Fairy Tales 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cinderella Continued, or the Rat and the Six Lizards

Cinderella Continued is the story of what happens to the rat and six lizards that Cinderella's fairy godmother turned into the coachman and footmen. They are allowed to stay in their transformed states even after the clock strikes midnight. The rat, who was transformed into the coachman, decides that he will take charge of the footmen and they will become highwaymen.
They spend years amassing a fortune and then retire. The rat becomes obsessed with learning and buys many books to read. He also compiled many works himself. He also educates the six former lizards in various arts and they all are successful. After awhile the rat and four of the lizards die leaving only two of the band alive. These two fail to live within their means and are forced to once again steal to make their way. They wind up stealing a pair of Cinderella's slippers and one takes all the blame and is killed. The other does not live much longer himself.
The story is a fairy tale for a couple of reasons. There are elements of magic and a surprising ending. The whole story is based on the fact that the story of Cinderella occurred and the fairy godmother did in fact change the animals into men. This is obviously a magical feat. Also, the fact that the animals have human equivalent intelligence is unrealistic and so fairytale-esque in that it personifies the personalities of the transformed coachman and footmen.
Also, at the end of the tale, the reader is told that the fuzzy slippers taken by the two footmen are now on display at a museum in Pittsburgh and are being called pin trays. This is offering a fantastical explanation for the actual objects at the museum.

1 comment:

  1. Not having actually read this tale, I can't make an definite commentary on it, but it doesn't sound very fairy tale-like to me. True, it has elements of magic to it, and there is some sense of a moral because the greedy thieves are forced to steal more and die because of it, but overall it seems more like a gritty reboot of a fairy tale. The author almost seems to be mocking fairy tale forms rather than attempting to adhere to them. The transformed animals becoming highwaymen, and then becoming scholars just seems a bit too far-out to be a sincere effort at being a fairy tale.

    However, I suppose one could make the argument that it is a fairy tale despite its satirical front, because in the end it does promote a moral and the thieves are punished.