”

‘Oh look at that mother! Our pretty sister wants to come with us for the ball! Why don’t we buy her a new dress to deck her up?”

“Why not? After all, the prince would be awaiting her coming in the ballroom!” replied her mother and pushed Cinderella mockingly and all three sisters laughed loudly. Cinderella had no tears left to cry. She silently finished dressing them up, helped them wear their shoes and ran away into the kitchen - her favorite place. She tried not to, but the tears gathered in her pretty face and trickled down as she thought of how unlucky she was.

“How I wish I could have gone for the ball too...” she thought to herself as she took a stick to stroke the fire. “I wonder what my sisters and mother would be doing in the ball now...”

And Lo!!! What does she see in the fire, the party, the prince, her step mother and her sister!!

“Oh my God! What an imagination” she said to herself.

‘That’s not an imagination my dear child. That’s the real ball you are seeing!”

Cinderella, stunned turned around to see who spoke to her. And who does she see there..? It was none, but her fairy God mother.

“You wish to go to the ball too?” asked the fairy.

“Ye...Ye...Yesss. How I really wish I could,” nodded Cinderella.

“Is that all? You will certainly go there. Not to worry” said she. “And now listen to me carefully and get one pumpkin, six mice, six lizards, one big fat rat”

Cinderella could not imagine how all those could help. But, she ran into the backyard and got the fairy all that she asked for. As, she came back with everything, the fairy moved her magic wand once and what do you see there? The big pumpkin had turned into a big golden coach, lined with a white satin, the six lizards turned into long, slender, white horses, six mice became six footmen with splendid liveries and the big fat rat became the coachman.

“Oh, it’s lovely Godmother,” exclaimed Cinderella.

It was something which she had never seen in her life before. And with another graceful movement of the wand, Cinderella’s dirty frock turned into a lovely, silky, white robe dressed with pearls, rubies and silver. Cinderella danced with joy because that was the most beautiful dress she had ever seen or worn. As she stood dancing there, the God mother noticed that she did not have a good pair of slippers. And within a moment, Cinderella’s feet were dressed with beautiful glass slippers.

“Now, listen to me carefully child, go and enjoy yourself to your hearts content. Only remember, if you stay at the palace one instant after midnight your coach and servants will vanish and you will be the gray Cinderella once more!” And off she went in the coach to the palace.

Meanwhile, in the palace here, the step mother and her children and all the other ladies in the town were trying to impress the prince, so that he marries them. But the prince showed no interest in either of them. His lady love was only the one whom he had seen in his dream. He was soon getting bored of the ball and decided to leave the court room while suddenly he heard the same music which he had heard in his dream and then to see what was happening there stood a lovely lady near the door who was as delicate as a feather and was all dressed in the same white robe which he had seen in his dream.

“Never in my life have I seen such a beauty!” he exclaimed to himself and ran to the door to take her in his arms.

The evening passed away in a dream of delight, Cinderella dancing with no one but the handsome young Prince and being waited on by his own hands at the supper-table. The two sisters could not recognize their ragged little sister in the beautiful and graceful lady to whom the Prince paid so much attention and felt quite pleased and flattered when she addressed a few words to them.

Presently a clock chimed the three quarters past eleven and remembering her godmother’s warning, Cinderella at once took leave of the Prince and ran down the stairs. The prince begged her to stay back. But Cinderella would not listen. As she ran down the stairs one of her glass slippers slipped of her foot. Cinderella could not stop to take it as it was too late already. She ran as fast as she could and jumped into the coach which was driven rapidly home.

When she reached home, she found her godmother waiting to hear all about the ball.

"It was lovely,” said Cinderella, “I had never been so happy before.”

Her Godmother felt very satisfied and left for the day. When the sisters returned home they only saw a weary maiden silting near the fire waiting for them.

“How late you are!” cried Cinderella yawning, "Are you not very tired?"

“Not in the least,” they answered and then they told her what a delightful ball it had been and how the loveliest Princess in the world had been there and had spoken to them and admired their pretty dresses.

“Who was she?” asked Cinderella.

“That we cannot say,” answered the sisters.

“She would not tell her name, though the Prince begged her to do so on bended knees.”

The prince here was sad and gloomy as the princess whom he had seen the previous day never returned again. He waited and waited with the glass slipper in his hand hoping that she would return again. But it went in vain. At last the prince decided to search for the princess with the help of the glass slipper.

On the following morning there as a great noise of trumpets and drums and a procession passed through the town at the head of which rode the King’s son. Behind him came a herald, bearing a velvet cushion upon which rested a little glass slipper. The herald blew a blast upon the trumpet and then read a proclamation saying that the King’s son would wed any lady in the land who could fit the slipper upon her foot, if she could produce another to match it. Of course, the sisters tried to squeeze their feet into the slipper, but it was of no use. They were much too large. Then Cinderella shyly begged that she might try.

The step mother yelled at her and said, "Get inside you stupid girl and I apologize Sir. She is a stupid maid in our house always wanting more than what we give her.”

But the prince said, ‘‘Never mind! I would want every lady in the town to try her leg into the slipper.”

How the sisters laughed with scorn when the Prince knelt to fit the slipper on the cinder-maid’s foot. But what was their surprise when it slipped on with the greatest ease and the next moment Cinderella produced the other from her pocket.

When she wore both the slippers, she turned into the same princess whom the prince had danced with the other day. The sisters hung their heads with sorrow and vexation. But kind little Cinderella put her arms around their necks, kissed them and forgave them for all their unkindness, so that they could not help but love her.

The Prince could not bear to part from his little love again, so he carried her back to the palace in his grand coach and they were married that very day. Cinderella's step sisters were present at the feast, but in the place of honor sat the fairy Godmother.

So the poor little cinder-maid married the Prince and in time they came to be King and Queen and lived happily ever after.


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