Cinderella

 

 

The Cinder Maid by Joseph Jacob

Once upon a time, though it was not in my time or in your time, or in anybody else's time, there was a great king who had an only son, the prince and heir who was about to come of age. So the king sent round a herald who should blow his trumpet at every four corners where two roads met. And when the people came together he would call out, "O yes, O yes, O yes, know ye that his grace the king will give on Monday sennight" -- that meant seven nights or a week after -- "a royal ball to which all maidens of noble birth are hereby summoned; and be it furthermore known unto you that at this ball his highness the prince will select unto himself a lady that shall be his bride and our future queen. God save the king."

 

Now there was among the nobles of the king's court one who had married twice, and by the first marriage he had but one daughter, and as she was growing up her father thought that she ought to have someone to look after her. So he married again, a lady with two daughters, and his new wife, instead of caring for his daughter, thought only of her own and favored them in every way. She would give them beautiful dresses but none to her stepdaughter who had only to wear the castoff clothes of the other two. The noble's daughter was set to do all the drudgery of the house, to attend the kitchen fire, and had naught to sleep on but the heap of cinder raked out in the scullery; and that is why they called her Cinder Maid. And no one took pity on her and she would go and weep at her mother's grave where she had planted a hazel tree, under which she sat.

 

You can imagine how excited they all were when they heard the king's proclamation called out by the herald. "What shall we wear, mother; what shall we wear?" cried out the two daughters, and they all began talking about which dress should suit the one and what dress should suit the other, but when the father suggested that Cinder Maid should also have a dress they all cried out, "What, Cinder Maid going to the king's ball? She would only disgrace us all." And so her father held his peace.

 

Now when the night came for the royal ball Cinder Maid had to help the two sisters to dress in their fine dresses and saw them drive off in the carriage with her father and their mother. But she went to her own mother's grave and sat beneath the hazel tree and wept and cried out:

 

Tree o' mine, O tree o' me,
With my tears I've watered thee;
Make me a lady fair to see,
Dress me as splendid as can be.

 

And with that, the little bird on the tree called out to her:

 

Cinder Maid, Cinder Maid, shake the tree,
Open the first nut that you see.

 

So Cinder Maid shook the tree and the first nut that fell she took up and opened, and what do you think she saw? -- a beautiful silk dress blue as the heavens, all embroidered with stars, and two little lovely shoon [shoes] made of shining copper. And when she had dressed herself the hazel tree opened and from it came a coach all made of copper with four milk-white horses, with coachman and footmen all complete. And as she drove away, the little bird called out to her:

 

Be home, be home ere mid-o'-night
Or else again you'll be a fright.

 

When Cinder Maid entered the ballroom she was the loveliest of all the ladies, and the prince, who had been dancing with her stepsisters, would only dance with her. But as it came towards midnight Cinder Maid remembered what the little bird had told her and slipped away to her carriage. And when the prince missed her he went to the guards at the palace door and told them to follow the carriage. But Cinder Maid when she saw this, called out:

 

Mist behind and light before,
Guide me to my father's door.

 

And when the prince's soldiers tried to follow her there came such a mist that they couldn't see their hands before their faces. So they couldn't find which way Cinder Maid went.

 

When her father and stepmother and two sisters came home after the ball they could talk of nothing but the lovely lady: "Ah, would not you have like to have been there?" said the sisters to Cinder Maid as she helped them to take off their fine dresses. "The was a most lovely lady with a dress like the heavens and shoes of bright copper, and the prince would dance with none but her. When midnight came she disappeared and the prince could not find her. He is going to give a second ball in the hope that she will come again. Perhaps she will not, and then we will have our chance."

 

When the time of the second royal ball came round the same thing happened as before; the sisters teased Cinder Maid, saying "Wouldn't you like to come with us?" and drove off again as before.

 

And Cinder Maid went again to the hazel tree over her mother's grave and cried:

Tree o' mine, O tree o' me,
Shiver and shake, dear little tree;
Make me a lady fair to see,
Dress me as splendid as can be.

And then the little bird on the tree called out:

Cinder Maid, Cinder Maid, shake the tree,
Open the first nut that you see.

 

But this time she found a dress all golden brown like the earth embroidered with flowers, and her shoon were made of silver; and when the carriage came from the tree, lo and behold, that was made of silver too, drawn by black horses with trappings all of silver, and the lace on the coachman's and footmen's liveries was also of silver; and when Cinder Maid went to the ball the prince would dance with none but her; and when midnight came round she fled as before. But the prince, hoping to prevent her running away, had ordered the soldiers at the foot of the staircase to pour out honey on the stairs so that her shoes would stick in it. But Cinder Maid leaped from stair to stair and got away just in time, calling out as the soldiers tried to follow her:

 

Mist behind and light before,
Guide me to my father's door.

 

And when her sisters got home they told her once more of the beautiful lady that had come in a silver coach and silver shoon and in a dress all embroidered with flowers: "Ah, wouldn't you have like to have been there?" said they.

 

Once again the prince gave a great ball in the hope that his unknown be3auty would come to it. All happened as before; as soon as the sisters had gone Cinder Maid went to the hazel tree over her mother's grave and called out:

 

Tree o' mine, O tree o' me,
Shiver and shake, dear little tree;
Make me a lady fair to see,
Dress me as splendid as can be.

 

And then the little bird appeared and said:


Cinder Maid, Cinder Maid, shake the tree,
Open the first nut that you see.

 

And when she opened the nut in it was a dress of silk green as the sea with waves upon it, and her shoes this time were made of gold; and when the coach came out of the tree it was also made of gold, with gold trappings for the horses and for the retainers. And as she drove off the little bird from the tree called out:

 

Be home, be home ere mid-o'-night
Or else again you'll be a fright.

 

Now this time, when Cinder Maid came to the ball, she was desirous to dance only with the prince as he with her, and so, when midnight came round, she had forgotten to leave till the clock began to strike, and then she began to run away down the stairs as the clock struck ten. But the prince had told his soldier to put tar upon the lower steps of the stairs, and as the clock struck eleven her shoes stuck in the tar, and when she jumped to the foot of the stairs one of her golden shoes was left behind. Just then the clock struck twelve, and the golden coach with its horses and footmen, disappeared, and the beautiful dress of Cinder Maid changed again into her ragged clothes and she had to run home with only one golden shoe.

 

You can imagine how excited the sister were when they came home and told Cinder Maid all about it, how that the beautiful lady had come in a golden coach in a dress like the sea, with golden shoes, and how all had disappeared at midnight except the golden shoe. "Ah, wouldn't you have liked to have been there?" said they.

 

Now when the prince found out that he could not keep his lady-love nor trace where she had gone he spoke to his father and showed him the golden shoe, and told him that he would never marry anyone but the maiden who could wear that shoe. So the king, his father, ordered the herald to take around the golden shoe upon a velvet cushion and to go to every four corners where two streets met and sound the trumpet and call out, "O yes, O yes, O yes, be it known unto you all that whatsoever lady of noble birth can fit this shoe upon her foot shall become the bride of his highness the prince and our future queen. God save the king."

 

And when the herald came to the house of Cinder Maid's father the eldest of her two stepsisters tried on the golden shoe, But it was much too small for her, as it was for every other lady that had tried it up to that time; but she went up into her room and with a sharp knife cut off one of her toes and part of her heel, and then fitted her foot into the shoe, and when she came down she shoed it to the herald, who sent a message to the palace saying that the lady had been found who could wear the golden shoe.

 

Thereupon the prince jumped at once upon his horse and rode to the house of Cinder Maid's father. But when he saw the stepsister with the golden shoe, "Ah," he said, "but this is not the lady."

 

"But," she said, "you promised to marry the one that could wear the golden shoe," And the prince could say nothing, but offered to take her on his horse to his father's palace, for in those days ladies used to ride on a pillion at the back of the gentleman riding on horseback.

Now as they were riding towards the palace her foot began to drip with blood, and the little bird from the hazel tree that had followed them called out:

 

Turn and peep, turn and peep,
There's blood within the shoe;
A bit is cut from off the heel
And a bit from off the toe.

 

And the prince looked down and saw the blood streaming from her shoe and then he knew that this was not his true bride, and he rode back to the house of Cinder Maid's father. Then the second sister tried her chance, but when she found that her foot wouldn't fit the shoe she did the same as her sister, but all happened as before. The little bird called out:

 

Turn and peep, turn and peep,
There's blood within the shoe;
A bit is cut from off the heel
And a bit from off the toe.

 

And the prince took her back to her mother's house, and then he asked, "Have you no other daughter?" and the sisters cried out, "No, sir."

 

But the father said, "Yes, I have another daughter.

 

And the sisters cried out, "Cinder Maid, Cinder Maid, she could not wear that shoe."

 

But the prince said, "As she is of noble birth she has a right to try the shoe." So the herald went down to the kitchen and found cinder Maid; and when she saw her golden shoe she took it from him and put it on her foot, which it fitted exactly; and then she took the other golden shoe from underneath the cinders where she had hidden it and put that on too.

 

Then the herald knew that she was the true bride of his master, and he took her upstairs to where the prince was; when he saw her face, he knew that she was the lady of his love. So he took her behind him upon his horse, and as they rode to the palace the little bird from the hazel tree cried out:

 

Some cut their heel, and some cut their toe,
But she sat by the fire who could wear the shoe.

 

And so they were married and lived happily ever afterward.

 

 

 

Cinderella or The little Glass Slipper by Charles Perrault

 

Once there was a gentleman who married, for his second wife, the proudest and most haughty woman that was ever seen. She had, by a former husband, two daughters of her own, who were, indeed, exactly like her in all things. He had likewise, by another wife, a young daughter, but of unparalleled goodness and sweetness of temper, which she took from her mother, who was the best creature in the world.

 

No sooner were the ceremonies of the wedding over but the stepmother began to show herself in her true colors. She could not bear the good qualities of this pretty girl, and the less because they made her own daughters appear the more odious. She employed her in the meanest work of the house. She scoured the dishes, tables, etc., and cleaned madam's chamber, and those of misses, her daughters. She slept in a sorry garret, on a wretched straw bed, while her sisters slept in fine rooms, with floors all inlaid, on beds of the very newest fashion, and where they had looking-glasses so large that they could see themselves at their full length from head to foot.

 

The poor girl bore it all patiently, and dared not tell her father, who would have scolded her; for his wife governed him entirely. When she had done her work, she used to go to the chimney corner, and sit down there in the cinders and ashes, which caused her to be called Cinderwench. Only the younger sister, who was not so rude and uncivil as the older one, called her Cinderella. However, Cinderella, notwithstanding her coarse apparel, was a hundred times more beautiful than her sisters, although they were always dressed very richly.

 

It happened that the king's son gave a ball, and invited all persons of fashion to it. Our young misses were also invited, for they cut a very grand figure among those of quality. They were mightily delighted at this invitation, and wonderfully busy in selecting the gowns, petticoats, and hair dressing that would best become them. This was a new difficulty for Cinderella; for it was she who ironed her sister's linen and pleated their ruffles. They talked all day long of nothing but how they should be dressed.

 

"For my part," said the eldest, "I will wear my red velvet suit with French trimming."

 

"And I," said the youngest, "shall have my usual petticoat; but then, to make amends for that, I will put on my gold-flowered cloak, and my diamond stomacher, which is far from being the most ordinary one in the world."

 

They sent for the best hairdresser they could get to make up their headpieces and adjust their hairdos, and they had their red brushes and patches from Mademoiselle de la Poche.

 

They also consulted Cinderella in all these matters, for she had excellent ideas, and her advice was always good. Indeed, she even offered her services to fix their hair, which they very willingly accepted. As she was doing this, they said to her, "Cinderella, would you not like to go to the ball?"

 

"Alas!" said she, "you only jeer me; it is not for such as I am to go to such a place."

 

"You are quite right," they replied. "It would make the people laugh to see a Cinderwench at a ball."

 

Anyone but Cinderella would have fixed their hair awry, but she was very good and dressed them perfectly well. They were so excited that they hadn't eaten a thing for almost two days. Then they broke more than a dozen laces trying to have themselves laced up tightly enough to give them a fine slender shape. They were continually in front of their looking glass. At last the happy day came. They went to court, and Cinderella followed them with her eyes as long as she could. When she lost sight of them, she started to cry.

 

Her godmother, who saw her all in tears, asked her what was the matter.

 

"I wish I could. I wish I could." She was not able to speak the rest, being interrupted by her tears and sobbing.

 

This godmother of hers, who was a fairy, said to her, "You wish that you could go to the ball; is it not so?"

 

"Yes," cried Cinderella, with a great sigh.

 

"Well," said her godmother, "be but a good girl, and I will contrive that you shall go." Then she took her into her chamber, and said to her, "Run into the garden, and bring me a pumpkin."

 

Cinderella went immediately to gather the finest she could get, and brought it to her godmother, not being able to imagine how this pumpkin could help her go to the ball. Her godmother scooped out all the inside of it, leaving nothing but the rind. Having done this, she struck the pumpkin with her wand, and it was instantly turned into a fine coach, gilded all over with gold.

 

She then went to look into her mousetrap, where she found six mice, all alive, and ordered Cinderella to lift up a little the trapdoor. She gave each mouse, as it went out, a little tap with her wand, and the mouse was that moment turned into a fine horse, which altogether made a very fine set of six horses of a beautiful mouse-colored dapple gray.

 

Being at a loss for a coachman, Cinderella said, "I will go and see if there is not a rat in the rat trap that we can turn into a coachman."

 

"You are right," replied her godmother, "Go and look."

 

Cinderella brought the trap to her, and in it there were three huge rats. The fairy chose the one which had the largest beard, touched him with her wand, and turned him into a fat, jolly coachman, who had the smartest whiskers that eyes ever beheld.

 

After that, she said to her, "Go again into the garden, and you will find six lizards behind the watering pot. Bring them to me."

 

She had no sooner done so but her godmother turned them into six footmen, who skipped up immediately behind the coach, with their liveries all bedaubed with gold and silver, and clung as close behind each other as if they had done nothing else their whole lives. The fairy then said to Cinderella, "Well, you see here an equipage fit to go to the ball with; are you not pleased with it?"

 

"Oh, yes," she cried; "but must I go in these nasty rags?"

 

Her godmother then touched her with her wand, and, at the same instant, her clothes turned into cloth of gold and silver, all beset with jewels. This done, she gave her a pair of glass slippers, the prettiest in the whole world. Being thus decked out, she got up into her coach; but her godmother, above all things, commanded her not to stay past midnight, telling her, at the same time, that if she stayed one moment longer, the coach would be a pumpkin again, her horses mice, her coachman a rat, her footmen lizards, and that her clothes would become just as they were before.

 

She promised her godmother to leave the ball before midnight; and then drove away, scarcely able to contain herself for joy. The king's son, who was told that a great princess, whom nobody knew, had arrived, ran out to receive her. He gave her his hand as she alighted from the coach, and led her into the hall, among all the company. There was immediately a profound silence. Everyone stopped dancing, and the violins ceased to play, so entranced was everyone with the singular beauties of the unknown newcomer.

 

Nothing was then heard but a confused noise of, "How beautiful she is! How beautiful she is!"

 

The king himself, old as he was, could not help watching her, and telling the queen softly that it was a long time since he had seen so beautiful and lovely a creature.

 

All the ladies were busied in considering her clothes and headdress, hoping to have some made next day after the same pattern, provided they could find such fine materials and as able hands to make them.

 

The king's son led her to the most honorable seat, and then took her out to dance with him. She danced so very gracefully that they all more and more admired her. A fine meal was served up, but the young prince ate not a morsel, so intently was he busied in gazing on her.

 

She went and sat down by her sisters, showing them a thousand civilities, giving them part of the oranges and citrons which the prince had presented her with, which very much surprised them, for they did not know her. While Cinderella was thus amusing her sisters, she heard the clock strike eleven and three-quarters, whereupon she immediately made a courtesy to the company and hurried away as fast as she could.

 

Arriving home, she ran to seek out her godmother, and, after having thanked her, she said she could not but heartily wish she might go to the ball the next day because the king's son had invited her.

 

As she was eagerly telling her godmother everything that had happened at the ball, her two sisters knocked at the door, which Cinderella ran and opened.

 

"You stayed such a long time!" she cried, gaping, rubbing her eyes and stretching herself as if she had been sleeping; she had not, however, had any manner of inclination to sleep while they were away from home.

 

"If you had been at the ball," said one of her sisters, "you would not have been tired with it. The finest princess was there, the most beautiful that mortal eyes have ever seen. She showed us a thousand civilities, and gave us oranges and citrons."

 

Cinderella seemed very indifferent in the matter. Indeed, she asked them the name of that princess; but they told her they did not know it, and that the king's son was very uneasy on her account and would give all the world to know who she was. At this Cinderella, smiling, replied, "She must, then, be very beautiful indeed; how happy you have been! Could not I see her? Ah, dear Charlotte, do lend me your yellow dress which you wear every day."

 

"Yes, to be sure!" cried Charlotte; "lend my clothes to such a dirty Cinderwench as you are! I should be such a fool."

 

Cinderella, indeed, well expected such an answer, and was very glad of the refusal; for she would have been sadly put to it if her sister had lent her what she asked for jestingly.

 

The next day the two sisters were at the ball, and so was Cinderella, but dressed even more magnificently than before. The king's son was always by her, and never ceased his compliments and kind speeches to her. All this was so far from being tiresome to her, and, indeed, she quite forgot what her godmother had told her. She thought that it was no later than eleven when she counted the clock striking twelve. She jumped up and fled, as nimble as a deer. The prince followed, but could not overtake her. She left behind one of her glass slippers, which the prince picked up most carefully. She reached home, but quite out of breath, and in her nasty old clothes, having nothing left of all her finery but one of the little slippers, the mate to the one that she had dropped.

 

The guards at the palace gate were asked if they had not seen a princess go out. They replied that they had seen nobody leave but a young girl, very shabbily dressed, and who had more the air of a poor country wench than a gentlewoman.

 

When the two sisters returned from the ball Cinderella asked them if they had been well entertained, and if the fine lady had been there.

 

They told her, yes, but that she hurried away immediately when it struck twelve, and with so much haste that she dropped one of her little glass slippers, the prettiest in the world, which the king's son had picked up; that he had done nothing but look at her all the time at the ball, and that most certainly he was very much in love with the beautiful person who owned the glass slipper.

 

What they said was very true; for a few days later, the king's son had it proclaimed, by sound of trumpet, that he would marry her whose foot this slipper would just fit. They began to try it on the princesses, then the duchesses and all the court, but in vain; it was brought to the two sisters, who did all they possibly could to force their foot into the slipper, but they did not succeed.

 

Cinderella, who saw all this, and knew that it was her slipper, said to them, laughing, "Let me see if it will not fit me."

 

Her sisters burst out laughing and began to banter with her. The gentleman who was sent to try the slipper looked earnestly at Cinderella, and, finding her very handsome, said that it was only just that she should try as well, and that he had orders to let everyone try.

 

He had Cinderella sit down, and, putting the slipper to her foot, he found that it went on very easily, fitting her as if it had been made of wax. Her two sisters were greatly astonished, but then even more so, when Cinderella pulled out of her pocket the other slipper and put it on her other foot. Then in came her godmother and touched her wand to Cinderella's clothes, making them richer and more magnificent than any of those she had worn before.

 

And now her two sisters found her to be that fine, beautiful lady whom they had seen at the ball. They threw themselves at her feet to beg pardon for all the ill treatment they had made her undergo. Cinderella took them up, and, as she embraced them, said that she forgave them with all her heart, and wanted them always to love her.

 

She was taken to the young prince, dressed as she was. He thought she was more charming than before, and, a few days after, married her. Cinderella, who was no less good than beautiful, gave her two sisters lodgings in the palace, and that very same day matched them with two great lords of the court.

 

 

 

Cinderella by The Brothers Grimm

 

Once upon a time there was a rich man who lived happily for a long time with his wife. Together they had a single daughter. Then the woman became ill, and when she was lying on her deathbed, she called her daughter to her side, and said, "Dear child, I must leave you now, but I will look down on you from heaven. Plant a little tree on my grave, and when you want something, just shake the tree, and you shall get what you want. I will help you in time of need. Just remain pious and good." Then she closed her eyes and died. The child cried and planted a little tree on her mother's grave. She did not need to carry any water to it, because her tears provided all the water that it needed.

 

The snow fell over the mother's grave like a white cloth; then after the sun had retired from it a second time, and the little tree had become green a second time, the man took another wife.

 

The stepmother already had two daughters by her first husband. They were beautiful to look at, but in their hearts they were proud, arrogant, and evil. After the wedding was over, the three moved into the man's house, and times grew very bad for his poor child.

 

"What is that useless creature doing in the best room?" asked the stepmother. "Away to the kitchen with her! And if she wants to eat, then she must earn it. She can be our maid."

 

Her stepsisters took her dresses away from her and made her wear an old gray skirt. "That is good enough for you!" they said, making fun of her and leading her into the kitchen. Then the poor child had to do the most difficult work. She had to get up before sunrise, carry water, make the fire, cook, and wash. To add to her misery, her stepsisters ridiculed her and then scattered peas and lentils into the ashes, and she had to spend the whole day sorting them out again. At night when she was tired, there was no bed for her to sleep in, but she had to lie down next to the hearth in the ashes. Because she was always dirty with ashes and dust, they gave her the name Cinderella.

 

The time came when the king announced a ball. It was to last, in all splendor, for three days, and there his son, the prince, would choose a wife for himself. The two proud sisters were invited. "Cinderella," they cried, "Come here. Comb our hair. Brush our shoes, and tighten our laces. We are going to the prince's ball."

 

Cinderella did the best that she could, but they rewarded her only with curses. When they were ready, they said with scorn, "Cinderella, wouldn't you like to go to the ball?"

 

"Oh, yes. But how can I go? I don't have a dress."

 

"No," said the oldest one, "and we would be ashamed if you were to be seen there, and people learned that you are our sister. You belong in the kitchen. Here is a basin of lentils. Sort the good ones from the bad ones, and if there is a single bad one in the lot when we return, you can expect the worst."

 

With that, they left. Cinderella stood and watched until she could no longer see them. Then she sadly went into the kitchen and spread the lentils out over the hearth. There was a very, very large pile of them. "Oh," she said with a sigh. "I'll have to sit here sorting lentils until midnight, and I can't close my eyes, no matter how much they hurt. If only my mother knew about this!"

 

She kneeled down in the ashes next to the hearth and was about to begin her work when two white pigeons flew in through the window. They lit on the hearth next to the lentils. Nodding their heads, they said, "Cinderella, do you want us to help you sort the lentils?"

 

"Yes," she answered:

 

The bad ones go into your crop,

The good ones go into the pot.

 

And peck, peck, peck, peck, they started at once, eating up the bad ones and leaving the good ones lying. In only a quarter of an hour there was not a single bad lentil among the good ones, and she brushed them all into the pot.

 

Then the pigeons said to her, "Cinderella, if you would like to see your sisters dancing with the prince, just climb up to the pigeon roost." She followed them and climbed to the top rung of the ladder to the pigeon roost. There she could see into the hall, and she saw her sisters dancing with the prince. Everything glistened by the glow of a thousand lights. After she had seen enough, she climbed back down. With a heavy heart she lay down in the ashes and fell asleep.

 

The next morning the two sisters came to the kitchen. They were angry when they saw that she had sorted the lentils, for they wanted to scold her. Because they could not, they began telling her about the ball. They said, "Cinderella, it was so grand at the ball. The prince, who is the best looking man in the whole world, escorted us, and he is going to choose one of us to be his wife."

 

"Yes," said Cinderella, "I saw the glistening lights. It must have been magnificent."

 

"Now just how did you do that?" asked the oldest one.

 

"By standing up there on the pigeon roost."

 

When she heard this, her envy drove her to have the pigeon roost torn down immediately.

 

Cinderella had to comb their hair and get them ready again. The youngest sister, who had a little sympathy in her heart, said, "Cinderella, when it gets dark you can go and look through the windows from the outside."

 

"No!" said the oldest one. "That would only make her lazy. Here is a sackful of seeds. Sort the good ones from the bad ones, and do it well. If tomorrow there are any bad ones in the lot, then I will dump the whole sackful into the ashes, and you will have to go without eating until you have picked them all out again."

 

Cinderella sadly sat down on the hearth and spread out the seeds. The pigeons flew in again, and said, "Cinderella, do you want us to help you sort the seeds?"

 

"Yes," she answered:

 

The bad ones go into your crop,

The good ones go into the pot.

 

Peck, peck, peck, peck, it went as fast as if twelve hands were at work. When they were finished, the pigeons said, "Cinderella, would you like to go dancing at the ball?"

 

"Oh, my goodness," she said, "how could I go in these dirty clothes?"

 

"Just go to the little tree on your mother's grave, shake it, and wish yourself some beautiful clothes. But come back before midnight."

 

So Cinderella went and shook the little tree, and said:

 

Shake yourself, shake yourself, little tree.

Throw some nice clothing down to me!

 

She had scarcely spoken these words when a splendid silver dress fell down before her. With it were pearls, silk stockings with silver decorations, silver slippers, and everything else that she needed. Cinderella carried it all home. After she had washed and put on the beautiful clothing, she was as beautiful as a rose washed in dew. She went to the front door, and there was a carriage with six black horses all decorated with feathers, and servants dressed in blue and silver. They helped her into the carriage, and away they galloped to the king's castle.

 

The prince saw the carriage stop before the gate and thought that a foreign princess was arriving. He himself walked down the steps, helped Cinderella out, and escorted her into the hall. Many thousand lights shone upon her, and she was so beautiful that everyone there was amazed. The sisters stood there, angry that someone was more beautiful than they were, but they had no idea that it was Cinderella, who they thought was lying at home in the ashes. The prince danced with Cinderella and paid her every royal honor. He thought to himself, "I am supposed to choose myself a bride. I will have no one but her."

 

However long she had suffered in ashes and sorrow, Cinderella was now living in splendor and joy. As midnight approached, before the clock struck twelve, she stood up, bowed, and said that she had to go, in spite of the prince's requests for her to stay. The prince escorted her out. Her carriage stood there waiting for her. And she rode away just as splendidly as she had come.

 

Back at home, Cinderella returned to the tree on her mother's grave and said:

 

Shake yourself, shake yourself, little tree!

Take the clothing back from me!

 

The tree took back the clothes. Cinderella put on her old ash-dress again, went home, dirtied her face, and lay down in the ashes to sleep.

 

The next morning the two sisters came in looking out of sorts, and without saying a word. Cinderella said, "Did you have a good time yesterday evening?"

 

"No. A princess was there who danced with the prince almost the whole time, but no one knew who she was nor where she came from."

 

"Was she the one in the splendid carriage drawn by six black horses?" asked Cinderella.

 

"How did you know that?"

 

"I was standing in the front door when she rode by the house."

 

"In the future do not leave your work," said the oldest one, giving Cinderella an evil look. "What were you doing, standing in the front door?"

 

Cinderella had to get her sisters ready a third time. Her reward was a basin filled with peas, which she was supposed to sort. "And do not dare to leave your work," shouted the oldest one, as she was leaving.

 

Cinderella thought, "If only my pigeons will come again," and her heart beat a little faster. The pigeons did come, just as they had the evening before, and said, "Cinderella, would you like us to help you sort the peas."

 

"Yes," she said:

 

The bad ones go into your crop,

The good ones go into the pot.

 

Once again the pigeons picked out the bad ones, and soon they were finished. Then they said, "Cinderella, shake the little tree, and it will throw down even more beautiful clothes. Go to the ball, but be careful to come back before midnight." Cinderella went and said:

 

Shake yourself, shake yourself, little tree.

Throw some nice clothing down to me!

 

Then a dress fell down that was even more magnificent and more splendid than the other one, made entirely of gold and precious stones. With it were stockings decorated with gold, and slippers made of gold. Cinderella put them on, and she glistened like the sun at midday. A carriage with six white horses pulled up at the door. The horses had tall white plumes on their heads, and the servants were dressed in red and gold.

 

When Cinderella arrived, the prince was waiting for her at the stairway. He escorted her into the hall. If everyone had been astounded at her beauty yesterday, today they were even more astounded. The sisters stood in the corner, pale with envy. If they had known that this was Cinderella, who they thought was at home lying in the ashes, they would have died of jealousy.

 

The prince wanted to know who the foreign princess was, where she was from, and where she was going. He placed his people in the street to keep watch. To prevent her from running away so fast, he had the stairway covered with pitch. Cinderella danced with the prince again and again. Filled with joy, she did not think about midnight. Suddenly, in the middle of a dance, she heard the clock strike. She suddenly remembered what the pigeons had warned her. Frightened, she rushed to the door and ran down the stairs. Because they were covered with pitch, one of her golden slippers stuck fast, and in her fear she did not think to pick it up. She reached the last step just as the clock struck twelve. The carriage and the horses disappeared, and Cinderella was left standing there in the dark street dressed in her ash-clothes.

 

The prince had rushed after her. He found the golden slipper on the stairway, pulled it loose, and picked it up. But by the time he arrived below, she had disappeared. The people whom he had ordered to keep watch came and said that they had seen nothing.

 

Cinderella was glad that it had not been worse. She returned home, lit her simple oil lamp, hung it in the chimney, and lay down in the ashes. Before long the two sisters returned, and called out, "Cinderella, get up and light the way for us."

 

Cinderella yawned and acted as though she had been asleep. While lighting their way, she heard one of them say, "God knows who the cursed princess is. I wish that she were lying beneath the earth! The prince danced only with her, and after she left, he did not want to stay any longer, and the whole party came to an end."

 

"It was as though they suddenly blew out all the lights," said the other one. Cinderella knew exactly who the foreign princess was, but she did not say a word.

 

Now the prince decided that since nothing else had succeeded, he would let the slipper help him find his bride. He had it proclaimed that he would marry the person whose foot fit the golden slipper. But it was too small for everyone. Indeed, some could not have gotten their foot inside, if it had been twice as large. Finally, it came time for the two sisters to try on the slipper. They were happy, for they had small, beautiful feet, and each one believed that she could not fail. "If only the prince would come here sooner!" they thought.

 

"Listen," said the mother secretly. "Take this knife, and if the slipper is too tight, just cut off part of your foot. It will hurt a little, but what harm is that? The pain will soon pass, and then one of you will be queen." Then the oldest one went to her bedroom and tried on the slipper. The front of her foot went in, but her heel was too large, so she took the knife and cut part of it off, so she could force her foot into the slipper. Then she went out to the prince, and when he saw that she was wearing the slipper, he said that she was to be his bride. He escorted her to his carriage and was going to drive away with her. When he arrived at the gate, the two pigeons were perched above, and they called out:

 

Rook di goo, rook di goo!

There's blood in the shoe.

The shoe is too tight,

This bride is not right!

 

The prince bent over and looked at the slipper. Blood was streaming from it. He saw that he had been deceived, and he took the false bride back.

 

The mother then said to her second daughter, "Take the slipper, and if it is too short for you, then cut off your toes." So she took the slipper into her bedroom, and because her foot was too long, she bit her teeth together, and cut off a large part of her toes, then quickly pulled on the slipper. When she stepped out wearing it, the prince thought that she was the right one, and wanted to ride away with her. But when they came to the gate, the pigeons again called out:

 

Rook di goo, rook di goo!

There's blood in the shoe.

The shoe is too tight,

This bride is not right!

 

The prince looked down and saw that her white stockings were stained red, and that blood and had come up high on them. The prince took her back to her mother and said, "She is not the right bride either. Is there not another daughter here in this house?"

 

"No," said the mother. "There is only a dirty cinder girl here. She is sitting down there in the ashes. The slipper would never fit her." She did not want to call her, but the prince insisted. So they called Cinderella, and when she heard that the prince was there, she quickly washed her hands and face. She stepped into the best room and bowed. The prince handed her the golden slipper, and said, "Try it on. If it fits you, you shall be my wife." She pulled the heavy shoe from her left foot, then put her foot into the slipper, pushing ever so slightly. It fit as if it had been poured over her foot. As she straightened herself up, she looked into the prince's face, and he recognized her as the beautiful princess. He cried out, "This is the right bride." The stepmother and the two proud sisters turned pale with horror. The prince escorted Cinderella away. He helped her into his carriage, and as they rode through the gate, the pigeons called out:

 

Rook di goo, rook di goo!

No blood's in the shoe.

The shoe's not too tight,

This bride is right!