Karissa, Age 12, Wadsworth, OH

Cinderella was lying in bed, dreading her chores for the day. “Ugh! Why do I always have to do the chores? ‘Cinderella wash the floor, Cinderella clean the drapes.’ All I ever do is chores!"

Slowly she sat up. She heard the palace bells ringing in the distance. “Oh no!” she fumed. “Tonight is the ball, and I have to help Drizzella and Anastasia get their gowns ready.” She abruptly lay back down in bed. “Sigh, oh well, I guess I must get to it.”

She quickly got dressed and went down to start the chores. She mentally went through the long list of chores. “Feed the chickens, make breakfast, sweep the floors, made the beds, gather eggs, and milk the cows, on and on. I could name a dozen more chores to do. And what do my stepsisters do? They do nothing!” she said aloud to the chickens. “Well there is one good thing. Stepmother said I could go to the ball if I had time to make a dress, but I have so many chores to do along with helping Drizzella and Anastasia get ready.” Cinderella had finished the outdoor chores so she went inside.

"Cinderella, do you have breakfast made yet? I’m hungry!” her older sister Drizzella yelled downstairs. This made Cinderella hurry even faster. Her ugly older stepsister would tell her mother and Cinderella would get in trouble as usual.

“It’s almost ready!” Cinderella yelled back. She hurried to make the eggs and toast. Once done, she hastily walked up the long winding stairwell to the second floor where her stepmother’s room was.

Cinderella quietly knocked, “Ma’am, I have your breakfast ready.” Her stepmother would not allow Cinderella to call her mother, and had her address her as ma’am.
“Yes, yes, come in girl. You are late and I am hungry!” her mother growled. Cinderella knew that tone. It meant extra chores and that she had better hurry over there as fast as she could! She presented the tray of food and backed out the door as fast as she could to possibly avoid more chores than usual.

"Uh, Cinderella, I think you should also clean the rooms, wash the laundry, dust the main entry,, oh yes, and I also want you to wash the windows, and clean the chicken coop and the horse stalls." Cinderella couldn't help but have a feeling of disappointment.

"Oh well, there will be other balls I guess," she sighed gloomily, as she backed out of the room, trying to hide her disappointment. Then she got to working. Cinderella was a very beautiful girl, and she had a sweet voice and sang while she worked. Cinderella's stepsisters were very jealous of her because they were ugly and very clumsy.
A private dance teacher was coming to the manor that day to give Drizzella and Anastasia dancing lessons before the ball. Cinderella would not be part of this lesson. She would be working on her chores. All morning the dance instructor tried to teach the clumsy young women to dance, but to no avail. By 12:00 the girls were still stepping on the poor instructor's feet, and the man was beginning to sweat. Cinderella could dance perfectly, without stepping on any man's poor feet. Her father had taught her to dance when she was very young and a few years before he died. As the day dragged on and chores came and went, Cinderella was very busy and was thinking, "I should hurry so I can have time to make my dress and maybe even have a chance to go to the ball!" This thought seemed to quicken her hands and feet.

By 5:00 Cinderella had all of her chores done except her two least favorite that would take a while, washing windows and helping her stepsisters get ready. She actually preferred washing windows over helping Drizzella and Anastasia. " Well, I guess those chores have to get done sometime, so I might as well get them over with. I think I would rather wash the windows first. Then I can help Drizzella and Anastasia get themselves ready for the ball. Why can't they do it themselves? I have to get ready by myself anyway!"

Cinderella suddenly stopped day dreaming. A sharp call came from her mother. "Cinderella, come help Drizzella and Anastasia get dressed!" Cinderella's mother did not like to refer to Cinderella as her stepdaughter. The elegant lady considered Cinderella a threat to her own daughters, she knew that Cinderella was much more beautiful than her own daughters and tried to hide that fact. Cinderella hurried down the stairs to the sewing room, where the girls would be having their dresses sewn.
"Cinderella, come down here this instant. You don't want me to come up there!" threatened Cinderella's stepmother.

This comment brought fear through Cinderella's poor heart and made her almost fall down the last set of stairs, but the graceful girl caught herself. Finally she made it to the room where her stepmother impatiently tapped her foot against the smooth surface of the marble floor, making an echo ring throughout the large three story house. "Well it's about time you got here. I want these dresses finished by 9:00 since the ball starts at 10:00, and they must be perfect and beautifully done. We will start on Drizzela's first since, she is the oldest."

"But mother, Drizzella always gets to go first. Why can't you do mine first?” came Anastasia's shrill whining voice.

"Because I said so and because I am your mother and you must do what I say!" her mother snapped at her youngest daughter.

After what seemed like hours and hours to Cinderella, the dresses finally fit and were beautiful in the eyes of the girls' mother.

"Well girls, let's go eat dinner. I trust you already have that made, Cinderella," her mother questioned.

Cinderella knew her mother would not be happy.

"No, ma'am, I didn't have time because I had to do the extra chores you gave me."

Cinderella hung her head and stared at the floor. Cinderella hurried out of the room into the kitchen to make dinner. After dinner, she finally had a half hour to make her own dress. She used pieces of clothing that her sisters never used anymore.

She walked down the stairs just as her mother was leaving. She quickly called, "Wait, please, I'm ready!"

The three women abruptly stopped and turned around. The younger girls' jaws dropped.

"Hey, you thief, that's my sash! You took it!" cried Drizzella.

Drizzella and Anastasia tore toward Cinderella and ripped her dress apart claiming everything as theirs.

After a few minutes, their mother grew impatient and said, "Come on, girls, the coach is waiting, but the prince surely won't."

With that the three marched out once again. There stood Cinderella, horrified. Cinderella tore through the house and ran into the outdoor garden and knelt before the stone bench and wept. Suddenly, Cinderella was aware of a gentle hand on her shoulder and quickly looked up. There stood a small old lady.

"Hello, dear, I am your fairy godmother. Tell me, why are you crying?"

The woman had a gentle voice that had a soothing effect on Cinderella.

"Fairy godmother, help me! I so dearly wanted to go to the ball and I hurried quickly through my chores so I could make a beautiful dress and go to the ball, but my stepsisters tore it up and now I can't go!" She cried bitterly.

"Now, now, dear, look at your clothes now. That won't do for a ball, no it won't. What about this?" her godmother asked.

"Oh wonderful godmother, thank you, thank you, it's beautiful!” Cinderella cried
Cinderella's rags had turned into a white sparkling dress with glass heels.

"Now I need a coach. It will be beautiful, yes, beautiful!" Cinderella said.

With a turn of her magic wand, the fair lady turned one of the biggest pumpkins into a sparkling coach. Nearby a few mice, a cat and a dog sat. With a turn of the wand there were six white horses, a footman, and a coach driver.

"Come, come, dear, you will be late for the ball. Now remember, dear, once the clock strikes midnight everything will turn as it was before! Now hurry, dear, get in, get in!” her godmother warned.

Once Cinderella got in, the coach sped off.

As Cinderella arrived at the palace, she was greeted warmly because of her outstanding beauty. The prince marveled at her. The prince swiftly walked over Cinderella and asked her to dance. Cinderella was so surprised; her stepmother had always told her she was ugly.

"Why of course!" she answered eagerly.

All eyes were on this girl. All the other girls were so jealous! Cinderella and the prince danced all night and thoroughly enjoyed it. Bang, bang, the clock struck midnight. Cinderella was so surprised how fast time flew, and then she suddenly remembered fairy godmother's words: “When the clock strikes midnight, everything will be as it was before." Cinderella abruptly turned from the prince and ran down the stairs with the prince calling in pursuit.

"Wait, wait, please don't go. What is your name?" the prince called.

About halfway down the stairs, Cinderella lost one of the glass slippers, but she kept running. Cinderella turned into the woods and the prince couldn't find her. He called to his father's right hand man and ordered "Go all through the land, and find the woman whose foot will fit this shoe. She will be my wife!"

Meanwhile, Cinderella tore through the woods toward her house and flung herself to its door and ran to her room. The magic had already worn off while she running. A few hours later the women came home and Drizzella and Anastasia bragged of all the princes they had danced with, but Cinderella knew they were lying.

A few days later a royal coach came to the manor door and asked to see all the women of the house. Drizzella tried the shoe on first; it didn't fit and she started crying. Next with some persuasion the women had the man try it on Cinderella's stepmother. Again, it wouldn't go on. Next Cinderella tried on the shoe. No matter how hard they pushed, the shoe just wouldn't go on. Last and almost least Anastasia tried it on; everyone was surprised when the shoe slipped right on! "Yes, I'm the queen. Where's the prince, yes! Mother, I'm going to be the princess!"

The prince was miserable the rest of his life and wouldn't be comforted, Cinderella cried every day for her long lost love, and the people mourned the rest of the queen's reign because she always taxed them so she could have parties and feasts.   

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