The wife of a rich man fell sick: and when she felt that her end drew nigh, she called her only daughter to her bedside, and said, “Always be a good girl, and I will look down from heaven and watch over you.” Soon afterwards she shut her eyes and died, and was buried in the garden; and the little girl went every day to her grave and wept, and was always good and kind to all about her. And the snow spread a beautiful white covering over the grave; but by the time the sun had melted it away again, her father had married another wife. This new wife had two daughters of her own: they were fair in face but foul at heart, and it was now a sorry time for the poor little girl. “What does the good-for-nothing thing want in the parlor?” said they; and they took away her fine clothes, and gave her an old frock to put on, and laughed at her and turned her into the kitchen.
Then she was forced to do hard work; to rise early, before daylight, to bring the water, to make
the fire, to cook and to wash. She had no bed to lie down on, but was made to lie by the hearth among the ashes, and they called her Cinderella.
It happened once that her father was going to the fair, and asked his wife’s daughters what he should bring to them. “Fine clothes,” said the first. “Pearls and diamonds,” said the second. “Now, child,” said he to his own daughter, “what will you have?” “The first sprig, dear father, that rubs against your hat on your way home,” said she. Then he bought for the two first the fine clothes and pearls and diamonds they had asked for: and on his way home, as he rode through a green copse, a sprig of hazel brushed against him, so he broke it off and when he got home he gave it to his daughter. Then she took it, and went to her mother’s grave and planted it there, and cried so much that it was watered with her tears; and there it grew and became a fine tree, and soon a little bird came and built its nest upon the tree, and talked with her and watched over her, and brought her whatever she wished for.
Now it happened that the king of the land held a feast which was to last three days, and out of those who came to it his son was to choose a bride for himself; and Cinderella’s two sisters were asked to come. So they called Cinderella, and said, “Now, comb our hair, brush our shoes, and tie our sashes for us, for we are going to dance at the king’s feast.” Then she did as she was told, but when all was done she could not help crying, for she thought to herself, she would have liked to go to the dance too, and at last she begged her mother very hard to let her go, “You! Cinderella?” said she; “you who have nothing to wear, no clothes at all, and who cannot even dance – you want to go to the ball?” And when she kept on begging, to get rid of her, she said at last, “I will throw this basinful of peas into the ash heap, and if you have picked them all out in two hours’ time you shall go to the feast too.” Then she threw the peas into the ashes; but the little maiden ran out at the back door into the garden, and cried out –
“Hither, thither, through the sky, turtle-doves and linnets, fly! Blackbird, thrush, and chaffinch gay, hither, thither, haste away! One and all, come, help me quick! haste ye, haste ye – pick, pick, pick!”