441. Cinderella's Christmas
© Bruce Goodman 25 December 2014

It had been just over three years since Cinderella’s father had taken up living with the wicked stepmother and her two ugly daughters, Regan and Goneril. This was to be the third Christmas “as a family”. Cinderella had come to detest the season.

“Cinderella, have you cured and cooked the Christmas ham?”

“Cinderella, have you plucked and stuffed the turkey?”

“Cinderella, have you decorated the Christmas tree? wrapped the gifts? made the mince pies? swept up the dropped pine needles? hung the mistletoe? starched the serviettes?”

And not a finger did Cinderella’s two ugly sisters lift to help out.

“Why should we lift a finger to give a hand?” was the two ugly sisters favourite yuletide expression. They thought it very funny.

And then, each evening, they would go to the palace to see the Christmas lights. If they were lucky, they might even get to see the prince.

Come Christmas day, oh! the gifts! Goneril got clothes and jewellery like you wouldn’t believe. And shoes! Regan got handbags and hats and chocolates. And shoes! Cinderella got a grotty old hand-me-down blouse.

“You can cut the buttons off and use it as a duster,” declared the wicked step-mother. Everyone laughed, including Cinderella’s father who always seems surprisingly quiet when it comes to sticking up for his biological daughter. All he ever said to Cinders was “If the shoe fits, wear it.”

After they had eaten the delicious Christmas dinner prepared by Cinderella, all retired for a little snooze. Cinderella sat alone by the fire and wept.

“Surely,” she sighed, “one day soon, oh! one day! one day! perhaps this coming year? there will be light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t necessarily want a handsome prince. I just want someone to smile at me.”

Happy Christmas, one and all!

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