This week we look at a wild west version of Cinderella entitled Cindy Ellen. It was written by Susan Lowell who also wrote the charming The Three Little Javelinas and is illustrated by Jane K Manning. This story is interesting as it is filled with lots of colloquial language and is a nice twist on our traditional tale.
This tale begins with a rancher who remarried a woman who was "meaner than a rattlesnake" and had two daughters just the same. The father's daughter Cindy Ellen was "as pretty as a peach" and a good cowgirl, but her new stepmother (who wore the pants in the family) made her do all the hard work like mending the fences, mucking out the corral and tending the cows.
One day an invitation comes from the biggest cattle king in the area to attend his two day event--a wild west rodeo followed by a square dance. Cindy Ellen longs to go as she is a great rider, but is not allowed by her family. When her step family leaves to go to the rodeo in their frilly shirts and frizzed up hair, Cindy Ellen cries.
This behaviour is not unexpected--many Cinderellas just sit and cry and wait for change to happen to them. However, when her fairy Godmother appears and shoots her golden pistol in the air, she tells Cindy Ellen to stop blubbering and get some gumption. Cindy Ellen does and is rewarded with some new duds which include some golden spurs covered in diamonds. She goes to the rodeo and wins--both the competition and the heart of Joe Prince the cattle king's son. At the square dance the next night they dance until her midnight curfew and when she runs off she loses one of her golden spurs.
Joe Prince travels all over the prairie looking for a girl who can fit the delicate spur over their boot, but everyone's feet are too big. Of course, with her it fits and she can produce the second spur so they "get hitched" and live happily ever after.