Cinderella’s wedding anniversary

Prince Charming and Cinderella Two years had passed since Cinderella and Prince Charming tied the knot.

Cinderella woke up beside her sleeping prince who was snoring, smelt sweaty and had stubble all over his face.

“Here we go,” she thought. “Another day. He’ll be off all day attending to affairs of state, while I do embroidery – again! Then we’ll sit and get bored together in the evening. – if he comes home, that is. He’s always going to banquets or working late nowadays. I wonder if he’s found someone else? It’s months since he took me out or bought me flowers or chocolate. Where’s all the romance gone? We’re supposed to be living happily ever after!

Cinders bites the bullet

That night, over dinner, Cinderella challenged Prince Charming.

“Prince Charming, my Precious!” She said.

“Yes dear?” he replied.

“I’m cheesed off,” she said. “We’re supposed to be living happily ever after, and I’m not. I’m bored out of my little mind and, quite frankly, I’m disappointed with this marriage lark. You never take me out any more or say nice things to me.”

“Well, since you come to mention it,” retaliated Prince Charming, “I’m none too pleased with the way it’s turned out myself. You used to boost my ego and tell me how wonderful I was. Now you just criticise and complain all the time. There’s something missing from our relationship – something I need that I’m not getting.”

Just then there was a blinding flash of light, a “fizz” and a “pop” and there was the Fairy Godmother, standing in the room beside them.

Fairy G to the rescue

“Hello, Sweeties!” she said.  “I just popped in to see how the lovebirds are fairing!”

"Well... Not very well, Fairy G”, said Cinders. “In fact, we’ve just been having a bit of a tiff. Prince Charmers here was saying there’s something missing from our relationship.”

“Oh dear!” said the Fairy Godmother, “but did you not open the chest I gave you as a wedding present?”

“Well, no I’m afraid we didn’t,” said Cinderella, sheepishly. “There were so many presents, we still haven’t opened them all. Your chest is a wonder to behold but we didn’t expect there would be anything else inside it.

“But course there is, dearie,” said the Fairy G. “You don't think I'd just give you an empty box with nothing in it, did you? Now, go and fetch it because there are some special gifts inside it will which will make sure you do live happily ever after."
 

Extra presents from the Fairy G 

They sent a servant to fetch the chest. The Fairy Godmother opened it and took out two golden crowns.

“These are the crowns of respect, my dears,” she explained, “one for each of you.” Thy tried the crowns on but, while the Prince’s was too small, Cinderella’s came down over her ears. “They don’t fit!” she exclaimed.

“Of course they don’t!” said the Fairy Godmother. “The crowns aren’t for you to wear but for you to crown each other. Every morning you must each place the crown of respect on the other’s head to remind you of the honour you owe to each other. Now, look what else is in the chest.”

Prince Charming fished around inside the chest and brought out two rings. Each was made of silver and set with a large, red ruby.

The fairy Godmother put one on the first finger of the Prince's right hand and one on the first finger of Cinder’s right hand

“These are the rings of forgiveness,” she said. “Each time you point the finger in anger or accusation, let the blood red ruby remind you that you have also sinned and someone greater than you shed drops of  blood so that you might be forgiven. Let that remembrance cause you to show mercy.”

“There’s one more present Cinders,” she said. “Take it out.”

Cinders felt in the box and pulled out two aprons made of sackcloth.

“That’s all there is,” she said. “Two ghastly aprons, like the one my ugly stepsisters made me wear.”

"Don’t be ashamed to put them on over your royal robes," said the Fairy Godmother. "These are the aprons of humility. When you put them on you will lose every trace of pride. Haven’t you read in the Bible, ‘Put on the apron of humility to serve one another’? If every day you put on the ring of forgiveness and the apron of humility and crown each other with a crown of respect, you will live happily ever after, I guarantee it."
    
So they did; and they did. And if you do, so will you.

Cinderella photo © copyright Loren Xavier, accessed under a Creatve Commons Licence from www.flickr.com