The "fairy godmother" was originally "Cinderella"'s dead mother's spirit, who originally came back in the form of a fish (later, the Grimm Brothers had the mother inhabit a tree) to aid her daughter. Personally, I think Perrault's exchanging of the mother's spirit with a fairy godmother who appears out of nowhere destroys an integral bit of logic in the story... but that's all off topic, isn't it? ;-)
Proud adopter of 15 punctuation marks; see my profile for their names.
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