A New Take on an Old ‘Fable‘
Once upon a time, a great king lost his first beloved wife, by whom he had a daughter. He was inconsolable about this loss, but, eventually he was seduced into taking a new wife, named Venus. Venus had three haughty and beautiful daughters: Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. And she dominated her husband to such a degree that although he adored the daughter of his first wife, jealous Venus would not allow their relationship to continue, and kept them apart constantly.
But the daughter from his first wife was indeed a princess, though her outward appearance was deceptive. She was a dirty mess, covered in ashes. In fact, she was so dirty that her name was Earth — essentially ‘dirt’. She was covered in lava and ashes all the time, and rarely had any fun, because her wicked stepsisters were busy insuring that no one ever noticed her. Besides, who wants to play with a girl who’s such a mess?
One day word came that a great and noble prince was coming to visit, and that a huge celebration would be held. Although Cinderella hoped to attend, her sisters mocked her. Mars paraded around in her crimson gown proudly. What dress could compare to rainbowed hues of Jupiter’s? What rings to those in ineffable mysteries of Saturn’s gauzy loops? All Cinderella had was a bunch of magma and ashes. Who would want to dance with her?
The night of the ball, Cinderella was in despair. She had never wanted anything, other than to be able to be herself without being constantly mocked and attacked. She was so good-natured it never occurred to her that anything might ever be granted to her, but something in her knew that this was an important occasion. This was the moment her fairy godmother had been waiting for. Primed to take advantage of Cinderella’s desire and despair, she appeared before her as her savior, with a squash, a bucket of water, a rat, and two very strange lizards.
Does that sound like a savior to you?
She told Cinderella she would help her, but there would be a price, the nature of which would be announced only after the ball. Cinderella trusted this strange interloper, and agreed to the price. After all, since Cinderella believed she had nothing whatsoever, what possible price could she pay? What possible possession could she forfeit?
The fairy godmother tossed the items into the air and sang, swirling a strange stick about them as they fell. The water became a gorgeous sparkling gown, with crystalline slippers — two in fact, and a sparkling tiara fit for a princess! The squash became a speedy chariot drawn by a Stallion and a Mare (the lizards!). The rat became a handsome driver, armed, and capable of protecting her. Her Fairy-Godmother warned her sternly to return before ‘midnight’ when the ‘enchantment’ would wear off.
Of course, there was no enchantment. The only thing that would change at midnight was the nature of the mind that informed Cinderella whilst she was awake — midnight marks ‘the changing of the guard’ and the night-mind of Cinderella could not be enchanted!
But the fairy-godmother knew many other secrets as well! You see, she was already dead, and thus existed outside of time and space. The first secret was that the prince was blind, even though he could travel anywhere and hit any target with an arrow, and do anything a sighted prince could do. None knew this, so preternatural were his other skills.
The second was that Cinderella’s great internal beauty was so profound, that if she could but forget all she had been told, it would shine forth so gloriously that everyone around her would be dazzled by it, and would suddenly see what was inside her, instead of what was on the surface.
The third was that Cinderella already had an invisible protector so noble, silent and powerful, that none could harm her without her own agreement (and this was why the Fairy-Godmother required her agreement to the price).
The fourth involved the lizards, and was a great and terrible secret from Cinderella’s future. The fifth was that Cinderella, unbeknownst to her, was already en-route to the ball, and was the only sister of the three who could possibly arrive on time. The sixth was that she had no choice but to leave at midnight — it was the fact of the parabola of her natural travel.
And so, what the fairy godmother did was this: she brought simulacra of each of Cinderella’s already existing powers and friends and when she tossed them into the air, she enchanted Cinderella, and her alone, into seeing the chariot, the horses, the gown, the slippers, and the Protector. None of them were ever present at all. Her swirling gesture was the induction to trance, and what landed on the floor was exactly what she brought: some water, a squash, a rat, and two bluebelly lizards.
But through the induction, Cinderella lost her inhibitions, and was able to ‘see’ her own inner self, which was so radiant and beautiful, and without guile that she finally felt free of all her shame, guilt, and the oppressions of those who had always hated her.
Thus Cinderella attended the ‘Ball’ and her inner radiance –became her outer garment-, for it was no longer blocked by her own estimations of her unworthiness, nor the myriad imprecations she had suffered at the hands of the sisters. She and Prince danced throughout the night, and indeed, no other could even approach them. The prince, seeing only with the eyes of his heart, saw precisely what everyone else saw with their eyes: the single most beautiful girl at the celebration.
When it was time, their paths diverged, but not before one of her slippers was lost.
Both were madly in love.
The prince searched everywhere for his princess, but her sense of her dress had been a vision –from her future- and at midnight this vision disappeared! Alas, now she was simply the dirty sister again. And one of her actual shoes had gone missing — the only pair she had!
Time passed, and the Prince and Cinderella returned to their common orbits, never forgetting that fateful moment. Upon his next return, he sought everywhere, tracing her footsteps through the hall where the celebration took place. Finally, he passed near a servant girl, and, noticing that only one of her crystal slippers was intact, he realized immediately who it was, and this time, after they danced, they joined together forever, and the love of their union overpowered every shadow in the kingdom, freeing the king from the machinations of his jealous wife, and even freeing her from her evil ways (for a time) and earning her the respect and admiration of the entire world…
But now the fairy godmother returned, and demanded the price Cinderella had agreed to: ‘I will take the souls of your departed children for a time upon their death, the children of this marriage, which I arranged, for I am barren, and have no children, and, when I can hold them no longer, only then shall I release them to their ancestral gathering place.’
Cinderella had agreed, but the prince was strong and said “1/10th the time allotted you shall have, and 1/10th of the souls of our children only. And you shall pay a price for your deception, when my Father returns — he shall take from you what you have unrighteously required for a task which was itself a ruse, and more — he shall see to it that you steal no more.” The Fairy Godmother was terrified, but could not speak. She departed, and remains to this day a hungry orbital of Cinderella, disappearing into her own shadow once each month.
The King: The Sun.
The Queen: Venus
The Prince: A visiting NEO of special significance — probably an object filled with water, and organisms with a variety of anciently evolved capacities who could symbiotically invade terrestrial organisms or proto-organisms and further endow them.
Perhaps some portion of the Prince ‘himself’ was made of ice, and when they mated, her ‘other slipper’ returned. He surely carried unique assets that would bond with those nascent on the young world called Earth.
One imagines something like the Superman story as the perfect and relatively realistic compliment. The approaching prince is ‘the little prince’ — a tiny ‘ship’ carrying Kal-El’s children, perhaps they are asleep — and in ‘the great dreaming’.
The blind (but noble and miraculous) prince sent by his distant father, in either a tiny ship or many, who falls in love with the local ‘farmgirl’, and gives birth to myriads of creatures who are all half supernatural, half material, and together a third thing altogether… little messiahs, every one of them. All part prince, part princess, part (something more than both). In the rays of the Sun, this prince acquires unbelievable powers; and has a strange weakness to a rock from the shattered homeworld that hovers nearby… kryptonite…
Cinderella: Earth. The Crystal Slippers were Earth’s Poles, that which she stands upon. One had melted during the prince’s departure The other remained intact. Only one of the worlds in the correct orbital range had a ‘single slipper’
The Stepsisters: Jupiter, Saturn
The Fairy Godmother: The Moon — a dead planet. In some versions, the FG is actually Cinderella’s departed mother, and exacts no price for her interventions.