Robin Redbreast

Robin Redbreast
Birds can represent the fluttering, darting thoughts of intuition. This is why little birds helped Cinderella help herself.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Happy Birthday, Charles Perrault!

Celebrating the birthday of  Charles Perrault by recording 159,000 hits!

Once upon a time, long ago in France, there lived a melancholy girl who was called Cinderella.  Her father "was a gentleman who was a widower."

Some time after Cinderella's mother died, he took a second wife. She was "a very proud, disagreeable woman" and she had two daughters of her own, a pair of "haughty, overbearing, and thoroughly unpleasant" young ladies. By contrast, the gentleman's own daughter was "was a young girl of wonderful sweetness and good temper. In this, she was like her mother, who had been the finest mother in the world."  For a brief time after the wedding, Cinderella was treated with some respect.  Before long, however, she was doing "all the meanest household chores to do, from scouring the dishes to scrubbing the stairs to cleaning out the rooms of her" stepsisters. At day's end, poor Cinderella had only "a thin, straw mattress in a tiny room at the top of the house." She dared not complain to her father, who seemed to take no notice of her condition. She shivered in the cold, and took to sitting "quietly near the fire, paying no heed to the cinders and ashes that drifted lazily around her." For this,. they called her Cinderbritches, until the younger stepsister, "who was not quite as rude as the other, called her Cinderella". It happened one day that the King's son invited "everyone of rank and nobility in the land." You may imagine how pleased the stepsisters were to find themselves on the select list. "I,' said the elder,'shall wear my red velvet dress with the English lace.' 'I,' said the younger,' shall wear my gold-flowered cloak and my diamond necklace."  All stylish ladies at that time stuck tiny shapes to their faces to enhance their beauty; these two spent many days in front of the looking glass experimenting with their appearance. "Meanwhile, Cinderella was kept busier than ever ironing her stepsisters' ruffles." On the night of the ball, as she was dressing their hair, the young sister asked, "Do you not wish you were going to the ball?' 'Ah,' replied Cinderella,'now you are mocking me. I would be out of place at such a grand event.' 'For once, you are right, 'said the older sister, 'people would find it very funny indeed to see a Cinderbritches at the ball." Most people would have been tempted to pull the hair of one who spoke to them so, but not Cinderella. So gentle was her nature. When finally they departed, the ragged young girl sat down amongst the ashes. Alone, she began to cry.  That's when she heard a voice! "Her fairy godmother, who had been watching over her,appeared and asked what was the matter." But Cinderella could not get the words out, so heavily did her tears flow. Yet her godmother seemed to know. "You wish to go to the ball, do you not?" And when she heard Cinderella sigh, she knew that this was her wish. "You have been a good girl,' said her godmother. 'I shall see that you go." Now the fairy bade her go to the garden and bring a pumpkin.  Cinderella "found the largest pumpkin in the garden and carried back to her godmother, who hollowed it out so only the rind was left. Then she struck it with her wand, and the pumpkin was transformed into a gilded coach."  But who would draw it? Six little mice from the trap filled  the need. "As each mouse scurried out, the godmother tapped it with her wand. Instantly the mice changed into horses — beautiful gray ones that all matched perfectly." For a coachman, the fairy godmother decided on a rat. She chose from the three that were in the trap "the one with the longest whiskers and tapped it with her wand. Instantly, it became a plump coachman, with a very impressive mustache."  With the six lizards that were behind the watering pot, the old woman created "six footmen dressed in embroidered livery. They leaped onto the coach so nimbly that it looked as if they had done nothing else all their lives." Yet when the fairy asked if Cinderella were not pleased, the girl said," Oh,yes. But must I go as I am, in these wretched rags?'  Her godmother simply touched her with the wand, and Cinderella's rags turned into a gown of gold and silver that sparkled with jewels.  A pair of high-heeled slippers appeared on her feet. They were made of glass, and were so lovely that Cinderella exclaimed with pleasure when she saw them." Just as the carriage was about to whisk her away, her godmother warned her not to stay so much as one minute past the stroke of twelve. "If you stay a moment longer, your coach will turn back into a pumpkin, your horses to mice, your coachman to a rat, your footmen to lizards, and your gown to rags." She promised, and was off to the ball. Such an entrance made Cinderella that "the violins stopped playing and the dancing came to a halt." Even the king, "old as he was" found himself drawn to the mysterious young princess. All the ladies meanwhile, "were busily inspecting Cinderella's headdress and gown in hopes of having similar ones made as soon as possible." And the prince would not leave her side. All night they danced, and he saw that she was so graceful that she seemed to be enchanted. When the clock "struck a quarter to midnight, Cinderella quickly made a deep curtsy to the guests and hurried off." Arriving home minutes before her sister, she thanked the fairy and begged for permission to go the following night. It was given, and now Cinderella settled down before the fire. As her stepsisters came in, gossiping and laughing, they bubbled over with stories of the princess who had shared lemons and oranges with them.  "Absolutely no one knew" her name, they said, and "the king's son in particular would give the world to find out." Cinderella smiled to herself.  But the next night, so deeply was she engaged in conversation and dancing with the prince that she forgot the time. "She sprang up and ran out of the ballroom as swiftly as a frightened deer." When the prince followed, and found her shoe, he could not believe that she had departed without a trace. He questioned the guards about which princesses they had seen leave the palace, but they answered that only "a young girl in rags who looked more like a peasant than a lady" had passed through the gates. At home, Cinderella discovered that she was still wearing one glass shoe. This night when her stepsisters came in, they talked of nothing but the prince's discovery of a glass slipper, and rumors of a search to find the one who had lost it. This forecast proved correct, for "a few days later, the king's son proclaimed that he would marry" she who could wear this slipper. "Princesses, duchesses, court ladies, and all manner of highborn women tried to put tghe slipper on, but in vain." When at last the turn came for the stepsisters to try it, no amount of squeezing allowed them to wear it. Then Cinderella said, "Let me try it on.'  Her sisters burst into mocking laughter. But the court envoy who was fitting the slipper thought it only fair that Cinderella try it on — the king's son had decreed that all young women could." When she sat down and slipped her foot right into the shoe, "her sisters were overcome with surprise." And then they were "thunderstruck when she produced the other slipper from her pocket." And now the fairy godmother arrived again, and tapped her goddaughter lightly, and "the girl's sooty rags were transformed onto a gown of silk, lace, and pearls." Her stepsisters, suddenly recognizing the princess who had shared her fruit, begged most humbly to be forgiven for their previous behavior. Cinderella, "whose goodness knew no bounds", forgave them graciously.  Then "the envoy escorted her to the palace, where the king's son  awaited her.  He found her more beautiful than ever, and in a few days, they were married."
MORAL: Woman's beauty is a treasure we never tire of admiring. 
But good grace is far more precious, and forgiveness a jewel beyond price.
This is the moral of Cinderella's story: Only true kindness is worthy of a fairy's gift,
for without it we can do nothing, 
But with it, anything is possible. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Original Cinderella Rhyme to Celebrate 147,000 hits!

Cinderella #365 
Five Original Verses by    Rachel Hope Crossman 
Cinderella, dressed in yella’,
Went upstairs to kiss her fella.
Made a mistake, kissed a snake...
How many doctors did it take?
Cinderella dressed in red,
Got right up and out of bed,
Cooked for the King, dropped her ring,
Hoped he'd find her magic bling.
Cinderella dressed in blue,
Ran away and lost a shoe,
Despite her sisters’ cruel laughter,
She’s the girl the Prince ran after.
Cinderella dressed in green,
Went upstairs to meet the Queen,
She curtsied, bowed, sang acapella:
Your Majesty, I’m Cinderella!
Cinderella dressed in white,
Invited to the ball that night,
One candied quince from that sweet prince—
They’ve been an item ever since.
Slovakian doll
Cinderella dressed in gold,
Kissed by the Prince, who was so bold,
They got married, they grew old. 
Now my story is all told. 
© 2011 Rachel Hope Crossman
Notes: This posting concludes my experiment, 365 Cinderellas, in which I have posted a new Cinderella story for every day of the year 2011. As of December 31, nearly 17,000 people have viewed this site. I hope you have enjoyed the stories! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Finalist, Children's Educational Category
My book, SAVING CINDERELLA: FAIRY TALES AND CHILDREN IN THE 21ST CENTURY, has been named finalist in the USA Best Book Awards, in the Children's Educational Category.

The publisher is: The Apocryphile Press, Berkeley, CA
The Apocryphile Press

1700 Shattuck Ave. #81
Berkeley, CA 94709

Berkeley, CA 94709

It is available for purchase at:

Monday, November 24, 2014

100,082 hits!

We have lift off! As of today, November 24, 2014 this blog has had 100, 082 views. Thank you again to all, and please continue sharing this site with all of those interested in Cinderella. 
Two princesses, by the other Emily!

99, 988 hits!

Good morning everyone and thank you for viewing my blog. As of today, November 24, 2014 it has received 99, 988 hits!
Cover illustration, Cinderella: A Puppet Storybook , 1970.Illustrations by Tadasu Izawa and Shigemi Hijikata

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cinderella #367 San Francisco Opera's La Cenerentola

San Francisco Opera Presents La Cenerentola 2014
Rossini's Cenerentola takes Cinderella on a slightly different track. Forced to live and work among the cinders by her greedy stepfather and ugly sisters, the ash girl triumphs by virtue of her generous nature. She offers a small meal to a blind beggar who comes to the door of family's villa, and he in turn promises her hope that her life may change. The ugly sisters, who we meet in the opening moments as they perform their morning ablutions and beauty exercises, drive the beggar away. Later the prince will invite all to a ball. In a twist on the plot, the prince decides he will change places with his man servant so that he may see all of the ladies in their true colors.
Highlights of San Francisco Opera's performance included the prince's retinue of 20 valets, who appear in red coats with red roses as they parade in. Later we will see them in frock coats and top hats, and finally, in morning coats and white gloves. Each waves a large white hankie and snuffles loudly with joy when the happy couple wed.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Once upon  a time, in Scotland, there lived "a king who had one
lovely daughter, and whose wife had died, married for the second time an ill-natured woman with three ugly girls of her own whose envy of the king's daughter was matched by their treatment of her."  They put her to work in the kitchen, and the only clothing they allowed her was "a garment of rushes".  That's why everyone called her Rashin Coatie.  They fed her upon scraps of food.  However, all of this the girl easily endured for before her mother had died, she had given her child a gift. This was "a little red calf, and Rashin Coatie had only to ask the red calf for anything she wanted, and she could have it."  Soon the stepmother wondered how Rashin Coatie was not troubled by hunger, and spied upon her, and discovered the secret of the little red calf.  She called for a butcher and had it slaughtered.  The king's daughter was stricken with grief and sobbed aloud but the dead calf called to her, saying," Tak' me up, bane by bane, And pit me aneth yon gray stane." So the girl picked the calf up, bone by bone, and put it beneath a big gray stone, and knew that she had only to ask the bones, and her wish would be granted.  Now came Yuletide, with its feasting and bright church services. But Rashin Coatie's stepmother forbad her to attend services, telling the girl that she must stay home and prepare the Christmas feast. No sooner had the Queen and her three ugly girls gone to the kirk, than the King's daughter ran to the gray stone and told it her plight. "The calf promplty provided her with braw claes, and she was the grandest and brawest lady at kirk."  There was a prince at church and he saw he and fell in love with her.  He meant to speak to her after the blessing, but the girl fled before that time. The service continued the next day, and again Rashin Coatie went to church in finery.  Again the prince saw her, and now he was more determined that ever to meet this mysterious girl.  But again she left before the blessing, so that her family would not miss her. Well, by the third night of Yuletide mass, the prince was ready.  He sat by the door, and when the strange young woman tried to slip away, he blocked her way.  She dodged around him nimbly, and fled, losing an embroidered  slipper of satin.  This the prince collected, then proclaimed that he would find its owner and marry the girl who could wear the shoe.  The Queen heard this and gathered her three daughters about her.  When the prince came to their castle each ugly one took her turn with the shoe.  The last girl slipped into the kitchen with the slipper, and begged the hen-wife apply a knife to her toes and heel. Triumphantly the girl walked out wearing the shoe.  The prince felt a great unease, yet he had to keep his word.  He escorted her out the door, and the two walked toward the kirk to be married.  Yet a little bird began to sing, and the prince made out these words: "Minched fit, and pinched fit, Beside the king she rides, But braw fit and bonny fit, In the kitchen neuk she hides." So back they went and the ugly daughter's treachery was discovered. That's when Rashin Coatie  came out of the kitchen, and approached the prince "and when she was near, the slipper jumped out of his pocket and on to her foot. The prince married her and they lived happily all their days."
From Opie, I. & Opie, P. (1974) The Classic Fairy Tales
Notes: This story shows how the motif of the cow as helper appears in Europe in almost exactly the same manner as it does in Africa. (See The Ox of the Wonderful Horns, Zimbabwe, and Den Röd Ko, Denmark)
Montessori Connection 6-12: Geography/Europe/Scotland
1. Read Rashin Coatie and pay attention to how the girl gets her name. 
2. Write down what she wore. (a coat of rushes, which are a kind of tall grass)
3. Learn that garment means anything that a person can wear as clothing. 
4. Learn that in the USA we would probably call her Rushie Coat, or Grass Dress to describe how she looked.
5. Find Scotland on a map.