"Let me try it on," said Cinderella from the chimney corner.
"What, you?" cried the others, bursting into shouts of laughter; but Cinderella only smiled, and held out her hand.
Her sisters cou1d not prevent her, since the command was that every young maiden in the city should try on the slipper, in order that no chance might be left untried, for the prince was nearly breaking his heart; and his father and mother were afraid that though a prince, he would actually die for love of the beautiful unknown lady.
So the herald bade Cinderella sit down on a three-legged stool in the kitchen, and himself put the slipper on her pretty little foot, which it fitted exactly; she then drew from her pocket the fellow slipper, which she also put on, and stood up-for with the touch of the magic shoes all her dress was changed likewise-no longer the poor despised cinder wench, but the beautiful lady whom the king's son loved.
Her sisters recognized her at once. Filled with astonishment, mingled with no little alarm, they threw themselves at her feet, begging her pardon for all their former unkindness. She raised and embraced them; told them she forgave them with all her heart, and only hoped they would love her always. Then she departed with the herald to the king's palace, and told her whole story to his majesty and the royal family, who were not in the least surprised, for everybody believed in fairies, and everybody longed to have a fairy godmother.
For the young prince, he found her more lovely and lovable than ever, and insisted upon marrying her immediately. Cinderella never went home again, but she sent for her two sisters to the palace, and with the consent of all parties married them shortly after to two rich gentlemen of the court.
LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD
By Charles Perrault
ONCE upon a time there lived in a certain village a little country girl, the prettiest creature ever seen. Her mother was very fond of her, and her grandmother doted on her still more. This good woman had made for her a little red riding-hood, which became the girl so well that everybody called her Little Red Riding-Hood.
One day her mother, having made some custards, said to her:
"Go, my dear, and see how thy grandmamma does, for I hear she has been very ill; carry her a custard and this little pot of butter."
Little Red Riding-Hood set out immediately to go to her grandmother, who lived in another village.
As she was going through the wood she met with Gaffer Wolf, who had a very great mind to eat her up, but he durst not, because of some fagot makers hard by in the forest. He asked her whither she was going. The poor child, who did not know that it was dangerous to stop and listen to a wolf, said to him:
"I am going to see my grandmamma and carry her a custard and a little pot of butter from my mamma."
"Does she live far off?" said the Wolf.
"Oh! yes," answered Little Red Riding-Hood; "it is beyond that mill you see there, at the first house in the village."
"Well," said the Wolf, "I'll go and see her, too. I'll go this way and you go that, and we shall see who will be there soonest."
The Wolf began to run as fast as he could, taking the nearest way, and the little girl went by the longest, diverting herself in gathering nuts, running after butterflies, and making nosegays of such little flowers as she met with. The Wolf was not long before he got to the old woman's house. He knocked at the door-tap, tap.
"Your grandchild, Little Red Riding-Hood," replied the Wolf, imitating her voice; "who has brought you a custard and a little pot of butter sent you by mamma."
The good grandmother, who was in bed, because she was ill, cried out:
"Pull the bobbin, and the latch will go up."
The Wolf pulled the bobbin, and the door opened, and he fell upon the good woman and ate her up in a moment, for it was above three days that he had not touched a bit. He then shut the door and went into the grandmother's bed, expecting Little Red Riding-Hood, who came some time afterward and knocked at the door-tap, tap.
Little Red Riding-Hood, hearing the big voice of the Wolf, was at first afraid; but believing her grandmother had got a cold and was hoarse, answered:
'Tis your grandchild, Little Red Riding-Hood, who has brought you a custard and a little pot of butter mamma sends you."
The Wolf cried out to her, softening his voice as much as he could:
"Pull the bobbin and the latch will go up."
Little Red Riding-Hood pulled the bobbin and the door opened.
The wolf, seeing her come in, said to her, hiding himself under the bedclothes:
"Put the custard and the little pot of butter upon the stool, and come and lie down with me."
Little Red Riding-Hood undressed herself and went into bed, where, being greatly amazed to see how her grandmother looked in her night clothes, she said to her:
"Grandmamma, what great arms you've got!"
"That is the better to hug thee, my dear."
"Grandmamma, what great legs you've got!"
"The better to run, my child."
"Grandmamma, what great ears you've got!"
"The better to hear, my child!"
"Grandmamma, what great eyes you've got!"
"The better to see, my child."
"Grandmamma, what great teeth you've got!"
"To eat thee up!"
And saying these words, the wicked Wolf fell upon Little Red Riding- Hood and ate her all up.
THE STORY OF THE THREE BEARS
By Robert Southey
ONCE upon a time there were three Bears, who lived together in a house of their own in a wood. One of them was a Little, Small, Wee Bear; and one was a Middle-sized Bear, and the other was a Great, Huge Bear.
They had each a pot for their porridge, a little pot for the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and a middle-sized pot for the Middle Bear; and a great pot for the Great, Huge Bear. And they had each a chair to sit in: a little chair for the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and a middle-sized chair for the Middle Bear; and a great chair for the Great, Huge Bear.
And they had each a bed to sleep in: a little bed for the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and a middle-sized bed for the Middle Bear; and a great bed for the Great, Huge Bear.
One day, after they had made the porridge for their breakfast and poured it into their porridge pots, they walked out into the wood while the porridge was cooling, that they might not burn their mouths by beginning too soon to eat it. And while they were walking a little old woman came to the house. She could not have been a good, honest, old woman; for, first, she looked in at the window, and then she peeped in at the keyhole, and, seeing nobody in the house, she lifted the latch.
The door was not fastened, because the bears were good bears, who did nobody any harm, and never suspected that anybody would harm them. So the little old woman opened the door and went in; and well pleased she was when she saw the porridge on the table. If she had been a good little old woman she would have waited till the bears came home, and then, perhaps, they would have asked her to breakfast, for they were good hears-a little rough or so, as the manner of bear's is, but for all that very good-natured and hospitable. But she was an impudent, bad old woman, and set about helping herself.
So first she tasted the porridge of the Great Huge Bear, and that was too hot for her; and she said a bad word about that. And then she tasted the porridge of the Middle Bear, and that was too cold for her; and she said a bad word about that, too. And then she went to the porridge of the Little, Small, Wee Bear, and tasted that, and that was neither too hot nor too cold, but just right; and she liked it so well that she ate it all up; but the naughty old woman said a bad word about the little porridge pot, because it did not hold enough for her.