Amazing Kids! Magazine

Cinders

By Georgina Armes, Age 12, England

 

Once upon a time, in the regions of the west, there was a happy young family. They were poor but pious, weak but trustworthy. The mother, who was the weakest, suddenly became ill, and eventually she died. Her last words were to her only child, nicked-named Cinders, because she was beautifully dark-skinned, with big round eyes and a lovely smile. So she called Cinders to her bedside, and said, “My dear child, be happy and youthful for the rest of your life, and I shall peacefully watch over you like the god of the sun.”

And then, she closed her eyes, and departed. Cinders cried over her mother, and promised to do her dying wish. She planted a flower in honour of her mother, a beautiful red rose that spread out its petals like the sun, as it watched over her.

A winter went by, the bitterest winter for a hundred years, and when it passed, the rose was the only plant in her father’s small garden still alive, prouder than ever. To Cinders, it symbolised her mother’s love, and that she still loved her, wherever she was.

And it was after that winter that a beautiful, blonde, young lady entered the father’s home. He instantly fell in love with her, and married her the next day. She brought with her into their lives riches, money, power and her two daughters. They had pretty, pale faces with big blue eyes and pursed lips, and they were glad of their looks, for they were both vain. However, they soon realised that Cinders was even more beautiful than them, and that made them jealous and cruel. They were used to getting their own way and winning everything – she was however, something they could not beat.

Cinders’ stepsisters made her work all day and night, to try and make her look tired and weary. When that didn’t succeed, they assumed she was putting on powder and make-up, to make her look young and playful, but when they searched her cupboard-room, they found none. Perplexed, the sisters worked her even harder, out of anger and spite, and there was nothing Cinders could do about it.

***

In the summer, the King’s annual ball was announced, and this year his son would be searching for a wife. Every young maiden in the country was invited, and every dressmaker was busy with orders for extravagant dresses and unique outfits.

For Cinders, she was constantly sewing petticoats and skirts for her demanding stepsisters. When her father asked her what kind of dress she wanted, his wife interrupted. “She cannot go. She is a disgrace to the family and a complete embarrassment! She must stay here and sweep the floors”. Cinders wept, for her mother had been planning for her to go to the ball before she died, and she wanted so much to go. But her angry stepmother would not give in.

On the night of the ball, her father escorted his stepdaughters to the King’s palace, and his wife followed, after giving a long list of chores for Cinders. “I want every single one done, if not, you will be in trouble”, she hissed cruelly. Once she had left, Cinders went out to the rose and cried on its roots. “Oh I wish I could go to the ball” she whispered to herself.

Cinders looked up as a petal fell off the tree. Suddenly, it swirled around her, getting faster and faster until it was just a blur, eventually stopping and falling into her lap. Then, in that spot appeared two golden slippers. Fascinated, Cinders put them on, and then at once she was in a sparkling dress made of silk, with little red roses adorned on it. Speechless, Cinders thanked the rose and ran out on to the road where, to her astonishment, a golden carriage was parked in front of her house! The door of her transport had a rose doorknob, and inside the velvet seat was patterned with the beautiful flower.

As she climbed in, Cinders spotted a golden tiara with rubies in the shape of roses set in it on the seat. By it was a note saying in swirling handwriting: ‘Do not lose your golden slippers. Love, Mum’.

***

When Cinders arrived, the eldest stepsister was dancing with the King’s son, but, as she made her way in, the Prince pushed her aside and approached Cinders. “You are my partner now, and I shall dance with no one else”, he told her, and led her on to the dance floor.

Meanwhile, Cinders’ family was outraged. The stepsisters saw that no matter how hard they tried, they were no longer going to get noticed by the King’s son. They decided to leave immediately.

Once Cinders had heard this she panicked. She knew that she had to be home before them. Desperately, she hurried away from the Prince and rushed to get out of the palace. As she was doing so, the guards raced after her, and caught her shoe. Cinders quickly ran out of sight as her beautiful dress turned into rags.

Thinking quickly, Cinders found some dirt by the servant entrance and rubbed it on her face, so that no one would recognise her. Then, she scurried out to the main entrance and tried the doors. Unfortunately, the doors were closed and locked to stop thieves and urchins getting in.

The King’s voiced boomed through the building. “No one is to leave the palace, for if they do they shall be arrested!” Poor Cinders had no choice but to go back to the main hall.

***

It was some time later, and the King’s son was still searching everyone to try and find the girl who fitted the tiny slipper. He was but two people away from Cinders, and she was worried that she would be sent away, for she still looked like a servant. Looking around suddenly, Cinders realised that her family was no longer in the room! They must have already tried on the shoe and been escorted out! They would be but a mere minute away from home now, and if they found Cinders gone they were sure to return at once.

It was nearly Cinders turn to try on the slipper. As the Prince turned to her, she waited with bated breath. At that moment, Cinders’ stepmother burst in and shouted, “Stop! Stop Sire! There is something you do not know!” At once, Cinders’ hope deflated like a hot air balloon. But it was too late, for as the stepmother ran towards her, the Prince slipped the slipper on her foot. “No!” the stepmother cried, anguished. But nothing happened. Just silence. Cinders was confused. Had her mother got it wrong? Was there no hope for her after all? Then she realised the truth. Cautiously, Cinders took a breath and brought out the other slipper. Everyone gasped as she tried it on, and she turned once more into a beautiful red rose, shining like the sun.

At once the Prince asked her to marry her. Cinders was delighted. She knew that her luck had finally changed and so she silently thanked her mother. As for her stepfamily, they were robbed of their riches one cold bitter night, the bitterest night for a hundred years, and they lived as beggars for the rest of their lives.