The fairy tale for this week is Snow White. It’s not quite the Disney Snow White with singing to the animals and the seven dwarfs. There are dwarfs but they aren’t named after the Disney qualities. The basic story is the same, although there are some added details.
The story starts with a queen longing for a child. In the midwinter, the snowflakes were falling from the sky, and the queen was sat by a black ebony wood, sewing. The queen pricked her finger and three drops of blood fell into the snow. As the blood settled on the snow, she thought ‘If only I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood in this frame.’ Soon after, the queen was blessed with a child. Soon after childbirth, the queen died. Years later. the king married another woman. She was beautiful, but vain and never wanted anyone to be more beautiful than her. She had a magic mirror, which she often asked who was the fairest of them all!
As the story goes, Snow White grows up and her beauty grows too. One day when the queen asked her mirror, the mirror mentioned Snow White. The queen was so envious, she asked a huntsman to kill Snow White and bring back her lungs and her liver. The huntsman took Snow White into the woods, but couldn’t kill the beautiful princess. He told her to run away. The huntman killed an animal, bringing its lungs and liver back to the queen.
Snow White ran through the woods and came across a tiny house that belonged to the dwarfs. The story gets all Goldilocks at this moment, as Snow White tucks into some food and settles in one of the dwarfs beds. When the dwarfs return from work they go through ‘Who has been sitting in my chair?” etc etc. until they find Snow White in one of the beds! They leave her sleeping, as she is so beautiful. When she wakes the next day, she tells the dwarfs her story. The dwarfs say if she keeps the house tidy and orderly then she can stay.
Of course, the queen asks her mirror who is the fairest of them all, and the mirror, never lying tells the queen that Snow White still lives in a cottage in the woods. The queen tries to destroy Snow White with lace, being tightened around Snow White’s bodice so she had some trouble breathing, a poisonous comb and finally a poisonous apple.
When the dwarfs came home they couldn’t revive her. They placed her in a glass coffin. Snow White lay in the coffin for many years, not decaying but looking as if she was asleep. One day a prince was coming past the house and saw the with Snow White in. The prince was determined that the dwarfs should give him the coffin. The dwarfs eventually agreed and gave him the coffin. As the servants carried the coffin, they stumbled and dislodged the piece of poisoned apple from Snow White’s throat. She woke up, startled. It was a case of instalove with the prince. They married right away. The evil Stepmother was invited to the wedding, instantly recognising Snow White. They put the stepmother into a pair of red hot shoes and ordered her to dance until she died.
As you can see, there are some differences in the story, but slight differences aside (and the stepmother’s demise!) ultimately this is like the Disney movie I remember!