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Balint, M. (1963). The Younger Sister and Prince Charming. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 44:226-227.

(1963). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 44:226-227

The Younger Sister and Prince Charming

Michael Balint

Some time ago two young girls, aged 5 and 3, stayed with us for a fortnight. One afternoon we took the elder, Susan, to the pantomime Cinderella. Of course, she already knew the story from her books. Her main interest was evidently concentrated on two events, the appearance of the beautiful dress for Cinderella, and the scene in which she loses one of her slippers. Although during the whole performance she enquired time and again when these two would come, she followed the action on the stage with vivid interest and great delight; the whole outing was definitely a success.

Arriving back home after the matinée the usual routine of going to bed followed. As Susan and I are good friends the routine includes an intermezzo; after having her bath, she comes to my room in pyjamas and dressing gown to chat, to play, and to have a general discussion about the events of the day. This particular evening she asked to have some music because she wanted to dance. I have to add here that she, like so many other girls of her age, had had some lessons at her kindergarten in dancing. Of course I complied and she started to dance. Soon she discarded her dressing gown, and it became quite clear—as was to be expected—that she was trying to represent Cinderella with the technical means available to her. At the height of her performance she lost her slippers—both, not only one—and the whole thing ended in a triumphant dance.

The next evening, being not so late as after the matinée, the two girls arrived together for their before-going-to-bed tête-à-tête with me.

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