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CinderellaandWhyIWantaWife

WHY I WANT A WIFE By Judy Brady I belong to that classification of people known as wives. I am A Wife. And, not altogether incidentally, I am a mother. Not too long ago a male friend of mine appeared on the scene fresh from a recent divorce. He had one child, who is, of course, with his ex-wife. He is looking for another wife. As I thought about him while I was ironing one evening, it suddenly occurred to me that I, too, would like to have a wife. Why do I want a wife?I would like to go back to school so that I can become economically independent, support myself, and, if need be, support those dependent upon me. I want a wife who will work and send me to school. And while I am going to school, I want a wife to take care of my children. I want a wife to keep track of the children’s doctor and dentist appointments. And to keep track of mine, too. I want a wife to make sure my children eat properly and are kept clean. I want a wife who will wash the children’s clothes and keep them mended. I want a wife who is a good nurturant attendant to my children, who arranges for their schooling, makes sure that they have an adequate social life with their peers, takes them to the park, the zoo, etc. I want a wife who takes care of the children when they are sick, a wife who arranges to be around when the children need special care, because, of course, I cannot miss classes at school. My wife must arrange to lose time at work and not lose the job. It may mean a small cut in my wife’s income from time to time, but I guess I can tolerate that. Needless to say, my wife will arrange and pay for the care of the children while my wife is working. I want a wife who will take care of my physical needs. I want a wife who will keep my house clean. A wife who will pick up after my children, a wife who will pick up after me. I want a wife who will keep my clothes clean, ironed, mended, replaced when need be, and who will see to it that my personal things are kept in their proper place so that I can find what I need the minute I need it. I want a wife who cooks the meals, a wife who is a good cook. I want a wife who will plan the menus, do the necessary grocery shopping, prepare the meals, serve them pleasantly, and then do the cleaning up while I do my studying. I want a wife who will care for me when I am sick and sympathize with my pain and loss of time from school. I want a wife to go along when our family takes a vacation so that someone can continue to care for me and my children when I need a rest and change of scene. I want a wife who will not bother me with rambling complaints about a wife’s duties. But I want a wife who will listen to me when I feel the need to explain a rather difficult point I have come across in my course studies. And I want a wife who will type my papers for me when I have written them.I want a wife who will take care of the details of my social life. When my wife and I are invited out by my friends, I want a wife who will take care of the baby-sitting arrangements. When I meet people at school that I like and want to entertain, I want a wife who will have the house clean, will prepare a special meal, serve it to me and my friends, and not interrupt when I talk about things that interest me and my friends. I want a wife who will have arranged that the children are fed and ready for bed before my guests arrive so that the children do not bother us. I want a wife who takes care of the needs of my guests so that they feel comfortable, who makes sure that they have an ashtray, that they are passed the hors d’oeuvres, that they are offered a second helping of the food, that their wine glasses are replenished when necessary, that their coffee is served to them as they like it. And I want a wife who knows that sometimes I need a night out by myself. I want a wife who is sensitive to my sexual needs, a wife who makes love passionately and eagerly when I feel like it, a wife who makes sure that I am satisfied. And, of course, I want a wife who will not demand sexual attention when I am not in the mood for it. I want a wife who assumes the complete responsibility for birth control, because I do not want more children. I want a wife who will remain sexually faithful to me so that I do not have to clutter up my intellectual life with jealousies. And I want a wife who understands that my sexual needs may entail more than strict adherence to monogamy. I must, after all, be able to relate to people as fully as possible. If, by chance, I find another person more suitable as a wife than the wife I already have, I want the liberty to replace my present wife with another one. Naturally, I will expect a fresh, new life; my wife will take the children and be solely responsible for them so that I am left free. When I am through with school and have a job, I want my wife to quit working and remain at home so that my wife can more fully and completely take care of a wife’s duties. My God, who wouldn’t want a wife?-Ms. Magazine, 1972CinderellaJacob and Wilhelm GrimmA rich man’s wife became sick, and when she felt that her end was drawing near, she called her only daughter to her bedside and said, “Dear child, remain pious and good, and then our dear God will always protect you, and I will look down on you from heaven and be near you.” With this she closed her eyes and died.The girl went out to her mother’s grave every day and wept, and she remained pious and good. When winter came the snow spread a white cloth over the grave, and when the spring sun had removed it again, the man took himself another wife.This wife brought two daughters into the house with her. They were beautiful, with fair faces, but evil and dark hearts. Times soon grew very bad for the poor stepchild.”Why should that stupid goose sit in the parlor with us?” they said. “If she wants to eat bread, then she will have to earn it. Out with this kitchen maid!”They took her beautiful clothes away from her, dressed her in an old gray smock, and gave her wooden shoes. “Just look at the proud princess! How decked out she is!” they shouted and laughed as they led her into the kitchen.There she had to do hard work from morning until evening, get up before daybreak, carry water, make the fires, cook, and wash. Besides this, the sisters did everything imaginable to hurt her. They made fun of her, scattered peas and lentils into the ashes for her, so that she had to sit and pick them out again. In the evening when she had worked herself weary, there was no bed for her. Instead she had to sleep by the hearth in the ashes. And because she always looked dusty and dirty, they called her Cinderella.One day it happened that the father was going to the fair, and he asked his two stepdaughters what he should bring back for them.”Beautiful dresses,” said the one.”Pearls and jewels,” said the other.”And you, Cinderella,” he said, “what do you want?””Father, break off for me the first twig that brushes against your hat on your way home.”So he bought beautiful dresses, pearls, and jewels for his two stepdaughters. On his way home, as he was riding through a green thicket, a hazel twig brushed against him and knocked off his hat. Then he broke off the twig and took it with him. Arriving home, he gave his stepdaughters the things that they had asked for, and he gave Cinderella the twig from the hazel bush.Cinderella thanked him, went to her mother’s grave, and planted the branch on it, and she wept so much that her tears fell upon it and watered it. It grew and became a beautiful tree.Cinderella went to this tree three times every day, and beneath it she wept and prayed. A white bird came to the tree every time, and whenever she expressed a wish, the bird would throw down to her what she had wished for.Now it happened that the king proclaimed a festival that was to last three days. All the beautiful young girls in the land were invited, so that his son could select a bride for himself. When the two stepsisters heard that they too had been invited, they were in high spirits.They called Cinderella, saying, “Comb our hair for us. Brush our shoes and fasten our buckles. We are going to the festival at the king’s castle.”Cinderella obeyed, but wept, because she too would have liked to go to the dance with them. She begged her stepmother to allow her to go.”You, Cinderella?” she said. “You, all covered with dust and dirt, and you want to go to the festival?. You have neither clothes nor shoes, and yet you want to dance!”However, because Cinderella kept asking, the stepmother finally said, “I have scattered a bowl of lentils into the ashes for you. If you can pick them out again in two hours, then you may go with us.”The girl went through the back door into the garden, and called out, “You tame pigeons, you turtledoves, and all you birds beneath the sky, come and help me to gather:The good ones go into the pot,The bad ones go into your crop.”Two white pigeons came in through the kitchen window, and then the turtledoves, and finally all the birds beneath the sky came whirring and swarming in, and lit around the ashes. The pigeons nodded their heads and began to pick, pick, pick, pick. And the others also began to pick, pick, pick, pick. They gathered all the good grains into the bowl. Hardly one hour had passed before they were finished, and they all flew out again.The girl took the bowl to her stepmother, and was happy, thinking that now she would be allowed to go to the festival with them.But the stepmother said, “No, Cinderella, you have no clothes, and you don’t know how to dance. Everyone would only laugh at you.”Cinderella began to cry, and then the stepmother said, “You may go if you are able to pick two bowls of lentils out of the ashes for me in one hour,” thinking to herself, “She will never be able to do that.”The girl went through the back door into the garden, and called out, “You tame pigeons, you turtledoves, and all you birds beneath the sky, come and help me to gather:The good ones go into the pot,The bad ones go into your crop.”Two white pigeons came in through the kitchen window, and then the turtledoves, and finally all the birds beneath the sky came whirring and swarming in, and lit around the ashes. The pigeons nodded their heads and began to pick, pick, pick, pick. And the others also began to pick, pick, pick, pick. They gathered all the good grains into the bowls. Before a half hour had passed they were finished, and they all flew out again.The girl took the bowls to her stepmother, and was happy, thinking that now she would be allowed to go to the festival with them.But the stepmother said, “It’s no use. You are not coming with us, for you have no clothes, and you don’t know how to dance. We would be ashamed of you.” With this she turned her back on Cinderella, and hurried away with her two proud daughters.Now that no one else was at home, Cinderella went to her mother’s grave beneath the hazel tree, and cried out:Shake and quiver, little tree,Throw gold and silver down to me.Then the bird threw a gold and silver dress down to her, and slippers embroidered with silk and silver. She quickly put on the dress and went to the festival.Her stepsisters and her stepmother did not recognize her. They thought she must be a foreign princess, for she looked so beautiful in the golden dress. They never once thought it was Cinderella, for they thought that she was sitting at home in the dirt, looking for lentils in the ashes.The prince approached her, took her by the hand, and danced with her. Furthermore, he would dance with no one else. He never let go of her hand, and whenever anyone else came and asked her to dance, he would say, “She is my dance partner.”She danced until evening, and then she wanted to go home. But the prince said, “I will go along and escort you,” for he wanted to see to whom the beautiful girl belonged. However, she eluded him and jumped into the pigeon coop. The prince waited until her father came, and then he told him that the unknown girl had jumped into the pigeon coop.The old man thought, “Could it be Cinderella?”He had them bring him an ax and a pick so that he could break the pigeon coop apart, but no one was inside. When they got home Cinderella was lying in the ashes, dressed in her dirty clothes. A dim little oil-lamp was burning in the fireplace. Cinderella had quickly jumped down from the back of the pigeon coop and had run to the hazel tree. There she had taken off her beautiful clothes and laid them on the grave, and the bird had taken them away again. Then, dressed in her gray smock, she had returned to the ashes in the kitchen.The next day when the festival began anew, and her parents and her stepsisters had gone again, Cinderella went to the hazel tree and said:Shake and quiver, little tree,Throw gold and silver down to me.Then the bird threw down an even more magnificent dress than on the preceding day. When Cinderella appeared at the festival in this dress, everyone was astonished at her beauty. The prince had waited until she came, then immediately took her by the hand, and danced only with her. When others came and asked her to dance with them, he said, “She is my dance partner.”When evening came she wanted to leave, and the prince followed her, wanting to see into which house she went. But she ran away from him and into the garden behind the house. A beautiful tall tree stood there, on which hung the most magnificent pears. She climbed as nimbly as a squirrel into the branches, and the prince did not know where she had gone. He waited until her father came, then said to him, “The unknown girl has eluded me, and I believe she has climbed up the pear tree.The father thought, “Could it be Cinderella?” He had an ax brought to him and cut down the tree, but no one was in it. When they came to the kitchen, Cinderella was lying there in the ashes as usual, for she had jumped down from the other side of the tree, had taken the beautiful dress back to the bird in the hazel tree, and had put on her gray smock.On the third day, when her parents and sisters had gone away, Cinderella went again to her mother’s grave and said to the tree:Shake and quiver, little tree,Throw gold and silver down to me.This time the bird threw down to her a dress that was more splendid and magnificent than any she had yet had, and the slippers were of pure gold. When she arrived at the festival in this dress, everyone was so astonished that they did not know what to say. The prince danced only with her, and whenever anyone else asked her to dance, he would say, “She is my dance partner.”When evening came Cinderella wanted to leave, and the prince tried to escort her, but she ran away from him so quickly that he could not follow her. The prince, however, had set a trap. He had had the entire stairway smeared with pitch. When she ran down the stairs, her left slipper stuck in the pitch. The prince picked it up. It was small and dainty, and of pure gold.The next morning, he went with it to the man, and said to him, “No one shall be my wife except for the one whose foot fits this golden shoe.”The two sisters were happy to hear this, for they had pretty feet. With her mother standing by, the older one took the shoe into her bedroom to try it on. She could not get her big toe into it, for the shoe was too small for her. Then her mother gave her a knife and said, “Cut off your toe. When you are queen you will no longer have to go on foot.”The girl cut off her toe, forced her foot into the shoe, swallowed the pain, and went out to the prince. He took her on his horse as his bride and rode away with her. However, they had to ride past the grave, and there, on the hazel tree, sat the two pigeons, crying out:Rook di goo, rook di goo!There’s blood in the shoe.The shoe is too tight,This bride is not right!Then he looked at her foot and saw how the blood was running from it. He turned his horse around and took the false bride home again, saying that she was not the right one, and that the other sister should try on the shoe. She went into her bedroom, and got her toes into the shoe all right, but her heel was too large.Then her mother gave her a knife, and said, “Cut a piece off your heel. When you are queen you will no longer have to go on foot.”The girl cut a piece off her heel, forced her foot into the shoe, swallowed the pain, and went out to the prince. He took her on his horse as his bride and rode away with her. When they passed the hazel tree, the two pigeons were sitting in it, and they cried out:Rook di goo, rook di goo!There’s blood in the shoe.The shoe is too tight,This bride is not right!He looked down at her foot and saw how the blood was running out of her shoe, and how it had stained her white stocking all red. Then he turned his horse around and took the false bride home again.”This is not the right one, either,” he said. “Don’t you have another daughter?””No,” said the man. “There is only a deformed little Cinderella from my first wife, but she cannot possibly be the bride.”The prince told him to send her to him, but the mother answered, “Oh, no, she is much too dirty. She cannot be seen.”But the prince insisted on it, and they had to call Cinderella. She first washed her hands and face clean, and then went and bowed down before the prince, who gave her the golden shoe. She sat down on a stool, pulled her foot out of the heavy wooden shoe, and put it into the slipper, and it fitted her perfectly.When she stood up the prince looked into her face, and he recognized the beautiful girl who had danced with him. He cried out, “She is my true bride.”The stepmother and the two sisters were horrified and turned pale with anger. The prince, however, took Cinderella onto his horse and rode away with her. As they passed by the hazel tree, the two white pigeons cried out:Rook di goo, rook di goo!No blood’s in the shoe.The shoe’s not too tight,This bride is right!After they had cried this out, they both flew down and lit on Cinderella’s shoulders, one on the right, the other on the left, and remained sitting there.When the wedding with the prince was to be held, the two false sisters came, wanting to gain favor with Cinderella and to share her good fortune. When the bridal couple walked into the church, the older sister walked on their right side and the younger on their left side, and the pigeons pecked out one eye from each of them. Afterwards, as they came out of the church, the older one was on the left side, and the younger one on the right side, and then the pigeons pecked out the other eye from each of them. And thus, for their wickedness and falsehood, they were punished with blindness as long as they lived.Cinderella; or, The Little Glass SlipperFrance (Charles Perrault)Once there was a gentleman who married, for his second wife, the proudest and most haughty woman that was ever seen. She had, by a former husband, two daughters of her own, who were, indeed, exactly like her in all things. He had likewise, by another wife, a young daughter, but of unparalleled goodness and sweetness of temper, which she took from her mother, who was the best creature in the world.No sooner were the ceremonies of the wedding over but the stepmother began to show herself in her true colors. She could not bear the good qualities of this pretty girl, and the less because they made her own daughters appear the more odious. She employed her in the meanest work of the house. She scoured the dishes, tables, etc., and cleaned madam’s chamber, and those of misses, her daughters. She slept in a sorry garret, on a wretched straw bed, while her sisters slept in fine rooms, with floors all inlaid, on beds of the very newest fashion, and where they had looking glasses so large that they could see themselves at their full length from head to foot.The poor girl bore it all patiently, and dared not tell her father, who would have scolded her; for his wife governed him entirely. When she had done her work, she used to go to the chimney corner, and sit down there in the cinders and ashes, which caused her to be called Cinderwench. Only the younger sister, who was not so rude and uncivil as the older one, called her Cinderella. However, Cinderella, notwithstanding her coarse apparel, was a hundred times more beautiful than her sisters, although they were always dressed very richly.It happened that the king’s son gave a ball, and invited all persons of fashion to it. Our young misses were also invited, for they cut a very grand figure among those of quality. They were mightily delighted at this invitation, and wonderfully busy in selecting the gowns, petticoats, and hair dressing that would best become them. This was a new difficulty for Cinderella; for it was she who ironed her sister’s linen and pleated their ruffles. They talked all day long of nothing but how they should be dressed.”For my part,” said the eldest, “I will wear my red velvet suit with French trimming.””And I,” said the youngest, “shall have my usual petticoat; but then, to make amends for that, I will put on my gold-flowered cloak, and my diamond stomacher, which is far from being the most ordinary one in the world.”They sent for the best hairdresser they could get to make up their headpieces and adjust their hairdos, and they had their red brushes and patches from Mademoiselle de la Poche.They also consulted Cinderella in all these matters, for she had excellent ideas, and her advice was always good. Indeed, she even offered her services to fix their hair, which they very willingly accepted. As she was doing this, they said to her, “Cinderella, would you not like to go to the ball?””Alas!” said she, “you only jeer me; it is not for such as I am to go to such a place.””You are quite right,” they replied. “It would make the people laugh to see a Cinderwench at a ball.”Anyone but Cinderella would have fixed their hair awry, but she was very good, and dressed them perfectly well. They were so excited that they hadn’t eaten a thing for almost two days. Then they broke more than a dozen laces trying to have themselves laced up tightly enough to give them a fine slender shape. They were continually in front of their looking glass. At last the happy day came. They went to court, and Cinderella followed them with her eyes as long as she could. When she lost sight of them, she started to cry.Her godmother, who saw her all in tears, asked her what was the matter.”I wish I could. I wish I could.” She was not able to speak the rest, being interrupted by her tears and sobbing.This godmother of hers, who was a fairy, said to her, “You wish that you could go to the ball; is it not so?””Yes,” cried Cinderella, with a great sigh.”Well,” said her godmother, “be but a good girl, and I will contrive that you shall go.” Then she took her into her chamber, and said to her, “Run into the garden, and bring me a pumpkin.”Cinderella went immediately to gather the finest she could get, and brought it to her godmother, not being able to imagine how this pumpkin could help her go to the ball. Her godmother scooped out all the inside of it, leaving nothing but the rind. Having done this, she struck the pumpkin with her wand, and it was instantly turned into a fine coach, gilded all over with gold.She then went to look into her mousetrap, where she found six mice, all alive, and ordered Cinderella to lift up a little the trapdoor. She gave each mouse, as it went out, a little tap with her wand, and the mouse was that moment turned into a fine horse, which altogether made a very fine set of six horses of a beautiful mouse colored dapple gray.Being at a loss for a coachman, Cinderella said, “I will go and see if there is not a rat in the rat trap that we can turn into a coachman.””You are right,” replied her godmother, “Go and look.”Cinderella brought the trap to her, and in it there were three huge rats. The fairy chose the one which had the largest beard, touched him with her wand, and turned him into a fat, jolly coachman, who had the smartest whiskers that eyes ever beheld.After that, she said to her, “Go again into the garden, and you will find six lizards behind the watering pot. Bring them to me.”She had no sooner done so but her godmother turned them into six footmen, who skipped up immediately behind the coach, with their liveries all bedaubed with gold and silver, and clung as close behind each other as if they had done nothing else their whole lives. The fairy then said to Cinderella, “Well, you see here an equipage fit to go to the ball with; are you not pleased with it?””Oh, yes,” she cried; “but must I go in these nasty rags?”Her godmother then touched her with her wand, and, at the same instant, her clothes turned into cloth of gold and silver, all beset with jewels. This done, she gave her a pair of glass slippers, the prettiest in the whole world. Being thus decked out, she got up into her coach; but her godmother, above all things, commanded her not to stay past midnight, telling her, at the same time, that if she stayed one moment longer, the coach would be a pumpkin again, her horses mice, her coachman a rat, her footmen lizards, and that her clothes would become just as they were before.She promised her godmother to leave the ball before midnight; and then drove away, scarcely able to contain herself for joy. The king’s son, who was told that a great princess, whom nobody knew, had arrived, ran out to receive her. He gave her his hand as she alighted from the coach, and led her into the hall, among all the company. There was immediately a profound silence. Everyone stopped dancing, and the violins ceased to play, so entranced was everyone with the singular beauties of the unknown newcomer.Nothing was then heard but a confused noise of, “How beautiful she is! How beautiful she is!”The king himself, old as he was, could not help watching her, and telling the queen softly that it was a long time since he had seen so beautiful and lovely a creature.All the ladies were busied in considering her clothes and headdress, hoping to have some made next day after the same pattern, provided they could find such fine materials and as able hands to make them.The king’s son led her to the most honorable seat, and afterwards took her out to dance with him. She danced so very gracefully that they all more and more admired her. A fine meal was served up, but the young prince ate not a morsel, so intently was he busied in gazing on her.She went and sat down by her sisters, showing them a thousand civilities, giving them part of the oranges and citrons which the prince had presented her with, which very much surprised them, for they did not know her. While Cinderella was thus amusing her sisters, she heard the clock strike eleven and three-quarters, whereupon she immediately made a courtesy to the company and hurried away as fast as she could.Arriving home, she ran to seek out her godmother, and, after having thanked her, she said she could not but heartily wish she might go to the ball the next day as well, because the king’s son had invited her.As she was eagerly telling her godmother everything that had happened at the ball, her two sisters knocked at the door, which Cinderella ran and opened.”You stayed such a long time!” she cried, gaping, rubbing her eyes and stretching herself as if she had been sleeping; she had not, however, had any manner of inclination to sleep while they were away from home.”If you had been at the ball,” said one of her sisters, “you would not have been tired with it. The finest princess was there, the most beautiful that mortal eyes have ever seen. She showed us a thousand civilities, and gave us oranges and citrons.”Cinderella seemed very indifferent in the matter. Indeed, she asked them the name of that princess; but they told her they did not know it, and that the king’s son was very uneasy on her account and would give all the world to know who she was. At this Cinderella, smiling, replied, “She must, then, be very beautiful indeed; how happy you have been! Could not I see her? Ah, dear Charlotte, do lend me your yellow dress which you wear every day.””Yes, to be sure!” cried Charlotte; “lend my clothes to such a dirty Cinderwench as you are! I should be such a fool.”Cinderella, indeed, well expected such an answer, and was very glad of the refusal; for she would have been sadly put to it, if her sister had lent her what she asked for jestingly.The next day the two sisters were at the ball, and so was Cinderella, but dressed even more magnificently than before. The king’s son was always by her, and never ceased his compliments and kind speeches to her. All this was so far from being tiresome to her, and, indeed, she quite forgot what her godmother had told her. She thought that it was no later than eleven when she counted the clock striking twelve. She jumped up and fled, as nimble as a deer. The prince followed, but could not overtake her. She left behind one of her glass slippers, which the prince picked up most carefully. She reached home, but quite out of breath, and in her nasty old clothes, having nothing left of all her finery but one of the little slippers, the mate to the one that she had dropped.The guards at the palace gate were asked if they had not seen a princess go out. They replied that they had seen nobody leave but a young girl, very shabbily dressed, and who had more the air of a poor country wench than a gentlewoman.When the two sisters returned from the ball Cinderella asked them if they had been well entertained, and if the fine lady had been there.They told her, yes, but that she hurried away immediately when it struck twelve, and with so much haste that she dropped one of her little glass slippers, the prettiest in the world, which the king’s son had picked up; that he had done nothing but look at her all the time at the ball, and that most certainly he was very much in love with the beautiful person who owned the glass slipper.What they said was very true; for a few days later, the king’s son had it proclaimed, by sound of trumpet, that he would marry her whose foot this slipper would just fit. They began to try it on the princesses, then the duchesses and all the court, but in vain; it was brought to the two sisters, who did all they possibly could to force their foot into the slipper, but they did not succeed.Cinderella, who saw all this, and knew that it was her slipper, said to them, laughing, “Let me see if it will not fit me.”Her sisters burst out laughing, and began to banter with her. The gentleman who was sent to try the slipper looked earnestly at Cinderella, and, finding her very handsome, said that it was only just that she should try as well, and that he had orders to let everyone try.He had Cinderella sit down, and, putting the slipper to her foot, he found that it went on very easily, fitting her as if it had been made of wax. Her two sisters were greatly astonished, but then even more so, when Cinderella pulled out of her pocket the other slipper, and put it on her other foot. Then in came her godmother and touched her wand to Cinderella’s clothes, making them richer and more magnificent than any of those she had worn before.And now her two sisters found her to be that fine, beautiful lady whom they had seen at the ball. They threw themselves at her feet to beg pardon for all the ill treatment they had made her undergo. Cinderella took them up, and, as she embraced them, said that she forgave them with all her heart, and wanted them always to love her.She was taken to the young prince, dressed as she was. He thought she was more charming than before, and, a few days after, married her. Cinderella, who was no less good than beautiful, gave her two sisters lodgings in the palace, and that very same day matched them with two great lords of the court.Moral: Beauty in a woman is a rare treasure that will always be admired. Graciousness, however, is priceless and of even greater value. This is what Cinderella’s godmother gave to her when she taught her to behave like a queen. Young women, in the winning of a heart, graciousness is more important than a beautiful hairdo. It is a true gift of the fairies. Without it nothing is possible; with it, one can do anything.Another moral: Without doubt it is a great advantage to have intelligence, courage, good breeding, and common sense. These, and similar talents come only from heaven, and it is good to have them. However, even these may fail to bring you success, without the blessing of a godfather or a godmother.Anne Sexton, “Cinderella”You always read about it:the plumber with the twelve childrenwho wins the Irish Sweepstakes.From toilets to riches.That story.Or the nursemaid,some luscious sweet from Denmarkwho captures the oldest son’s heart.from diapers to Dior.That story.Or a milkman who serves the wealthy,eggs, cream, butter, yogurt, milk,the white truck like an ambulancewho goes into real estateand makes a pile.From homogenized to martinis at lunch.Or the charwomanwho is on the bus when it cracks upand collects enough from the insurance.From mops to Bonwit Teller.That story.Oncethe wife of a rich man was on her deathbedand she said to her daughter Cinderella:Be devout. Be good. Then I will smiledown from heaven in the seam of a cloud.The man took another wife who hadtwo daughters, pretty enoughbut with hearts like blackjacks.Cinderella was their maid.She slept on the sooty hearth each nightand walked around looking like Al Jolson.Her father brought presents home from town,jewels and gowns for the other womenbut the twig of a tree for Cinderella.She planted that twig on her mother’s graveand it grew to a tree where a white dove sat.Whenever she wished for anything the dovewould drop it like an egg upon the ground.The bird is important, my dears, so heed him.Next came the ball, as you all know.It was a marriage market.The prince was looking for a wife.All but Cinderella were preparingand gussying up for the event.Cinderella begged to go too.Her stepmother threw a dish of lentilsinto the cinders and said: Pick themup in an hour and you shall go.The white dove brought all his friends;all the warm wings of the fatherland came,and picked up the lentils in a jiffy.No, Cinderella, said the stepmother,you have no clothes and cannot dance.That’s the way with stepmothers.Cinderella went to the tree at the graveand cried forth like a gospel singer:Mama! Mama! My turtledove,send me to the prince’s ball!The bird dropped down a golden dressand delicate little slippers.Rather a large package for a simple bird.So she went. Which is no surprise.Her stepmother and sisters didn’trecognize her without her cinder faceand the prince took her hand on the spotand danced with no other the whole day.As nightfall came she thought she’d betterget home. The prince walked her homeand she disappeared into the pigeon houseand although the prince took an axe and brokeit open she was gone. Back to her cinders.These events repeated themselves for three days.However on the third day the princecovered the palace steps with cobbler’s waxand Cinderella’s gold shoe stuck upon it.Now he would find whom the shoe fitand find his strange dancing girl for keeps.He went to their house and the two sisterswere delighted because they had lovely feet.The eldest went into a room to try the slipper onbut her big toe got in the way so she simplysliced it off and put on the slipper.The prince rode away with her until the white dovetold him to look at the blood pouring forth.That is the way with amputations.They just don’t heal up like a wish.The other sister cut off her heelbut the blood told as blood will.The prince was getting tired.He began to feel like a shoe salesman.But he gave it one last try.This time Cinderella fit into the shoelike a love letter into its envelope.At the wedding ceremonythe two sisters came to curry favorand the white dove pecked their eyes out.Two hollow spots were leftlike soup spoons.Cinderella and the princelived, they say, happily ever after,like two dolls in a museum casenever bothered by diapers or dust,never arguing over the timing of an egg,never telling the same story twice,never getting a middle-aged spread,their darling smiles pasted on for eternity.Regular Bobbsey Twins.That story.

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