The fairy godmother waved her magic wand, said the magic words, and Cinderella’s dress was transformed from being worn and stained into a beautiful, sparkly, floaty ballgown. Cinderella gasped.
“That’s amazing. How did you do that?”
The fairy godmother chuckled. “With magic, of course. Now let’s see about getting you to the ball.”
“I don’t want to go to the ball,” Cinderella said. “I want to learn magic.”
“You can’t learn magic. To learn magic you would have to be magical, like a fairy. You are a lovely girl, but you don’t have any magic,” the fairy godmother explained. Then she raised her wand again.
“But you can turn things into other things, right?” Cinderella asked.
“Then turn me into a fairy.” Cinderella smiled encouragingly and leaned forward.
The fairy godmother sighed and dropped her wand again. “Cinderella, I am here to help you because the fates sent me. My assignment is to get you to that ball.”
Cinderella sat back and frowned. “I don’t want to go to the ball. Not when I could learn magic instead.”
“The transformation would probably only last until midnight anyway. Most of them don’t last long. Which is why we need to send you to the ball as soon as possible. So, how shall we get you there?”
“Teach me to do magic and I’ll fly there,” Cinderella said.
“Nonsense. You’d arrive looking windblown, and then they wouldn’t let you in the doors.” The fairy godmother shuddered and patted at her perfectly smooth hair. “Now, what is wrong dear? Just moments ago you were thrilled about the idea of going to the ball.”
“That was before I saw you using magic. Magic is much more interesting than a crowded ballroom full of people who wouldn’t notice me on an ordinary day.” Cinderella sighed. “If I could do magic, maybe I could get away from here. Or change my stepmother and stepsisters into toads.”
“Cinderella! Magic will not solve your problems. And it shouldn’t be used in anger.”
“I wouldn’t really. But it’s nice to imagine. It’s not as though going to the ball will solve my problems either.”
The fairy godmother smiled. “What if I told you that the prince will fall madly in love with you and whisk you away from here to live happily ever after?”
Cinderella laughed. “He doesn’t even know me! I don’t know him. That’s ridiculous.”
“And yet, that is what the fates decree. Now, let’s get you to that ball.” The fairy godmother raised her wand.
The fairy godmother sighed and lowered her wand. “What now?”
“If I agree to go to the ball, will you ask the fates if I can learn magic later?” Cinderella asked.
“If it will get you to go, I will ask. I cannot imagine the fates agreeing to it, but I will ask. Now hand me that pumpkin. I think I will make you a coach.”
Cinderella sighed. “I was saving that for a pie.”
“You’ll get it back later. Remember, everything will wear off at midnight.”
Looking down at her fancy new dress, Cinderella nodded. “I’ll watch the clock carefully.
“But not too carefully. You’re supposed to fall in love tonight. Do you have any mice? They’d make lovely coachmen.”
“I don’t know. It’s starting to feel like a lot of pressure. Maybe I don’t want to go to the ball,” Cinderella said.
The fairy godmother laughed. “It’s just mice. If finding them is too much for you, I can do it.” She wiggled her wand and chanted.
“That’s not what I meant,” Cinderella said. But, the fairy godmother was already shooing her into the finished carriage. She sighed. “You will ask, right?”
“Of course I will. Go. Have fun. Lose a shoe.” The fairy godmother waved her off.
“What?” Cinderella asked. But the carriage was already racing away, towards the ball.