How Fair Cinderella Disposed of Her Shoe

How Fair Cinderella Disposed of Her Shoe

by Guy Wetmore Carryl

How Fair Cinderella Disposed Of Her Shoe


The vainest girls in forty states

Were Gwendolyn and Gladys Gates;

They warbled, slightly off the air,

Romantic German songs,

And each of them upon her hair

Employed the curling tongs,

And each with ardor most intense

Her buxom figure laced,


Until her wilful want of sense

Procured a woeful waist:

For bound to marry titled mates

Were Gwendolyn and Gladys Gates.



Yet, truth to tell, the swains were few

Of Gwendolyn (and Gladys, too).

So morning, afternoon, and night

Upon their sister they

Were wont to vent their selfish spite,

And in the rudest way:

For though her name was Leonore,

That’s neither there nor here,

They called her Cinderella, for

The kitchen was her sphere,

Save when the hair she had to do

Of Gwendolyn (and Gladys, too).


Each night to dances and to fêtes

Went Gwendolyn and Gladys Gates,

And Cinderella watched them go

In silks and satins clad:

A prince invited them, and so

They put on all they had!

But one fine night, as all alone

She watched the flames leap higher,

A small and stooping fairy crone

Stept nimbly from the fire.

Said she: “The pride upon me grates

Of Gwendolyn and Gladys Gates.”


“I’ll now,” she added, with a frown,

“Call Gwendolyn and Gladys down!”

And, ere your fingers you could snap,

There stood before the door

No paltry hired horse and trap,

Oh, no!—a coach and four!

And Cinderella, fitted out

Regardless of expense,

Made both her sisters look about

Like thirty-seven cents!

The prince, with one look at her gown,

Turned Gwendolyn and Gladys down!


Wall-flowers, when thus compared with her,

Both Gwendolyn and Gladys were.

The prince but gave them glances hard,

No gracious word he said;

He scratched their names from off his card,

And wrote hers down instead:

And where he would bestow his hand

He showed them in a trice

By handing her the kisses, and

To each of them an ice!

In sudden need of fire and fur

Both Gwendolyn and Gladys were.


At ten o’clock, in discontent,

Both Gwendolyn and Gladys went.

Their sister stayed till after two,

And, with a joy sincere,

The prince obtained her crystal shoe

By way of souvenir.

“Upon the bridal path,” he cried,

“We’ll reign together! Since

I love you, you must be my bride!”

(He was no slouch, that prince!)

And into sudden languishment

Both Gwendolyn and Gladys went.


The Moral: All the girls on earth

Exaggerate their proper worth.

They think the very shoes they wear

Are worth the average millionaire;

Whereas few pairs in any town

Can be half-sold for half a crown!


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