Once upon a time, there was a young girl named Cinderella. She was as sweet as sugar, as kind as a mother’s kiss, and as pretty as the sun setting in the sky. She had a very mean stepmother and two stepsisters who made her life miserable. They all treated Cinderella like a servant.
“Scrub the floors,” one would order.
“When you’re done, clean these dishes,” the other would say.
“Hurry up!” they yelled together.
Cinderella scrubbed, cleaned, and ironed while her stepmother and stepsisters spent their days preening in front of the mirror.
After Cinderella had spent all day cleaning and ironing, she would spend the evening alone in front of the warm fire. This was her favorite part of the day. She dreamed of what her life would be like if she were a princess.
Every day was the same for Cinderella. In the morning, she woke up early and made her stepmother and stepsisters breakfast.
“My tea is a little too warm,” one stepsister said.
“My tea is a little too cool,” the other would say.
After they were done eating their breakfast, the stepsisters would sit in front of the mirror and argue about who was more beautiful. Cinderella would spend the rest of the day sewing and ironing. But her heart was so pure, she did not even mind. It gave her time to dream about the handsome prince.
Cinderella’s stepmother hoped that one of her daughters would someday marry the prince. Once they saw the prince in the royal parade. The stepsisters were sure he smiled at them.
“He looked at me,” the short one said happily.
“He looked at me,” the tall one said.
“You are both beautiful,” their mother said to them. They all agreed. Cinderella secretly thought the prince smiled at her.
One day, something very exciting arrived. It was an invitation to the prince’s fancy ball! “You, my darling daughters, are going to the prince’s ball!” Cinderella’s stepmother exclaimed.
“What will I wear?” one stepsister cried.
“I hope I can dance with the prince,” the other said dreamily.
As the night of the ball drew closer and closer, Cinderella had more and more work to do.
“Cinderella, hem my favorite pink dress,” one yelled.
“Cinderella, get my favorite blue shoes,” the other yelled.
Cinderella sewed and ironed for days. But she was not allowed to go to the ball herself. She was only a servant. Besides, she did not have a ball gown.Finally, the night of the ball arrived. As Cinderella helped her younger stepsister into her gown, the cruel girl asked, “Cinderella, why don’t you come with us to the ball and dance with the prince?”
The stepmother and her daughters laughed at the thought of dirty, barefoot Cinderella dancing with the handsome prince. “No, she can’t come,” the stepmother said. “She has to sweep the hearth.” Cinderella held back her tears.
“Don’t forget to scrub the floor,” the stepmother said.
“Clean the dishes,” the younger stepsister said.
“And fluff my pillow,” the other one said.
As the stepmother and her daughters climbed into their coach and rode off to the ball, Cinderella began to cry. Cinderella never complained, but the day of the fancy ball was too disappointing for her to bear.
“Why must I stay at home and sweep up the hearth while everyone else goes to the ball? Am I not as good and kind as everyone else?” cried Cinderella to herself.
She wanted to wear a fancy dress with pretty ribbons and bows. Most of all, she wanted to catch another glimpse of the handsome prince. Maybe he would ask her to dance with him!
Suddenly, a beautiful fairy magically appeared. It was Cinderella’s fairy godmother!
“What is wrong, dear Cinderella?” asked the fairy godmother. Even though she had secretly watched over Cinderella’s hard life, this was the first time she had ever seen the girl cry.
Cinderella wiped away her tears and said, “I’m sorry to cry. But I just wanted to go to the ball. I’ve never even worn a fancy dress, or danced, or been to the castle. I guess I’m just being silly.”
“You have always been good and kind,” the fairy godmother said sweetly. “And tonight you shall go to the prince’s ball.”
Cinderella’s heart was so happy she thought it was going to burst. Then she was sad again. “I have no coach to take me there,” Cinderella said, beginning to cry again.
“Oh, dear,” the fairy godmother said. She thought for a moment, then clapped her hands. “I can turn that pumpkin into a coach.” With a wave of her sparkly wand, she turned the hollow orange pumpkin into a coach decorated with gold and velvet.“But who will drive the coach?” Cinderella asked.
Just then, a family of six white mice wandered through the garden. Poof! They were suddenly strong white horses. The fairy godmother looked around the garden for a driver. She spied a plump rat nibbling on a bit of cheese under a flower. Poof! The rat was suddenly a handsome driver.
“Now, sweet girl, you can go to the ball!” said the fairy godmother proudly.
“But my clothes,” whispered Cinderella. “I cannot go to the fancy ball in dirty rags!”
The fairy godmother thought for a moment, then waved her wand around Cinderella. Hundreds of sparkles shot out of the wand, then suddenly Cinderella’s old dress turned into a lovely silk gown.
“Just beautiful,” said the fairy godmother. “Now for the most important part,
your shoes!” With another wave of the wand, delicate glass slippers suddenly appeared on Cinderella’s bare feet.
“Oh, thank you, fairy godmother!” cried Cinderella. “This will be the most
wonderful night of my life!”
With the help of her handsome footman, Cinderella stepped into the magical pumpkin coach. A shiver of excitement ran through her.
Just as the coach was about to pull away, Cinderella’s fairy godmother called to her. “You must be home before the stroke of midnight, Cinderella,” she warned. “At midnight, the coach will turn back into a pumpkin, the horses into mice, the driver into a rat. You must not be late!”
“I won’t be late, fairy godmother. Thank you!” Cinderella waved out the window of her coach, pretending to be a real princess. The fairy godmother watched as Cinderella disappeared down the road. “I hope she meets her prince tonight,” the fairy godmother said to herself.The whole way to the castle, Cinderella’s heart pounded with anticipation. When the coach arrived at the castle, Cinderella took a deep breath and waited for her driver to open the door for her.
Cinderella stepped out of her coach and gracefully climbed the stairs to the palace. She was so nervous, her knees were shaking.
When she appeared in the doorway of the ballroom, everyone turned to stare at her. Cinderella was far more beautiful than any of the princesses, duchesses, and noble ladies in attendance. The other guests hushed as Cinderella walked down the staircase.The prince was busy greeting his guests when he looked up to see Cinderella. He took one look at her and suddenly his heart began to race. He fell in love with the beautiful girl. All he could think about was dancing with the mysterious lady.
Everyone at the ball fell in love with Cinderella, too. Aside from being lovely, Cinderella was also charming and sweet. As the prince and Cinderella danced, all the people smiled and watched. No one recognized her, not even her stepsisters and stepmother.
The prince asked Cinderella to dance every dance. As they glided across the dance floor, Cinderella discovered that not only was the prince very handsome, but he was also very kind.
Cinderella was so happy, she forgot the time. The clock sounded the ninth stroke of midnight when Cinderella remembered the promise she had made to her fairy godmother. On the tenth stroke, Cinderella dashed out of the ballroom without another word to the prince, leaving him and the rest of the guests astonished!
On the eleventh stroke, she flew down the palace steps in such a hurry that she left one of her glass slippers behind.
On the twelfth stroke, Cinderella’s dress was transformed back into tattered rags. She ran as fast as she could from the palace so that no one would recognize her.The prince ran after Cinderella, but it was too late. She was already gone. He wanted to call out to her, but he realized that she had never told him her name! The prince spied the glass slipper on the palace steps. It must belong to her, he thought. He vowed to find the slipper’s mysterious owner.
Cinderella ran all the way home dressed in her rags. Her coach had turned back into a pumpkin, and the mice and the rat had all run away. All she had left of her beautiful evening at the ball was the other glass slipper.
The next day, everyone in the land could talk of nothing but the ball and the beautiful stranger who had stolen the prince’s heart. The prince was
determined to find the girl he loved. He could not sleep or eat. He only dreamed of her.