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CINDERELLA by Roald Dahl

CINDERELLA

I guess you think you know this story.
You don’t. The real one’s much more gory.
The phoney one, the one you know,
Was cooked up years and years ago,
And made to sound all soft and sappy
Just to keep the children happy.
Mind you, they got the first bit right,
The bit where, in the dead of night,
The Ugly Sisters, jewels and all,
Departed for the Palace Ball,
While darling little Cinderella
Was locked up in a slimy cellar,
Where rats who wanted things to eat,
Began to nibble at her feet.
She bellowed, ‘Help!’ and ‘Let me out!’
The Magic Fairy heard her shout.
Appearing in a blaze of light,
She said, ‘My dear, are you all right?’
‘All right?» cried Cindy. ‘Can’t you see
‘I feel as rotten as can be!’
She beat her fist against the wall,
And shouted, ‘Get me to the Ball!
‘There is a Disco at the Palace!
‘The rest have gone and I am jealous!
‘I want a dress! I want a coach!
‘And earrings and a diamond brooch!
‘And silver slippers, two of those!
‘And lovely nylon panty-hose!
‘Done up like that I’ll guarantee
‘The handsome Prince will fall for me!’
The Fairy said, ‘Hang on a tick.’
She gave her wand a mighty flick
And quickly, in no time at all,
Cindy was at the Palace Ball!
It made the Ugly Sisters wince
To see her dancing with the Prince.
She held him very tight and pressed
Herself against his manly chest.
The Prince himself was turned to pulp,
All he could do was gasp and gulp.
Then midnight struck. She shouted, ‘Heck!
‘I’ve got to run to save my neck!’
The Prince cried, ‘No! Alas! Alack!’
He grabbed her dress to hold her back.
As Cindy shouted, ‘Let me go!’
The dress was ripped from head to toe.
She ran out in her underwear,
And lost one slipper on the stair.
The Prince was on it like a dart,
He pressed it to his pounding heart,
‘The girl this slipper fits,’ he cried,
‘Tomorrow morn shall be my bride!
‘I’ll visit every house in town
‘Until I’ve tracked the maiden down!’
Then rather carelessly, I fear,
He placed it on a crate of beer.
At once, one of the Ugly Sisters
(The one whose face was blotched with blisters)
Sneaked up and grabbed the dainty shoe,
And quickly flushed it down the loo.
Then in its place she calmly put
The slipper from her own left foot.
Ah-ha, you see, the plot grows thicker,
And Cindy’s luck starts looking sicker.
Next day, the Prince went charging down
To knock on all the doors in town.
In every house, the tension grew.
Who was the owner of the shoe?
The shoe was long and very wide.
(A normal foot got lost inside.)
Also it smelled a wee bit icky.
(The owner’s feet were hot and sticky.)
Thousands of eager people came
To try it on, but all in vain.
Now came the Ugly Sisters’ go.
One tried it on. The Prince screamed, ‘No!’
But she screamed, ‘Yes! It fits! Whoopee!
‘So now you’ve got to marry me!’
The Prince went white from ear to ear.
He muttered, ‘Let me out of here.’
‘Oh no you don’t! You’ve made a vow!
‘There’s no way you can back out now!’
‘Off with her head!’ the Prince roared back.
They chopped it off with one big whack.
This pleased the Prince. He smiled and said,
‘She’s prettier without her head.’
Then up came Sister Number Two,
Who yelled, ‘Now I will try the shoe!’
‘Try this instead!’ the Prince yelled back.
He swung his trusty sword and smack –
Her head went crashing to the ground.
It bounced a bit and rolled around.
In the kitchen, peeling spuds,
Cinderella heard the thuds
Of bouncing heads upon the floor,
And poked her own head round the door.
‘What’s all the racket?’ Cindy cried.
‘Mind your own bizz,’ the Prince replied.
Poor Cindy’s heart was torn to shreds.
My Prince! she thought. He chops off heads
How could I marry anyone
Who does that sort of thing for fun?
The Prince cried, ‘Who’s this dirty mutt?
‘Off with her nut! Off with her nut!’
Just then, all in a blaze of light,
The Magic Fairy hove in sight,
Her Magic Wand went swoosh and swish!
‘Cindy!’ she cried. ‘Come make a wish!
‘Wish anything and have no doubt
‘That I will make it come about!’
Cindy answered, ‘Oh kind Fairy,
‘This time I shall be more wary.
‘No more Princes, no more money.
‘I have had my taste of honey.
‘I’m wishing for a decent man.
‘They’re hard to find. D’you think you can?’
Within a minute, Cinderella
Was married to a lovely feller,
A simple jam-maker by trade,
Who sold good home-made marmalade.
Their house was filled with smiles and laughter
And they were happy ever after.

MATILDA by Hilare Belloc

MATILDA

Who Told Lies and Was Burned to Death
(From Cautionary Tales For Children)

Matilda told such Dreadful Lies,
It made one Gasp and Stretched one’s Eyes;
Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth,
Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth,
Attempted to Believe Matilda:
The effort very nearly killed her,
And would have done so, had not She
Discovered this Infirmity.
For once, towards the Close of Day,
Matilda, growing tired of play,
And finding she was left alone,
Went tiptoe to the Telephone
And summoned the Immediate Aid
Of London’s Noble Fire-Brigade.
Within an hour the Gallant Band
Were pouring in on every hand,
From Putney, Hackney Downs and Bow,
With Courage high and Hearts a-glow
They galloped, roaring through the Town,
«Matilda’s House is Burning Down!»
Inspired by British Cheers and Loud
Proceeding from the Frenzied Crowd,
They ran their ladders through a score
Of windows on the Ball Room Floor;
And took Peculiar Pains to Souse
The Pictures up and down the House,
Until Matilda’s Aunt succeeded
In showing them they were not needed
And even then she had to pay
To get the Men to go away
It happened that a few Weeks later
Her Aunt was oil lo the Theatre
To see that Interesting play
«The Second Mrs. Tanqueray».
She had refused to take her Niece
To hear this Entertaining Piece:
A Deprivation Just and Wise
To Punish her for Telling Lies.
That Night a Fire did break out —
You should have heard Matilda Shout!
You should have heard her Scream and Bawl.
And through the window up and call
To People passing in the Street —
(The rapidly increasing Heat
Encouraging her to obtain
Their confidence)—but all in vain!
For every time She shouted «Fire!»
They only answered «Little Liar!»
And therefore when her Aunt returned,
Matilda, and the House, were Burned.

BEST CHRISTMAS STORIES

christmas-stories

Here are 7 stories to enjoy reading at Christmas. Some of them are better known than the others, but nevertheless all of them are worth reading.

a-christmas-carol-by-charles-dickens

  1. «A Christmas Carol» by Charles Dickens

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2. «The Christmas Tree» from American Folklore Book

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memy-dragon-christmas-1

3. «Me and My Dragon. Christmas spirit» by David Biedrzycki

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the-nutcracker-and-the-mouse-king

4. «The Nutcracker and The Mouse King» by E.T.A. Goffmann

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5. «Absent-Mindedness in a Parish Choir» by Thomas Hardy

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how-the-grinch-stole-christmas

6. «How The Grinch Stole Christmas» by Dr. Seuss

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7. «When Jesus Came to Supper» from American Folklore Book

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Gift of the Magi

8. «The Gift of the Magi» by O. Henry

read now