Mother Goose Fairytale: Cinderella

by Lisa Ruping Cheng

I remember browsing in a downtown bookstore in Taipei with my mother when I was about eleven and was fascinated by a box set of classic fairytale books. I was so happy that my mother bought the box set for me that contained the most amazing stories including Sleeping Beauty, Litte Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and of course Cinderella.

Pages and pages of colorful illustrations and characters that were foreign and imaginary brought me to another world that was full of magics and wonders. The princes and princesses, the big bad wolf and the little girl, the cursed princess, the fairies and the unfortunate girl who turned into a woman who married the prince, and the glass slippers. Oh! so amazing.

Because of writing the Wowospot Kids blog, I have discovered the connection between the imaginary characters of Cinderella and Mother Goose.

A folklore story that has been told to children for generations is worth being told again and again. I am lucky to have found the original texts of Cinderella in the book of Mother Goose Fairytale, first collected by Charles Perrault in 1696 and translated by Charles Welsh and published in the U. S. in 1901.

Let me share with you the whole story by accounting it in WowoSpot Kids Podcast’s next episode. As well, I will write out part of the texts below. The reading, in my hope, is to birng you back to the childhood by entering the imaginary world of Mother Goose’s fairytales with Cinderella. To finish the story, please listen to the podcast!

“Once upon a time there was a gentleman who married, for his second wife, the proudest and most haughty woman that ever was seen. She had two daughters of her own, who were, indeed, exactly like her in all things. The gentleman had also a young daughter, of rare goodness and sweetness of temper, which she took from her mother, who was the best creature in the world. The wedding was scarcely over, when the stepmother’s bad temper began to show itself. She could not bear the goodness of this young girl, because it made her own daughters appear the more odious. The stepmother gave her the meanest work in the house to do; she had to scour the dishes, tables, etc., and to crub the floors and clean out the bedrooms. The poor girl had to sleep in the garret, upon a wretched straw bed, while her sisters lay in fine rooms with inlaid floors, upon beds of the very newest fashion, and where they had looking glasses so large that they might see themselves at their full lenghth. The poor girl bore all patiently, and dared not complain to her father, who would have scolded her if she had done so, for his wife governed him entirely.

When she had done her work, she used to go into the chimney corner, and sit down among the cinders, hence she was called Cinderwench. The younger sister of the two, who was not so rude and uncivil as the elder, called her Cinderella. However, Cinderella, in spite of her mean apparrel, was a hundred times more handsome than her sisters, though they were always richly dressed.

It happened that the King’s son gave a ball, and invited to it all persons of fashion. All young misses were also invited, for they cut a very grand figure among the people of the countryside. They were highly delighted with the invitation, and wonderfully busy in choosing the gowns, petticoats, and head dresses which might best become them. This made Cinderella’s lot still harder, for it was she who ironed her sisters’ linen and plaited their ruffles. They talked all day long of nothing but how they should be dressed.

“For my part,” said the elder, ” I will wear my red velvet suit with French trimmings.”

“And I,” said the younger, “shall wear my usual skirt; but then, to make amends for that I will put on my gold-flowered mantle, and my diamond stomacher, which is far from being the most ordinary one in the world.” They sent for the best hairdressers they could get to make up their hair in fashionable style, and bought patches for their cheeks. Cinderella was consulted in all these matters, for she had good taste. She advised them always for the best, and even offered her services to dress their hair, which they were very willing she should do. As she was doing this, they said to her:

“Cinderella, would you not be glad to go to the ball?”

“Young ladies,” she said, “you only jeer at me; it is not for such as I am to go there.”

“You are right,” they replied; “people would laugh to see a Cinderwench at a ball.”

Anyone but Cinderella would have dressed their hair awry, but she was good natured, and arranged it perfectly well. They were almost two days without eating, so much were they transported with joy. They broke above a dozen laces in trying to ace themselves tight, that they might have a fine, slender shape, and they were continually at 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, and when she had lost sight of them, she felt like crying.

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

What happened after the godmother appeared in front of Cinderella? Listen to WowoSpot Kids Podcast’s episode #14 for the full story, scheduled to be streaming on Thursday, October 7. See you there!

Published by Wowospot

Produce and publish quality kids content for fun, creative learning and education.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: