Lord Hugh had three daughters, Fair, Brown and Trembling. All three were beautiful, but Fair and Brown felt they were not as beautiful as Trembling. They were afraid she might marry before them. The two elder sisters did everything they could to make Trembling's life a misery. Lord Hugh was weak and did nothing to stop them. Whenever Fair and Brown went to a ball or a party, Trembling stayed at home cleaning the castle. Fair and Brown spent large sums of their father's money on gowns, cloaks, hats and shoes. One day, they hoped, a rich prince or wealthy young lord would notice them and ask for their hands in marriage. One Sunday, Lord Hugh and his two elder daughters were getting ready to go to church. As always, they left Trembling behind in the kitchen preparing vegetables for lunch. Wiping away a tear, Trembling suddenly became aware of an old woman standing by the kitchen table. 'Why haven't you gone to church with your family?' asked the old woman. 'How can I go to church?' Trembling whispered. 'I have no clothes apart from this old tattered dress. And my sisters would kill me if I left the house.' 'I will give you a beautiful dress. And shoes of green satin and a veil of lace. You will have a milk-white horse with a golden saddle. You will ride proudly to church.' Out of the air, the old woman plucked a daffodil-yellow silk dress and a pair of green satin shoes, and gave them to Trembling. 'You must stand at the back of the church and speak to no one. When the service is over, you must climb back on your horse and ride home as fast as you can. I will do your kitchen work when you are away.' Trembling rode to the church, and stood quietly alone while the congregation sang hymns and prayed. Yet heads turned to look at the beautiful young woman at the back of the church. When the last note of music faded, Trembling turned and fled. Fair and Brown talked about the mysterious lady seen at the church all week, desperate to know who she was. The following Sunday, Trembling stood in church again, yet vanished once more like the wind when the service was over. On the third Sunday, the same thing happened. The people all rushed out of the church when the music finished, but no one was fast enough to stop Trembling as she rode away. The Prince of Emania had heard about the beautiful young lady, and he had a plan to discover who she was. On the fourth Sunday, he hid behind some trees outside the church. When Trembling rode past, the prince shot out and managed to pull one of the green shoes from Trembling's foot. But he could not catch the milk-white horse as it raced out of view. For two years, the prince searched across Ireland to find the woman whose foot would fit perfectly into the green satin shoe. Eventually, the prince arrived at Lord Hugh's castle and asked to see his Lordship's daughters. Fair had painfully cut off part of her heel and Brown had stitched false toes onto her foot to make sure their feet fitted the green shoe. Despite their efforts, the green shoe still did not fit either of the sisters' feet. The prince was about to leave the castle when he noticed a girl clearing ashes from the fireplace in the kitchen. 'Who is she?' he asked. 'She is my youngest daughter,' Lord Hugh replied. 'Then she must also try on the shoe,' demanded the prince. To everyone's amazement, the green satin shoe slipped perfectly on to Trembling's foot. The prince looked into her eyes and knew that his search was over. He had found his bride and he was the happiest man in Ireland. Comprehension 1 Why did Fair and Brown treat their younger sister so badly? 2 How did Lord Hugh try and stop their bad behaviour? 3 How did the old woman help Trembling? 4 What effect did Trembling's presence have on the church congregation? 5 What clue did the Prince of Ermania manage to get to help him discover the identity of the mysterious lady? 6.What desperate measures did Fair and Brown take to try to make the shoe fit them? Answers: 1 Because they thought Trembling was more beautiful than they were and she would find a husband before they did. 2 He did nothing. 3 She gave Trembling some beautiful clothes and a horse to take her to church. 4 Everyone in the church wanted to know who the beautiful young woman was. 5 He stole one of her shoes. 6 They painfully altered their feet hoping to make them fit the shoe.