Sensible Cinderella

When Cinderella turned eighteen, she became her step mother’s slave.

Her father had followed her real mother to death just a few days before she had reached adulthood. Her step mother was a lazy old broad who had Cinderella wait upon her head and toe. Her step sisters were less bossy, but they weren’t the sort she’d willingly spend time with. They found merriment in obsessing over celebrities and parading around in new clothes.

The kingdom they resided in was a peaceful land ruled over by a king who was a staunch believer in the ideology that he was always in the right. In fact, he had taken it upon himself to find a suitable bride for his son. The boy, on the other hand, was indifferent about the whole affair. He was at the age where he would be happy with anything pretty and female.

The king decided that the most logical manner of securing a wife for his son was to host a ball ,force all eligible ladies to attend it and hand pick the prettiest one.

The whole kingdom dressed up for the event. Cinderella, who had never been to a ball, was interested as well. She longed for a day when she wouldn’t have to cook her own food and be pampered by others instead.

But the evil stepmother locked her in while she and the rest of her ugly family waddled to the carriage.

All Cinderella could do was sit on her stool and pray for a meteorite to fall on their vehicle in particular.

But lo and behold! There appeared before her, her fairy Godmother. The obese old lady promised Cinderella the makeover of her life.

But Cinderella didn’t care much for makeup or carriages (nor was she sure about the strange lady’s ‘magic’), so all she sought from her Godmother was a decent dress, a pretty little chain, some eyeliner and a container, in case she found some food she’d want to bring back. She also chose some sensible shoes. As soon as her Godmother had finished warning her about the longevity of the magic, she set out to the palace by foot as it was quite near.

The guards were suspicious but inebriated, so they let her in anyway.

She stood out in the mass of girls with putty on their faces. The prince was immediately drawn to her, and managed to egg her into a dance.

She struggled to not let her disgust at his hand positions show. The prince pulled her closer than it was necessary and whispered “You’re beautiful. Imagine how amazing you’d look with a bit more makeup!”

When the dance ended, Cinderella ran away from him as fast as she could. She found her solace at the buffet table. As her hands shifted over to a basket of bon bons, another hand adorned with a silk cuff met her halfway.

“I’m sorry, dear prince.” She said irritatedly, without looking up. “I’ve already had my dance with you.”

“I’m no prince”

Cinderella looked up to see the most beautiful woman she’d ever seen, gazing at her with what seemed like amusement. “The royal princess!” She breathed.

The rest of the night she spent at the balcony with the princess, sharing the food they had smuggled from the tables and exchanging stories and interests.

When the clock struck midnight, Cinderella rushed outside in a mad hurry and left a single sensible shoe behind. The prince and the princess could only look at her retreating back helplessly.

“Sister, let us search every house in the kingdom for the maiden who fits this shoe!” The prince exclaimed, “That is sure to be the lady who has run away with my heart!”

“You keep the shoe. I remember her image very well, and I doubt I’d need her foot measurements to be sure.” The princess replied.

And so the princess was the first to spot Cinderella in a crowded marketplace. They dated sensibly for three years before finalizing the engagement, and then Cinderella and the princess lived happily ever after.

A Modern Day Fable

“When the mighty dragon stole the sweet prince away, the kingdom was thrust into an era of gloom. The artists who had once derived inspiration from the prince’s smile now made alcohol their muse. The merchants sold fruit as hollowed out as their hearts. And the king? He numbed his pain by increasing the taxes and in turn, the misery of his subjects.

The prince had been a very lively sort of a lad, who burst into songs (which were always in perfect rhyme scheme) at every opportunity. Sometimes, lowly woodcutters would be treated to the sight of him serenading confused woodland creatures. His attire was always simple and elegant, and every morning he’d find a pretty flower to ornament his luscious locks.

Some say the prince had been singing to the dragon when the vile creature decided that it was in dire need of a radio and kidnapped the poor boy.

The king had issued a ransom for the dragon’s head, but though the prince was well liked, he wasn’t indispensible to the common folk. They continued to grumble and work. Word on the street is that they had wanted the dragon to take the king instead.

The nobles, on the other hand, thought themselves too important to risk their life for the feeble prince. Neither could they spare their knights. What if the dragon comes for them next?

And so the story went that it was a little forest girl who found the prince. She heard his cheerful voice as she was picking up firewood, and mistaking it as a deer’s cry for help, went to investigate.

The dragon and the prince welcomed her whole-heartedly and fed her fruit. The prince, with a delicate blush, explained that the dragon was blind and had mistaken him for a baby dragon by his voice. At first he had wanted to escape, but slowly and surely he had come to love the poor beast like his own mother.

The girl bit back her comments on Stockholm syndrome and tried to be genuinely happy for the prince.

She left the dragon’s cave with a basket of rare fruits and promises of secrecy.

The prince’s story soon faded into an urban legend. As such, it grew more and more fantastical until the prince morphed into a dragon tamer who had left the country in search of new additions to his collection. The king’s numbed pain resurfaced in full force when the peasants finally revolted and the kingdom now became an equally depressing democracy.  The artists disappeared into other professions while the merchants flourished in the era of capitalism.

And the little forest girl? Her fate was never recorded, as it often happens in history with those who own no gold. But one can assume that she had led a very ‘fruitful’ life.”

He saw his son’s eyes narrow at his last words. “Dad” the child sighed, “Please don’t tell me that the entire reason you cooked up this story was just to deliver that pun at the end.”

“I don’t understand why you’re complaining. It was a very good pun.”