Cinderella arrived at home out of breath, without carriage or servants, in her shabby clothes. Nothing remaining of all her fleeting magnificence except one of her little glass slippers—the fellow of that she had left behind.
When the two sisters returned from the ball Cinderella asked if they had enjoyed themselves. “Certainly not!”, they replied, “The prince paid us no attention at all. He spent all his time with a princess whom no one seems to know, and who repaid his kindness by running off without so much as a goodbye.” They then reported that despite the strange princess’s abrupt departure, the prince seemed to have fallen very much in love with her.
This was indeed the case; for, a few days after, the prince, with the sound of trumpets, announced a search for the maiden whose foot would exactly fit the slipper. He declared that when the maiden was found he would ask her to be his bride.
So the slipper was first tried on by all the princesses, then by all the duchesses, and next by all the ladies belonging to the court; but in vain. The prince then ordered the search expanded to every maiden in the kingdom until a perfect fit for the slipper could be found.
After a time, the search reached the home of Cinderella and her step-sisters. The sisters sent Cinderella upstairs to clean the drapes, then each tried every possible way of getting her foot into the slipper, but without success. The official in charge of the search then asked the sisters to fetch the servant girl. The sisters immediately began to laugh, and to ridicule Cinderella, at the very thought that it could be she who had captured the prince’s heart. But the official was insistent. “My orders are to try the slipper on every maiden in the kingdom,” he declared. The sisters relented and, with great amusement, called for Cinderella.
The official invited Cinderella to sit down, and at once found that the slipper slid effortlessly onto her foot, and fitted her perfectly. The astonishment of the sisters was very great, but still greater when Cinderella drew from her pocket the other slipper, and, to the delight of the official, placed it upon her other foot.
The fairy godmother now made her appearance, and, touching Cinderella with her wand, again changed Cinderella’s shabby clothes into the magnificent gown she has worn at the ball.
The sisters finally recognized in Cinderella the strange princess they had seen at the ball, and threw themselves at her feet, to implore forgiveness for all the ill-treatment they had shown her. Ella – for she would never again be called Cinderella – raised them up, and, embracing them, said she forgave them, with all her heart, their unkindness to her, and hoped that for the future they would be kind to every one about them. She told them she had never forgotten the wise last words of her dear mother: “…always be good, and bear everything that occurs to you with kindness and patience; then, whatever toil and troubles you may suffer will someday pass, and happiness will be your lot in the end.”
These words now proved to be true; for, having borne cruelty with kindness and patience ever since her father’s death, she was now to be the wife of the king’s son.