Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Anklet for a Princess A Cinderella Story from India

While much older than the Grimm's version, Anklet for a Princess: A Cinderella Story from Indiawill be recognizable to those familiar that version.

In this tale, Cinduri's father had two wives. When her mother and father die, she is left in the care of her stepmother who of course also has a daughter. As is the format of most Cinderella tales, she is forced to take on all the work while her stepmother and sister make her life miserable.

While fetching water Cinduri encounters a large white snake with a red jewel on its head. He seems very distressed to find a beautiful girl dressed in rags and hungry. He waves his head and a plate of wonderful food on a golden plate is provided to the hungry girl. After she eats, the snake offers to become her Godfather and continue to help her. He teaches her a song that will summon him when he is needed.

The snake continues to feed the girl and her stepmother discovers her secret just as Cinduri rushes in to tell them that the Crown Prince will be arriving for the ninth night of the Navaratri Festival. As is traditional with Cinderella stories, Cinduri is forbidden to go. Godfather snake comes through with appropriate attire and the traditional warning to be home before midnight.

At the Festival, she meets her Prince and loses her anklet as she flees at midnight. When the Prince comes to try the anklet on, her stepmother tries to prevent her from having a chance to meet the Prince by providing her with endless chores. She uses the magic left over from her Godfather Snake and finishes the chores in record time. She marries the Prince and brings Godfather Snake to the Palace to watch over her new family.

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