Image from The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munch.
In a cloud of dust, smoke and other unmentionables the Fairy Godmother made her entrance.
On the bed, twiddling her fingers was Hilda-May.
As the dust, smoke and unmentionables dissipated, the Fairy Godmother, whose name was Mabel, looked up and rolled her eyes at the sight of Hilda-May.
“Don’t you roll your eyes at me, young lady, I’m doing my best.”
“I wouldn’t say polluting my bedroom as you do every time is doing your best,” replied the precocious Hilda-May.
“Well, I did say I missed a few classes at Fairy Godmother college and one of them was “Making the Perfect Entrance.”
There was another roll of Hilda-May’s eyes and she then settled into staring out the window as Mabel attempted to right her dishevelled attire. This was a common routine when Mabel came to visit and tonight Mabel sensed there was something Hilda-May was wanting.
“So,” asked Mabel now organised in her dress, “what is it you are wanting tonight?”
“There’s a ball on at the Prince’s castle and I’d love to go.”
“Then what’s stopping you?” asked Mabel.
“Well I haven’t a thing to wear and my ugly step sisters are demanding I get all their home done before the morning. As it is they are each too repulsive to attend, even mother has her nose out of joint because she wasn’t invited.”
“Oh dear, “said Mabel to herself. “Ball dresses, I think I was away that day as well. Though it can’t be all that hard, can it?”
“Do you know style and sophistication, Mabel? That’s what I want.”
“Well how about some fancy shoes, I know about shoes.”
“No, I want a gown to have them all looking at me and wishing I was their date.”
Mabel thought for a moment then waved her wand and Hilda-May was suddenly wrapped in a ball of wool. Not saying a word, she waved it again and the normal Hilda-May stood before once again.
“Hmmm, so what about the step-sister’s homework?”
“Oh, that? All but done. The least of my worries. I can write anything and they are too stupid to know if it’s right or not. Now concentrate Mabel and get me a dress.”
The Fairy Godmother was now a picture of concentration. In her mind, a thousand and one spells ran in circles often bumping into one another until finally, she thought she hit on the magic formula.
With a wave and a swagger, she threw all she had into a dress for Hilda-May.
There stood the young girl, her hair and make-up looking stunning and a dress that left Mabel wondering just where the inspiration for it came from.
Hilda-May looked at herself in the mirror and nodded approval.
It was a short little black number, low in the back, plunging in the front with small diamantes littering the lower parts.
“I was thinking something more traditional, Mabel, but this will have them all talking.”
“Talking they will,” replied her Fairy Godmother, “I’d be wearing my best knickers as well.”
“You are such an old prude Mabel. But don’t worry I shall be very discrete.”
“You look beautiful Hilda-May.”
“Thank you, Mabel, but don’t you think the glass shoes are a little over the top?”
“They maybe my dear, but you never know they may come in handy later. And don’t forget, we have been through this before, but the spell wears off at midnight.”
“I won’t forget. I don’t want a repeat of the last ball when everything fell off me as the clock struck twelve.”
“That’s good dear, now have a good time.”