Written By Ankita Srinivasan (Grade 10)
“So did you get your happily ever after, Mommy?” my little girl asked, looking at me with teary eyes, brown like her father’s. I put down the bowl of flour and butter I had just measured, sat down on a chair and motioned her forward. She climbed onto my lap, facing me. “Why don’t you listen to my tale, then you tell me if I got happily ever after, ok, darling?” I asked, cupping her face with my hands and brushing the tears away from her face with my thumbs. She nodded and slid down from my lap, sitting on the wooden floor of our kitchen as I got back up to mix the cake batter.
“Well my dear, the story starts a long time back, when I was about your age…” I started, taking my daughter off on one of my stories. And you know what? You are welcome to join us. After all, the more the merrier, isn’t it?
“My story starts when I was born, but let us fast forward through all the boring parts. It truly begins at the age of 6. My favourite bedtime story of all time is Cinderella. I loved how Cinderella went from a poor, bullied girl to a princess with the help of a Fairy Godmother. I used to ask my dad to read me the story every night until I could read on my own. Then, I would pull out my old Cinderella book and read it before my dad would come in and read the book to me again. I was completely in love with Cinderella’s life, and every night, I would pray to God to make me Cinderella, with her beautiful gown and glass slippers and rats that turned into horses and pumpkins that turned into carriages. But most of all I wanted Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother. I loved that lady, she was so kind and sweet and helped Cinderella so well. Every night, I would ask, but I never got my wish. So one Sunday morning, I woke up, got dressed and went down to tell my mother that I was going to find myself a Fairy Godmother. And do you know why I wanted a fairy godmother? I badly wanted to get rollerblades. It was the biggest thing when I was your age. But my parents refused to get me the blades, so I thought they were like Cinderella’s stepmom, and I wanted Fairy Godmother to magic my Crocs into pale blue rollerblades. I wanted them to look exactly like Cinderella’s glass slippers, all pale and beautiful.
So that morning, I was completely fed up with asking my parents. So I went down to breakfast and told them that I was off to find myself a Magic Fairy Godmother, just like Cinderella and get her to change my Crocs into-” “Glass blue rollerblades!” my girl completed, earning a smile from me, and her father who was standing behind her, though she hadn’t noticed him yet. All her initial anger and tears seemed to have drained out of her, she was just staring at me with her wide, dark brown eyes, hanging on to my every word. My eyes flicked up to meet her dad’s who was looking down at my little girl with an amused and a little relieved smile on his face. I then looked down, unwilling to get her attention off the story.
“Exactly, darling. I wanted my rollerblades, just like you now want a skateboard. So I ate my cereal, wore my crocs, and set out to find my target. I lived in a small town, so it was completely safe to go out. Plus, my friends lived in every street. So I could just walk out. My parents also let me go and try to find my Fairy Godmother. With a lot of confidence, I walked out and went to the grocery store at the corner of my street. The old lady there was my first target. I walked up, smiled at her and said ‘will you be my Fairy Godmother and change these Crocs into rollerblades?’ She just sort of smiled and informed me that Fairy Godmothers were not real. I got angry and went out. Like this, I spoke to the florist, the garden shop lady, the old lady next to my best friend’s house and my next-door neighbour. Finally, I came back home really tired, and I spent the entire evening crying. My parents tried talking to me, but I refused to talk to them. My mother got a little angry at my behaviour, but my dad managed to calm her and they left me alone. By the time it was dinner, though, I was extremely hungry. So I went down to dinner and found a note next to my dinner plate. It said ‘Darling, if you want something, a godmother does not fulfil it for you. You have to fulfil it for yourself.” I was inspired. So you know what I did? I waited, and I waited patiently. In the time I waited, I saved up any pocket money I got in a piggy bank, instead of using it for sweets. It took me ages, but I finally saved half the money needed to buy a pair of rollerblades. I then went to my parents and proudly showed them my money, and my parents took me to the store and helped me pay for them. So, my dear, moral of the story is, work hard, and make sure that you can convince your parents by earning at least half the money, not wait for a Fairy Godmother, all right honey? So what do you think? Did I have a happily ever after?” I finished, looking back from the oven after I put our cake in.
“Of course you got it, mummy. You’re lucky, you got your rollerblades. Now, I will surely get myself my skateboard, you just watch. You have the best happily ever after!” she exclaimed, jumping up and throwing her arms around my legs, her pigtails bouncing wildly. Her father came from behind her, lifting her high into the air as she shrieked with delight. “Great story, wasn’t it? You know, it’s true, your grandma told me all about it. But if this is a princess story, how come I haven’t come yet? Am I not the prince?” he asked, while our daughter pulled on his long, dark brown hair. I shot my tongue out at him, and said cheekily, “Of course you’re not the prince. There is no prince! This is the story of a brave girl who saved up enough money to buy one rollerblade at the age of seven! Where do you fit into that? Did you do something like that too?” “Well,” he replied, looking up at the miniature version of himself he was holding above his head. “That is an entirely different story for an entirely different time.”
Featured Image Courtesy – The Magic Trick