Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a very astute and shrewd girl named Bookerella who was always found studying her books (as her name would suggest). Bookerella was the most intelligent woman in the land, boasting an impressive IQ of 173 and carrying knowledge of multivariable calculus since the age of five. Despite her intellectual acumen, Bookerella lacked the social skills and beauty that her two stepsisters possessed. The two stepsisters were not very fond of Bookerella and constantly teased her with their pranks and derisive name-calling. They always snatched Bookerella’s heavy and thick-rimmed glasses and hid them in tiny nooks while laughing at Bookerella’s futile attempts to find them.
One day, one stepsister said, “Why should Bookerella be able to sit with us at dinner? She’s hideous and she’s ruining my chances to be asked out to prom by Bradley. He’s so perfect. Ugh, Bookerella isn’t good enough for us.” The next day, the stepsisters had Bookerella’s clothes taken away from her and dressed her in a battered gray smock and scratchy socks. “Awh, look how cute she looks now!” they laughed as they led her into the kitchen.”
From that day on, Bookerella made her residence in the kitchen corner and worked tirelessly from morning to evening, carrying water, making the fires, cooking, washing, cleaning, and doing chores for her stepsisters, who sadistically did everything to make Bookerella’s life miserable. They would deliberately spill food and water on the floor so that Bookerella would have to clean over and over; they would constantly complain that their steaks were under or overcooked so that Bookerella would have to cook for hours; they would purposely stain their clothing with the most pungent and visible dyes so that Bookerella would spend days washing them. After the day ended and everyone fell asleep, Bookerella fell by the kitchen hearth, shattered in tears.
The following morning, the king of the land called upon a royal order to have a ball in which all the beautiful young girls in the land were invited for the king’s son to select a bride for himself. When the two stepsisters received a text that they too were invited, they became euphoric and scrambled to find the perfect dress, shoes, and jewelry. They called upon Bookerella without rest—“Bookerella, brush our teeth and comb our hair! Tailor our dresses! Polish our shoes and jewelry! Make us low-fat and low-carb smoothies so we don’t get fat before the big day!”
As always, Bookerella reluctantly obeyed, but she too wished she could go to the ball. She earnestly begged her stepmother, only to receive a scornful scoff of contempt—“You? You want to go to the ball? Why, you don’t even own a dress or a pair of shoes!” Bookerella kept begging, but to no avail. Before hurrying out with her two daughters, the stepmother turned to Bookerella, adamantly declaring, “You are not coming with us. You don’t have the clothes, the looks, the shoes, or even know how to dance for that matter. We would be so ashamed of you.” With that, the stepmothers and stepsisters pompously entered their carriage, leaving Bookerella in tears.
Suddenly, however, a white pigeon appeared and draped Bookerella in a glimmering and magnificent silver gown and glass slippers. The white pigeon warned Bookerella to return to her house by midnight, for the charm would only last until then. Bookerella obliged and hurriedly left for the ball.
At the ball, the prince approached Bookerella and danced with her for the remainder of the night, discussing Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and the Big Bang Theory along the way. As Bookerella soon discovered, the prince was as much an intellectual as she was. Unfortunately, midnight was coming upon them and Bookerella abruptly left and ran away, dropping her glasses along the way. The prince failed to find Bookerella and instead came upon her glasses, declaring that no woman shall be his wife except for the lady to whom the glasses belonged.
The next morning, a valiant trek across the land began with the prince visiting every house in the land. He instructed every woman of the residence to wear the glasses and read a passage from his favorite book, “The Hunger Games.” Even after entering hundreds of homes, no woman seemed to be able to read with the glasses. Alas, right before the prince was going to give up, he arrived at Bookerella’s house. The stepsisters, recognizing the glasses and threw Bookerella into the closet. Despite their efforts, the prince heard Bookerella’s whimpering from the closet, opened it, and had Bookerella wear the glasses. He placed “The Hunger Games” in front of her, but Bookerella did not need it because it was also her favorite book and she had it duly committed to memory. The prince smiled and he and Bookerella embraced. The stepsisters and stepmothers cried hysterically as Bookerella and her prince lived happily ever after.