Cinderella #267: J.Sainsbury's Pure Tea Picture Book (Dover)
|Doves flew in through the kitchen window.|
Once upon a time, there was a businessman who's first wife had died. The one he had taken in her place was "an unpleasant and proud woman". Both of her daughters were of the same disposition. Within days after the wedding, the woman ceased any kindness towards her stepdaughter. The girl was forced "to do all the dirty and menial chores around the house." Her only bed was a pile of straw, while her stepsisters slept on silk cushions. She was sustained in her hardships by "the doves that came in through the kitchen window" and kept her company. At each day's end, she slumped amongst the cinders from exhaustion. That is how her stepsisters got the idea to call her Cinderella. It happened one day that "the King's son gave a ball — but Cinderella was not allowed to go." At least, that's what her stepmother said. But when Cinderella was left alone, and sat down to cry, she heard a voice. It was her fairy godmother, who "asked her if she, too, would like to go to the ball." Of course she would! So the fairy "magically produced a beautiful dress and glass slippers for her". Then she transformed "a pumpkin, six mice, and a rat into a fine coach", pulled by six mouse-gray horses, and driven by a ratty, if natty, looking coachman. Now the fairy godmother "made Cinderella promise that she would return home from the ball before midnight." The consequences for ignoring this warning would be that "she would be changed back into raggedy old Cinderella right then and there", and the coach would once more be a pumpkin. Her horses would revert to being mice, and the coachman would grow a fine, long tail. When she got to the ball, the King's son "went to greet her, offered her his arm and led her into the great hall." They danced all evening, but then the beautiful girl ran away. The next night there was to be another ball, and Cinderella begged permission to attend that one as well. So the next evening she went, and this time, "she completely lost track of time." In her desperation to flee, she slipped and lost one of her lovely little slippers. Finding it later, the prince vowed to follow its owner. The next day, "he announced that he would marry the lady whom the slipper fitted." Soon, he came to the home of Cinderella. Of course her stepsisters tried it on first, and of course, it did not fit them. That's when Cinderella pulled out the other slipper, and put it on. All of a sudden, "her godmother appeared, and, waving her wand, changed Cinderella back into a beautiful princess." She and the prince were soon married, "and they had a very happy life together."
From: Cinderella: A Full Color Picture Book. (J.Sainsbury's Pure Tea/Dover, 1993)