In this beautifully done watercolor by Liga-Marta we witness the powerful scene of Cinderella sitting quietly by her mother’s grave.
The grave site is overgrown to the point that there’s only a small clearing right next to the headstone, just large enough for Cinderella to sit and gaze at it.
The headstone itself is in great disrepair, with jagged cracks running through it and some areas worn or chipped away. You can just barely make out the remnants of the words: Beloved Mother.
Above Cinderella sits a white bird, which is probably one of the white pigeons from the Brother’s Grimm version that represents the spirit of her mother watching over her.
In that version her mother’s very last words are to Cinderella and she said: ‘Dear child, remain pious and good… and I will look down on you from heaven and be near you.’
And indeed the white birds do help her along during the entire story and act as her only friends and allies during the rule of her evil stepmother.
Seeing this picture made me think a lot about just what a major factor Cinderella’s mother is in the fairy tale, even though she dies within the first couple of sentences or in some versions long before the story even begins.
No matter what the version though it’s her mother’s death that starts the whole story in motion… if her mother had never died then her life would have happily gone along like it always had.
That would have meant no evil stepmother or stepsisters, no having to settle for dirty patched up clothes, or being treated like an outsider to the family and a slave.
Of course it may have meant no happily ever after with a handsome prince either… though no doubt that’s not a trade Cinderella would ever have wanted to make, don’t you think?