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  The Real Cinderella (Doll Article)

(January 18, 2007 by support Send DollMail )
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You know the story. A beautiful girl is reduced to wearing rags and scrubbing out the fireplace. A horrible stepmother and two ugly stepsisters torment her on a regular basis, and she only makes it to "happily ever after" with the help of the typical fairy godmother. Okay, Cinderella's not a bad story. We especially like the part where she gets to wear the beautiful ball gown and flirt with the prince. Some of us might even have hopes of meeting our own fairy godmother one of these days. But what if that isn't the real story?

The Real Story

Cinderella was a folk tale told by mouth long before anyone wrote it down. The Brothers Grimm are credited with being among the first to write down fairy tales, including Cinderella. In their version of Cinderella, which is simply the version mothers told their children for centuries, the story is much rougher than the polished version we know and love.

Cinderella's mother died, and her father remarries. The stepmother and stepsisters are beautiful on the outside, but ugly within. They torture Cinderella and make her work like a slave. Her father apparently has no problem with this in the original version.

Cinderella would go and visit her mother's grave two times a day, and her devotion and good nature were rewarded by a little bird in a tree there who threw down whatever she wished for. One day, there was an announcement that the King would host a three day festival. Cinderella wanted to go, but everyone laughed at her.

A Fairy...Bird?

She did go of course, but there was no fairy godmother. The bird by her mother's grave threw down a beautiful golden dress for her to wear and nobody recognized her at the festival. She danced with the prince all night long, but when she got tired, she had to run away from him because he wanted to walk her home to see where she lived.

The second night the same thing happened, but the bird threw down an even more beautiful golden and silver dress. The third and final night, the bird threw down the most beautiful golden dress anyone had ever seen and the golden slippers to match. The prince was on to her by now, and had the stairs smeared with sticky pitch before she could try and run away. She did run away but lost a golden (not glass) slipper.

Beauty is Pain

The prince takes the golden slipper to find his true bride. The stepsisters each get a turn and of course it doesn't fit. The first stepsister's toes are too big. The stepmother advises her to cut off her toe since the girl won't need to walk when she is queen. The daughter does so, and almost gets away with it, but the bird in the tree tattles on her. The prince returns the bleeding stepsister and tries again.

The second stepsister cuts off part of her heel to fit the slipper. Again, the bird rats her out and she gets returned. Finally, Cinderella gets her turn, even though her own father tries to tell the prince she's too dirty to be seen. Of course, the slipper fits and they ride off together into the sunset. But...the story doesn't end there.

The Lesson

Believe it or not, fairy tales were used to teach lessons to children all those years ago. Cinderella is no exception. By now, you've noticed she was showered with gifts for being so devoted to her dear mother and being pure of heart. Her stepsisters however, were not so pure in their intentions. Hundreds of years ago, nobody had any trouble punishing the bad – and I'm not talking about a time-out.

So, despite missing part of their feet, the stepsisters raced to the palace to share in Cinderella's fortune. At her wedding they stood on either side of her. Unfortunately for them, fairy birds hold a grudge. Each stepsister had her eyes pecked out by birds. As the Brothers Grimm so eloquently put it, "for their wickedness and falsehood, they were punished with blindness as long as they lived." - Ouch.

Of course we can't expect designer jeans to fall out of trees simply by being nice to others. It would be great, of course, but severely unlikely. Likewise, it is pretty safe to say that birds won't peck out your eyes for being mean to your little brother yesterday – you hope. The powerful lesson remains, however - what goes around, comes around. Good is rewarded and bad is punished. Now, where have I heard that before?



Comments
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BuffySamara

23/Female
United Kingdom
Posted On: August 28, 2007
wow that's a great version best one i heard yet
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pisces12

20/Female
Canada
Posted On: January 30, 2007
Yeah, the above is a cinderella version by the brothers Grimm, but it's not called Cinderella, it's called Ashenputtel. I should know, I have the book that it's in.

PS: Ever After is awesome. I saw it on TV once.
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SilverLily22

25/Female
Zionsville, IN
Posted On: January 29, 2007
There are actually a lot of great Cinderella stories from all around the world. It's one of the most famous fairy tales of all time. There are over 700 versions of it and the oldest version is from ancient China! The version told above is by the Grimm brothers. The Disney version is more based on the French version by Charles Perrault, which was much nicer than the German version.
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mexicanblondie

23/Female
San Leandro, CA
Posted On: January 22, 2007
cool!!
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X_CrIsTiNa_X

24/Female
Mexico
Posted On: January 20, 2007
I read in a magazine that the first Cinderella was a tale from china and it was a fish.
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Angel7733

21/Female
Antarctica
Posted On: January 19, 2007
that's heaps cool. if you go to http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0510a.html there r heaps of versions, worth checking out! (needed it for a school thing)
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FantasyFreak92

22/Female
Posted On: January 19, 2007
that was interesting my school is doing the play cinderella. n1 wanna come? its in East Greenwich RI
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LonelyBrunette

23/Female
West Caldwell, NJ
Posted On: January 19, 2007
cute ¢¾
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pixie123

24/Female
Antarctica
Posted On: January 18, 2007
that was good
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sk8r_grl_

25/Female
Madisonville, TX
Posted On: January 18, 2007
That was so awesome! and i have a realy funny version by Roald Dahl. But Cind dosn't marry the prince, and the step-sisters get there heads cut off. EEWWW! But its funny, in a gross cinda way. you get a A+
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Xiaolin_Showdo

21/Female
AZ
Posted On: January 18, 2007
Kewl! Never heard that version!
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Knewgirl

23/Female
New Zealand
Posted On: January 18, 2007
oh and does that book chinese cinderella count even if it is about the authors life????
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Knewgirl

23/Female
New Zealand
Posted On: January 18, 2007
cool i loved it but is there other versions of other fairy tales becuase i have quite a few books but they are all the nice versions ^_^ but its the same with me as maxblinkwednes i have heard so many diffrent sleeping beauty stories but i dont know which one is true???
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evenstr

22/Female
Canton, OH
Posted On: January 18, 2007
Wait a second... what about the Charles Perrault version? He may have come later in history, but all it shows is the cultural differences between his time and the time of the Brothers' Grimm. Perrault heard it from his servents. Since he lived in France and the Grimm brothers lived in Germany, the time and cultural difference can't be ignored. I think it is wrong to say that one Cinderella is the "right" one, considering each version is a product of its time. The fact is, we can't ignore that the very first written version of Cinderella is from China. And besides, who knows where it even originated. Good article though! I love the story of Cinderella and it is nice that its finally getting some attention.
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Deutsch_Ihr

24/Female
Canada
Posted On: January 18, 2007
I've always loved the...darker...versions of Fairy Tales. The watered-down Disney versions (however good) lose the lession originally supposed to be taught.
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