After the wedding, Cinderella went to live with the Prince
in his palace. All went well for a week or so: lemonade
and long naps under the juniper tree, foot massages, open-mouthed
kisses, and soft, roving hands. Cinderella was so enthusiastic
she accidentally ripped three pairs of the Prince's pants
in her rush to get at him. But it was O.K. He had plenty
Then she started disappearing at night. The Prince woke
up one morning to warm summer sunlight and an empty bed.
The servants made a thorough search of the palace, from
the dungeon to the attic, until the scullery maid found
Cinderella asleep in the kitchen.
"She's in the hearth!" declared the maid. "Fallen asleep
in the ashes underneath the cooking pot!" The Prince gathered
up his little bride, washed the soot from her face, and
took her upstairs. "I must have been sleep-walking," said
Cinderella, rubbing her eyes with a fist. The next night
she disappeared again, this time baking six dozen biscuits
before curling up underneath a pot of country-style gravy.
Again and again she left the Prince's bed, scrubbing the
floors at night, washing windows while everyone slept. Each
morning the Prince would find his lovely wife asleep in
the ashes and Cinderella would have no memory of having
washed every last dish in the palace.
Despite the guards placed at the couple's bedroom door,
Cinderella began sneaking out of a palace window and cleaning
the homes of the sleeping villagers. Once she walked six
miles in bare feet to her step-sisters' house (they'd been
living in a run-down Airstream trailer ever since the wedding).
When the step-sisters woke up to a clean home and a stack
of blueberry pancakes the next morning, they asked themselves,
"Who has been here?"
Their question was soon answered when they found Cinderella
digging in the garden with her hands. "Oh, Fairy Godmother,"
called Cinderella, her eyes glassy, her face streaked with
mascara and dirt. "It's almost midnight and there are no
coachmen to turn into mice! My slippers are missing and
I can't find any pumpkins to take me home."