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Inktober day 29 --today's prompt is "Shoes."
Most of the cultures of the world have some variation of the Cinderella fairytale, and one of my favorites is the Chinese version, called "Yeh Shen." Like the well-known European version, Yeh Shen is abused by her stepmother and stepsisters, made to wear rags, and forced to do all the chores and labor for the household. Her only friend is a fish named Gold Eyes, who she talks to at the water's edge while she washes her stepfamily's clothes (in some versions the fish is actually the spirit of her dead mother).
Like Cinderella, she hears about a great ball being held by the royal family and she wishes she could go, but she has no fine clothes to wear, and her stepmother and stepsisters would never give her a night off from her chores anyway. One day while Yeh Shen is out, her step sisters go down to the water and catch Gold Eyes, and they and their mother eat him for supper that night. Yeh Shen is heartbroken, and she cries that night over Gold Eyes' bones--all she has left of her only friend. But Gold Eye's spirit speaks to her, and he turns his bones into a pair of golden slippers for her to wear to the ball--and when she puts them on, she's suddenly clothed in a beautiful golden gown fit for royalty.
If you know the story of Cinderella, you have a pretty good idea of how the rest of the story goes, but I'm including a link to the very first version of this story I ever saw when I was a kid, from the old CBS Storybreak Saturday morning cartoons: youtu.be/HYvh5QZRKjE
Since these slippers are, in essence, the spirit of Gold Eyes (a fish) I was able to use the drawing I did for the first Inktober prompt from this year (which was, of course, "Fish") as a backdrop to show Gold Eyes' spirit in the slippers. (I totally didn't plan that, but I love that it worked out that way.🙂 )
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