A Logical Fairy Tale: The Glass Sandal
By: Sarah K.
Texas, Age 13
ItĂs really a shame that grown-ups donĂt believe in magic. Oh, goodness. I believe that without meaning to I just used the phrase that starts all most all books. Yes, IĂve done it! Oh well, now that my words have accidentally shoved themselves onto paper IĂve got no choice but to finish what IĂve written. You see, despite what those storytellers who tell those awful, untruthful tales to children may say; grown-ups have never, ever, ever (not once), ever believed in magic. ThatĂs right. Ever since the very first child on earth came in from playing screaming, ˘ Mommy! A fairy just gave me three wishes!÷ The grown-up just said it was all in his imagination, and that heĂd better go wash up because it was nearly dinnertime. Of course, in the aforesaid situation, he really was making it up, because every grown-down knows fairyĂs donĂt grant wishes, and they certainly wouldĂve had enough sense not to reveal themselves to a child who would go screaming to his mother. But thatĂs beside the point. Their explanation is that magic is too illogical to exist. TheyĂre wrong. Magic is the most logical explanation to many ˘unsolved mysteries÷.
For instance: Have you ever heard of Atlantis? Well, unlike most people believe, Atlantis is still thriving, good as new. Explanation? Simple. Atlantians hated birds, and this world just held too many. So, they wished, and wished, and wished, and wished, and hoped, and wished some more until finally, magic just couldnĂt stand all that wishing any more and just magicked them to a big hollow space right underneath the bottom of the ocean! If you tell that to a grown-up in a mental institution theyĂll probably believe you, so youĂd best high tail it down to your local mental hospital, because the only ones that believe get put in places like that.
In the following, you will read a popular fairy tale with corrections to how it really took place. I hope that I succeed in my mission, and you never tell any awful, untruthful tales to any children, ever again.
The Glass Sandal
(Or Cinderella, as those awful, untruthful storytellers like to call it):
The phrase, ˘Once Upon a Time,÷ is suitable for uninformed people, but incorrect if you know the precise date: 1473. Anyway, once upon 1473 there lived a cobbler named Milo. Milo made his real money making dull boots for wealthy men and gaudy shoes for their wives. Yet he often got bored with the repetition of his work. For a hobby, he sometimes made oddly shaped shoes out of things he could find lying on street corners, or around the house like, hardened candy mixtures, straw and grass but few had come in handy for anything but waste. Milo had a wife, who was a large woman named Henrietta. One Saturday Milo looked up from his cheque book and said to Henrietta, ˘WeĂre rapidly losing money. What should we do?÷ Henrietta immediately replied, ˘If you would stop making ridiculous shoes out of hardened candy, which melt when you wear them, we might have enough money to fix up the shop or at least put some bread on the table!÷ She gave that horrible stare that so many people give nowadays, which coincidentally, was started by Henrietta back in those days. ˘I forbid you to waste any time and\or money on useless folly! Hmmph!÷ It looked like MiloĂs fun was over. When Henrietta made up her mind that was it. ˘It÷ is another word for, ˘done÷, ˘finished, ˘back to boring work for snobby families÷ and, well, I think you get the idea.
Not far from Milo a young servant named Ellen resided in the basement of one of the largest mansions in the city. Ellen was never, ever called ˘Ella÷, or ˘Cinderella÷ like in the more frequently told story. She had been orphaned when she was eight years old and sent to live with a rather rich family who treated the very dirt that Ellen swept under their ugly rug, better than Ellen herself. Ellen was now 15 begining to understand that characters in Fairy Tales really need to stand up for themselves when the story calls for it. At this point, the story does not, so Ellen is, at this time waiting impatiently under these pages for the time when the story will call for standing up for herself (Because, as she's says, ''I've had it!'')
Now back to these horrid snobs. The Madam of the family spent the better part of every day commanding Ellen or lounging in the garden having tea with other high society women like herself. For example, once she had the duke of Flibberty-gibbet over for Luncheon and instead of doing the proper thing in social events, and introducing Ellen to the wealthy duke she simply said, ˘And this is the spare dirt we keep around the house because it has hands and is cheaper than employing a regular person.÷ The MadamĂs twin girls (who were so hideous I cannot bear to mention their names), at the same age as Ellen, were bratty and spoiled. The only thoughts that their brains housed were gossip, fashion, jealousy, and how to be more atrocious to respectable people. The other five children were showered with expensive gifts early on in their lives and then shut in their rooms like a forgotten present one might shove to the back of a closet to gather dust. The master of the family was hardly ever around to be the nasty person that he was, because he was usually gone on business or drunk in some tavern.
This kingdom, like most kingdoms on earth and surrounding planets had a king with a royal family who had their noses shoved up in the air so much, you might think they were fascinated with the clouds and stars and how the universe worked, rather than just being stuck-up. One day in late May, the king announced that he would once again waste the tax payers money on a grand party to celebrate the princeĂs birthday. All rich snobs were to attend. The absurd version of this tale suggest that the king wanted to find a bride for the prince (whoĂs name was Prince Robert), but the truth is, Robert was only turning sixteen and nobody wants to marry a prince at that unbearable age, no matter how charming he might be. The twin girls immediately began to prepare for the party so you should not be surprised when I tell you that Ellen became more than a bit overworked from washing gowns, styling hair, poofing cheeks with ghastly white and pink powders, buying shoes, fixing dresses, making dinners, washing make-up cases, checking mail, sorting laundry, doing more dishes than usual, poofing more cheeks, buying thread, washing floors,collecting spare nickels from under the sofas, doing more hair into ugly styles of the day, purchasing fashion magazines, scrubbing hair and soaking feet that did not belong to her. . Had she not been overworked, she would have never wanted to attend this party. Someone as smart as Ellen would know that royal festivals happen to be the most boring, dull, dreadful events in the world (Next to funerals and Square dances of course). But alas, she was overworked, and this caused her brain to become quite fuzzy, until it was so fuzzy that she believed she actually wanted to attend this festival. Of course, the fact remains that Ellen was not overworked so much to the extent that she thought she would actually be allowed to go.
Meanwhile, our humble shoe-maker\cobbler (which incidentally mean the same thing), Milo was again getting bored with doing the same thing day, after day, after day, but (as you remember if you have a memory like a normal being or a computer and bothered to read the first page of this tale) his wife Henrietta forbid him to ˘Waste any time and/or money on useless folly! Hmmph!÷ However, Henrietta was also extremely superstitious. On Monday night of the same week, Milo went into breakfast in the morning and over cold cereal and toast said, ˘Henrietta! Last night I heard a voice in a dream telling me to make a, ermÓ glass slipper or face the possibility of mis-fortune followed abruptly by death!÷ Henrietta immediately replied, ˘Oh, it said in that book, Your Dreams and why you should Obey Them, that you should obey loud voices in dreams and believe them when they threaten you! Make the shoe now! Before lunch, or IĂm, sure weĂll all die!÷ This so called ˘dream÷ of course, was completely made up because as most of us who havenĂt been brainwashed by un-true fairy tales know, strange mystical voices only appear to people who are lost in forests, large fields, or extremely hot deserts.
Magic being what it is, a fardwop, which is something like a fairy except they can only help their one-assigned-lifelong-person, just happened to be passing through town. The FardwopĂs name was Mo and his person was Ellen. Mo had a dilema. He knew he had to get Ellen to that grand celebration, but his magic button* was out of order. Some toddlers playing in the royal park, deeply enjoyed watching items such as bubbles, flower pots and face paint pop out of MoĂs head; and thus, they pushed it to death, or rather, until it was out of order.
Milo had just finished making his glass slipper and was putting it in the front window whenÓ Mo passed the shop. ˘Ah-ha!÷ Said Mo loudly. Several people turned and stared. ˘A beautiful slipper!÷ This time he talked a bit softer. In case youĂre wondering, Fardwops sound a bit like fish choking for water when they speak. Fairy Godmothers sound more like dainty bells or babbling brooks, so the absurd idea that Mo was a Fairy Godmother is absolute rubbish. Another very important difference is that Fairy Godmothers are extremely, annoyingly clean and are deathly afraid of rumpling their sparkly pink frocks. Whereas, Fardwops couldnĂt care less about dirt, sparkly pink frocks or spraying disinfectant on everything they touch and for that matter, are a heck of a lot more fun if you wanted to go outside and jump in the leaves.
*Magic buttons are located on every fardwops stomach where the belly button is located on the normal human stomach. When pressed, fardwops are able to use their magic. Without it, fardwops are utterly hopeless.
Mo entered the cobblerĂs shop. Milo stood, bored, behind his counter. How much for that tiny glass slipper?÷ Mo asked, his eyes still fixed on the shoe in the window. ˘W-w-what? Y-you want toÓto actually buy my glass slipper?÷ Mo nodded his head. Why would he be asking if he didnĂt want to buy it? ˘How much? Well, I havenĂt really thought about it butÓHow Šbout four silver pieces?÷ As Mo reached into his pocket he asked Milo where he could find a pretty gown to go with the slippers. Incidentally, Milos wife just happened to own a dress shop just next-door to the cobblers.Incidental things seem to happen quite a lot in these stories, don't they? Magic of course had the whole thing planned out, and at the precise moment, Henrietta came in with a sort of sad, mellow look on her face. Mo noticed she was carrying a Silver and Purple ball gown. Exactly what he needed.
˘No one bought it.÷ She said. ˘ĂBeen in da shop 8 months! ŠGonna have ta rip up the fabric Šn exchange it fer money.÷ Mo then shouted, ˘Nooooooo!÷ In almost slow motion, like you might see in a bad movie. But Mo (unlike horrible actors) had a very good reason to be corny. ˘Ya want it?÷ Henrietta looked at him in disbelief. ˘ Fer yerself?÷ Coming up with a quick lie Mo said, ˘ ItĂs, um, for the wife.÷ Henrietta, in desperate need to rid herself of the gown, gave him the dress at no charge; which pleased Mo because he didnĂt have anymore money left in his pocket. ˘Aaaahrgh! ItĂs almost time!÷ He yelled as the tower clock chimed seven. As you will note, Mo did not simply magic the gown and slippers out of thin air. How could he? His magic button had been broken by awful, uncaring toddlers! They had to come from some where. Why not a shop like Milos?
Mo raced over to EllenĂs house. Or rather, EllenĂs tiny basement. The snobs of the house had already left the master early to stop for a ˘quick drink÷ on the way. When the fardwop entered, Ellen was playing solitaire. ˘Hey Mo,÷ Ellen sighed. Unlike that other story, Ellen and Mo had met many times before. Ellen also knew that Mo was her fardwop. Mo began primping her in a hurried sort of fashion. ˘Mo, what in the world are you doing?÷ She asked as he began powdering her face. ˘ Getting you to the party. You know, the royal one that starts now. That is your wish right now, isnĂt it?÷ The ball gown weighed around fifty pounds and had uncountable layers of fluff so it took quite sometime for Ellen to put it on, but in the end it fit her like a glove (A glove that fits. Because, as we have learned by experience, not all gloves fit.). Ellen had had hours of practicing putting up big, ugly, fourteen seventy-threeish hairstyles from doing the twin girls hair. But when Mo took out the glass slipper and tried shoving it on to her foot, they found it too small. In the end Mo ended up cutting off the toe part of the shoe so that Ellens foot could claw through. This didnĂt please Ellen, as she thought it would be a bit of a giveaway, and in the end, it was, but we arenĂt at the end are we? So I certainly donĂt have to tell you how it was a give away.
In the tale you have probably heard, the shoe fitĂs perfectly and she goes to the ball in a fancy pumpkin. Well, in the true story (this one) she of course doesnĂt do that. You see, magic pumpkins happen to be out of season in late may. Magic was again on top of things, and had called a cab ahead of time. Ellen paid the cab driver but she didn't tip him because (as usual) the cab driver dropped her off at the main entrance to the palace, instead of the grand ballroom. She had to search for a few minutes to find the correct room which resulted in several embarrassing moments when she woke up snoring maid with mops dangling from both ears The king had again gone overboard on food and decorations, so guests had to look over stacks of pastry and through hanging streamers to see Ellen when she walked in. One of the grand snobs of the court (letĂs call her, grand snob #1), asked one of her friends (grand snob #2) who she was. Grand snob #2, of course didnĂt know, but she had to uphold her reputation of ''Gossip Queen'', so she said, ˘ One of the most fashionable ladies of the court.÷ Grand snob#1 then told all of the other grand snobs, so it wasnĂt long before this rumor had spread to all the grandsnobs dirty little ears.
IĂm sorry to again tear down the fairy tale you have over your life come to trust, but so much of it is so completely illogical, I cannot see how you could have believed it in the first place. Yet another of these illogical circumstances is the fact that Ellen danced the night away with the prince (that she funnily enough, falls in love with). No, Ellen was unable to take part in the dancing segment of the ball, because of her terribly uncomfortable glass slippers. And the prince was swarmed with silly girls wanting his autograph, so Ellen was not about to shove her way through the crowd just to meet a boy with silver crown on his head.
Instead she made her way to a corner and started on a few eclairs. It was at this very moment that grand snob #1 noticed EllenĂs shoes. ˘ Ooooh! Look at her shoes! It must be the new fashion. She is the most fashionable lady of the court. We are so out of fashion!÷ She hissed in the ear of a woman she hardly knew, who was drinking from the ladle of the punch bowl. Soon enough grand snob #1 had cut of the toe end of her shoe a rusty sword froma suit of armor.
It wasnĂt long before grand snob #2 followed this action, and soon no one had toes on their shoes. I wonder why people are staring at me, Ellen thought on her third glass of punch (she didnĂt use the ladle). Do they know IĂm not supposed to be here? It was midnight. Kareoke was starting. Ellen had heard awful things about the voices of noble men, and didnĂt wish to listen or take part in the screeching affair, so she ran as fast as she could when Sir Henry began singing an aria from Puccini.
About a month later, In early July, people were calling the new fashion a ˘sandal÷ Whether you like sandals or not doesnĂt really matter to me, but if I were to tell the kingdom fashion experts that, they would, in all likeliness kick you off the face of the earth. In this century,I assure you you are quite safe, but if you happen to have a time machine laying around, I strongly suggest not going back to 1473 and telling anyone that you don't like sandals! The kingdom fashion magazine (Do This and Do That or Else we Might Just Kick as Far as We can Off the face of the Earth Monthly) was doing a special section for the sandal and wanted to trace it back to the source. Several people had come forward saying they had invented the sandal, but all (as we know) had proven false.
Being so empty minded, the editors of Do, couldnĂt figure out a way to find this mystery girl who began this fad. So they sent out a team of S.B.F.E.Ăs (Sandal Bearing Fashion Experts) to go to every mansion, castle cottage, flat, apartment and town home. Which was, believe it or not, their best idea. When they came to EllenĂs house they searched high and low, but were not fooled by the twins desperate attempts to prove themselves the fashion starters.
Finally, they entered EllenĂs basement. Shattered glass from the ends of the glass slipper littered the floor. Ellen, had of course been far too busy with her other chores to do the proper thing and vacuum it up, so there it lay. The S.B.F.E squad also found two, tiny, glass sandals. Quick as a whip, they turned on their tape recorders, got out their peacock feather quills, and began questioning Ellen. ˘ Where did this idea hit you?÷ one reporter asked. Another inquired, ˘Why did you believe this was the only way to be fashionable?÷ Another, ˘ WhatĂs your favorite color?÷ The twin girls were green with envy and therefore fired Ellen on the spot. She, of course, was never really hired because she was never paid but all the sameÓshe left anyway.
They rushed Ellen down to Do headquarters where she landed on the cover of the September issue and made millions of dollars giving people fashion tips. MO, of course always remained her best friend and fardwop. She was from then on treated highest in the fashion world and they even renamed Do magazine, EllenĂs World that fit better on the front anyway. Milo, who was discovered, the cobbler of the first glass sandal, was also made official kingdom fashion cobbler and never had to make dull boots again.
Aha! IĂve finally gotten to the part that remains the same in that other storyÓ
They all lived
Happily Ever After