Robin Redbreast

Robin Redbreast
Birds can represent the fluttering, darting thoughts of intuition. This is why little birds helped Cinderella help herself.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Once upon  a time, in Scotland, there lived "a king who had one
lovely daughter, and whose wife had died, married for the second time an ill-natured woman with three ugly girls of her own whose envy of the king's daughter was matched by their treatment of her."  They put her to work in the kitchen, and the only clothing they allowed her was "a garment of rushes".  That's why everyone called her Rashin Coatie.  They fed her upon scraps of food.  However, all of this the girl easily endured for before her mother had died, she had given her child a gift. This was "a little red calf, and Rashin Coatie had only to ask the red calf for anything she wanted, and she could have it."  Soon the stepmother wondered how Rashin Coatie was not troubled by hunger, and spied upon her, and discovered the secret of the little red calf.  She called for a butcher and had it slaughtered.  The king's daughter was stricken with grief and sobbed aloud but the dead calf called to her, saying," Tak' me up, bane by bane, And pit me aneth yon gray stane." So the girl picked the calf up, bone by bone, and put it beneath a big gray stone, and knew that she had only to ask the bones, and her wish would be granted.  Now came Yuletide, with its feasting and bright church services. But Rashin Coatie's stepmother forbad her to attend services, telling the girl that she must stay home and prepare the Christmas feast. No sooner had the Queen and her three ugly girls gone to the kirk, than the King's daughter ran to the gray stone and told it her plight. "The calf promplty provided her with braw claes, and she was the grandest and brawest lady at kirk."  There was a prince at church and he saw he and fell in love with her.  He meant to speak to her after the blessing, but the girl fled before that time. The service continued the next day, and again Rashin Coatie went to church in finery.  Again the prince saw her, and now he was more determined that ever to meet this mysterious girl.  But again she left before the blessing, so that her family would not miss her. Well, by the third night of Yuletide mass, the prince was ready.  He sat by the door, and when the strange young woman tried to slip away, he blocked her way.  She dodged around him nimbly, and fled, losing an embroidered  slipper of satin.  This the prince collected, then proclaimed that he would find its owner and marry the girl who could wear the shoe.  The Queen heard this and gathered her three daughters about her.  When the prince came to their castle each ugly one took her turn with the shoe.  The last girl slipped into the kitchen with the slipper, and begged the hen-wife apply a knife to her toes and heel. Triumphantly the girl walked out wearing the shoe.  The prince felt a great unease, yet he had to keep his word.  He escorted her out the door, and the two walked toward the kirk to be married.  Yet a little bird began to sing, and the prince made out these words: "Minched fit, and pinched fit, Beside the king she rides, But braw fit and bonny fit, In the kitchen neuk she hides." So back they went and the ugly daughter's treachery was discovered. That's when Rashin Coatie  came out of the kitchen, and approached the prince "and when she was near, the slipper jumped out of his pocket and on to her foot. The prince married her and they lived happily all their days."
From Opie, I. & Opie, P. (1974) The Classic Fairy Tales
Notes: This story shows how the motif of the cow as helper appears in Europe in almost exactly the same manner as it does in Africa. (See The Ox of the Wonderful Horns, Zimbabwe, and Den Röd Ko, Denmark)
Montessori Connection 6-12: Geography/Europe/Scotland
1. Read Rashin Coatie and pay attention to how the girl gets her name. 
2. Write down what she wore. (a coat of rushes, which are a kind of tall grass)
3. Learn that garment means anything that a person can wear as clothing. 
4. Learn that in the USA we would probably call her Rushie Coat, or Grass Dress to describe how she looked.
5. Find Scotland on a map. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Thank you all for coming!

Last night's event at University Press Books was attended by about 25 people. We drank all four bottles of wine, ate all of the bread and most of the cheese! A gentleman who was most surprised won the Cinderella Trivia Quiz. First prize was a copy of the book and a genuine MAGIG RING, guaranteed to protect against DOOM, GLOOM, and NAYSAYERS.  Second and third prizes went to a pair of lovely ladies who turned out to be mother and daughter! Mother won 2nd place and took home a pair of (tiny) parrots; daughter won a pair of (teeny) frogs. Each won an e-copy of the book! Congratulations!
Get your copy today!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

AUTHOR EVENT JULY 17TH UNIVERSITY PRESS BOOKS Berkeley, CA

Rachel Hope Crossman reads from her new book,  SAVING CINDERELLA: FAIRY TALES AND CHILDREN IN THE 21ST CENTURY 
2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
Thursday, July 17th 6:00-7:30 
Come hear the story of Catskins, America's backwoods Cinderella who tricked her boss, flew away in a magic box and married a real live prince. Discover where the first Cinderella lost a shoe and found true love, the reason little birds often help her and why rings are actually teeny-tiny magic circles!

$5 off purchase of book with this magic word: GOOSE

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Cinderella #365 Five Original Verses by Rachel Hope Crossman
Cinderella, dressed in yella’,
Went upstairs to kiss her fella.
Made a mistake, kissed a snake...
How many doctors did it take?
Red-Winged Blackbird, Cesar Chavez Park, Berkeley, CA 
Cinderella dressed in red,
Got right up and out of bed,
Cooked for the King, dropped her ring,
Hoped he'd find her magic bling.
Cinderella dressed in blue,
Ran away and lost a shoe,
Despite her sisters’ cruel laughter,
She’s the girl the Prince ran after.
Cinderella dressed in green,
Went upstairs to meet the Queen,
She curtsied, bowed, sang acapella:
Your Majesty, I’m Cinderella!
Cinderella dressed in white,
Invited to the ball that night,
One candied quince from that sweet prince—
They’ve been an item ever since.
Cinderella dressed in gold,
Kissed by the Prince, who was so bold,
They got married, they grew old. 
Now my story is all told. 
© 2011 Rachel Hope Crossman
Note: As of June 4,2014 over 83,000 people have visited this blog! Thank you to all. If you would like to purchase a copy of SAVING CINDERELLA:FAIRY TALES AND CHILDREN IN THE 21ST CENTURY please click here. 
To request a copy for review please contact rachel.crossman@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

SAVING CINDERELLA: FAIRY TALES AND CHILDREN IN THE 21ST CENTURY available now!

At long last, the book is here! SAVING CINDERELLA: FAIRY TALES AND CHILDREN IN THE 21ST CENTURY is an all-in-one resource for teachers, parents, and grandparents who want to encourage a love of reading in the next generation. Includes an overview of how children learn to read using the Five Pillars of Literacy, five complete Cinderella stories, and a dictionary of fairy tale symbols including rings, shoes, and spinning wheels. Get it now!
Buy it now on Amazon, or request it from you local, independent book seller. 


Please place wholesale orders through:
The Apocryphile Press, 
1700 Shattuck Ave. #81
Berkeley, CA 94709
510-290-4349
Berkeley, CA 94709

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Cooking with Cinderella

"You, Cinderella!" said her stepmother, "You're all dusty and dirty and yet you want to go to the wedding?" When Cinderella kept pleading, her stepmother finally said, "I've emptied a bowlful of lentils into the ashes. If you can pick them out all the lentils in two hours, you may have permission to go." The maiden went through the back door into the garden and cried out,"Oh, you tame pigeons, you turtledoves, and all you birds under heaven, come and help me pick the good ones for the little pot, the bad ones for your little crop".  Two white pigeons came flying to the kitchen window, followed by turtledoves. Eventually, all the birds under heaven swooped down, swarmed into the kitchen and settled around the ashes. The pigeons bobbed their heads and began to peck, peck, peck, peck, and all the other birds also. 
(Ashenputtle, Brothers Grimm 1812, trans. Zipes, J.)
California quail

Well, now. I think that if Cinderella lived in the here and the now, she could ride two food waves at once with 

California Lentils -N- Bacon
1/4 lb. English bacon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, minced fine
2 cups of lentils (preferably not picked from the ashes)
3 cups water
1/4 cup red salsa fresco


Bring the water to boil in large sauce pot and add the English bacon. Simmer 5 minutes, then drain, reserving the liquid. Fry the bacon in another pan, adding olive oil as needed. Add the onion, cook till just turning golden. Season with pepper and taste a bite. Pour the lentil liquid back into the sauce pot, bring to a boil, and add the lentils, the bacon and onion mixture.  Taste. Add the salsa and serve with hot corn tortillas.