How Fair Cinderella Disposed of Her Shoe

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How Fair Cinderella Disposed of Her Shoe
by Guy Wetmore Carryl
This poem was published in Carryl’s anthology Grimm Tales Made Gay in 1902. The poems are parodies of Grimm's Fairy Tales.

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 fetes
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!