Last updated: June 7, 2017 at 0:30 am
As Retold by Patrick Carpen
A very very long time ago there lived a beautiful princess with her mother and father. Unfortunately, the girl’s mother died and the king, feeling very lonely, remarried.
The new queen had two daughters of her own from a previous marriage, about the same age as the King’s daughter, and they all moved into the King’s palace to live together. Sadly, the new queen was very evil and so were her daughters.
Not too long after, the King also died. The new queen and her two daughters forced the king’s daughter to be their servant and to do all the dirty work of the castle. They gave the princess the name “Cinderella” meaning “ash girl” because her clothes were often dirty with ashes from cleaning and packing wood into the fireplace.
Inspite of all this, Cinderella remained cheerful and she often smiled with the guests of the palace. But deep down in her heart, the princess prayed that God would send help for her.
It so happened that one day, a famous prince from a nearby kingdom announced his intention to get married. He was seeking the most beautiful princess from every land. His father the king was throwing a ball and the prince was expected to choose one of the princesses that would attend. All royal families were invited and so were Cinderella and her step-mother and step-sisters.
“You cannot go to the ball!” the step-sisters jeered Cinderella. “Look at your dirty clothes.”
The evil queen and her two daughters left for the ball, leaving poor Cinderella, behind.
Cinderella sat by the fireplace and began to cry. As she sat with her head bent she felt a gentle touch on her shoulder. Startled, the princess looked up. There was a beautiful fairy standing in front of her. The fairy explained that she was her fairy godmother and that she would like her to go to the ball, where she will be chosen as the prince’s bride.
Cinderella was amazed, “But how can I go, fairy godmother? I have no clothes”.
The fairy waved her magic wand and Cinderella’s rags transformed into the most beautiful outfit. Cinderella’s face lit up with joy and happiness.
The fairy then handed Cinderella two enchanting glass slippers and told her to put them on.
The fairy transformed a pumpkin into a carriage, two lizards into horses, and six mice into horsemen to transport Cinderella to the ball. She warned Cinderella that she must leave the ball before twelve midnight because the charm will be expired by that time and she will return to her ragged state.
When Cinderella arrived at the ball, everyone was amazed. “Who is this glorious princess?” one of them murmured. They had never before seen anyone of such beauty in all the land. “She must be from a very far way kingdom,” another whispered.
Never had any of them seen such a splendid carriage, fine horses or horsemen.
As Cinderella walked into the ballroom, everyone stopped and stared, and especially so the prince: he was caught by surprise and he seemed to have fallen into a trance. As soon as he came to his senses he ran to greet Cinderella. And taking her by the hand, led her into the ballroom. He took her to his mother the queen, and his father the king and introduced them “this is the girl I have always dreamed of!”
Cinderella and the princess drank wine and danced for hours and were so fond of each other that Cinderella completely forgot to pay attention to the time. Just a few seconds before midnight, she remembered the words of the fairy “You must leave the ball before midnight, because by then, the charm will be over and you will return to your ragged state”.
At that time, the prince, holding Cinderella so dearly in his arm, was dancing a slow song with her, his eyes fixed lovingly at her. He just couldn’t stop staring into her beautiful face.
“Let me go! Let me go!” exclaimed Cinderella, pulling herself free from the prince’s grasp.
In amazement, the prince asked “what’s wrong my princess?”
But Cinderella would not answer. She wrestled herself free from the prince’s grasp and sprinted towards the door. She opened it and headed out the gate. All the people in the ballroom stared in wonder. They couldn’t understand what was happening.
The prince ran after Cinderella. As Cinderella headed for her carriage, she heard the stroke of midnight coming from the palace clock. She gasped “oh no!” Just then the carriage returned to a pumpkin which lay motionless on the ground, the horsemen to six mice which scampered away and the horses into lizards which disappeared into a clump of bushes.
Cinderella’s clothes started to transform into the rags she was wearing before the charm of the fairy. Cinderella began to run faster and as she did, one of the glass slippers slipped out of her foot. Cinderella ran so fast that the prince could not catch up with her, but he picked up the glass slipper and took it back into the palace.
That night the prince could not sleep. He was so in love with the princess that he vowed to find her.
He had a plan. He had seen how perfectly the slippers fitted the feet of Cinderella and he was determined to use it to find the princess.
The prince sent messengers to search every land until they found one who the glass slippers fitted perfectly. The messengers searched and searched and finally came to the home of Cinderella and her evil step mother and step sisters.
When they heard the story the two step sisters tried in all manner to squeeze the slippers into their feet, but it just wouldn’t fit.
The messengers asked if there were any other young women in the house. “Oh she is just a servant” the evil stepsisters said of Cinderella. But the messengers insisted that they would still like to try the slippers.
Cinderella joyfully stepped forward. As Cinderella slipped her feet into the glass slippers, it sparkled and fitted perfectly to every curve.
Everyone was amazed, and the messengers, not caring about anything else, joyfully took Cinderella away to the prince. The biggest wedding in all the land was celebrated and all the families in every kingdom was invited. The evil step sisters begged Cinderella to forgive them for every wrong they had done to her. Cinderella told them she had already forgiven them a long time ago, and she and her prince lived happily ever after.
Adapted from the classic book “Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tales” by the German authors “The Grimm Brothers”; and rewritten for a younger and more modern audience.