Story Essay

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THE CHAPTER KNOWN AS THE FIRST Are you sitting comfortably, children? Good, then I’ll begin. Once upon a time there was a rich gentleman at a Court somewhere in Europe, who was married to a beautiful lady. She bore him a daughter, but while the daughter was still quite a little girl a fever took her mother, and her father was left to bring up his daughter alone. He was worried about doing this, and felt she should have a mother; so a couple of years later he married again, to a rich and fashionable widow, the Grafin Eisenmieder, who had two daughters of her own. Now this second wife wasn’t altogether a wicked woman, but she spoiled her daughters terribly and let them have their own way in everything. When they found out that their new stepfather already had a little girl of his own, they didn’t like the idea one bit, and complained to their mother. She listened, said "Of course, my darlings!" and went to tell her husband that there was no way she was going to let his first wife’s brat be brought up with her own children. So the rich gentleman went to his own daughter and sadly told her that she would have to go away. She wept and begged him to let her stay in the house, and eventually by means of compromise it was decided that if she became a servant she wouldn’t have to leave. So Cinderella, which was her name, went down the back stairs into the kitchen and— You at the back there, shut your noise. Who’s telling this story? All right, I admit it, you’ve probably heard something like it before, but you haven’t heard this story. Jakob Grimm was a fine fellow in his way, but he should have stuck to proto-Indo-European phonology. He did have a stab at telling this story, but he felt it wasn’t proper to explain what really happened, and so he changed a few things round to make it decent for little folk. Whoever heard of a glass slipper? How could you

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