The pumpkin was so large that Cinderella could hardly lift it. With a nod of her pointed cap, the old woman touched it with her curious stick and a carriage, a wonderful carriage, stood in its place. The cushion’s were soft velvet ones, the windows were hung with curtains of silk and there were silver handles on both the doors.
“Now quickly,” said the fairy, “bring me the traps from the cellar!” There were six little shivering mice in one trap and two plump gray rats in the other. “Open the doors!” said the old woman. As the six mice crept slowly out she touched them, one at a time, with her long stick, which was really a fairy wand, and in a minute each little mouse was turned into a prancing gray horse that sprang to his place in front of the carriage. Tap! Tap! went the wand, and the rats were nowhere to be seen. In their place stood two big, tall men with shiny boots on their feet and high hats on their heads. They jumped upon the box and one of them caught the reins in his hands.
“Now one thing more, my dear,” said the fairy to Cinderella; “run into the garden again and bring the six lizards you will find under a big stone by the wall.” When the lizards were brought, the fairy touched them too and, in a twinkling, they jumped up from the ground and stood beside the carriage doors, three on one side and three on the other,—six little footmen, with six little green coats on their backs and six little red hats in their hands, all ready to help Cinderella into her wonderful carriage.
Another touch of the old woman’s wand and Cinderella herself stood dressed in a gown as blue as the blue sky above and all covered from top to toe with shining silver stars. She was just going to step into the carriage and drive away when, looking down, she saw that her feet were quite bare, she had no shoes on. The fairy saw too. She smiled and took a pair of little slippers from her pocket. They were all made of glass and they were such tiny, tiny slippers that, when Cinderella had put them on, she looked the most beautiful maiden in the whole wide world. “Take good care of them, my dear,” said the old woman. “If you want to be happy be careful how you use those little shoes. Now go, child, but there is one thing you must remember,—when the clock strikes twelve you must be at home again in this very room. If you are not, all your beautiful things will vanish and you will be left alone just a poor little, ragged cinder-maid.”
Cinderella promised to remember. She thanked the fairy and drove quickly away. At last she reached the big house where the Prince was giving the party. There was music and dancing in the great hall, but when Cinderella walked in, everybody stopped dancing and looked at her. They said, “What a pretty girl! Who is she? Where did she come from? She must be a princess to wear such wonderful clothes! She has on such a fine dress, she must surely be a princess!”