Most of us know the tale of Cinderella,
But do you know the original German story?
It’s different from the version that I grew up with.
It’s called “Aschenputtel,” and it’s gory.
Cinderella’s stepmom and two stepsisters
Are nasty, ornery, bossy, ******, and mean.
They’re very good at belittling Cinderella;
And the sisters vie for the role of future queen.
Cinderella wants to attend a ball,
But her stepmom gives her some difficult tasks, and so
When some birds help the girl complete them,
The woman STILL refuses to let her go.
Here no fairy godmother comes to help.
Cinderella goes to the grave of her mother
Where she'd planted a branch that grew to a tree,
Which miraculously gives her a gown like no other.
When Cinderella goes to the King’s fancy ball,
She makes a tremendous impression on the prince.
Of course, no one’s able to recognize her,
And the competition makes the stepsisters wince.
For two nights in a row the same thing happens.
Cinderella must be in excellent shape,
For each night the prince attempts to pursue her,
Yet each night she makes a clean escape.
On the THIRD night he has a bright idea:
“Aha!” he says. “Someone, bring me some tar.
If I spread goop all over the steps of the palace,
That gorgeous sneak won’t manage to get very far.”
(Here you have to suspend even more belief.)
As Cinderella hurries to flee from her beaux,
She leaves behind one slipper in the tar.
(WHY more slippers aren’t stuck there, I do not know.)
On finding the slipper, the prince yells, “Piece of cake!
Now I’ll find the owner of this dainty shoe.”
When he arrives at the home of the nasty stepsisters,
The poor guy bites off more than he can chew.
The first sister chops off her obtrusive big toe
So that her foot can fit inside the slipper.
You see, the slipper’s not made of the kind of material
That stretches, and, of course, it has no zipper.
The prince starts to leave with his bride-to-be
But notices that her slipper is filled with blood.
“I don’t think that this is my future wife,”
He says and nips that nightmare in the bud.
In order to make her foot fit in the slipper,
The second stepsister cuts off part of her heel.
Imagine how much blood gushes forth from that.
Shaking his head, the prince says, “This is unreal.”
Finally, Cinderella takes her turn.
And what do you know? The slipper’s a perfect fit!
The prince—eager to exit that crazy scene—
Takes Cinderella and leaves lickety split.
(I hope the prince kept his wits about him.
You’d think he would, for he’s a thoughtful fella.
Certainly, he washed out all the blood
Before giving the slipper to Cinderella!)
Early on I told you about some birds
That helped Cinderella when she was down and out
By completing her tasks and delivering her gown and slippers.
They knew what the stepsisters were all about.
Well, the stepsisters come on the day of the wedding,
To mooch off Cinderella—as you can surmise.
As they amble along with the wedding couple,
The birds fly down and peck out both of their eyes.
Such is the fate of the mean and bossy stepsisters,
Who were deceitful and cruel, as you recall.
Call it karma, their just deserts, or comeuppance,
But let it be a lesson for us all.
- by Bob B