It is true to say that Cinderella did not like her stepmother or her stepsisters and that they made her do all of the housework and were mean to her. However, the only other thing that it is true to say is that the rest of the story has been ‘altered’ over the years.
Cinderella was tortured by her step-monster but was helped out by someone other than the animals of the woods; her incredibly camp and perfectly lovely neighbour, Sir Rodney. Sir Rodney had offered to marry Cinderella to get her away from her step-monsters but both of them knew that it would be a disaster because they both knew that Rodney would be popping on Cinderella’s clothes every other minute and that was not ideal as he was at least two sizes bigger than she was.
Besides, Cinderella wanted to punish her step-monsters in the most demoralising way possible. Yes, that’s right, despite of the rubbish Disney was sprouting, she was not all sweetness and light; Cinderella had a thirst for revenge which could only be described as all consuming and a teeny bit terrifying.
Sir Rodney had heard that the Prince was being urged by his father, the King, to marry and that a ball would be held where he must choose a bride or the King would choose for him. This excited the step-monsters greatly as their one and only goal in life was to snag a successful husband and one can’t get more successful than heir to the throne. Unfortunately, this news distressed Sir Rodney terribly because even though he knew that the Prince was terribly fond of him, he couldn’t marry him because the King expected a female queen. The concern for Cinderella here was that as the Prince’s tastes leaned more to a, let’s say, masculine aesthetic and that he would choose one of the step-sisters to marry as they both looked like the brawniest variety of male lumberjacks; one of her sisters even sported a very respectable beard, which she dyed blonde to conceal and look more feminine but only managed to make herself look like a Nordic god.
The thought of one of her sisters being Queen was unpalatable to Cinderella so she hatched a plan. She would wear one of Sir Rodney’s dresses (cut down to fit her, of course) and Sir Rodney, being one of the Prince’s favourite companions, would suggest that the Prince dance with her and then she could present her ‘deal’.
The night of the ball arrived, and as planned, Cinderella wore her friend’s gown and borrowed the perfect accompanying shoes and Sir Rodney suggested the Prince dance with her.
Which he did.
The Prince was throughly bored by the whole proceedings and had decided to treat every dance like an interview for a job. The previous candidates were shocked by the lack of sentiment but had feigned loving adoration for the Prince regardless; this did not impress him.
Cinderella did not speak to him until he spoke.
“So, let me guess; you’re madly in love with me,” he sighed.
Cinderella continued to dance as he whirled her out, recognised the dress of his friend before pulling her back in; her choice of couture enthralled him.
“No,” she finally said.
The Prince frowned. “Oh. I’m assuming you’re here because you want to marry me?”
He twirled her out again, and then pulled her closer to smell the scent of his favourite friend, the delectable Sir Rodney.
“Yes, but to be brutally honest, I don’t find you attractive.”
The Prince almost stopped in his tracks. “I’m gorgeous, everyone says so!”
Cinderella put her hand to his face. “You are, but I don’t find men particularly desirable.”
A dawning comprehension crossed the Prince’s face. “Tell me, is Sir Rodney a very good friend of yours?”
“Yes. In fact, he gave me this very gown to wear tonight.” She tripped slightly in the crystal slippers which were a bit big for her. “He even loaned me the crystal slippers,” she added.
“Would Sir Rodney be visiting the palace a lot if we were to marry?”
Cinderella, paused in an effort to contain her joy, the ultimate upwomanship on her step-monsters was within her grasp but, in her excitement, she tripped over her feet and one of Sir Rodney’s crystal slippers fell off, spun in the air and fell at the Prince’s feet as she unceremoniously landed on the floor.
Cinderella blushed, certain that her plan had failed.
Sir Rodney, who had been watching the whole scene very closely, cried; certain the plan had failed.
The Prince, leaned to down to pick up the crystal slipper, smiled while formulating his own plan.
He helped Cinderella up, knelt down and held up the crystal slipper. “I humbly ask the owner of this crystal slipper to be mine forever,” he announced loudly so that everyone in the ballroom could hear him. He glanced at Cinderella’s face before looking behind her to where Sir Rodney stood, his hands over his mouth nodding furiously.
Cinderella glanced over her shoulder, saw Sir Rodney before cocking an eyebrow at the Prince. “Are you asking me to marry you?”
The Prince dragged his gaze away from Sir Rodney to Cinderella. “Uhm. Yes. Of course. Will you?”
“Yes!” Cinderella said enthusiastically before planting a very sisterly kiss on the Prince’s cheek.
And they all lived happily every after and she never borrowed Sir Rodney’s shoes ever again.