The glass slipper fit. Perfectly. She stood and walked about the room in perfect comfort, or at least as much comfort as it is possible to walk in while wearing one high-heeled glass slipper and one mule with a picture of Bart Simpson saying “Eat My Shorts” on it. She turned in joy to the prince.
“It fits!” she said. The Prince was speechless, stunned into silence by her unruly hair, her unibrow and her impressive collection of warts.
The slipper had fit one of the Ugly Sisters.
A brighter Prince would, of course, have seen this coming, or at least something like it. Our feet tend to fall within a range of uniform sizes, otherwise we would all have to get our shoes individually made. The idea that in a whole kingdom there was one person with uniquely-sized feet, and that this happened to be the one person who had left her shoe behind is ludicrous.
(The awkward and therefore never-mentioned fact in all of this, of course, is that the shoe did fall off Cinderella’s foot. This raises the question of how well the shoes fit her in the first place).
Having made his way through the kingdom, however, with no luck, he had fetched up at Cinderella’s house, the very last one. Here he met Cinderella’s two sisters, who surely must have been like Cinderella at least in size, though not apparently in looks. Few families of only three girls have shoe-sizes that vary from dainty to circus clown. The odds were that one of her sisters would have the same size feet as her, and since she had decided to go last for the sake of maximum dramatic impact she had set herself up for disappointment.
The Prince, of course, had been labouring under a huge misunderstanding. He hadn’t realized that the expression “size matters” usually has nothing to do with feet.