Cinderella // A tale retold
This is not just another re-rendering of the so very popular Fairy Tale with the same name (‘Cinderella’) by Grimm Brothers. It is a thoroughly mistaken notion to put away this work as uninteresting and lackluster with just a look at the title. The wise reader must read himself and then decide.
Once upon a time, in a kingdom far way, there lived a beautiful girl named Ella with her very wicked step-mother and her two equally detestable step-sisters. Her step-mother was as cruel by nature as she was ugly by appearance. She made Ella work really hard with not a single kind word for all her hard work.
While her undeserving daughters enjoyed the pleasures and luxuries of life, Ella toiled hard, day in and out. The lazy step-sisters made Ella do all their work while they indulged in idle gossip. Ella was as sweet-tempered and kind-hearted as her late mother who had been the embodiment of goodness and kindness during her lifetime. Then when Ella’s Father had remarried after her death, things had taken a harsh turn for poor Ella.
Ella had been treated very cruelly by her new step-mother who had turned out to be a hard, inconsiderate and wicked woman. Ella had lost all her possessions and even her beautiful adorable room to her two selfish step-sisters. Ella now had to do all the housework and had to sleep in the cold and dirty cellar covered with cinders. So now she was ‘Cinderella’, Ella who lived with Cinders.
Life seemed to be too harsh on poor Cinderella when one fine day, a surprise Royal Announcement was made . A Royal Ball was to be held to which every unattached maiden of the kingdom was invited. That lucky maiden who would succeed in winning the affection of the Prince in the Ball would be the Princess Bride and the Future Queen of the kingdom.
This Royal Announcement spread like a raging fire in the wild forest and reached the ears of the wicked step-mother. The wicked step-mother lost no time in ordering poor Cinderella to design and stitch new clothes for her two inelegant step-sisters. Cinderella worked very diligently on the new clothes and when they were ready, what graceful and elegant clothes they were. The step-sisters, lumbering as they were, could not do justice to the beautiful garments. As for Cinderella, she was not allowed to even attend the Ball as she had to keep the house spic and span while her step-sisters and step-mother would attend the Ball and be late on their way back home.
The day of the Ball arrived. There was great pomp and gaiety in the whole kingdom. Every maiden hoped to secretly capture the heart of the Prince and be the much coveted Princess Bride. The wicked step-mother and the abominable step-sisters set out, dressed in all their finery, to attend the Royal Ball. Poor Cinderella was left behind.
As Cinderella was cleaning the floor, she started weeping for she too longed to attend the Royal Ball. As her tears fell down on the floor, all of a sudden, a luminous figure appeared before her. It was the beautiful Fairy God Mother.
The Fairy God Mother looked at Cinderella whose face was now swollen. She wiped the tears from her face and spoke to her thus: “My Dear Child! Why do you weep so hard? What is it that your heart seeks?” Cinderella was dazed by the incandescent appearance and said: “I do not know You. Who are You?”
To this, the Fairy God Mother replied: “I am the Fairy God Mother. I appear before those who have a good and pure heart and are kind in action. You, Cinderella have a pure heart! Your tears have therefore forced me to appear before you. Now tell me, what is it that your heart seeks and it shall be granted!”
Cinderella replied, ”Today is the day of the Royal Ball to which every young unattached maiden has been invited! I too wish to attend the Royal Ball!” The Fairy God Mother said, “Very Well! You shall attend the Royal Ball!” Cinderella then said, “But what will I wear to the Ball? I have nothing grand to wear!” The Fairy God Mother said, “Do no worry my dear! Everything will be arranged! You will indeed be the most beautiful maiden of the kingdom. Just get me a pumpkin and seven mice and make sure that the mice are alive!”
Cinderella went in search of a Pumpkin and seven mice that were alive. She was soon back with them. The Fairy God Mother too k the pumpkin and with a swish of her magic wand, turned the pumpkin into a beautiful carriage. Then with another swish, she turned the seven mice into four horses to draw the carriage and two carriage men to manhandle the horses. Now it was time for Cinderella to get dressed for the Royal Ball.
The Fairy God Mother touched Cinderella lightly with her magic wand. The old garment was magically transformed into a beautiful new evening gown and Cinderella looked like a Princess in her new attire. The Fairy God Mother then touched Cinderella at her feet. Cinderella looked down to find her feet slipped into a pair of dazzling glass slippers, made just for her. Cinderella was awestruck at her own transformation.
The Fairy God Mother then said,” There you are, ready for the Ball! Just remember to be back by midnight! If you fail to do so, the spell will be broken and you will be back to your work clothes with the pumpkin and the seven mice. Your glass slippers will also not fit you and will fit the first person who has worn anything that has been designed and stitched by you. Now hurry!”
Cinderella was thrilled at all that had happened and quickly mounted the carriage. The carriage made its way to the Royal Ball. At the Palace, the dance floor was filled with couples dancing to the Ballad being played. The Prince was standing looking bored. The wicked Step-Mother was advising and pushing her elder daughter to catch the attention of the Prince. The Prince seemed least interested.
It was at this moment, that a beautiful Princess, stranger to all those present, made her entry into the Ball Room. Sounds of “Who is she?” could be heard almost everywhere. The Prince turned and was dumbfounded at what he saw. She appeared to be the most graceful and beautiful creature to him. The Prince lost no time in moving through the crowd and taking her hand in his, led her to the dance floor.
The two of them seemed lost to everything around them and matched moves with each other for what seemed like forever. The Prince then seemed to come to his senses and took the Princess aside. The Prince then spoke to the Princess, “You are not from these parts, are you?” The Princess just blushed.
At that moment, the clock struck twelve. The Princess turned around and looked at the grandfather clock hung on the wall. She spoke out, “Oh no! I have to go now!” The Prince was crestfallen and quickly tried to dissuade her. But the Princess was already on her way out of the Ball Room, rushing down the stairs.
As she rushed out, her glass slippers were beginning to get bigger and one of them dropped out of her feet. As she continued to run, the Prince lost sight of her. She went on running and her beautiful gown slowly changed into her old rags. The carriage was gone as were the carriage men. All that was left was the pumpkin with the seven mice. It was Cinderella who finally pushed open the door to her cottage. Cinderella was back home.
The wicked Step Mother and the two step-sisters returned home somet8ime later to find Cinderella sitting on the backyard waiting for them. They began talking. The wicked Step Mother said, “Who was that strange Princess?’ and they began discussing all that had happened at the Ball.
As for the Prince, he was lost in thoughts of the strange Princess . he suddenly looked down and found a big glass slipper. He picked it up and thought to himself, “Strange! The Princess was so dainty. This slipper appears so big! I must find her! She shall be my Princess Bride!”
A few days later, another Royal Announcement was made. A search for the Princess Bride was to be conducted. That lucky maiden whose foot would fit the Glass Slipper would be the Princess Bride. So the Prince accompanied by one of the Royal Ministers set out to find his Princess Bride with the glass slipper. They travelled far and wide and every young maiden in every household that they visited was given a chance to put on the glass slipper. So far, they had not found a perfect fit to the slipper.
By and by, they came to the cottage where lived Cinderella with her wicked Step Mother and her two selfish step sisters. The wicked Step Mother locked Cinderella in the cellar. She sent her elder daughter to the Prince. She tried on the slipper and lo and behold, the slipper perfectly fitted her!
How did this happen? It was because the spell had been broken and as per the Fairy God Mother, the slipper had fitted the first person for whom Cinderella had designed and stitched clothes! That was the elder step sister!
The Prince thought that this was his Princess Bride. But sadly, he did not feel the joy that he wanted to feel on seeing her! Something seemed to be amiss. He could not point out what it was! But the wicked s tep mother and her elder step daughter were now overjoyed. The younger step daughter felt jealous that the slipper had fitted her elder sister and she had not even got a chance to put on the slipper.
Poor Cinderella, meanwhile was inside the cellar. After the Prince had left with the Royal Minister, Cinderella came to know all that had happened and was further saddened to know that the Prince had promised to wed her elder step sister, mistaking her to be the Princess as her foot had perfectly fit the slipper.
The wicked Step Mother and her two daughters set out to buy new garments for the wedding. Cinderella was left alone in the cottage. She began weeping hard. As her tears fell down, there was a splash of lights and a luminous figure appeared before her. It was the Fairy God Mother!
The Fairy God Mother said, “Now, now, come my dear! What makes you cry?”Cinderella replied, “The Prince is set to wed my elder step-sister, whom he mistakes to be the Princess of the night of the Royal Ball! My heart longs to make the Prince my own!”
The Fairy God Mother said, “And so it shall be , my dear! Do not be heart broken! What is rightfully yours will always be yours!” Saying this, the Fairy God Mother disappeared.
The next day the Royal Engagement was to be held. The wicked Step Mother along with her two step daughters, made their way, to the Palace. The Prince came forward, dressed elegantly for the occasion.
The glass slipper had been put on display. The Prince then made an announcement that the Royal Engagement would be made with the Princess Bride wearing the pair of glass slippers. The wicked step mother and her two step daughters were taken aback at this sudden announcement.
They obviously did not have the other slipper. The glass slipper on display was brought and given back to the elder step daughter. She tried to put on the slipper and lo and behold, the slipper no longer fitted her. The Prince was greatly puzzled. Something just was not right. He asked her about the other slipper. The elder step daughter was tongue-tied.
At that very, the Fairy God Mother appeared before everyone. She said, ‘O Prince, your Princess Bride waits for you at the cottage with the other glass slipper. Make haste and claim her as your wife!”
The wicked step mother tried her best to dissuade the Prince, but to no avail. The Prince set out for the cottage with the glass slipper in hand. On reaching the cottage, the door was opened by none other than Cinderella. He was taken aback at her appearance. She was definitely the same girl but now dressed in rags. He quickly gave her the slipper. The slipper now perfectly fit her and she of course, had the other slipper. So wearing both the slippers, the Prince and Cinderella got engaged right there.
As for the wicked step mother and her two selfish daughters, they left the kingdom screaming, never to be seen again. The Prince and Cinderella were married a few days later at the Royal Palace and lived happily ever after!
So isn’t’ this Happily Ever After with a twist? What do you say?