Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

more admired her. A fine collation was served up, whereof the young prince ate not a morsel, so intently was he busied in gazing on her. She went and sat down by her sisters, showing them a thousand civilities, giving them part of the oranges and citrons which the prince had presented her with; which very much surprised them, for they did not know her. While Cinderella was thus amusing her sisters, she heard the clock strike eleven and three-quarters, whereupon she immediately made a courtesy to the company, and hasted away as fast as she could.

Being got home, she ran to seek out her godmother; and after having thanked her, she said she could not but heartily wish she might go next day to the ball, because the king's son had desired her. As she was eagerly telling her godmother whatever had passed at the ball, her two sisters knocked at the door, which Cinderella ran and opened. "How long you have stayed!" cried she, gaping, rubbing her eyes, and stretching herself as if she had been just awaked out of her sleep; she had not, however, any manner of inclination to sleep since they went from home. If thou hadst been at the ball,” says one of her sisters, “thou wouldest not have been tired with it. There came thither the finest princess, the most beautiful ever seen with mortal eyes; she showed us a thousand civilities, and gave us oranges and citrons.

Cinderella seemed very indifferent in the matter, indeed, she asked them the name of the princess, but they told her they did not know it, and that the king's son was very uneasy on her account, and would give all the world to know who she was. At this Cinderella,

smiling, replied, “She must then be very beautiful, indeed. How happy have you been! Could not I see her? Ah! dear Miss Charlotte, do lend me your yellow suit of clothes, which you wear every day." “Ay, to be sure," cried Miss Charlotte, “lend my clothes to such a dirty cinder-wench as thou art! who's the fool then?" Cinderella, indeed, expected some such an answer, and was very glad of the refusal; for she would have been sadly put to it, if her sister had lent her what she asked for jestingly.

The next day the two sisters were at the ball, and so was Cinderella, but dressed more magnificently than before. The king's son was always by her side, and never ceased his compliments and amorous speeches to her; to whom all this was so far from being tiresome that she quite forgot what her godmother had recommended to her, so that she at last counted the clock striking twelve, when she took it to be no more than eleven; she then rose up, and fled as nimble as a deer. The prince followed, but could not overtake her. She left behind one of her glass slippers, which the prince took up most carefully. She got home, but quite out of breath, without coach or footmen, and in her old cinder clothes, having nothing left of all her finery but one of the little slippers, fellow to that she dropped. The guards at the palace gate were asked if they had not seen a princess go out. They said they had seen nobody go out but a young girl, very meanly dressed, and who had more the air of a poor country wench than a gentlewoman.

When the two sisters returned from the ball, Cinderella asked them if they had been well diverted, and if

the fine lady had been there. They told her yes, but that she hurried away immediately when it struck twelve, and with so much haste that she dropped one of her little glass slippers, the prettiest in the world, which the king's son had taken up; that he had done nothing but look at her all the time of the ball, and that most certainly he was very much in love with the beautiful person who owned the little slipper.

What they said was very true: for a few days after, the king's son caused to be proclaimed by sound of trumpets that he would marry her whose foot this slipper would just fit. They whom he employed began to try it on upon the princesses, then the duchesses and all the court, but in vain; it was brought to the two sisters, who did all they possibly could to thrust their feet into the slipper, but they could not effect it. Cinderella, who saw all this, and knew her slipper, said to them, laughing, “Let me see if it will not fit me!" Her sisters burst out laughing, and began to banter her. The gentleman who was sent to try the slipper, looked earnestly at Cinderella, and finding her very handsome, said it was but just that she should try, and that he had orders to let every one make trial. He obliged Cinderella to sit down, and putting the slipper to her foot, he found it went in very easily, and fitted her as if it had been made of wax. The astonishment her two sisters were in was excessively great, but still abundantly greater, when Cinderella pulled out of her pocket the other slipper and put it on her foot. Thereupon, in came her godmother, who having touched, with her wand, Cinderella's clothes, made

them richer and more magnificent than any of those she had before.

And now her two sisters found her to be that fine beautiful lady whom they had seen at the ball. They threw themselves at her feet, to beg pardon for all the ill treatment they had made her undergo. Cinderella took them up, and as she embraced them, cried that she forgave them with all her heart, and desired them always to love her. She was conducted to the young prince, dressed as she was. He thought her more charming than ever, and a few days after, married her.

How the Chipmunk Got the Stripes on Its Back.*

Do

O you all know the little striped chipmunk which

lives in our woods? He has a cousin in far-off India called the geloori.

It is said that the stripes came on the back of the geloori in a wonderful way.

One day the great Shiva saw a little gray chipmunk on the seashore.

He was dipping his bushy tail into the sea, and shaking out the water on the shore.

Twenty times a minute he dipped it into the ocean.

In wonder, Shiva said, “What are you doing, little foolish, gray geloori? Why do you tire yourself with such hard labor?"

The geloori answered, “I cannot stop, great Shiva. "The storm blew down the palm tree where I built

my nest.

“See! the tree has fallen seaward, and the nest lies in the water; my wife and pretty children are in it; I fear that it will float away. Therefore, all day and all night, I must dip the water from the sea.

“I hope soon to bale it dry. “I must save my darlings even if I spoil my tail."

Shiva stooped and with his great hand stroked the little squirrel.

On the geloori's soft fur from his nose to the end of * From Nature Myths and Stories, by permission of A. Flanagan, publisher.

« ZurückWeiter »