Grimm: Snow-White (cont. again)

This story is part of the Brothers Grimm (Crane) unit. Story source: Household Stories by the Brothers Grimm, translated by Lucy Crane and illustrated by Walter Crane (1886).




Snow-White (cont. again)

Not long after that, towards evening, the seven dwarfs came home and were terrified to see their dear Snow-white lying on the ground, without life or motion; they raised her up, and when they saw how tightly she was laced, they cut the lace in two; then she began to draw breath, and little by little she returned to life.

When the dwarfs heard what had happened they said, "The old pedlar woman was no other than the wicked queen; you must beware of letting any one in when we are not here!"

And when the wicked woman got home she went to her glass and said,

Looking-glass against the wall,
Who is fairest of us all?

And it answered as before,

Queen, thou art of beauty rare,
But Snow-white living in the glen
With the seven little men
Is a thousand times more fair.

When she heard that, she was so struck with surprise that all the blood left her heart, for she knew that Snow-white must still be living.

"But now," said she, "I will think of something that will be her ruin." And by witchcraft she made a poisoned comb. Then she dressed herself up to look like another different sort of old woman.


So she went across the seven mountains and came to the house of the seven dwarfs, and knocked at the door, and cried, "Good wares to sell! good wares to sell!"

Snow-white looked out and said, "Go away; I must not let anybody in."

"But you are not forbidden to look," said the old woman, taking out the poisoned comb and holding it up. It pleased the poor child so much that she was tempted to open the door, and when the bargain was made, the old woman said, "Now, for once your hair shall be properly combed."

Poor Snow-white, thinking no harm, let the old woman do as she would, but no sooner was the comb put in her hair than the poison began to work, and the poor girl fell down senseless.

"Now, you paragon of beauty," said the wicked woman, "this is the end of you," and went off.

By good luck it was now near evening, and the seven little dwarfs came home. When they saw Snow-white lying on the ground as dead, they thought directly that it was the step-mother's doing and looked about, found the poisoned comb, and no sooner had they drawn it out of her hair than Snow-white came to herself and related all that had passed. Then they warned her once more to be on her guard and never again to let any one in at the door.

And the queen went home and stood before the looking-glass and said,

Looking-glass against the wall,
Who is fairest of us all?

And the looking-glass answered as before,

Queen, thou art of beauty rare,
But Snow-white living in the glen
With the seven little men
Is a thousand times more fair.

When she heard the looking-glass speak thus, she trembled and shook with anger.

"Snow-white shall die," cried she, "though it should cost me my own life!" And then she went to a secret lonely chamber, where no one was likely to come, and there she made a poisonous apple. It was beautiful to look upon, being white with red cheeks, so that anyone who should see it must long for it, but whoever ate even a little bit of it must die.

When the apple was ready, she painted her face, and clothed herself like a peasant woman, and went across the seven mountains to where the seven dwarfs lived.

And when she knocked at the door Snow-white put her head out of the window and said, "I dare not let anybody in; the seven dwarfs told me not."

"All right," answered the woman; "I can easily get rid of my apples elsewhere. There, I will give you one."

"No," answered Snow-white, "I dare not take anything."

"Are you afraid of poison?" said the woman; "look here, I will cut the apple in two pieces: you shall have the red side, I will have the white one."

For the apple was so cunningly made that all the poison was in the rosy half of it. Snow-white longed for the beautiful apple, and as she saw the peasant woman eating a piece of it, she could no longer refrain but stretched out her hand and took the poisoned half. But no sooner had she taken a morsel of it into her mouth than she fell to the earth as dead.

And the queen, casting on her a terrible glance, laughed aloud and cried, "As white as snow, as red as blood, as black as ebony! This time the dwarfs will not be able to bring you to life again."


(800 words)








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