|Illustrated by Lee, J.|
Once upon a time, "about 8:30, in the Land of Makebelieve, there lived a girl named
Cinderella."Although she had an usual appearance, she was not the most unusual person in the Land. Still, it must be said: "when she stood up, she looked like a seaplane." This was due to her extremely long feet. They were an unfortunate contrast to the dainty extremities of her "three beautiful stepsisters, Weeny, Whiny, and Moe". And they prevented her from enjoying lessons in ballet. She was hopeless at hopscotch. And her footwear bill? An enormous monthly sum. But worst of all was Cinderella's bad habit of leaving her shoes lying around. "The giant, smelly shoes would block doorways, stop traffic, and take up four parking spaces at the mall." The young lady did not make the guest list for the palace ball. When the big night came around, and her stepsisters were skipping with joy, Cinderella fumbled and fumed. She knew she couldn't go to the ball,but she had made other plans to go out. And she couldn't find one of her shoes. So her sisters cracked a few tired old jokes about Cinderella Bigfoot, and danced off to the palace. Cinderella lay down on the sofa and snapped on the TV. That's when "a cow wearing a blond wig and a pink tutu" poofed into position on top of the set. She was totally blocking Cinderella's view. "I'm Elsie, you Dairy Godmother!" said the cow, "and I'm here to send you to the ball." Cinderella told the cow that she had not been invited, but that didn't bother the little dairy fairy. She just waved her wand and made an invite shoot out of the mail slot. "I don't have a thing to wear." said Cinderella. The little cow flashed her wand again, and suddenly the girl found herself "wearing a glamorous, glittering, gown". But still Cinderella did not feel ready to go. She told the fairy that the reason she hadn't gone out in the first place was that she could only find one shoe. So, with a twirl of the wand, Cinderella's Dairy Godmother caused two sparkling glass sneakers to materialize on her feet. When the girl groaned, "I don't have a carriage!" the cow rolled her eyes and said, "Take the bus. One more thing: you have to be back before the stroke of midnight." And Cinderella was off. When she got to the palace, all eyes turned towards her. Everyone was pointing and saying, "Who's that funny-looking girl?" That's when "Prince Smeldred, who was quite funny looking himself" began to pay attention. He thought this new girl was a real doll. When he asked her to dance, she said, "Let's trip the lights fantastic, big boy!" and the two of them began to twirl the night away. But every other step, Cinderella smashed the prince's feet with her giant ones, and after a few minutes, it got too painful. "Maybe we'd better sit this one out." said Smeldred. They laughed and joked and chatted of this and that. Suddenly, the clock chimed for midnight. "I have to go.' shrieked Cinderella." When the prince called after her, "What is your name?" she yelled,"I'm late." Smeldred thought that was a very unusual name indeed. He tried to follow her, calling out that he needed a telephone number, or at least a mailing address, but it was too late. The great looking girl with the gigantic feet was gone. All she had left behind was "one glass sneaker, size 87 AAA, that blocked the doorway, so everyone had to leave through the back door." Determined to find his bigfooted beauty, Smeldred hauled that shoe all over the kingdom. It was so big that most girls could fit both feet, and both hands into it. Smeldred knew that they were not the girl he sought. When he finally got to Cinderella's house, Weeny climbed right into the shoe and hollered, "It fits!' 'Next!' said Smeldred." So Whiny and Moe jumped into the shoe at the same time, looking like a two headed mermaid with a very large, deformed tail. They beamed, but Smeldred was "feeling a little discouraged". That's when "Cinderella lumbered into the room" and said, "Oh! There's my other sneaker!" She put it on and started to walk away, but Smeldred grabbed her hand and said, "Will you marry me?" She thought for a moment, then said, "Only if you'll marry me." So Smeldred grabbed a doughnut from the buffet the stepmother had set up, pushed it onto Cinderella's finger, and gave her a kiss. Then "they rushed out the door to live happily ever after". So Weeny, Whiny, Moe, and their mom all grabbed doughnuts too, and sat down. "Just then, Elsie appeared on top of the refrigerator. 'The shoe must go on!" she declared, and "poured them each a glass of milk."
From Happily Ever Laughter: Cinderella Bigfoot, by Thaler, M. & Lee, J. (1997) New York: Scholastic Notes: I like the lovable cut-up of a prince, and the clumsy but lovely Cinderella. Also the three stepsisters, Weeny, Whiny, and Moe, evoke happy childhood memories of my favorite TV show, The Three Stooges. Who could forget Larry, Curly and Moe, and their adorable eye poking and head smashing? A child who watched such shows would most likely be prone to a violent career as an adult, maybe an overzealous club bouncer, or a California State prison guard. What DO I do? Oh. I'm a preschool teacher! No hitting allowed. And please don't eat the playdough.
Montessori Elementary Connection: Literature/Parody
1. Read this story, and think about how they have changed a traditional story to make it funny.
2. Find a Cinderella story that you like and change three things to make it funnier. Example: 1. The helper animal is a hippopotamus. 2. The stepsisters have names that rhyme. 3. The royal ball is a costume party, and the prince is dressed as a princess!