|It was too late! The magic was gone.|
Once upon a time, in Hong Kong, they told a story about a princess from France. Her own mother had died, leaving her alone with her father, a wealthy merchant. Yet when he remarried, the new wife was a haughty one, with daughters of the same ilk. They soon had her dressed in rags, scrubbing and washing and keeping the fire. Because she was so much prettier than they were, even dirty as she was, they mocked her and called her Cinderella. It happened one day that a royal messenger came to the door, bearing an invitation on a tray. The heavy envelope was addressed to The Ladies of the House, and summoned them to the prince's ball. He was going to choose a bride! How Cinderella's stepsister's fluffed their ruffles and preened their hair. They wrinkled their large noses and snorted with pleasure as they tried on first this outfit, then that one, imagining all the while that they danced with the prince. But when Cinderella asked whether she would be permitted to go, they merely laughed, and went on with their preparations. At last, the big night arrived. All day her sisters had fussed, and now, they were gone. Cinderella gave a deep sigh and wished —oh how she wished!— for the chance to go to the ball. All of a sudden, a beautiful lady, dressed in a a flowing white cape with a hood, appeared. Her golden hair was piled high on her head, and in her hand she held a twinkling magic wand! She charmed a pumpkin and some mice and — poof!—a luxurious carriage with a team of dappled gray horses appeared. In an instant, her clothing turned to silk, and her shoes to twinkling glass. They were a gift from her fairy godmother, the beautiful old woman who granted her wish. This elder lady warned her to be home before midnight, as the magic would not last beyond that time. Then she was whisked to the palace. When she arrived, she was greeted by the prince himself. All evening, Cinderella danced with him as though she were in a dream. Suddenly, the clock chimed twelve and she fled, as light-footed as a fawn. But it was too late: as she ran from the palace, her gown became ragged and sooty, her coach and horses turned into a pumpkin and mice, and she was barefoot once more. Yet when she put her hand into the pocket of her apron, she felt one of the magical glass slippers! It had not broken. In the morning, her sisters chattered with news of the mysterious princess, who had fled the palace and lost a shoe. Soon they heard trumpeters outside and ran to listen to the announcement. The prince called for all young ladies to try on the slipper he had found. They must come to the palace at once. So Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters went to try it on. They were the last in line, and had watched as all of the other maidens squeezed and winced as they tried to wear the shoe. Now these two ugly sisters, with their wide-open eyes and and cruel mouths, could not put the slipper on either. When Cinderella appeared, and slipped the shoe right onto her foot, her stepmother's mouth squeezed into a a round, disapproving shape. One of her stepsisters scratched her chin, and squinted her eyes closed. She just could not believe it! The other stepsister opened her eyes wide and her mouth even wider and let out a screech. It just wasn't fair! she said. That's when the prince stepped forward, and watched as Cinderella drew the matching shoe from her pocket. When she put this on as well, he asked her to marry him. Now the fairy godmother appeared once more and twinkled her wand over the happy young couple. Cinderella's dress once more was transformed into radiance, its satin ruffles sparkling with jewels. The prince wore a frockcoat, and a triple row of ruffles down his front. He wore silk stockings and his shoes had large silver buckles upon them. He took her by the arm, and they went before the court. They were married the same day,and lived happily ever after.
From Cinderella ISBN 962-270-207-9 Published and Printed in Hong Kong.
Notes: The only English words in this entire book are the title and ISBN, above. Fortunately, I know the story!
Montessori Connection: Different Languages/Different Alphabets
1. Find a copy of the Cinderella story that is written in a language you do not speak. Prefereably, one with a different alphabet. Try Learn Japanese Through Fairy Tales Cinderella Level 1 (Foreign Language Through Fairy Tales) (Slangman Kids: Level 1) or Chinese Cinderella Japanese Language Book or A Cinderella Story Japanese Language Book.
2. Look at all of the pictures, very carefully.
3. Tell the story aloud to a friend, using the words that you think might be written there.
4. Now listen while your friend tells you the same story, as written in a different language, from a different book. Try Cinderella - Zolushka - Bilingual: Russian and English or Learn Hebrew Through Fairy Tales Cinderella Level 1 (Foreign Language Through Fairy Tales) (Slangman Kids: Level 1) or Congjui & Potjui (Korean Cinderella. Korean Folktales)