"No, you shall not do it," said he to Ta-ki, "not though I must die to save you.". A truly moving story about the hardships of being a woman in nineteenth-century China. "I am but a helpless girl," and here she began to cry. It became almost impossible for parents to get husbands for their daughters unless the girls had suffered the severe pains of foot-binding. "Bound" is a realistic fiction book based on the popular fantasy fiction "Cinderella" by the Brothers Grimm. Most of the novel chronicles the girl's miserable life with her stepmother, and the Cinderella part doesn't really come into play until the very end. ", "Very well," replied the girl, somewhat relieved by his explanation, "but try not to be too long about it, because I don't like the idea of somebody else walking about in my body.". With a sigh, the viceroy yielded to their wishes. As the girl reached adulthood, her feet would remain small and dysfunctional, prone to infection, paralysis, and muscular atrophy. The greatest of these was in the capital city. Lillard Dolores. (Image credit: Flickr user Northampton Museum)There is an argument over where the story of Cinderella came from, China, Egypt, or Greece. "She is unworthy of the honour you purpose doing her," he said, in conclusion, "for, having been the apple of her father's eye, she would not be happy to share even your most august favour with the many others you have chosen. When the fox noticed this, at first he was somewhat annoyed, but, feeling that no one else would know, he did not take the trouble to change the fox feet back to human form. ", "No, not unless you want to. When they picked her up, thinking, of course, that she had died from the sword thrust, they could find no blood on her body, and, on looking more closely, they saw that there was not even the slightest wound. ", When the Emperor learned of Su-nan's reply he could hardly believe his ears. You know, I am a servant of Lu-o and can do anything I wish.". The government troops were amazed at seeing fresh companies marching to the rescue of their foe. "Speak, and your words shall have my best attention," replied Chow-sin, with a gracious wave of the hand. Donna Jo Napoli is both a linguist and a writer of children's and YA fiction. After listening to his daughter, the viceroy sent a respectful answer to the palace, thanking the Emperor for his favour, but saying he could not give up Ta-ki. So well did this crafty spirit perform his part that the father was completely deceived, by look, by voice, and by gesture. The viceroy, as he knew, was a man of iron. The most significant part of the story, though, which also brilliantly connects it to Cinderella, is the Chinese Foot-binding custom. In this way they thought to increase their chances of finding favour with the Emperor. Suddenly, as they looked up, they saw a sight so strange that all were filled with amazement. To have his command thus disobeyed was an unheard-of crime. Bound to her father's second wife and daughter after Xing Xing's father has passed away. She must be made to help in the punishment of her wicked husband. "But how can I help to punish the Emperor?" She loves to garden and bake bread, and even dreams of moving to the woods and becoming a naturalist. A quirky and original take on the classic Cinderella story, returning to the Chinese origins of this particular tale. Reading this retelling of the “Chinese Cinderella” story was a painful experience for me. the end. Refresh and try again. 4.5 - A Cinderella retelling that takes place in China during the Ming times. It's been so many years since I've read anything by Donna Jo Napoli -- I think more than a decade -- so I was pleased to find that she still "held up" after all this time, especially since I stopped reading her because I seem to have OD'd and found her books not "doing it" for me the same way they used to. But that night, when her maids were undressing her in the palace, they saw her feet, which had once more become their natural size, and then they knew she had been telling the truth. There his royal eyes were captivated by the sight of a wonderful face, the beauty of which was so great that he fell in love with it at once, telling his ministers that he wished he might take this goddess, who was no other than Lu-o, for one of his wives. At last there was open talk of a rebellion. In the very beginning of all things, when the gods were creating the world, at last the time came to separate the earth from the heavens. "Spare not one of them," he shouted, "for they are traitors to the Dragon Throne.". The bones of the toes were bent backwards and broken, so eager were the elders to have their daughters grow up into tiny-footed maidens. Feet altered by foot binding were known as lotus feet, and the shoes made for these feet were known as lotus shoes. 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