Cinderella

The tale of Cinderella tells us that developing your authenticity or your authentic ideas, originally starts in the cellar between cinders and ashes. Banned by a hostile world, averse to enthousiasm and the holy fire, the patterns of the world must be rearranged carefully. You have to keep the fire burning and to carefully arrange and sort out. That’s the job that has to be done before the (brain-)child is recognized and acknowledged.

Short after Cinderella’s birth, her mother fell seriously ill and died. Her father mourned and although he was very happy with his little daughter, he couldn’t overcome his sorrow to have to miss his wife. The first few years he gave a lot of attention to her but more and more often he went away from home and wondered if he was capable of raising his little girl. Because, well, what did he know about that! That’s why he decided to remarry. Then Cinderella would have a mother again and would be taken good care of.

The father remarried with a widow who already possessed two daughters and therefore seemed very apt to raise Cinderella also. In the beginning everything seemed to be going well, but the father, who didn’t love this woman at all, went away more often and every time it lasted longer before he returned. Meanwhile the girls grew up together. Every one of them was nice to look at, all three had learned good manners, but yet Cinderella was somehow different from her sisters.

Cinderella was always cheerful and happy about what life gave her. Everybody loved Cinderella and that was a thorn in the flesh of the stepmother. ‘I will teach you that life isn’t only sunshine’ she thought and she started to give Cinderella all sorts of household jobs.

Things the stepsisters didn’t have to do because they allready had a difficult life, at least, to judge by their complaining. But it didn’t bother Cinderella. She liked to be busy and she had always found it rather annoying to just sit and behave. The more Cinderella had to do, the more cheerful she became. And the more cheerful Cinderella became, the more angry the stepmother got. And when it looked like her father wasn’t going to show up again, the stepmother assigned Cinderella the most dirty jobs and went on to say: ‘Ugh, how dirty you look, stay in the kitchen and don’t show yourself.’

It one day happened that the king of the country announced that there would be a great ball to which all marriageable girls were invited, so the prince could choose himself a bride. The stepsisters of Cinderella were in a state. They were certain they made a chance, for they always looked very beautiful! Cinderella had also heard the announcer and for the first time she felt how lonely she really was. To visit a ball, to celebrate, to laugh and talk, it all seemed so delightful to her, but what possibility was there for her ever to go? She even didn’t have a decent dress, and certainly not a dress suitable for a ball. But oh, how much she would like to go there.

On the night of the ball her stepmother and stepsisters drove away without even thinking once about Cinderella. Cinderella went out into the garden from which she could see the distant lights of the palace and hear the faint music. She was dreaming a little and had given up all hope, when suddenly her godmother, the fairy, appeared. Her godmother conjured up a carriage, horses and a magnificent ball dress. Cinderella looked miraculously beautiful. ‘Don’t forget’, her godmother said to her, ‘the spell breaks at twelve, everything will then be the same as it was before.’

When the prince saw Cinderella, he led her to the dance and danced the whole night with her. That was not the way things should go but they totally had forgotten their surroundings and the time. Until the clock stroke twelve. Cinderella was frightened and she ran away, just in time, but in her flight she lost one of her glass slippers.

The prince was so taken by surprise by the sudden disappearance of Cinderella that he couldn’t catch up with her. Then he saw the glass slipper lying on the staircase. He picked it up and it was so beautiful, so very fine and so clear, that he knew for certain it would only fit one girl. Only the girl he had been dancing with the whole night could have such delicate feet.

The next day, the prince set out for the girl of the glass slipper. He travelled through the whole country. And at every place where he saw a girl who even looked a little bit like Cinderella, he asked her to try the slipper, but it fitted to none of the girls. Finally he arrived at the home of Cinderella. The sisters were eager to try the slipper. And though they didn’t resemble his fairy princess they were allowed to try the glass slipper.

To his great relief the slipper didn’t fit and just when he thought he had to go on, Cinderella entered and asked if she might try. The prince put the slipper on Cinderella’s foot and look, it fitted! ‘And here you have the other slipper’, Cinderella said and produced the other slipper from her apron. Her stepmother was furious, but there was nothing she could do about it. Cinderella married the prince and they lived happily ever after.