Featured Fairy Tale: Note – there are MANY versions of this fairy tale, but the one we’re probably most familiar with is the one taken from Perrault
Once upon a time there was a man who had a lovely daughter. Her mother had died years ago and he knew his daughter needed a mother. So he remarried, but his bride was a haughty woman and had two daughters of her own. The stepmother and her daughters forced the man’s daughter to do dozens of chores all day and mockingly called her “Cinderella” for she slept near the fireplace and woke covered in cinders.
One day, the kingdom’s prince sent out invitations to a ball to all the ladies in the land in hopes of finding a wife among them. Cinderella’s stepsisters taunted her and told her that she was not invited to the ball.
That evening when everyone had left, Cinderella cried over not being invited to the ball. Her tears brought her Fairy Godmother, who helped her to go to the ball. She turned a pumpkin into a carriage, mice into horses, a rat into a footman and lizards into coachmen. She then transformed Cinderella’s ragged dress into a beautiful ball gown, complete with delicate glass slippers. As Cinderella left for the ball, the Fairy Godmother warned her to return before midnight or the spell would be broken.
When Cinderella entered the ball she was immediately sought after by the prince and spent the entire evening with him. But as midnight neared she remembered her Fairy Godmother’s warning and returned home, thanking her for her help.
The next night a second ball was held and Cinderella attended again with the help of her Fairy Godmother. During the night she lost track of time with the prince and as the clock struck midnight, reminding her of the spell, she dashed away. On her way out she lost a shoe and the prince retrieved it, but when asked his guards explained they only saw a peasant girl leaving.
The prince set off across the land, trying to find the woman whose foot fit the shoe. When he arrived at Cinderella’s house, the two stepsisters try to fit their foot into the shoe, but it is in vain. Cinderella, who had kept the other glass slipper, asked if she may try it on. The shoe fit and she produced the second shoe to prove she was the girl from the ball. Her stepsisters beg Cinderella’s forgiveness for their actions and she graciously forgave them.
Cinderella and the prince married and they all lived happily ever after.
Why I love it: Most people think that Cinderella is about good triumphing over evil, or the lowly servant becoming higher than her stepsisters, but I think we often forget that in the end Cinderella FORGIVES her evil stepsisters for their meanness (something that’s pretty much left out in the Disney version). I love that this fairy tale teaches us that true graciousness, rather than beauty or wealth, is what we truly need to live happily ever after.
I also kind of like that Cinderella has the other shoe and is like “bam! suck it evil stepsisters!” after she tried on the first shoe and it fits. Clearly I haven’t really grasped the graciousness lesson.
Why you’ll love it: This is kind of a hidden girl power fairy tale. Although yes, there is a handsome prince, he doesn’t exactly rescue Cinderella. She rescues herself. With the help of her Fairy GodMOTHER, of course. It’s Cinderella who stands up and asks to try on the shoe. She faces her adversaries head on and doesn’t back down, despite their merciless teasing.
Awesome Retellings: There are some GREAT retellings of the Cinderella out there! Check these out!
Did you review any of these retellings? Let me know and I’ll add your review link on here!