based on the original by Charles Perrault

There was once a gentleman and his wife who lived very happily with their daughter. She was always very good and obedient, but while she was still young, her mama died. After a time, when the girl was a bit older, her papa married another woman.

This woman was proud and mean. She also had two grown-up daughters who were just as horrible. The step mother and the step-sisters were cruel to the girl. They made her do all the housework, the cooking, and the washing. They took away her nice clothes and made her wear rags. But she didn’t complain. She worked hard and tried to stay happy. She was always dirty, so they called her Cinderella.

Once day, an invitation arrived for the sisters. The king’s son was having a ball at the palace! They were so excited. They spent the whole week deciding what to wear. They made Cinderella sew hundreds of beads onto their dresses. They made her curl their hair and help with their makeup. But not once did they think to invite her.

Poor Cinderella waved as the coach left for the ball. Her step-sisters looked beautiful. How she dreamt of going to the ball. She was so upset when she went back to the kitchen to clean, that she sat on the floor and cried!

While sobbing, she thought she could hear a ‘twinkling’ and looked around

Then, all of a sudden in a flash of sparkles, a fairy appeared in front of her!

“Cinderella, I am your godmother.”

Cinderella could hardly speak. She sat staring at this fairy which had just appeared in her kitchen.

“Why are you crying?” the fairy said.

“My sisters have gone to the prince’s ball and I would love so much to go, but I have nothing to wear and no way to get there.”

The fairy godmother said: Do what I say. Fetch me a pumpkin from your garden, four mice, two rats and six lizards.

Cinderella was confused by the request, but she ran off to find what she could. When she returned with the biggest, loveliest pumpkin she could find, the fairy had already found all the animals she needed. She gently tapped each one in turn with her wand. The pumpkin became a beautiful coach. The mice became fine horses. The rats became coachmen and the lizards became footmen! Everything was ready to leave and it all looked magical.

“How wonderful!”, said Cinderella, “but …what about my dress?”

“What about your dress?”

Cinderella looked down and realised that she, too, looked splendid. She was wearing a beautiful ball-gown embroidered with pearls and silver. And on her feet were the most perfect pair of glass slippers!

“Thank you, kind fairy godmother,” she said as she climbed onto the coach.

“Have a wonderful time, Cinderella. But remember, you must leave the ball before midnight. The magic ends then. All this goes back to normal at the stroke of twelve!”

“Before twelve!”

On her arrival, everyone stopped dancing to look at her; this beautiful woman. The prince gave her a courteous welcome and led her to the ball-room. They danced, and danced, and danced. The prince ignored the queue of women waiting to dance with him as he couldn’t take his eyes of this mysterious beauty.

Cinderella was enjoying herself so much that she didn’t notice when the clock struck a quarter to twelve. She had fallen in love with the prince. It was like a dream to her; the music, the dancing the…

To her sudden alarm, she heard the clock strike twelve! She stopped dancing and immediately ran out of the ball-room.

The prince tried to follow her, but didn’t see where she went.

She ran outside and down the steps towards the coach. But, on the way down, one of her beautiful glass slippers fell off. She didn’t have time to stop, so she jumped into the coach and away they sped.

They weren’t even quite home yet when the clock struck its twelfth bell and everything went back to normal. She found herself sitting on a pumpkin in the middle of the road, with rats, mice, and lizards running in all directions.

She got up, dusted herself off, and carried the pumpkin back to the house smiling at her wonderful evening.

When the sisters arrived home, they told her of the lovely ball and of this mysterious beautiful woman who kept the prince dancing all night. Then they told of how she suddenly ran out of the ball, dropping a glass slipper on the steps. The prince had announced that he would find the woman he loved. He would travel round the town the very next day to see whose foot fit the

“What are you smiling about?” asked one step-sister to Cinderella. She hadn’t noticed she was smiling,

“I’m pleased you had a nice time, that’s all,” she replied.

“Well, stop smiling and wash our dresses. And fetch us something splendid to wear for the prince’s visit tomorrow. We must look our best.”

Next morning, one after the other, every lady in the town tried desperately to fit their foot in to the dainty shoe.

The prince knocked on the door of Cinderella’s home and both the step-sisters rushed to open it, nearly knocking him flying.

“Come in, sir,” they said together.

The prince showed the ladies the shoe and they took turns trying the squeeze their big, clumsy feet into it.

“Careful, you’ll break it'” said one to the other.

When it was obvious that the slipper didn’t belong to either of the ladies, the prince started to leave. Just as he reached the door, he heard a charming voice say: May I try the shoe?

He turned, thinking he knew the voice. There stood a beautiful young lady wearing rags. He walked towards her, looking deep into her eyes. Are they the same eyes? He knelt down in front of her and she easily slid her dainty foot in the glass slipper. It fit perfectly! The prince smiled at his mysterious beauty and Cinderella smiled back.

Cinderella’s step-sisters where green with jealousy. “How could Cinderella be that beautiful woman from the ball? She’s only a cleaner! She’s not a lady of grace and importance. Choose one of us!”

But the Prince didn’t even hear them. He scooped Cinderella up into his arms and carried her to the awaiting coach, not taking his eyes off her for a moment.

Everyone celebrated that the prince had found his princess. Everyone except the step-sisters of course.

There was to be a wonderful wedding the following day and the whole town was invited to the palace.

Cinderella and the prince, of course, lived happily ever after.

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