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Snow White

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Snow White

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One winter, when snowflakes fell like feathers from the sky, a queen wished for a baby girl. Not long afterwards, her wish came true.

The child was named Snow White because her skin was as white as snow. Her cheeks were as red as blood. Her hair was as black as ebony.

Not long after Snow White was born, her mother died.

After a year had passed, the king of that country married again. The new queen was very beautiful. She owned a magical mirror. When she looked at her reflection in it, she would ask:

'Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is fairest one of all?'

The mirror replied:

'You are the fairest of them all.'

Then the queen was happy. She knew the mirror always told the truth.

However, every day, Snow White grew a little bit. She was a pretty child, and she grew to be beautiful. The princess became more beautiful than the queen.

So, one day, when the queen asked the mirror her question, it replied:

'My Lady, you are fair, it's true,
But Snow White is fairer than you.'

The queen turned pale. From that moment on, she hated Snow White like poison. Every day she grew angrier. To be jealous of someone is like giving evil weeds a home in your heart. In the end, they grow too strong and choke you.

At last, the queen could no longer stand to see Snow White every day. So, she ordered her huntsman to do a terrible thing.

'Take Snow White out into the woods. I never want to see her face again. You must kill her. Bring back her lungs and liver, to show that she is dead.'

The huntsman tried to do as he had been told. He led Snow White out into the woods. He even took out his knife to kill her.

Snow White cried out. 'Oh! Please don't hurt me. I promise that if you let me go, I'll run away into the woods and never return home again.'

'Well, run along then,' he said, taking pity on her. His heart grew lighter because he hadn't done the terrible thing.

As the huntsman walked away through the woods, a young boar ran past him. He shot it and took its lungs and liver to the queen to prove that Snow White was dead. The wicked queen had them stewed, and she ate them up. She thought that she had seen the last of Snow White.

When Snow White found herself alone in the woods, the very trees around her seemed to take on strange shapes. She felt so frightened that she didn't know what to do. In a panic, she began to run over the sharp stones and through the bushes. The wild beasts of the woods ran past her, but they did not hurt her.

Snow White ran into the forest as far and as fast as her legs could carry her. As the sky grew dark, she saw a little house, and she let herself in.

Everything inside was tiny. There was a table with seven little plates, each with its own small fork and knife and spoon. There were seven little cups. There were even seven little beds by the wall.

Snow White was so hungry and thirsty that she ate some food from each plate and drank a drop from each cup. Then she lay down on one of the beds and fell asleep.

When the night was very dark, the owners of the little house returned home. They were seven dwarves, and they had been out working hard all day. They worked in the mines that ran deep into the heart of the mountain.

The dwarves lit seven lamps and peered around the room. They could see that someone had been in their home.

The first said, 'Who has been sitting on my chair?'

The second said, 'Who has eaten my bread?'

The third said, 'Who has eaten my porridge?'

The fourth said, 'Who has eaten my vegetables?'

The fifth said, 'Who has used my fork?'

The sixth said, 'Who has cut with my knife?'

The seventh said, 'Who has taken a drink out of my cup?'

Then the first dwarf looked about. When he got to his bed, he found Snow White, fast asleep. He called the others, who gathered around with quiet cries of surprise.

'Oh!' they cried. 'What a lovely girl!'

They did not wake her, but let her sleep all night in the little bed.

When it was morning, Snow White woke up. At first, she was frightened when she saw the seven dwarves, but they were very friendly. They asked what her name was.

'Snow White,' she answered.

'Why did you come to our house?' asked the dwarves.

Snow White told them that her step-mother, the queen, had sent her into the woods to be killed. She explained how the huntsman had let her go and that she had run through the woods before finding their house.

The dwarves agreed to let her stay with them. In return, Snow White said that she would cook and clean for them in their little house.

So Snow White began her new life in the woods. Every morning the dwarves went into the mountain to dig for gold. When they returned home in the evening, Snow White had their supper ready for them.

All day long, the girl was left alone, and so the dwarves warned her, saying:

'Beware of your step-mother. She will soon find out you are here. Whatever you do, don't let anyone into the house.'

Now, the queen believed that she had eaten Snow White's lungs and liver. She never dreamed that she was not, once again, the most beautiful woman in the world. So she looked into her mirror one day and said:

'Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest one of all?'

The mirror replied:

'My Lady, you are fair, it's true,
But Snow White is fairer than you.
Over the hills, with seven little men,
Lives Snow White, the fairest again.'

The queen was horrified. She knew then that her huntsman had lied to her and that Snow White was alive. The magic mirror always spoke the truth.

The wicked queen wondered day and night how she might destroy Snow White. Her jealous heart would not let her rest while someone else was more beautiful.

When she had planned what to do, she made a comb and poisoned it using dark magic. She painted her face and dressed as an old woman. Her disguise was so good that no one could have known her. Looking like that, the wicked queen made her way to the house where Snow White lived with the dwarves. She knocked at the door.

Snow White looked out of the window.

'Good morning!' she called out. 'I'm sorry. I can't let you come inside.'

'But you are allowed to look out?' said the old woman. She held up the pretty comb for the girl to see.

Snow White liked the comb so much that she let herself be taken in. She opened the door.

'Come here, my dear. I'll comb your hair properly for you,' said the old woman.

Snow White did not realise she was in danger. The comb had barely touched her hair and the poison worked. She fainted.

'Now you're done for,' smiled the wicked queen. She ran away home as fast as she could.

Fortunately, it was nearly evening. It was not long before the seven dwarves returned home. When they saw Snow White lying dead on the ground, they realised that her wicked step-mother had been at work.

They searched until they found the poisonous comb. The moment they pulled it out of Snow White's hair, the girl woke up. She soon told them what had happened. The dwarves warned her again to be on her guard and not to open the door to anyone.

As soon as the queen got home, she went to her mirror, and asked:

'Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest one of all?'

The mirror replied:

'My Lady, you are fair, it's true,
But Snow White is fairer than you.
Over the hills, with seven little men,
Lives Snow White, the fairest again.'

When she heard these words, the queen trembled with rage. She knew that Snow White had survived again.

'Snow White shall die!' she cried. 'Even if it costs me my own life!'

Then she went to a secret room, and she used her magic to make a poisonous apple. It looked beautiful, with lovely white and red cheeks. Anyone who saw it would wish to eat it, but anyone who did would die on the spot.

The queen disguised herself again. She went through the woods to the seven dwarves' little house and knocked at the door.

Snow White looked out of the window.

'Good morning!' she called out. 'I'm sorry. I can't let you come inside.'

'I have a lovely apple for you, my dear,' said the old woman.

'No,' said Snow White. 'I can't take it.'

'You silly girl!' answered the queen. 'What are you afraid of? Do you think it is poisoned? Look, I will cut the apple in half. I'll eat the white part, and you can eat the red.'

Now, the apple had been made so that one side was safe to eat, although the other side was poisoned.

Snow White was very tempted. The apple looked so nice. When she saw the old woman eat the other half, she couldn't help herself. She took one bite of the apple and fell on the floor.

'As white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as ebony. This time, nothing will save you,' laughed the queen. Her dark eyes sparkled with glee. She ran home to her mirror, and at last, it said:

'You are the fairest of them all.'

Finally, the queen's wicked heart was happy. At least, it was as happy as such an evil heart can ever hope to be.

When the dwarves came home in the evening, they found Snow White lying motionless on the floor. They lifted her and looked everywhere to see if they could find anything poisonous. They did everything they could think of, but Snow White was dead, and she remained dead.

The seven dwarves cried together for three whole days. At last, they made up their minds to bury Snow White, but she looked so lovely even in death that they said:

'We can't hide her away in the cold ground.'

They made a coffin of glass, and they laid her in it. They wrote on the lid in golden letters that she was a princess. Then the dwarves put the coffin on the top of the mountain. One of them always remained beside it to keep watch over Snow White. Even the birds came to show their sorrow that Snow White had died. At first, there came an owl, and then a raven, and last of all, a little dove.

Snow White lay in the coffin for a long time. She always looked just the same, as if she were sleeping. Her skin remained as white as snow. Her cheeks were as red as blood. Her hair was as black as ebony.

Now, one day a prince came to the mountain. He saw the coffin, with Snow White inside it. When he had read what was written in golden letters, he said to the dwarf:

'Give me the coffin. I'll give you anything you like for it.'

'No,' said the dwarf. 'We wouldn't part with Snow White for all the gold in the world.'

'Well, then,' the prince replied. 'Please give it to me, because I can't live without Snow White. I will love her more than anything.'

He spoke so sadly that the dwarves took pity on him. They gave him the coffin. The prince asked his servants to carry it away on their shoulders.

Now, an extraordinary thing happened. As the servants were going down the mountain, they stumbled. They jolted the coffin so badly that the bite of poisonous apple Snow White had swallowed fell out of her throat. She blinked a little and then opened her eyes.

Snow White lifted the lid of the coffin and sat up alive and well.

'Oh! Where am I?' she cried.

The prince was filled with joy.

'You are with me,' he cried. He told her all that had happened and then said, 'I love you more than anyone in the world. Will you come with me and be my wife?'

Snow White agreed, and she went with the prince. They were married not long after that. Their wedding was splendid.

Now, Snow White's wicked step-mother was one of the guests invited to the wedding feast. When she had dressed gorgeously for the occasion, she went to her mirror, and said:

'Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest one of all?'

The mirror replied:

'My Lady, you are fair, it's true,
But the bride is fairer than you.'

When she heard this, the wicked woman was beside herself with rage. Her jealous heart throbbed in her chest, and she knew she would never be happy until she had seen the young queen.

When she got to the feast, she saw that Snow White was the bride. The girl she had killed was not dead after all. I'm afraid the evil queen's rage choked her; she turned quite purple and then fell dead upon the ground.

Snow White and her prince reigned happily for many years. Sometimes, they went up into the mountains and paid a visit to the dwarves. They always remembered the friends who had been so kind to Snow White in her time of need.

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