Suddenly something amazing happened. In the kitchen, where Cinderella was sitting all by herself, there was a burst of light and a fairy appeared.
"Don't be alarmed, Cinderella," said the fairy. "The wind blew me your sighs. I know you would love to go to the ball. And so you shall!"
"How can I, dressed in rags?" Cinderella replied. "The servants will turn me away!" The fairy smiled. With a flick of her magic wand … Cinderella found herself wearing the most beautiful dress, the loveliest ever seen in the realm.
"Oh of course," said Cinderella, rushing away. Then the fairy turned to the cat. "You, bring me seven mice!" "Seven mice!" said the cat. "I didn't know fairies ate mice too!" "They're not for eating, silly! Do as you are told! … and, remember they must be alive!"
Cinderella soon returned with a fine pumpkin and the cat with seven mice he had caught in the cellar.
"Good!" exclaimed the fairy. With a flick of her magic wand ... wonder of wonders! The pumpkin turned into a sparkling coach and the mice became six white horses, while the seventh mouse turned into a coachman, in a smart uniform and carrying a whip.
Cinderella could hardly believe her eyes. "I shall present you at Court. You will soon see that the Prince, in whose honour the ball is being held, will be enchanted by your loveliness. But remember! You must leave the ball at midnight and come home. For that is when the spell ends. Your coach will turn back into a pumpkin, the horses will become mice again and the coachman will turn back into a mouse ... and you will be dressed again in rags and wearing clogs instead of these dainty little slippers! Do you understand?" Cinderella smiled and said, "Yes, I understand!"