When Cinderella Didn’t Marry the Prince
Cinderella’s story is pretty famous. A girl who goes from serving her two step-sisters and stepmother to being married to a prince. But what if she didn’t marry the Prince? What if one of the step-sisters married the Prince? Here’s how it happened.
Cinderella served her stepsisters Gertrude and Prudence and her evil stepmother all day and night, dressing in rages and being completely miserable. All day her step-sisters would talk about the Prince.
“He is so handsome! He has such beautiful red curls” cried Gertrude as she twirled around. She was a very big and round girl, with lots of red spots on her face and reddish-brown locks that made her face look like a giant pudding. Her younger sister on the other hand, Prudence had black hair that stood out spiky like her head had been put in an electric socket and looked like a bean pole so skinny she was that when she turned sideways she almost disappeared!
In any case, this part of the story you readers know is true at least. The step-sisters weren’t too pretty and of course Cinderella had to cook and clean and look after all of them because they were too lazy to do anything for themselves except to sit in the garden and drink lemonade in the summer and sit by the fire chatting constantly in the winter. But Cinderella had a plan. While her step-sisters had to ask for money from their mother, Cinderella helped the twins Peach and Plum to sort out their fruits at their fruit shop in the town and got paid. Cinderella had a dream of leaving the house and going on adventures far away from the kingdom. And her chance came when one day there was a knock at the door. Outside stood a little man carrying a sack full of letters with a wax seal on it.
“Message from the King!” he cried. Cinderella bent down to hear him better, for he was such a small man; his head only reached her waist.
“Message from the King!” he bellowed again, “The King’s son Prince Charming is looking for a wife. All women aged eighteen and older are to come to the ball at the Palace tonight!”
“Thank you” said Cinderella, “Would you like a cup of tea before you go?” The little man smiled and shook his head politely.
“Thank you madam, no one has ever asked me before. But I must go; I have all these letters to deliver still. See you tonight!” Cinderella waved goodbye and went to give the letter to her step-mother and step-sisters.
“Gertrude! Prudence! Stepmother! I have a surprise for you!” There was a clattering from upstairs as six feet raced down towards Cinderella. Unfortunately, Cinderella hadn’t finished mopping the floor and it was still very wet. All three women slipped on the stairs and collided with each other, tumbling like a giant snowball rolls down a hill, screaming and clattering to a stop at the bottom of the stairs. They were wet; their hair had come out of the many enormous hair clips, ties and ribbons and Prudence had lost a shoe on the stairs. Cinderella tried hard not to laugh. Stepmother glared at her.
“Cinderella, I thought I told you to clean the stairs, not turn them into a water slide for little children. What if one of us had had hurt ourselves?”
“I am sorry. I did not mean to mess up your dresses and hair” said Cinderella with a smile. “Are you so angry that I cannot give you the Prince’s letter?” Prudence and Gertrude glanced at each other. “The Prince!” they cried as both of them raced for Cinderella, barreling her over so they could get the letter first. Prudence grabbed it first after pushing Gertrude away.
“Mother! We’re invited to go to a ball at the palace tonight! To meet the Prince!” both girls pretended to faint.
“Well let’s get started then. You two need new dresses right away! We will go to town at once! Cinderella, you will not be going unless you can find a suitable dress. First you must finish all your work” Cinderella just nodded and went back to mopping the floor while her sisters began gushing about the sort of dress they were each going to wear.
That evening Gertrude, Prudence and Stepmother were dressed in their new clothes and getting into their carriage to take them to the ball. Cinderella waved them goodbye in her old dress that was wet and dirty. Then she went inside and watched the carriage roll away towards the palace. Just then there was a knock at the door. Cinderella opened it and was happily surprised to see her friends from the town, Peach and Plum.
“We couldn’t let you miss out on all the fun of the ball because your mean family work you so hard” they said cheerfully, “So this afternoon we made you a dress to wear and some slippers too” Cinderella gazed at the blue dress and smiled happily.
“Thank you so much!” she cried happily, hugging them both. She put on the dress and slippers and got three horses from the stable and all three young women rode together to the ball.
Cinderella stepped into the ballroom carefully as all eyes turned towards her.
“She’s beautiful” she heard whispered in the crowds. She saw the Prince ahead and nearly fainted. He wasn’t handsome at all! Well, not as handsome as her sisters told her. He had red curly hair like they said but he also had teeth that stuck out and he didn’t wear a neat suit. He wore a white t-shirt that was covered in grass stains, spaghetti sauce and mud, hot pink shorts that made you want to put on sunglasses because they were so bright and thongs that flip-flopped loudly every time he took a step. Cinderella stood and gasped. She didn’t want to dance with a Prince who looked like a messy five-year-old who had just been dragged inside after playing in the garden all afternoon. She wanted to dance with the man of her dreams. Just then the Prince yelled across the room, “Hey you there in the blue dress, dance with me” which Cinderella thought was very rude indeed.
“No manners! What a Prince he is!” she said to herself as the Prince grabbed her hands and pulled her onto the dance floor and began twirling her. His breath stunk of garlic, his hair was greasy from not being washed for at least a week and his hands were covered in dirt. Cinderella tried not to throw up.
“So Your Majesty, what do you like to do?”
“Oh I like to ride my horse around the palace grounds. My father is the king and we have such beautiful gardens.”
“I can ride a horse Your Majesty” Cinderella said.
“You ride a horse? A commoner?”
“Yes I do. It is a really fun thing to do”
“I don’t believe you. Oh well. I am learning to be a king someday so I can tell everyone what to do. That will be fun. I will be like a school teacher in a classroom, no need to worry about any of the common people.”
They finished dancing and the Prince led Cinderella outside onto the balcony. The cool air made Cinderella shiver but the Prince didn’t notice. He didn’t even ask if she would like a cloak over shoulders.
“Do you know what? I will marry you tomorrow.”
“But you don’t know anything about me except that I like riding horses” said Cinderella.
“That doesn’t matter. You’re beautiful and that’s all you’ll have to be really. My wife if she is beautiful must only sit and sew or embroider, not ride horses or clean. However if she is ugly, then she will entertain me. She will sit with me and colour in fairies at my weekly colouring competitions!” Cinderella almost laughed.
“Colouring competitions! And what were you doing today?”
“I was building a tent out of twigs, mud and leaves. We must be prepared for anything, especially rain.”
“Was it successful?”
“Of course not! That nitwit of an advisor turned on the hose and soaked the tent before it was finished so it collapsed on top of me!” Cinderella couldn’t help it, she began to laugh extremely hard so much that she bent over double. Just then the clock struck midnight. Cinderella whistled.
“Goodbye Your Majesty, I hope you find your bride tonight” She stood on the edge of the balcony but just as she jumped down and did a somersault onto her horse waiting for her below the Prince grabbed her foot but came away with only one glass slipper. Cinderella rode as fast as she could all the way home laughing to herself.
The next morning the Prince took the shoe to the village, riding in his carriage to each house, crying “Who will try on this glass shoe? Which girl does it belong to?” He called, tried the shoe on dainty and large feet, but with no success. He finally arrived at Cinderella’s house at around afternoon tea time and complete failure to find the beautiful girl from the ball. Cinderella was in the basement and didn’t hear him. The two ugly stepsisters jostled to be the first to meet the Prince and try on the dainty shoe. The stepmother greeted the Prince elegantly and led him to a sofa.
“Your Majesty, I’d like to introduce to you my two daughters, Gertrude and Prudence. They would like to try on the shoe.” The Prince wrinkled his nose in disgust at the two sisters, who curtsied low before him.
“I suppose I’ll try these two. They are after all, daughters in my father’s kingdom.”
So saying, he beckoned Gertrude over first to him. Gertrude sat down as daintily as she could with her large backside squeezing into the small chair, her eyes popping out with the effort to look comfortable. Prudence giggled behind her hands. She was skinnier and her sister at this moment looked like a bug-eyed frog that’d swallowed too much water! Gertrude was at this time trying to squeeze her foot into the size four shoe when her foot was size nine! The Prince shook his head, as if to say he was disappointed, when really, he was sighing with relief.
Unknown to him though as he helped Gertrude to lever herself out of the chair, the stepmother had locked Cinderella down in the basement and brought back the key. She then had got hold of a potion that would make the Prince marry one of her daughters. When she arrived she exclaimed “Oh, my dear Prince. How disgraceful of me! I forgot to offer you some refreshments. I’ll send for some right now. Do relax a moment please. I’m sure it’s been a long day.”
Leaving her daughters to talk to the Prince, the stepmother prepared some tea and refreshments, and then poured the potion into one of the teacups. She brought it in on a beautiful tray and set it down right next to the Prince, with the spelled cup closest to him.
“You first dear Prince”. The Prince, unaware of the conspiracy, drank the tea without a second thought. Instantly, his eyes began to glaze over and he turned like a robot towards the other stepsister, Prudence.
“Dear lady, try on this shoe please.” Prudence was all giggles as she sat down on another chair and slipped on the shoe with ease. “It fits!” cried the Prince with glee and swept up Prudence in his arms; unaware of the dirty looks Gertrude gave them and the sniggers of the stepmother.
How did Prudence do it? Her foot was a size six. It was simple. The stepmother had planned it all. She knew no one would dare defy the prince of his true beloved except her. She took her daughter to a shoemaker and ordered him to make a glass shoe just like the one Cinderella wore, which she had stolen from Cinderella’s bedroom. The shoemaker had done so, so when the potion was affecting the Prince, the stepmother switched the shoes around so Prudence’s foot would fit. Now her more elegant and intelligent daughter would ascend to the throne as the future queen. Gertrude raged at being deceived and vowed revenge.
The stepmother took care to erase all evidence of their plot. She smashed the cup the Prince drank from and threw it away. Then she smashed both glass shoes, since the Prince didn’t care about the shoe that found his bride anymore. Now Prudence would become part of royalty and the step-mother would become rich! She would dance with the best people, dress in beautiful gowns and best of all, be rich. She released Cinderella only after Prudence and the Prince had left the house and were riding in the carriage together back to the palace. Cinderella pretended to be sad, crying into her hanky and pressing her face to the window as the carriage rolled away. Stepmother turned around triumphantly with her arms crossed and smiled evilly at Cinderella.
“Poor Cinderella. No happily-ever-after for you.” Cinderella smiled back.
“Not the happily-ever-after you thought of Stepmother. I think I will go travelling. And then I think I will become a dance teacher for little boys and girls in the neighbouring kingdom. Good luck to Prudence. I’m sure she’ll enjoy colouring competitions and building cubby houses with the Prince.” And that is exactly what Cinderella did. Who knows, maybe you might have been taught how to dance by her without realizing. As for Prudence, she did indeed go to the colouring competitions with the Prince but one night Gertrude slipped into the Prince’s room and ripped up his favourite colouring in books. The Prince thought Prudence did it and sent her away from his kingdom, and then married Gertrude. And they are still doing colouring in until this day and I believe Prudence now works at Peach and Plum’s fruit shop in the village.