Grimm: Snow-White (end)

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).

(illustration by Otto Ubbelohde)


Snow-White (end)  

And when she went home and asked the looking-glass,

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

at last it answered, "You are the fairest now of all."

Then her envious heart had peace, as much as an envious heart can have.

The dwarfs, when they came home in the evening, found Snow-white lying on the ground, and there came no breath out of her mouth, and she was dead.

They lifted her up, sought if anything poisonous was to be found, cut her laces, combed her hair, washed her with water and wine, but all was of no avail: the poor child was dead, and remained dead.

Then they laid her on a bier, and sat all seven of them round it, and wept and lamented three whole days. And then they would have buried her, but that she looked still as if she were living, with her beautiful blooming cheeks.

So they said, "We cannot hide her away in the black ground." And they had made a coffin of clear glass so as to be looked into from all sides, and they laid her in it and wrote in golden letters upon it her name and that she was a king's daughter. Then they set the coffin out upon the mountain, and one of them always remained by it to watch. And the birds came too, and mourned for Snow-white, first an owl, then a raven, and lastly, a dove.

Now, for a long while Snow-white lay in the coffin and never changed, but looked as if she were asleep, for she was still as white as snow, as red as blood, and her hair was as black as ebony. It happened, however, that one day a king's son rode through the wood and up to the dwarfs' house, which was near it. He saw on the mountain the coffin, and beautiful Snow-white within it, and he read what was written in golden letters upon it.

Then he said to the dwarfs, "Let me have the coffin, and I will give you whatever you like to ask for it."

But the dwarfs told him that they could not part with it for all the gold in the world.

But he said, "I beseech you to give it me, for I cannot live without looking upon Snow-white; if you consent, I will bring you to great honour and care for you as if you were my brethren."

When he so spoke, the good little dwarfs had pity upon him and gave him the coffin, and the king's son called his servants and bid them carry it away on their shoulders.

Now it happened that as they were going along, they stumbled over a bush and, with the shaking, the bit of poisoned apple flew out of her throat. It was not long before she opened her eyes, threw up the cover of the coffin, and sat up, alive and well.

"Oh dear! where am I?" cried she.

The king's son answered, full of joy, "You are near me," and, relating all that had happened, he said, "I would rather have you than anything in the world; come with me to my father's castle, and you shall be my bride."

And Snow-white was kind and went with him, and their wedding was held with pomp and great splendour.

But Snow-white's wicked step-mother was also bidden to the feast, and when she had dressed herself in beautiful clothes, she went to her looking-glass and said,

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

The looking-glass answered,

O Queen, although you are of beauty rare,
The young bride is a thousand times more fair.

Then she railed and cursed, and was beside herself with disappointment and anger. First she thought she would not go to the wedding, but then she felt she should have no peace until she went and saw the bride.

And when she saw her she knew her for Snow-white, and could not stir from the place for anger and terror. For they had ready red-hot iron shoes, in which she had to dance until she fell down dead.



(700 words)




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