|Bethany Roberts' Valentine Fun for Kids |
Then the queen was shocked, and turned yellow and green with envy. From that hour, whenever she looked at Snow White, her heart heaved in her breast, she hated the girl so much. And envy and pride grew higher and higher in her heart like a weed, so that she had no peace day or night. She called a huntsman, and said, "take the child away into the forest. I will no longer have her in my sight. Kill her, and bring me back her lung and liver as a token."
Everything in the cottage was small, but neater and cleaner than can be told. There was a table on which was a white cover, and seven little plates, and on each plate a little spoon, moreover, there were seven little knives and forks, and seven little mugs. Against the wall stood seven little beds side by side, and covered with snow-white counterpanes.
Little Snow White was so hungry and thirsty that she ate some vegetables and bread from each plate, for she did not wish to take all from one only. Then, as she was so tired, she laid herself down on one of the little beds, but none of them suited her, one was too long, another too short, but at last she found that the seventh one was right, and so she remained in it, said a prayer and went to sleep.
When it was quite dark the owners of the cottage came back. They were seven dwarfs who dug and delved in the mountains for ore. They lit their seven candles, and as it was now light within the cottage they saw that someone had been there, for everything was not in the same order in which they had left it.
"Oh, heavens, oh, heavens," cried they, "what a lovely child." And they were so glad that they did not wake her up, but let her sleep on in the bed. And the seventh dwarf slept with his companions, one hour with each, and so passed the night.
When it was morning little Snow White awoke, and was frightened when she saw the seven dwarfs. But they were friendly and asked her what her name was. "My name is Snow White," she answered.
"How have you come to our house?" said the dwarfs.
Then she told them that her step-mother had wished to have her killed, but that the huntsman had spared her life, and that she had run for the whole day, until at last she had found their dwelling.
"Yes," said Snow White, "with all my heart." And she stayed with them. She kept the house in order for them. In the mornings they went to the mountains and looked for copper and gold, in the evenings they came back, and then their supper had to be ready.
The girl was alone the whole day, so the good dwarfs warned her and said, "beware of your step-mother, she will soon know that you are here, be sure to let no one come in."
And the glass answered, "oh, queen, thou art fairest of all I see, but over the hills, where the seven dwarfs dwell, snow-white is still alive and well, and none is so fair as she."
When she heard the glass speak thus she trembled and shook with rage. Snow-white shall die, she cried, and she made a very poisonous apple. Outside it looked pretty, white with a red cheek, so that everyone who saw it longed for it, but whoever ate a piece of it must surely die.
When the apple was ready she painted her face, and dressed herself up as a farmer's wife, and so she went over the seven mountains to the seven dwarfs. She knocked at the door. Snow White put her head out of the window and said, "I cannot let anyone in, the seven dwarfs have forbidden me."
" It is all the same to me," answered the woman, "I shall soon get rid of my apples. There, I will give you one."
"No," said Snow White, "I dare not take anything."
"Are you afraid of poison?" said the old woman, "look, I will cut the apple in two pieces, you eat the red cheek, and I will eat the white."
The apple was so cunningly made that only the red cheek was poisoned. Snow-white longed for the fine apple, and when she saw that the woman ate part of it she could resist no longer, and stretched out her hand and took the poisonous half. But hardly had she a bit of it in her mouth than she fell down dead.
Then the queen looked at her with a dreadful look, and laughed aloud and when she asked of the looking-glass at home, "looking-glass, looking-glass, on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all?" it answered at last, "oh, queen, in this land thou art fairest of all." Then her envious heart had rest, so far as an envious heart can have rest.
The dwarfs, when they came home in the evening, found Snow White lying upon the ground, she breathed no longer and was dead. They lifted her up, looked to see whether they could find anything poisonous, unlaced her, combed her hair, washed her with water and wine, but it was all of no use, the poor child was dead, and remained dead. They laid her upon a bier, and all seven of them sat round it and wept for her, and wept three days long. Then they were going to bury her, but she still looked as if she were living, and still had her pretty red cheeks.
They said, "we can not bury her in the dark ground," and they had a coffin of glass made, so that she could be seen from all sides, and they laid her in it, and wrote her name upon it in golden letters, and that she was a king's daughter. Then they put the coffin out upon the mountain, and one of them always stayed by it and watched it. And birds came too, and wept for Snow White, first an owl, then a raven, and last a dove. And now Snow White lay a long, long time in the coffin, and she did not change, but looked as if she were asleep, for she was as white as snow, as red as blood, and her hair was as black as ebony.
It happened, however, that a king's son came into the forest, and went to the dwarfs' house to spend the night. He saw the coffin on the mountain, and the beautiful Snow White within it, and read what was written upon it in golden letters. Then he said to the dwarfs, "let me have the coffin, I will give you whatever you want for it."
But the dwarfs answered, "we will not part with it for all the gold in the world."
Then he said, "let me have it as a gift, for I cannot live without seeing Snow White. I will honor and prize her as my dearest possession." As he spoke in this way the good dwarfs took pity upon him, and gave him the coffin. And now the king's son had it carried away by his servants on their shoulders. And it happened that they stumbled over a tree-stump, and with the shock the poisonous piece of apple which snow-white had bitten off came out of her throat. And before long she opened her eyes, lifted up the lid of the coffin, sat up, and was once more alive.
"Oh, heavens, where am I?" she cried.
The king's son, full of joy, said, "you are with me." And told her what had happened, and said, "I love you more than everything in the world, come with me to my father's palace, you shall be my wife."
And Snow White was willing, and went with him, and their wedding was held with great show and splendor.