Robin Redbreast

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

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cinderella #24 Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal

Do you trust this crocodile? Indonesian Cinderella did!
Once upon a time, on Planet Earth, a rich man lived with his "gentle eyed, good hearted, daughter." His wife had died. He was lonely, and it seemed only natural that after awhile he marry the widow woman who was his neighbor. She had two daughters as well. At first she was kind, giving her step daughter treats. But not for long. Soon she had that girl doing all the rough stuff, while her own daughters just sat around thinking of more orders to their new step sister. And they barely fed her. Instead, the new wife and her girls grabbed all the juiciest bits, leaving a scrap or two for the poor little girl. Poor little rich girl, that is. Her father still had his fortune; how was he to know if one child went without? She did not complain to hin because she "recalled how she'd begged her father to marry. 'I picked up the scorpion with my own hand." she said to herself, and just carried on. One day, when she was hungrier and tireder  than usual, she began to cry. And that's when the magic happened. In Russia, they say that a cow heard her and said, " Don't weep.' And poured honey for her from its horns." In Iran, a fairy appears and gives her " figs and apricots". In India it is " Godfather Snake who gave her the rice". In any case, soon she felt much better, and gained strength from the rich food the animals gave her. Now her stepmother grew suspicious. In Ireland, the stepdaughters were so "sourfaced...they would curdle milk if they looked at it twice. " Kings all over the world threw balls that year, and invited every eligible girl in the land. In Zimbabwe, their wore linen robes of bright colors. But in Cinderella's house, all she wore was rags. Her stepmother and sisters dressed themselves up, model-pretty, and left her behind, working down a chore list a mile long. 1. Pick apronful of lentils out of ashes ( German step mom).
2. Scour all pots and pans ( Appalachia step mom).
3. And so on (step moms of the world.) Well, the girl knew she'd never be done, so into a miserable little heap the poor thing collapsed. And the magic sparkled once more: it made the sparrows in Germany fly in to pick out lentils, a witch woman in Appalachia "speak a spell - and up jumped the pots and pans and scoured themselves." Well, one way or another, those chores got done. But what to wear? The girl " looked into her mother's sewing basket (Laos); reached into the hole in the fruit tree (Russia); took from a crocodile who swam up a sarong made of gold ( Indonesia); accepted from the fish "a cloak sewn of king fisher feathers ( China); found a "kimono, red as sunset (Japan). " Her footwear was  not forgotten either. In France glass slippers clinked on her feet. Indians say it was diamond anklets. In Iraq, she recieved "sandals of gold". And now her coach appeared. It was made from " a big round breadfruit" ( West Indies); a pumpkin (France, USA).  Whisked to the ball, she stepped out. In Poland, they say that "so great was her beauty that the musicians stopped playing. No one, not even her stepmother knew who the beautiful stranger was.". Every where she went, the king's sons fell in love with her. She danced with him all night, and her feet did not hurt a bit. But suddenly: the first rooster crowed ( Indonesia); the clock began to strike twelve (France, Germany, England, USA). How she ran! Quick as a wink, "She leaped onto her mare's golden saddle. 'Who are you?' called the prince. The girl had no time for words and charged down the lane. The prince sprinted beside her, got a hand on her shoe - and the dainty thing  pulled off in his fingers as she galloped away" (Ireland). Well, princes all over the world had pretty much the same experience, and they all wanted that girl. And all of them were used to getting what they wanted. So they set out to find her, and wherever she was, her stepmother hid her. In China, she actually rolled her up in a mat, with only her hair sticking out. In France they locked her in the henhouse, and then "grunting and sweating" the stepsisters try to get the shoe on. But they can't. Birds all over the world help girls in need, and in Iraq, a rooster gave the stepsisters away. He crowed out, " They put the ugly one on show and hid the beauty down below!". That old trick didn't work in Korea either. There, the magistrate " looked into the girl's eyes, took the straw sandal in his hand - and slipped it onto her foot with ease." And oh, what a wedding feast! In Zimbabwe it was " mangoes and melons", in India " rice seasoned with almonds". In Ireland they ate "beef stew and lamb stew", in Mexico, " anise cookies and custards".  In fact, it was the biggest, best, most wonderful wedding that anyone can remember, and "such a wondrous turn of events, that people today are still telling the story." 
NOTES: Paul Fleishman is the author of this compilation, and Julie Paschkis did the fabulous illustrations. Montessori Connection: Maria Montessori encouraged children to develop their sense of stereognosthic memory, that is a sense of the shape, weight, and feeling of an object in one's hand, by handling her geometric metal insets. The illustrations in this book beg to be studied. Use of the metal insets, often used to teach fractions, is ideal here. They can be used as templates for tracing, creating patterns of geometric shapes. Examples below from my geometry album and from my classroom. See M.M's  The Montessori Elementary Material, ISBN 978-1-44374-274-0, (p. 311)
Paschkis, J. 
table top drawings with insets
Children learn a great deal simply by handling the metal pieces. My class of eight to ten year olds strengthened their sense of fractions dramatically while illustrating our paper table cloth, below. The set is made from heavy steel, red circles cut into 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 pieces. These are used for introduction of the concept of fractions; for teaching addition and subtraction of fractions, and for many other geometry lessons. In my classroom, with children unfamiliar with the material, I encourage them to follow up lessons from it by decorating our lunch table. The interest held for over a week, and every set was traced and colored. More creative scenes followed.
the decagon
houses traced from geometric insets