How we cite our quotes:
From toilets to riches.
That story. (4-5)
We're just going to let this quote stand in for the rest of the "example stories" that make up the first part of the poem. Because when you look at them, they're mostly the same: something improbable happens and someone goes "from toilets" (or something similarly icky) "to riches." In each case, though, the luck is based around money—making it seem like the only way to be fortunate is to become rich.
Her father brought presents home from town,
jewels and gowns for the other women
but the twig of a tree for Cinderella. (33-35)
Here again, the fortune or misfortune of the situation centers on money (or expensive stuff). We think, oh man, that stinks for Cinderella because she didn't get any of the costly things her stepsisters did. Once again, it seems like the only thing that matters in this poem is money.
Next came the ball, as you all know.
It was a marriage market.
The prince was looking for a wife. (41-43)
Well, the prince might have been looking for a wife for other reasons, but most of the women at that "marriage market" ball are looking for one thing: money. Marrying into a royal family is a surefire way to turn your luck around when it comes to wealth, and that's what every woman in this story seems to want. We don't know much about the prince— maybe he's a total jerk—but it doesn't matter. Marrying him and moving up in society are the only goals here, it seems.