Authored by:Brothers Grimm
Chapter 1 / 4

Section 1

The wealthy man's wife got ill, and sensing that her life was coming to an end, she summoned her sole daughter to her bedside. She spoke to her: "My beloved child, I urge you to be kind-hearted and virtuous. If you do so, the benevolent God will always watch over you, and I will remain a comforting presence in your life, watching over you from the realm of the heavens."

With a final flutter of her lashes, she passed away. Each sunrise, the young woman journeyed to her mother's resting place where she shed tears of sorrow and she remained kind-hearted and virtuous. As winter arrived, a blanket of snow enveloped the grave in a pristine cloak, and when the warming touch of spring melted it, the man had already wedded another bride.

The lady had arrived at the abode with her two daughters, who were attractive and had lovely faces, but their hearts were wicked and malicious. It was the start of an unpleasant period for the unfortunate stepdaughter. "Should the foolish goose be allowed to sit in the parlor with us?" they mocked. "One must work to earn their food. Get out, kitchen maid!" They stripped her of her fine garments, clothed her in a shabby gray gown, and handed her wooden clogs.

"Behold the conceited princess, dressed in all her finery," they exclaimed, jeering as they ushered her into the kitchen. From dawn till dusk, she toiled tirelessly, fetching water, kindling fires, cooking meals, and scrubbing floors. To make matters worse, her sisters subjected her to all kinds of torment, taunting her and scattering her peas and lentils into the ashes, forcing her to pick them out one by one. At night, when she was exhausted from her labors, she had no proper bed to rest in and was forced to slumber by the hearth, surrounded by ash and soot. Because of her dusty and disheveled appearance, she was nicknamed Cinderella by her wicked stepsisters.

One day, the father was preparing to depart for the fair, and he asked his two step-daughters what gifts they desired.

"I want fine gowns," said one, "And precious stones and jewels," chimed the other.

"And you, Cinderella?" inquired the father.

"Father, I ask only that you break off for me the first twig from a tree that bumps your hat on the way back." replied Cinderella.

After the father returned from fair, he brought back expensive dresses and precious jewelry for his step-daughters. While returning home, he was passing through a dense forest, suddenly a hazel twig brushed against him, causing his hat to fall off. He broke off the twig and continued his journey. Upon arriving home, he distributed the gifts to his step-daughters as promised. To Cinderella, he presented the hazel twig. Cinderella expressed her gratitude and took the hazel branch with her to her mother's grave. She planted it there and wept watering it with her tears. Over time, the hazel branch grew into a beautiful and sturdy tree, providing shade and comfort to Cinderella whenever she visited her mother's resting place. Three times a day, Cinderella would go and sit under the tree, wailing and praying, and a little white bird would always perch on a branch. Whenever Cinderella made a wish, the bird would bring her what she desired.

One day, the king proclaimed a grand festival that was to go on for three days, and all the lovely young women in the land were invited, so that his son could select a suitable wife. When the two step-sisters learned that they were also invited to the event, they were thrilled, summoning Cinderella and saying, "Get our hair in order, polish our shoes and buckle our straps, for we are off to the royal wedding at the palace!"

Cinderella complied with their request, but her eyes were filled with tears as she longed to accompany them to the ball. She pleaded with her stepmother to grant her permission to attend the grand event.

"I can't believe you're asking to go to the festival, Cinderella," her stepmother scoffed. "You're covered in filth and grime, and you don't even have proper attire or shoes to wear, yet you want to attend the festival?" But Cinderella persisted, begging her stepmother to let her join in the festivities. Finally, the stepmother said, "I have a task for you. If you can separate these lentils from the ashes within two hours, then you may come with us."


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