Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl named Cinderella. She lived with her wicked stepmother and two stepsisters. They treated Cinderella very badly. One day, on short notice, they were invited for a grand ball in the king’s palace. The king was the big wheel in the land. But Cinderella’s stepmother would not let her go and said that she was being sassy to even think that she could measure up to someone who could go to a grand ball. Cinderella was made to sew new party gowns for her stepmother and stepsisters, and curl their hair and everyone was in a tizzy getting ready for the ball. They went to the ball, leaving Cinderella alone at home. What a drag that was, and Cinderella felt like a sad sack and began to cry. Suddenly, a fairy godmother who had a hidden agenda, appeared and said, “Don’t cry, Cinderella! I will send you to the ball!” But Cinderella was sad. She said, “Get serious, I don’t have a gown to wear for the ball!” The fairy godmother had an ace in the whole, a magic wand! She said," You are under my care now," and waved her magic wand and changed Cinderella’s old clothes into a beautiful new gown! The fairy godmother then touched Cinderella’s feet with the magic wand. And lo! She had beautiful glass slippers! “How will I go to the grand ball?” asked Cinderella. The fairy godmother found six mice playing near a pumpkin, in the kitchen. She touched them with her magic wand and the mice became four shiny black horses and two coachmen and the pumpkin turned into a golden coach. No tin Lizzie for Cinderella, she was going to the ball in style. Cinderella was overjoyed and set off for the ball in the coach drawn by the six black horses. Before leaving. the fairy godmother said, “Cinderella, this magic will only last until midnight! You must reach home by then! You must keep under wraps how you got these fine clothes.” When Cinderella entered the palace, everybody was struck by her beauty. Nobody, not even Cinderella’s stepmother or stepsisters, knew who she really was in her pretty clothes and shoes. The handsome prince also saw her and fell in love with Cinderella. He went to her and asked, “Do you want to dance?” And Cinderella said, “Yes!” The prince danced with her all night and nobody recognized the beautiful dancer. Cinderella was having a blast dancing with the prince that she almost forgot what the fairy godmother had said. At the last moment, Cinderella remembered her fairy godmother’s words and she rushed to go home. “Oh! I must go!” she cried and ran out of the palace. One of her glass slippers came off but Cinderella did not turn back for it. She reached home just as the clock struck twelve. Her coach turned back into a pumpkin, the horses into mice and her fine ball gown into rags. Cinderella was back to square one, in rags again. Her stepmother and stepsisters reached home shortly after that. They were talking about the beautiful lady who had been dancing with the prince. The prince had fallen in love with Cinderella and longed for the beautiful girl, but he did not even know her name. He found the glass slipper that had come off Cinderella’s foot as she ran home. The prince said, “I will find her. The lady whose foot fits this slipper will be the one I marry!” The next day, the prince and his servants took the glass slipper and dropped in on all the houses in the kingdom. They wanted to find the lady whose feet would fit in the slipper. All the women in the kingdom wanted to have first crack at the slipper but it would not fit any of them. Cinderella’s stepsisters also tried on the little glass slipper. They tried to squeeze their feet and push hard into the slipper, but the servant was afraid the slipper would break. Cinderella asked if she could try on the slipper and her stepmother told her to hold your tongue and would not let her try the slipper on, but the prince saw her and he wouldn't let up on his search and said, “Let her also try on the slipper!” The slipper fit her perfectly. The prince recognized her from the ball. He married Cinderella and she put down roots in the palace where the balance of power between her stepmother and her stepsisters changed. She was now a queen, and Cinderella felt her stepmother and stepsisters could eat their hearts out. Cinderella and the King lived happily ever after.

Idioms in this story:

a big wheel a blast a drag ace in the hole let up long for measure up hidden agenda hold your tongue in a tizzy keep it under wraps first crack at it get serious tin Lizzie under my care eat your heart out drop in put down roots sad sack sassy back to square one balance of power on short notice