The Real Snow White
Once upon a time, long ago, in a land far, far away, there lived a king and his beautiful queen. One day, as the queen was sewing next to a window watching the first snow of the season, she pricked her finger and a drop of blood fell…certainly not on the snow, as it has been reported in other sources, because really, was she hanging out the window while she was sewing? No, a small drop of blood fell upon the snowy white fabric of her gown and she said aloud, sighing, “I wish I had a daughter with skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood and hair as black as night.” And because wishes really do come true, nine months later she gave birth to a little girl who she named, Snow White. As you can imagine, the king was not happy with the name the queen chose, wanting to name the princess after his mother, or even her mother, or his nanny, but the queen stood firm…well, that is, she did until she died after giving birth to Snow White. The grieving king briefly considered naming the child Anna, for his dead queen, but he knew her dying wish, so Snow White it was.
Finding life as a single parent quite trying despite a castle full of help, the king remarried within the year. He brought home his new beautiful queen and settled down to life as a family of three (plus 127 servants, 24 horses, 10 dogs and 6 cats).
Snow White had a happy childhood, spent largely in the company of the many servants and pets. She was sweet and kind and much beloved by all. Well, mostly all. The queen was fairly indifferent to her for most of Snow White’s childhood and the king, though he loved her dearly, really didn’t have much use for a daughter. Now a son, that would have been ideal. They could ride horses, go hunting, read history books. What did he know about embroidering and other such womanly tasks? Alas, neither of his queens provided him with a son and heir…
And the queen? Well, she was more interested in herself and the study of alchemy, than raising a child. Little did the king know her apparent barrenness was intentional. The idea of seeing her belly distended with child was anathema to her. Every day, she closeted herself in her secret chamber where she made potions – some of which actually worked hence her childless state, and asked a mirror of gilded frame, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” And she heard, “You are, my queen.” What? Yep, she heard it. I did not say, the mirror replied. The queen was certifiable. When was the last time a mirror talked to you? (If you actually answer that, might I suggest therapy?)
Anyway, all was going along quite well despite the queen’s questionable mental state (perhaps brought on by ingesting myriad concoctions to keep her young and childless…or simple narcissism), until the day her “mirror” told her that Snow White was the fairest in the land…it didn’t take a “magic” mirror to recognize the untold beauty of the kind, young princess. What to do, what to do? Ah! Get the huntsman to cut out her lungs and liver! Of course! (I know you’ve heard it was the heart, but my sources are impeccable, and it was the lungs and liver she requested.) And if you didn’t think she was not quite right in the mind before, I do hope that we are on the same page now.
So, the queen ordered the huntsman to take Snow White to the forest and return with her lungs and liver. The huntsman refused to follow orders blindly, but he also didn’t want to be on the wrong end of the queen’s psychosis, so he sent Snow White off into the woods to fend for herself and brought to the queen the lungs and liver of a boar.
Not one to be hoodwinked, the queen noted that the huntsman didn’t look her in the eye so it was no surprise when the “magic” mirror told her that Snow White was still the most beautiful in the land. (The huntsman was found later that night by one of the grooms. His heart had been removed. So, there was heart removal in the story. Just not Snow White’s.)
As for Snow White, she slept on the forest floor that night and when she awakened in the morning, she was surrounded by seven men, who we have come to know as the Seven Dwarves. The thing is, they weren’t actually dwarves. It’s just that, in addition to being beautiful of face and hair, Snow White was quite the Amazon. She could have done runway modeling, no problem. But to her, they were little men, so when she told the story later on, they became the seven dwarves.
Anyway, the seven dwarves took pity on the beautiful goddess at their feet and took her to their home to care for them. I mean to care for her. Right. She took one look at the pigsty they called home and shooed them out while she cleaned. They went off to work in the mines and when they returned it was to a clean home and a hot meal. Bliss. Snow White was sound asleep curled up on a rug by the fire (all the beds were too small for her). Of course, after dinner, they joined her there on the floor rather than make her sleep alone in a strange place…
Well, this story is getting a little long so we’ll cut to the chase: The queen was not pleased that Snow White was still living somewhere in the kingdom. She sent out spies (no, it was not the “magic” mirror that told her) and found out that she was living in the forest with seven men. ("What? Whore," she screamed to no one in particular.) She used her “magic” powers and created various poisons to kill her off, and on her third try (the dwarves foiled her plans the first two times), was finally successful with a poisoned apple and a few days off her "eternal youth" serum.
The poor dwarves were bereft. (Who would take care of them now?) They lay her to rest in a glass coffin so that they could gaze upon her beauty (as her body decayed???) Lo and behold, not two days later, a prince from the neighboring kingdom happened to be hunting in the very same forest where Snow White lay. He ordered his grooms to carry the beautiful woman in the glass case to his castle. Needless to say, no easy task given her size and, not surprisingly, one of the grooms dropped his end. And a good thing it was: It wasn’t poison that kept Snow White in the death-like state. It was a piece of apple lodged in her throat. Being dropped knocked it out and she awakened. The prince knelt beside her amongst the broken glass and begged her to marry him (which would join the two kingdoms and make him the richest, most powerful king). Of course, she said yes (or perhaps just nodded and smiled. There is some debate that two days with minimal oxygen intake left her with some neurological issues. Or maybe it was the poison.)
The prince, knowing what the wicked queen had done, invited her to the wedding feast. For her attempt to murder his beloved, Snow White, he ordered her to dance in red-hot iron shoes until she dropped dead. Um, what? Yep. Red-hot iron shoes. I kid you not.
And they lived happily, ever after…