The wife of a rich man fell sick, and as she felt that her end
was drawing near, she called her only daughter to her bedside and
said, "Dear child, be good and pious, and then the good God will
always protect thee, and I will look down on thee from heaven and
be near thee."
Thereupon she closed her eyes and departed. Every day the maiden went out to her mother's grave, and wept, and she remained pious and good. When winter came the snow spread a white sheet over the grave, and when the spring sun had drawn it off again, the man had taken another wife.
The woman had brought two daughters into the house with her, who
were beautiful and fair of face, but vile and black of heart. Now
began a bad time for the poor step-child.
"Is the stupid goose to sit in the parlour with us?" said they. "He who wants to eat bread must earn it; out with the kitchen-wench." They took her pretty clothes away from her, put an old grey bedgown on her, and gave her wooden shoes.
"Just look at the proud princess, how decked out she is!" they cried, and laughed, and led her into the kitchen. There she had to do hard work from morning till night, get up before daybreak, carry water, light fires, cook and wash. Besides this, the sisters did her every imaginable injurythey mocked her and emptied her peas and lentils into the ashes, so that she was forced to sit and pick them out again.
In the evening when she had worked till she was weary she had no bed to go to, but had to sleep by the fireside in the ashes. And as on that account she always looked dusty and dirty, they called her Cinderella...
It happened, however, that the King appointed a festival which
was to last three days, and to which all the beautiful young girls
in the country were invited, in order that his son might choose
himself a bride.
When the two step-sisters heard that they too were to appear among the number, they were delighted, called Cinderella and said, "Comb our hair for us, brush our shoes and fasten our buckles, for we are going to the festival at the Kings palace." Cinderella obeyed, but wept, because she too would have liked to go with them to the dance, and begged her step-mother to allow her to do so.
"Thou go, Cinderella!" said she; "Thou art dusty and dirty and wouldst go to the festival? Thou hast no clothes and shoes, and yet wouldst dance!"
(This extract of Cinderella is taken from www.thegrimmtales.com)