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Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted


by Gail Carson Levine

Ella Enchanted Chapter 4 Summary

  • Whoa nelly!
  • Ella eats the carrot soup just like Mandy has ordered her too, but her mind is totally blown by the news that Mandy is a fairy.
  • But if Mandy's a fairy, why did Ella's mom die? Mandy says that she didn't know how sick Ella's mom was until it was too late, and, anyway, even fairies can't stop someone from dying. 
  • Cue sobfest.
  • When they stop crying, Mandy says that she was also Ella's mom's fairy godmother. Ella is skeptical, since Mandy has frizzy gray hair and a double chin, and aren't fairies supposed to be young and beautiful?
  • Anyway, Ella asks Mandy to prove that she's a fairy by disappearing or something, and Mandy refuses. Apparently Lucinda (the fairy who "blessed" Ella with obedience) is the only one stupid enough to go around flaunting her powers like that.
  • Like Mandy, most fairies prefer to masquerade as human because (1) when people find out that someone's a fairy, they want the fairy to use their magic to fix everything, and (2) fairies are immortal, which humans hate.
  • Lady Eleanor had Mandy as a fairy godmother because the people in her family are official Friends of Fairies, and there aren't too many of them left.
  • Ella's mom's side of the family also has some fairy blood, but not enough to let them do magic or live forever. But she does have tiny fairy feet, lucky her! The small shoe sizes are always the only ones on sale.
  • Again, Ella asks Mandy to demonstrate her fairy powers, by, say stopping the rain. Mandy refuses because it's big magic, and big magic is dangerous. (Duh.)
  • See, you never know what the consequences of a magical act might be. Ella finally gets it: any time you perform magic, something could go wrong. Then you'd be responsible for trying to fix that, too.
  • Okay, back to Lucinda's spell. Mandy doesn't know how to break the spell, and she doesn't recommend that Ella ask Lucinda to do it, since, you know, Lucinda has already caused enough trouble.
  • If you haven't figured it out by now, Ella is a klutz. She drops a bowl, giving Mandy a chance to prove herself: she cleans it up with magic (small magic, not big magic, in case you're keeping track at home).
  • Here's a question for Mandy: can fairies see the future? Apparently not. You'll need to find a gnome if you have questions about the stock market.
  • Just as Ella is about to ask Mandy a zillion more questions, Bertha comes in to tell Ella that Sir Peter (her father) wants to see her.
  • Ella's dad shows her a tiny porcelain castle that is cleverly crafted and really beautiful. It's magnificent, but Sir Peter just sees it as one more object to sell.
  • The castle was made by the student of an elf sculptor named Agulen, whose stuff is in high demand. Ella's dad muses that maybe he can pass it off as an authentic Agulen piece.
  • Since he's obviously got an eye for these things, Sir Peter begins to look Ella over and muse about which features she got from him: some facial features, but also determination.
  • Once he has enough of that, he moves on to talking about Dame Olga's daughters. The nicest thing Ella can say about them is that they weren't very comforting. Her father finds this hilarious.
  • He also doesn't seem to care, because he suggests that Ella might go to finishing school with the girls.
  • This basically sounds like a nightmare to Ella, because she'd have to leave Mandy and be ordered to do things all the time.
  • Since Ella's father suggested that finishing school might teach her not to walk like an elephant, Ella retorts that perhaps elephants should not go to finishing school. This makes her father laugh again.

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