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Click for products featuring this image The wife of a rich man fell sick, and as she felt that her end was drawing near, she called her only daughter to her bedside and said, “Dear child, be good and pious, and then the good God will always protect thee, and I will look down on thee from heaven and be near thee.” Thereupon she closed her eyes and departed.

Every day the maiden went out to her mother’s grave, and wept, and she remained pious and good. When winter came the snow spread a white sheet over the grave, and when the spring sun had drawn it off again, the man had taken another wife.

The woman had brought two daughters into the house with her, who were beautiful and fair of face, but vile and black of heart. Now began a bad time for the poor step-child.

“Is the stupid goose to sit in the parlour with us?” said they. “He who wants to eat bread must earn it; out with the kitchen-wench.”

They took her pretty clothes away from her, put an old grey bedgown on her, and gave her wooden shoes.

“Just look at the proud princess, how decked out she is!” they cried, and laughed, and led her into the kitchen. There she had to do hard work from morning till night, get up before daybreak, carry water, light fires, cook and wash.

Besides this, the sisters did her every imaginable injury—they mocked her and emptied her peas and lentils into the ashes, so that she was forced to sit and pick them out again.

In the evening when she had worked till she was weary she had no bed to go to, but had to sleep by the fireside in the ashes. And as on that account she always looked dusty and dirty, they called her Cinderella.

It happened that the father was once going to thefair, and he asked his two step-daughters what he should bring back for them.

“Beautiful dresses,” said one, “Pearls and jewels,” said the second.

“And thou, Cinderella,” said he, “what wilt thou have?”

“Father, break off for me the first branch which knocks against your hat on your way home.”

Source: Fairy Tales by Grimm Brothers



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