Robin Redbreast

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

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cinderella # 70 Cenicienta/Cindergirl (2001)

¡Hijita, trae la calabaza mas grande!

Había una vez en España/ Once upon a time in Spain, there lived un caballero viudo.  This rich, widowed gentleman had taken for his second wife a woman whose beauty was only skin deep.  She had two daughters, “who were the image of herself: beautiful, but as proud and vain as peacocks.”  The gentleman’s only daughter was “as lovely as the morning” and as gentle hearted as her mother had been.  As soon as these three moved in they began to order the merchant’s daughter about.  They made her cook and clean and scrub, and gave her scant to eat.  Her clothing soon turned to rags.  “Every night, her chores finished, the unfortunate girl would slump in the cinders near the dying fire, and dream of her mother, whom she dearly missed.  La pobre chica se agachaba junto a las cenizas del fuego y pensaba en su madre muerta.” For this reason,  they began to call her Cenicienta.   It happened one day that the King’s son took a fancy to have a ball.  He decided to invite all the prettiest girls in the kingdom, that way he could choose one for his bride. “The stepsisters tried one new dress and hairstyle after another, peering at themselves over and over again in the mirror. Cenicienta had no choice but to help them.  Sad, but never complaining, the poor girl did their hair and shined their shoes.” They taunted her, asking what she thought people would think if a dirty cinder-girl turned up at the ball in her “revolting rags”.  Then off those two ugly-hearted girls and their mother went, to the first night of the ball.  Cenicienta sat alone, and “burst into sobs she couldn’t control. ‘Dear girl, what’s the matter?’ asked her godmother.  Do you want to go to the ball too?”  Of course she did! So she went out to pick a calabaza from the garden, as her godmother asked her to do, la mas grande that she could find. “The godmother— who happened to be a fairy godmother—emptied the pumpkin.  She touched it with her magic wand, and instantly it became a carroza dorada.”
The next items on the treasure hunt were six mice.  When Cenicienta found them, her fairy godmother waved her wand and they became “magnificent horses with shining coats the color of chestnuts.”  Finally, the fairy sent her to get six lizards, which were easily found in the garden.  “Next, the fairy godmother touched Cenicienta with the magic wand, and the girl’s rags changed into a marvelous gown of gold, silver, and precious stones.  On her feet appeared a pair of glass slippers as brilliant as the sun.”  With a wave, and a warning that the magic would reverse itself by midnight, the fairy sent her to the ball.  As she arrived, “everyones’ mouth fell open in wonder” to see one so radiant.  The prince knew he had found his bride, and would dance only with Cenicienta. But when the clock struck three quarters of an hour past eleven, Cenicienta fled.  She was back among the cinders when her stepsisters came in gossiping about the mysterious princess who had caught the prince’s eye.  On the second night of the ball, her fairy godmother created an even more lovely dress for her, and “everything was as it had been the night before: all night, the prince stayed by her side and whispered sweet words in her ear.”  Now she forgot the time! The clock was striking the final of twelve peals when she made a run for it.  Alone she ran, through the forest, as her carriage and horse had vanished. Dressed in rags, with one glass shoe lost, she arrived home, thanked the fairy once more, and collapsed by the fireplace.  When her stepsisters came in, she was fast asleep.  “The King’s son, finding the slipper she had lost, said, ‘I will marry no girl but the one who wears this.’  The next day, he sent his pages out to the homes of all the girls in the land.”  They all took a turn to try on the shoe, but not one did it fit.  No matter how hard they squeezed, Cenicient’s stepsister’s could not wear the shoe either. That’s when Cenicienta asked if she could have a turn.  Of course her stepsisters sneered at the girl, but when their little stepsister “put the slipper on her tiny foot, it went on perfectly.  In fact, it fit as if it had been made just for her! What a surprise!”  And when Cenicienta drew the matching slipper from her apron pocket, you could have just knocked her stepmother over with a feather!  That’s when the fairy godmother appeared again.  She waved her wand and dirty little Cenicienta once more shone with resplendence.  She and the prince “were married a few days later.  Those who knew them say they lived happily ever after.”  And the stepsisters?  They realized that they would catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.  After the wedding, they became much kinder people, and soon “they both married important gentlemen of the Court.”
From Boada, F. Cinderella/Cenicienta (2001) Illustrated by Fransoy, M. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.  Notes:  Although a bird is not mentioned in the text it is featured in the illustrations. This is part of a series of bilingual fairy tales that includes Goldlilocks and the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack and the Beanstalk. 
Montessori Connection Ages 6-9: Word Study/Nouns/Spanish Nouns
1. Read Cinderella/Cenicienta and choose six nouns from the story. 
2. Remember that a noun is a person, place, or thing. 
3. Make your list. Example: slipper, gentleman, daughter,cinders, pumpkin, ball
4. Find the Spanish word  in the story. Example: zapatilla, caballero, hija, ceniza, calabaza, baile

Ages 9-12: Word Study/Verbs/Spanish Verbs
1. Read the story and choose six verbs in English. Example: was, had, call, mocked, touched, dance
2. Find the Spanish translation in the story. 
3. Example: había, tenía, llamaban, burlándose, tocó, bailar.
4. Understand that this is just for fun! It is tricky.  It helps if you understand how to conjugate verbs: I was, you were, he was, she was, we were, they were.  Now you can see that this action is over, or in the past tense. The infinitive of the English verb form was is to be
5. Learn that in Spanish there are two different verbs that mean to be. They are ser and estar. These are a lesson for another day!