A new video of the story of Cinderella is available on my YouTube site Bonnie Ferrante – Making Reading and Learning Fun. It is made using Legos, Little People, and graphics. After your child watches it, encourage him or her to act out the story using toys or dress up. Here is the script for reference but don’t make the child follow it. Let them tell the story at their own level.
You are welcome to use the video or script in any non-commercial way. Please give credit to the author.
Long ago when there was still magic in the world, a young girl named Ella lost first her Mama and then her Papa. Papa had remarried into the Less family, who seemed nice, at the beginning.
Ella did worry, however, about the cruel way they treated animals. You can learn a lot about people by the way they treat animals. Ella fed the birds and rabbits in the winter. She groomed the old mare every day and if she did not have time to ride her. she let her loose to run at will. Ella was kind to the hen. The Less family, however, would kick the hen she was underfoot. They thought it was funny to throw rocks at birds and rabbits. The animals soon learned to hide it from everyone except Ella.
But the Less family did not show how awful they really were until Papa was gone. Papa’s ship sank in a terrible storm in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. All his fortune was on board and so Ella lost her father and all their wealth as well.
Grace, her stepmother, was furious. She had a beautiful old house but no money to spend. She moved Ella to the attic and treated her like the most unfortunate servant on earth. Since Ella’s stepmother bullied her, her two stepsisters Virtue and Mercy Less were even crueller.
Grace: “Sweep the floors and then wash them.”
But as soon as Ella was finished, Virtue walked through with muddy shoes.
Grace: “Do the dishes and clean up the kitchen.”
But as soon as Ella finished, Mercy made a snack leaving breadcrumbs, spilled milk, sticky fingerprints and dirty dishes scattered around the room.
Grace: “Clean up Virtue’s bedroom. Then clean up Mercy’s.”
As soon as Ella finished cleaning Mercy’s room, Virtue’s was already a mess again.
Grace: You did a terrible job of cleaning up the bedroom. What you doing with all your time?
Virtue and Mercy did nothing all day but play with their makeup and their hair, eat, and look through catalogs for stylish new clothes.
Virtue: “Mother,”I want a new gown. Nothing I have is in style anymore.”
Mercy: “Mother, I want new shoes. Nothing I have is in style anymore.”
So Grace would sell something from Ella’s home, an heirloom clock, a silver plate, or a brooch from Ella’s mother’s jewelry box. It broke Ella’s heart to see all her family things being sold away but if she said anything, Grace would lock her in the attic and not allow her to eat for a day.
Ella did not want more things to be sold, but when her toes were peeking through her shoes, she said, “Grace, could I have some new shoes? Mine are worn out.”
Grace: “Do you think money grows on trees? If I hadn’t been foolish enough to marry your father, I wouldn’t have to be living in squalor. If you want shoes, buy them yourself.”
Ella: “But I have no money.”
Grace: “Well, I guess I’ll have to sell something then.”
Ella cringed. She didn’t want anything else sold away but she really needed shoes.
One day she came back from working in the garden. Ella saw two men carrying her bed away.
Ella: “Grace, where are they going with my bed?”
Grace opened her hand and took out a few coins. She gave them to Ella. “That’s more than enough for shoes. Don’t ask me for any more money for at least a year.”
Ella: “But what will I do without a bed? It’s freezing in the attic.”
Grace: “I’m sure you’ll figure something out.”
So Ella slept in front of the fireplace in the kitchen. Every morning she woke with ashes on her skin as well as burn marks on her dress.
When she brought breakfast to her family, Grace said, “You’re filthy. Your dress is full of holes. It’s a good thing I’m not wasting any more money on you since can’t even take care of what you have.”
Ella: “I can’t help it. The cinders pop out of the fireplace and spread all over.”
Virtue: “Poor cinder girl.”
Mercy: “Poor Cinder Ella.”
Mercy and Virtue: “Cinder Ella. Cinderella.”
That was her name from that moment on but Cinderella didn’t care. One day a message came from the palace. Grace shouted for her daughters, “Listen to this. All unmarried women and their chaperones are invited to come to the palace tomorrow night for a grand ball. The Prince is of marrying age and hopes to meet his future bride.”
(Virtue and Mercy squeal with delight.)
Virtue: “What will we wear?”
Mercy: “Everything we have is out of date.”
Grace: “I have a surprise I have been keeping from you just in case something like this happened. I have enough fabric for three beautiful dresses. Cinderella. You’re going to have to sew quickly and get three dresses ready by tomorrow.”
Cinderella: “Of course, Grace. I will sew us the prettiest dresses the prince will ever see.”
Grace: “Us? You’re not getting any of this fabric. I’ve already spent a fortune on you.”
Cinderella: “But you said three beautiful dresses.”
Grace: “One for Virtue, one for Mercy, and one for me, their chaperone.”
Cinderella: “What will I wear?”
Grace: “That is your problem. I told you I wasn’t going to spend any more money on you. Now go set up the sewing machine. The girls and I will decide what kind of dresses we want you to make.”
Cinderella nodded, trying not to cry. When she left, Virtue and Mercy turned to their mother.
Virtue: “You’re not going to let her go in rags, are you? She’ll embarrass us.”
Grace: “I don’t think you have to worry about that. She’s too proud to show up at the palace looking like a beggar.”
Mercy: “I’ll get the catalogs so we can pick designs for our dresses.”
Cinderella sewed three beautiful dresses. She worked all night and most of the next day. Just before supper, she finished the dresses and gave them to Grace and her stepsisters. They squealed with delight and went off to fix their hair and makeup. Cinderella went to the attic and took her mother’s dress out of the trunk.
Cinderella: “Perhaps I can make this dress a little more stylish.”
But instead of sewing, fell asleep at the table. An owl appeared at the window. He hooted and hooted again, but poor exhausted Cinderella did not awake
The bird flew away and then returned. One by one, rabbits, birds, the hen, and even the house cat made their way through the window or up the back stairs to the attic. They took the dress and did their best to make it into something beautiful. Love is a special magic that makes exceptional things possible.
Cinderella woke just as her stepsisters and stepmother were preparing to leave. “Oh no. I fell asleep.”
She rubbed her tired eyes and looked up at the lovely dress her animal friends had sewn. “What? How did that happen?”
Virtue: “Hurry up, Mercy.”
Cinderella dressed quickly. She rushed down the stairs just as her family was about to leave.
Cinderella: “Wait for me.”
They turned and their eyes narrowed.
Grace: “Where did you get that dress?”
Cinderella: “It was my mother’s.”
Virtue: “That’s why it looks so old fashioned.”
Mercy: “The lace is ridiculous.”
Grace: “Girls, Perhaps you could help her fix it.”
Virtue and Mercy step forward and tore Cinderella’s dress into rags.
Grace: “Oh, how unfortunate. That didn’t help at all. Well, let’s go ladies.”
Cinderella ran through the house, out the back door, and into the garden. She sat down on a bench and cried. Her animal friends crept around her. Cinderella wiped her eyes.
Cinderella: “Who wants to go on a silly old ball anyway? It would be filled with mean and snobbish women. I’m much better off here with my animal friends.”
Fairy: “Are you sure you don’t want to go?”
Cinderella: “Who are you?”
Fairy: “I am your fairy godmother. You probably don’t remember your mother but she wasn’t an ordinary woman. She was my half-sister. She made me promise not to spoil you with magic but I think she would agree that this is a special moment.”
Cinderella: “What do you mean?”
Fairy: “I mean, it’s time for you to go to the ball. Now listen carefully. Get the pumpkin from the garden and bring it here.”
Cinderella did not understand but she did what she was asked. The fairy godmother turned the pumpkin into a beautiful coach.
Fairy: “Now we need a horse. Your mare is a little too old and small to pull such a heavy coach. I wonder if any of your animal friends would volunteer.”
Cinderella: “Thank you.”
(The fairy godmother changes the cat into a beautiful white horse.)
Fairy: “You need a driver and a footman.”
(Two rabbits hop up and the fairy godmother uses her magic.)
Fairy: “All right my dear, off you go.”
Cinderella: “But what about my dress?”
Fairy: “That was your mother’s, wasn’t it? However did it get so ragged?”
Cinderella: “My stepsisters tore it to pieces when they saw me in it.”
Fairy: “If you don’t mind, I’d like to give you a brand-new one.”
Cinderella: “That would be wonderful.”
Fairy: “Now off you go but there is a limit to my magic. When the clock strikes midnight, everything will turn back to the way it was. Make sure you leave before then.”
Cinderella: “I will, I will, thank you so much. I’ll never forget what you’ve done for me.”
Fairy: “All right, dear, time to go. I want you to get as much fun as you can out of tonight.”
(Cinderella travels to the ball.)
The Prince was bored. He had met all the ladies at the ball and none of them interested him. Then a new lady walked in.
(Cinderella and the Prince look at each other. He walks toward her. They dance.)
Prince: “So, Princess, tell me about yourself.”
Cinderella: “I’m not a princess. I’m just an ordinary girl.”
Prince: “What do ordinary girls like to do for fun?”
Cinderella: “I’m afraid I don’t have much time for fun. My parents died, I have to take care of my stepmother and stepsisters. The house is a lot of work. But I don’t mind. They would be lost without me. They really don’t know how to do anything for themselves.”
Prince: “Beautiful, kind, hard-working, and skilled. You certainly aren’t like the other ladies I’ve danced with. Not ordinary in my world.”
The Prince danced with Cinderella for the rest of the night. One by one the ladies realized he had lost interest in anyone else.
(Clock strikes 12.)
Cinderella: “Midnight! I didn’t realize it was so late. I have to leave.
Prince: “Wait. I didn’t even ask your name. I thought we had more time.”
As Cinderella raced out the doors she lost one of her glass slippers. The Prince picked it up and looked at it thoughtfully.
Cinderella made it home just in time. Soon after her stepmother and stepsisters arrived.
Grace: What a ridiculous waste of time.
Virtue: He didn’t even dance with any other girls once the Princess arrived.
Mercy: Did you notice how much she looked like Cinderella?
All three women stared at Cinderella who could not keep the big smile off her face.
Grace: Shouldn’t you be in bed by now? And why are you still wearing that ridiculous dress?”
Cinderella:” Good night everyone. Have sweet dreams. I know I will.”
The next day there was banging on the door.
Cinderella: I will get it.
Grace looked out the window. “No, Mercy you get the door. Cinderella, come with me.”
She locked Cinderella in the attic.
Cinderella: “Why are you doing this?”
Grace: Be absolutely quiet or I will leave you locked up here for a week.”
Grace hung the key on a nail beside the door. Downstairs, the prince and his servant entered.
Servant: Under the command of His Royal Highness, Prince Thomas, every single girl in the kingdom must try on this glass slipper.
Virtue: Isn’t that the shoe the lady wore who danced with the prince last night?
Grace (entering): Of course it is. Now put on your shoe Virtue.
Virtue: Oh, oh, of course.
(She tries and fails.)
Grace: Silly me, that was Mercy’s shoe. Put it on my beautiful daughter.
(She tries and fails.)
Neither could fit the shoe.
Servant: Are there any other single ladies?
Grace: Well, there’s me. I’m an unfortunate widow. I could try it on.
Prince: That won’t be necessary.
Upstairs, the cat leaped for the key. He shoved it under the door. Cinderella unlocked it and ran down the stairs.
Cinderella: Wait, please, wait.
Prince: I thought you said there were no more single ladies.
Grace: She’s just a worthless servant.
Prince: She looks very familiar.
He took the slipper from the servant and put it on Cinderella. Her fairy godmother appeared and gave her back her beautiful dress.
Prince: It is you.
Cinderella: My name is Cinderella. This was my father’s home.
Cinderella told the prince everything about her step-family.
She and the Prince became engaged. They wanted to get to know each other so they set the wedding date for a year ahead.
Prince: During this year, you and your daughters will be Cinderella’s servants. You will keep the house clean, including her room. You will feed her and do everything she asks. I will send a dressmaker to makes clothes for her and her alone. Grace Less, you will move out of her parents’ bedroom and Cinderella will move in. You will sleep in the attic. If, on our wedding day, a year from now, Cinderella tells me that any of you made her unhappy in any way, I will put burning hot iron shoes on your feet and make you walk through town. Do you understand?
Lesses: Yes, Your Highness.
At the end of the year, Cinderella’s stepsister’s helped her put on her wedding dress. Grace refused to come to the wedding.
Mercy: I want to say I’m sorry for the way we treated you. I know now how awful we were.
Virtue: We acted just like our mother and didn’t think about you at all. I’m sorry too.
Cinderella: All is forgiven. Now, try to have some fun today. There are lots of single men coming to the wedding.
The wedding was beautiful. Cinderella threw the bouquet and Snow White caught it. The cake was delicious. And her stepsisters made new friends.
Cinderella and the prince lived happily ever after.