the other Emily, age 4.
Note: This story is not meant to be read to preschoolers. Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Cinderella. Her mommy was dead and her daddy was dopey. He got married again and brought home a new mommy for Cinderella. But she was mean mommy! Every morning, little Cindy had to sweep the ashes from the hearth, scrub the kitchen floor and start the washing machine. Then her bad step-mommy took her to preschool, where she had to stay for the whole day. Her dopey daddy did not even have a job and he still made Cindy go to preschool every day. And it was not the nice kind of preschool, where you get to play with playdo and baby dolls and ride trikes and paint pictures. It was the yucky kind, with teachers who were even meaner than step-mommy. Especially Mr. Teacher Man. Oh, was he mean! Every day he cooked lunch for the children. This might sound like a nice thing to do, but when you are a terrible cook, and a cheap-skate to boot, then it is not nice to cook for people. To make it worse, he only cooked the kind of food that he liked, never the kind the children like. His favorite dish was called Spicy Rice. All the children hated it! For one thing, he used white rice, when everyone knows that the brown kind has more vitamins. Didn't Mr. Teacher Man want the children to be healthy? Well, he said he did, but what he wanted more was to have lots of money. And the more he spent on lunch, the less he had to jingle in his pockets. So he made Spicy Rice every day and then he made everyone eat it. The kids who refused were sent down to Baby Town, where Mr. Teacher Man squeezed their noses until they opened their mouths. Then he shoveled the food in, fast, so that they could not spit it out. The children did not like this. Mr. Teacher Man said that he would give them a choice: they could have Spicy Rice shoveled down their throats or they could go hungry. That was a hard choice for a little kid to make, but that's what they had to do. Cinderella said it was an easy choice: go hungry. Mr. Teacher Man could never make her eat, even if she got dead from never eating. That is what she told him. When Cinderella got home from preschool each evening, Mean Step Mommy and Daddy went into their office and closed the door. It was Cinderella's job to cook dinner. This is not really an appropriate activity for a preschool aged child, but they told Cinderella that she could have a choice: cook dinner or go hungry. Since she chose go hungry every day at lunch time, she chose to cook dinner every night at dinner time. She really did not want to get dead no matter what she said to Mr. Teacher Man, so she had learned how to make meals. She could open the refrigerator quite easily, now that she was almost four years old. It was full of foods of all colors, and Cinderella enjoyed picking out different shades to cook. She could not read, of course, so she had to taste the food to learn what it was. Her favorite dish was called Ants on a Log. She had seen pictures of this recipe at preschool, and memorized it: take one stick celery, 4 tablespoons peanut butter, and twelve raisins. Spread the peanut butter on the celery stick. Stick the raisins in a line down the middle. Cinderella's parents had learned to like the dish too. It happened one day that while Cinderella was spreading peanut butter on the celery sticks, Mean Step Mommy received a text message. Cinderella knew this because Mommy had left her iphone on the kitchen counter and it made that funny sound that meant there might be an interesting picture to look at or a note from one of Mean Step Mommy's friends. Cindy knew which buttons to push to see the message. She had seen Mommy do it so many, many times. Now she touched the screen and saw a funny man talking. He was wearing a shiny golden crown and telling Step Mommy something about a ball. Now Cinderella loved balls, but she never got the chance to play at preschool. There had been only one ball and when one of the big girls kicked it over the fence Mr. Teacher Man said, "Bye bye, ball!". So now they had none. Cindy watched the funny man, then pressed the button and watched him again. Then she carefully pressed twelve raisins down each celery stick, laid two of them on a plate, grabbed the third, and walked out the front door. She was going to play with balls! She hoped that they would be the big, bouncy red kind, but she would not mind if they were only the fuzzy green kind she had seen people throwing at dogs. When Cindy got to the house she had seen in the video, everyone turned and stared at her, like they had never seen a four year old child carrying a half-eaten celery stick with peanut butter and raisins on it before. Then they all started shouting at her, and one lady grabbed her, hard, by the arm. That's when Cinderella heard a voice. It said, "Stop! Stop! Stop!" about a hundred times in a row. And then things happened very fast. A small boy with red hair ran, super-hecka-fast over to the lady who had grabbed the kid with the sticky food. He pulled on the lady's dress and said,"Let go let go let go let go!". Cinderella was really impressed with how well the boy used his words. The lady let go of her arm and Cinderella gave the boy with the red hair a big kiss, right on the mouth. Then the little boy punched Cinderella, right in the nose! So she ran away. But when she ran, she lost one of her little pink Crocs. She did not care! She was getting out of there, even though she had not had a turn yet to play with the balls. She had not run very far when the boy caught up with her. He was running super-hecka-fast. When he was next to Cinderella she asked him, "Why did you punch me right in the nose?" and the boy said, "Sorry for punching you right in the nose. Can I have some of your Ants on a Log?". Cinderella said, "Sure!" and gave him six raisins. The boy was really impressed with how well Cinderella shared. "Do you want to come to my house and play with me?" he asked the sticky girl. Then he threw her little pink Croc at her and ran away. Cinderella liked this boy. She picked up her Croc and carried it back to the boy's house. They went into the back yard and there Cinderella saw lots and lots of little children, all bouncing balls and kicking balls and throwing balls. Everyone was laughing and a nice lady was passing out popsicles. She gave one to Cinderella and said, "I am your fairy preschool teacher. Would you like to stay here and do play do and ride bikes and play ball and eat popsicles with us?" Cinderella nodded. She never went home again, and Mean Step Mommy and Dopey Daddy didn't even miss her. Cinderella certainly did not miss them, and they died of the flu the next winter. Nobody came to their funeral. Mr. Teacher Man finally got busted by Community Care Licensing. His preschool was shut down and he was put in jail and given a choice: go hungry or have Spicy Rice shoveled into his mouth while the Big Policeman squeezed his nose. But Cinderella and the little boy became best friends and lived happily ever after.
Notes: Take it from this preschool teacher: call licensing and check out the school's history of complaints before leaving your kid there. Yeah, yeah, I know. Your school is the greatest and the director is great with kids. Tell me about it. Then make that call.