|Photo courtesy of Margaret Jones Davis|
Creative Dog Training,
Once upon a time, in the Land of All Good Dogs, there lived "a young girl named Cinderella. She was kind and pure." She was also a Pug! Her dog family included a "wicked stepmother and two wicked stepsisters." They were mean to her because of jealousy. They just could not stand that Cinderella would come, sit, stay or heel on command. Plus she had such a cute wrinkly, flat face. The stepsisters were miniature poodles, and wore their curls in ribbons. Their mother was a fine black dog with pointed ears and a huge, purple bow tied on top of her head. She had no qualms about biting. One day, a glossy, black Great Dane arrived, with a letter in its mouth and a jaunty checked cap on its head. Inside was an invitation to the Prince's Ball! My, how the little white pug wanted to go! And oh, how her stepsisters snapped and snarled and tugged her dress with their sharp little teeth. They would not let her go! But, they made her help them to pull on their fancy wear. Step-mama wore a tall gold hat with a black mantilla. The sisters had been to the groomer, and were as fluffed up as a pair of dandelions. They were draped in silk scarves. All three of them trotted away, wagging their tails behind them. Now the lonely pug curled up by the fire and whined softly. That's when she heard " a gentle tap at the door". When Cinderella opened it, a beatiful dog with a conical pink hat upon her head stood on all fours. She carried a wand in one paw, and wore a gown of white chiffon. "My child,' said the vision, 'do not be sad. I am your fairygodmother." She nudged the twig broom out of her way, then sent the little Pug out to the garden for a pumpkin. When she rolled it into the kitchen, the white dog waved her wand, and it instantly became a large coach. Next she said, "Now bring me six white mice." And when they were in front of her, they became six horses of the same color. Now the Pug was very grateful, and barked out her thanks. The she said, "I am so happy, but what shall I wear? I have no gown." And the fairy said, "My child, do not worry!" and then made magic and changed Cinderella's ragged jacket into a sheer pink number. It was sleeveless, with a pearled neckline. It made the little dog look something like a mermaid: the effect was riveting. On her feet were "sparkling glass slippers". Then the fairy god-dog popped a ruby studded tiara on the little dog's head, warned her to be home by midnight, and dropped onto all fours. She trotted away, and the carriage drove on to the palace. Once at the ball, Cinderella created quite a sensation. There were dogs in feathered caps, and dogs in long capes, but no one "quite like Cinderella". Then she saw the prince, a dashing young terrier in a gold paper crown. No one — but no one— recognized the disguised Pug, and she happily danced the night away. Suddenly the clock began to toll the twelfth hour. The Pug gave a yelp and dashed away. In her haste, she lost one of her little glass shoes. The Prince found it though, and the next day, he set out to find her. All of "the ladies of the land must try it on." So decreed the Prince. The last dog of all to try her paw in the slipper was Cinderella. Her stepsisters snorted and whoofed: "It will never fit her! She is no princess!" But it did, and so she was! That's when she pulled out the matching glass slipper from the pocket in her apron. "Suddenly, her fairy godmother appeared. She waved her wand and Cinderella's rags turned into a beautiful gown. " Her stepsisters were so sorry for the way they had behaved that they rolled over onto their backs and begged Cinderella to forgive them. She told them that she knew that, deep down inside, they were really good dogs. "Then she married the Prince, and they frolicked happily ever after."
From Fairy Tales Cinderella New York: Hylas Publishing (apparently not available on Amazon)
Notes: This book is darling, with photos of real, live dogs dressed up just like the characters. Dogs do not often appear in Cinderella stories. But, a common fairy tale connection with dogs is found in Norther Europe and The British Isles. There dog a bloodhound small enough to cup in a hand causes King Herla to age a thousand years in an instant. This by touching the ground before its master, breaking a protective charm of the elf king.
Montessori Connection: Biology/Dogs, Breeds of
1. Read this story.
2. Using a dog identification book, try to find the names of all the dogs in the pictures.
3. Learn that dogs are a kind of animal at least 15,000 years old.
4. Learn more about dogs:Dogs for Kids: Everything You Need to Know About Dogs, or The Complete Dog Book for Kids (American Kennel Club) or May I Pet Your Dog?: The How-to Guide for Kids Meeting Dogs (and Dogs Meeting Kids)