(Or at least I’m assuming you didn’t…apologies if I have questioned your fairy tale knowledge!)
by Rebekah Levin
1. The 1st Cinderella dates back to 1 B.C.!
“The Girl with the Rose-Red Slippers” is the earliest Cinderella story, dating all the way back to 1 B.C! A maltreated but kind Greek slave girl marries the Pharaoh after an eagle drops her red slipper into the Pharaoh’s lap.
2. Cinderella’s slippers – made of fur or glass?
The glass slippers might have been a mistake! In the Italian and French folk tales from which Charles Perrault adapted his own famous story, the magical slippers were made of fur. In French,“glass” is verre and sounds very similar to vair, meaning “squirrel fur.” So, Perrault could have misheard or just wanted to make his heroine wear some very unconventional footwear!
3. A Very Grimm Spin
True to their name, the Grimm Brothers have a rather… less than cheerful take on the story. The stepsisters try to fit their feet into the slipper by cutting off their heels. Then, at the end, Cinderella’s bird friends peck out their eyes. Lovely!
4. Universal Cinderella
The basic story of Cinderella is found in cultures all around the world! For instance, there is an early Chinese version of Cinderella where, instead of a Fairy Godmother, Cinderella’s wishes are granted via her dead pet goldfish. (So if you’ve gone through many a pet goldfish in your life…who knows? That toilet bowl where you’ve sent dear Bubbles to the Great Beyond, may have some magical shoe-bestowing properties.)
5. As a Ballet
The ballet, Cinderella, was created in 1945 (based on the Perrault version… not the gruesome Grimm one) and is still being performed to this day!