|The Book of Fables and Folk Stories|
|by Horace Elisha Scudder|
|A choice collection of old folk tales and fables, attractively arranged and illustrated. Between each of the longer tales appear several short fables, offering a varied reading experience for the young reader for whom it is intended. Ages 6-9 |
CINDERELLA, OR THE GLASS SLIPPER
CINDERELLA IN THE KITCHEN
ONCE upon a time there lived a man and his wife and one
beautiful daughter. The wife fell sick and died, and
some time after the father
 married again, for he needed
some one to take care of his child. The new wife
appeared very well before the wedding, but afterward
she showed a bad temper. She had two children of her
own, and they were proud and unkind like their mother.
They could not bear their gentle sister, and they made
her do all the hard work.
She washed the dishes, and scrubbed the stairs. She
swept the floor in my lady's chamber, and took care of
the rooms of the two pert misses. They slept on soft
beds in fine rooms, and had tall looking-glasses, so
that they could admire themselves from top to toe. She
lay on an old straw sack in the garret.
She bore all this without complaint. She did her work,
and then sat in the corner among the ashes and cinders.
So her two sisters gave her the name of Cinderella or
the cinder-maid. But Cinderella was really much more
beautiful than they; and she surely was more sweet and
Now the king's son gave a ball, and he invited all the
rich and the grand. Cinderella's two sisters were fine
ladies; they were to go to the ball. Perhaps they
would even dance with the prince. So they had new
gowns made, and they looked over all their finery.
 Here was fresh work for poor Cinderella. She must
starch their ruffles and iron their linen. All day
long they talked of nothing but their fine clothes.
"I shall wear my red velvet dress," said the elder,
"and trim it with my point lace."
"And I," said the younger sister, "shall wear a silk
gown, but I shall wear over it a gold brocade, and I
shall put on my diamonds. You have nothing so fine."
Then they began to quarrel over their clothes, and
Cinderella tried to make peace between them. She
helped them about their dresses, and offered to arrange
their hair on the night of the ball.
While she was thus busy, the sisters said to her:—
"And pray, Cinderella, would you like to go to the
"Nay," said the poor girl; "you are mocking me. It is
not for such as I to go to balls."
"True enough," they said. "Folks would laugh to see a
cinder-maid at a court ball."
Any one else would have dressed their hair ill to spite
them for their rudeness. But Cinderella was
good-natured, and only took more pains to make them
 The two sisters scarcely ate a morsel for two days
before the ball. They wished to look thin and
graceful. They lost their tempers over and over, and
they spent most of the time before their tall glasses.
There they turned and turned to see how they looked
behind, and how their long trains hung.
At last the evening came, and off they set in a coach.
Cinderella watched them till they were out of sight,
and then she sat down by the kitchen fire and began to
All at once her fairy godmother appeared, with her
"What are you crying for, my little maid?"
"I wish—I wish," began the poor girl, but her
voice was choked with tears.
"You wish that you could go to the ball?"
"Well, then, if you will be a good girl, you shall go.
Run quick and fetch me a pumpkin from the garden."
Cinderella flew to the garden and brought back the
finest pumpkin she could find. She could not guess
what use it would be, but the fairy scooped it hollow,
and then touched it with her wand. The pumpkin became
at once a splendid gilt coach.
 "Now fetch me the mouse-trap from the pantry."
In the mouse-trap were six sleek mice. The fairy
opened the door, and as they ran out she touched each
with her wand, and it became a gray horse. But what
was she to do for a coachman?
"We might look for a rat in the rat-trap," said
"That is a good thought. Run and bring the rat-trap,
Back came Cinderella with the trap. In it were three
large rats. The fairy chose one that had long black
whiskers, and she made him the coachman.
"Now go into the garden and bring me six lizards. You
will find them behind the water-pot."
These were no sooner brought than, lo! with a touch of
the wand they were turned into six footmen, who jumped
up behind the coach, as if they had done nothing else
all their days. Then the fairy said:—
"Here is your coach and six, Cinderella; your coachman
and your footmen. Now you can go to the ball."
"What! in these clothes?" and Cinderella
 looked down at
her ragged frock. The fairy laughed, and just touched
her with the wand. In a twinkling, her shabby clothes
were changed to a dress of gold and silver lace, and on
her bare feet were silk stockings and a pair of glass
slippers, the prettiest ever seen.
"Now go to the ball, Cinderella; but remember, if you
stay one moment after midnight, your coach will
instantly become a pumpkin, your horses will be mice,
your coachman a rat, and your footmen lizards. And
you? You will be once more only a cinder-maid in a
ragged frock and with bare feet."
CINDERELLA IN THE PALACE
 CINDERELLA promised and drove away in high glee. She
dashed up to the palace, and her coach was so fine that
the king's son came down the steps of the palace to
hand out this unknown princess. He led her to the hall
where all the guests were dancing.
The moment she appeared all voices were hushed, the
music stopped, and the dancers stood still. Such a
beautiful princess had never been seen! Even the king,
old as he was, turned to the queen and said:—
"She is the most beautiful being I ever saw—since
I first saw you!"
As for the ladies of the court, they were all busy
looking at Cinderella's clothes. They meant to get
some just like them the very next day, if possible.
The prince led Cinderella to the place of highest rank,
and asked her hand for the next dance. She danced with
so much grace that he admired her more and more.
Supper was brought in, but the prince could not keep
his eyes off the beautiful stranger. Cinderella went
and sat by her
 sisters, and shared with them the fruit
which the prince gave her. They were very proud to
have her by them, for they never dreamed who she really
Cinderella was talking with them, when she heard the
clock strike the quarter hour before twelve. She went
at once to the king and queen, and made them a low
courtesy and bade them good-night. The queen said
there was to be another ball the next night, and she
must come to that. The prince led her down the steps
to her coach, and she drove home.
At the house the fairy sat waiting for Cinderella. The
maiden began to tell all that had happened, and was in
the midst of her story, when a knock was heard at the
door. It was the sisters coming home from the ball.
The fairy disappeared, and Cinderella went to the door,
rubbing her eyes, as if she had just waked from a nap.
She was once more a poor little cinder-maid.
"How late you are!" she said, as she opened the door.
"If you had been to the ball, you would not have
thought it late," said her sisters. "There came the
most beautiful princess that ever was seen. She was
very polite to us, and loaded us with oranges and
 "Who was she?" asked Cinderella.
"Nobody knew her name. The prince would give his eyes
"Ah! how I should like to see her," said Cinderella.
"Oh, do, my Lady Javotte,"—that was the name of
the elder sister,—"lend me the yellow dress
that you wear every day, and let me go to the ball and
have a peep at the beautiful princess."
"What! lend my yellow gown to a cinder-maid! I am not
so silly as that."
Cinderella was not sorry to have Javotte say no; she
would have been puzzled to know what to do if her
sister had really lent her the dress she begged for.
The next night came, and the sisters again went to the
court ball. After they had gone, the fairy came as
before and made Cinderella ready.
"Now remember," she said, as the coach drove away,
"remember twelve o'clock."
Cinderella was even more splendid than on the first
night, and the king's son never left her side. He said
so many pretty things that Cinderella could think of
nothing else. She forgot the fairy's warning; she
forgot her promise. Eleven o'clock came, but she did
not notice the striking. The half-hour struck, but the
prince grew more charming, and Cinderella could hear
 his voice. The last quarter—but
still Cinderella sat by the prince.
Then the great clock on the tower struck the first
stroke of twelve. Up sprang Cinderella, and fled from
the room. The prince started to follow her, but she
was too swift for him; in her flight, one of her glass
slippers fell from her feet, and he stopped to pick it
The last stroke of twelve died away, as Cinderella
darted down the steps of the palace. In a twinkling
the gay lady was gone; only a shabby cinder-maid was
running down the steps. The splendid coach and six,
driver and footman,—all were gone; only a
pumpkin lay on the ground, and a rat, six mice, and six
lizards scampered off.
Cinderella reached home, quite out of breath. She had
saved nothing of all her finery but one little glass
slipper. The prince had its mate, but he had lost the
princess. He asked the soldiers at the palace gate if
they had not seen her drive away. No; at that hour
only a ragged girl had passed out.
Soon the two sisters came home from the ball, and
Cinderella asked them if they had again seen the
beautiful lady. Yes; she had been at the ball, but she
had left suddenly, and no one knew what had become of
her. But the prince would
 surely find her, for he had
one of her glass slippers.
They spoke truly. A few days afterward, the king's son
sent a messenger with a trumpet and the slipper through
all the city. The messenger sounded his trumpet and
shouted that the prince would marry the lady who could
wear the glass slipper. So the slipper was first tried
on by all the princesses; then by all the duchesses;
next by all the persons belonging to the court; but in
vain: not one could wear it.
Then it was carried to all the fine houses, and it came
at last to the two sisters. They tried with all their
might to force a foot into the fairy slipper, but they
could not. Cinderella stood by, and said:—
"Suppose I were to try." Her two sisters jeered at
her, but the messenger looked at Cinderella. He saw
that she was very fair, and, besides, he had orders to
try the slipper on the foot of every maiden in the
kingdom, if need were.
So he bade Cinderella sit down on a three-legged stool
in the kitchen. She put out her little foot, and the
slipper fitted like wax. The sisters stood in amaze.
Then Cinderella put her hand into her pocket and drew
forth the other glass slipper, and put it on her other
 The moment that Cinderella did this, the fairy, who
stood by unseen, touched her with her wand, and the
cinder-maid again became the beautiful, gayly dressed
lady. The sisters saw that she was the same one whom
they had seen at the ball. They thought how ill they
had treated her all these years, and they fell at her
feet and asked her to forgive them.
Cinderella was as good now as she had been when she was
a cinder-maid. She freely forgave her sisters, and
took them to the palace with her, for she was now to be
the prince's wife. And when the old king and queen
died, the prince and Cinderella became King and Queen.
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