Once upon a time there was a gentleman. After the death of his first wife, he married again. His new wife was proud and haughty, as were her two daughters. His now daughter, however, was exceptionally gentle and kind.
All too soon, after the wedding the stepmother revealed her true nature. She couldn't stand the kindness of her husband's daughter. Nor could her two daughters.
The stepmother made the poor girl do all the housework and sent her to sleep on a straw mattress in the attic. When she finished her work, she would sit in a corner next to the fireplace, among ashes and cinders. So her stepsisters, to make fun of her, called her Cinderella. But their laughter meant nothing, for Cinderella's beauty and good nature shone through even her ragged clothing.
One day, the son of the king announced a grand ball. Many young ladies were invited, including the two stepsisters. The house buzzed with their excitement—they could speak of nothing else!
"I," said the older daughter, "will wear my red velvet dress and my lace collar."
"I," said the younger daughter, "will wear my regular skirt, but with my gown of golden flowers over it, and my diamond barrette."
Cinderella had to work even harder than usual.
She prepared the clothes, cleaned them, and ironed them. As kind as always, she advised her two sisters about their dresses and offered to do their hair.
The two mean girls accepted her offer and teased her.
"Cinderella, would you like to go to the ball?"
"Oh! I can't," the young girl answered.
"You're right. Everyone would laugh at a Cinderella at the ball!"