Once, an Ojibwa man whose wife had died raised three daughters alone. The two older girls were lazy and bad-tempered, and made their youngest sister do all the work. When the flames from the cooking fire singed her hair or burned her skin, they laughed and called her Sootface. While she worked, Sootface dreamed that one day she would find a husband. Then a mighty warrior with the power to make himself invisible decides to marry. Only a woman with a kind and honest heart could see him, and be his bride. Though her sisters ridicule her, Sootface sets off to try her luck, never looking back. Her courage and good nature bring her the husband she has longed for.
This Native American re-telling of the Cinderella story is somewhat harsher than the story many will be familiar with, with the cruelty coming from Sootface’s own sisters (rather than step-sisters) and the fact that she is actually burned by the fire. Sootface also very clearly states that her happiness will come if she can find a husband, which is a little off-putting for modern sensibilities, but overall it’s a beautiful story!