Snow White


16 min

Brother Grimm

It was the middle of winter and the snowflakes fell like down from the sky. The queen sat by the window, embroidering. Her embroidery frame was ebony. While she worked, she occasionally looked out at the snow. She accidentally pricked her finger with the needle and three drops of blood fell on some flakes of snow that had fallen through the window. When she saw the bright red blood on the snow, she thought: "If only I had a daughter who was white as snow, red as blood and black as ebony."

Not long after, she had a daughter with skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony. She was christened Snow White and soon after the baptism her mother, the queen, died.

After a year the king took another wife, a beautiful woman. She was very haughty and vain and could not stand that anyone could be more beautiful. She had an enchanted mirror and every morning she used to stand in front of it and look at her reflection and say:

“Mirror, mirror on the wall over there
Tell me who is the most beautiful in the country?”
The mirror then replied;
"You are the most beautiful in the country."
This pleased her, knowing that the mirror always spoke the truth.

Snow White grew up and became more and more beautiful and when she was seven years old she was more beautiful than the day itself, yes she was even more beautiful than the queen herself. Then one day when the queen asked the mirror:
“Mirror, mirror on the wall over there
Tell me who is the most beautiful in the country?”
so the mirror answered:
"Queen, you are the most beautiful in the hall here, but Snow White is the most beautiful in the land."

This came as a great shock to the queen and she turned green with envy. From that day the queen harbored a grudge against Snow White and the hatred grew day by day and she had Snow White in her thoughts day and night. Finally she sent for a hunter and commanded him:

"Take the child out into the forest, so that I don't have to see her. I want you to kill her and take her heart as proof.”
The hunter promised to do so and took her with him into the forest. As he drew up his hunting knife to cut out Snow White's innocent heart, she began to cry and sobbed:
“Please hunter, don't take my life! If you spare me, I will go into the forest and never come back again.”

The hunter then felt sorry for her and said: "Go away with you then, you poor girl." He thought she would surely be eaten by the wild animals but felt relieved to avoid killing her. When Snow White ran away into the forest, the hunter saw a wild boar between the trees. He then killed the boar and cut out the heart to take to the queen as proof that he had killed Snow White.

Now Snow White was all alone in the wild forest. She was terrified and was terrified even though it was only a leaf rustling in the trees. She ran over sharp rocks and through thorn bushes and she saw the wild animals in the forest, but they didn't hurt her. She ran as long as her legs could carry her and as dusk fell she came to a small house. Snow White went into the house to rest and then saw that everything inside was very small but clean and beautiful. There was a small table with a white cloth and a fine table set with seven small plates. Next to the plates were small knives and forks and there were small cups to drink from. Along the wall were seven small beds arranged in a row with clean white sheets. Snow White, who was very hungry, ate some porridge and bread from each plate and took a small sip of wine from each goblet so as not to finish any of the portions. Now she was very tired and wanted to go to bed. She tried one bed after another, but none seemed to fit. One was too short another too long but when she got to the seventh bed it seemed to fit and she lay down and soon fell asleep.

When it was almost completely dark, the masters of the house came home. There were seven dwarfs. They were miners and worked in the surrounding mountains. When they lit their lanterns so that there was light in the little cabin, they saw that someone must have been inside, because everything was not as it had been when they left the cabin.

The first dwarf said:
"Who has been sitting in my little chair?"

The other said:
"Who has eaten from my little plate?"

The third said:
"Who has taken my little bread?"

The fourth said:
"Who has tasted my porridge?"

The fifth said:
"Who has used my little fork?"

The sixth said:
"Who has cut with my little knife?"

The seventh said:
"Who has drunk from my cup?"

Then the first, after looking round and seeing a pit in his bed, said:
"Who's been in my bed?"

Then the others also came running and shouted:
"Someone has been sleeping in our beds too!"

But when the seventh dwarf looked at his bed, he saw Snow White lying there sleeping. When he told this to the others, they came running, shining their seven lanterns and looking in surprise at the sleeping Snow White.

"You big time!" they exclaimed, "What a beautiful child!" They were so delighted with her that they did not dare to wake her, but let her sleep all night. The seventh dwarf slept with his companions in turn. An hour with each until the night was over.

When Snow White woke up in the morning and saw the seven dwarfs, she was scared at first, but they seemed quite kind. One of them asked:
"What's your name?"
"My name is Snow White," she answered.
"How did you get to our house?" they asked further.
She then told how her stepmother had wished her dead but that the hunter who was going to kill her had spared her life and how she then ran all day until she found their house.

The dwarfs then said:
"If you take care of the house for us, cook, wash, make our beds, sew and knit and keep everything clean and tidy in the house, you can stay with us and you won't lack for anything. Do you want to stay?”

"With all my heart." said Snow White. She therefore stayed behind and kept the house in good order. In the morning the dwarves went off to the mine to look for gold and in the evening they came back and then their supper would be ready and on the table. All days Snow White would be alone in the cabin, and the dwarfs warned her:
“Watch out for your stepmother, she'll know you're here soon. Do not let anyone into the house.”

The queen, who now believed that Snow White was dead, was now sure that she was once again the most beautiful of all, and she asked the mirror:
“Mirror, mirror on the wall over there
Tell me who is the most beautiful in the country?”
The mirror then replied:
“Queen, you are the most beautiful in the hall
but Snow White, like now
beyond the mountains dwell with dwarfs seven
she is a thousand times more beautiful.”

She then became very angry. Knowing that the mirror always spoke the truth, she understood that the Huntsman had tricked her and that Snow White was still alive. She thought and thought about how she could end her. As long as she wasn't the most beautiful in the land, she had no peace of mind. Finally she had come up with a plan. She blackened her face and dressed up as an old woman so that no one would recognize her. In her disguise she set off over the mountains to the dwarves' cabin. Once there, she knocked on the door and called out:
“Nice goods for sale! Nice items for sale!”

Snow White looked out the window and shouted:
"Good day, kind lady, what do you have to sell?"

“Fine goods, beautiful goods.” she answered, "Silk ribbons of all colors," and she held up a ribbon of beautiful silk.

"It can't be dangerous to let this kind lady in," thought Snow White. She bolted the door open, let her in and bought the beautiful ribbons.

"Think you need to get your life together properly my little girl." said the old woman. “Let me lace you up properly for once.”

Snow White suspected nothing but stood in front of her and allowed herself to be laced. But the wicked queen laced her so fast and hard that she lost her breath and fell to the floor as if dead.

"Now you have stopped being the most beautiful." thought the disguised queen as she hurried off.

A little while later, towards evening, the seven dwarfs came home. They were horrified when they saw Snow White lying lifeless on the floor. They lifted her up and when they discovered how tightly she was tied, they cut the ties. She then slowly began to breathe again and returned to life after a while. When Snow White had told what had happened, the dwarfs said:
"The old witch was none other than the mean queen. You must be careful not to let anyone in when we are not at home!"

When the Wicked Queen got home, she went to the mirror and asked:
“Mirror, mirror on the wall over there
tell me who is the most beautiful in the land.”
The mirror replied as before:
“Queen, you are the most beautiful in the hall
but Snow White, like now
beyond the mountains dwell with dwarfs seven
she is a thousand times more beautiful.”

When she heard this, she was so surprised that all the blood left her heart. She understood that Snow White was still alive after all.

"Now I have to see to it that I end her," she thought.
She then enchanted a comb so that it became poisonous and then dressed up as a different kind of old lady. She then set off again over the mountains to the dwarfs' little house, knocked on the door and called out:
“Nice goods for sale! Nice items for sale!”

Snow White looked out and said:

"Get off, I can't let anyone in."

"But it cannot be forbidden to look," said the old woman, holding up the poisoned comb. Snow White thought it was so beautiful that she was tempted to open the door and after a moment of negotiating the price, she opened the door and let her in.

"Let me comb you properly," said the old woman.

Poor Snow White didn't think it could be that dangerous so she let herself be combed. But as soon as the old woman put the comb in her hair, the poison began to work and the poor girl fell fainting to the floor.

"Now, you little beauty," said the wicked woman wickedly, "now you are out." and went his way.

Fortunately, it was now almost evening, when the seven dwarfs would come home. When they saw Snow White lying as if dead on the floor, they immediately understood that it was the stepmother who had been on the move again. They immediately examined her and when they saw the comb in her hair they knew it was poisoned. As soon as they took the comb out of her hair, Snow White perked up and told what had happened. Once again they admonished her not to let anyone through the door.

The queen returned home, stood in front of the mirror and said:
“Mirror, mirror on the wall over there
Tell me who is the most beautiful in the country?”
The mirror answered again:
“Queen, you are the most beautiful in the hall
but Snow White, like now
beyond the mountains dwell with dwarfs seven
she is a thousand times more beautiful.”

When the queen heard that, she shook with rage.

"Snow White shall die," she cried, "even if it costs me my life!"
Then she went to a remote, secret chamber, where no one used to find. There she prepared a poisoned apple. It was a beautiful apple. One side was white and the other was red. It looked so appetizing that everyone who looked at it longed to eat it, but if you ate just a small piece of it you would die. When the apple was ready, she dressed up as a peasant woman and went away over the mountains to the house of the seven dwarfs.

When she knocked on the door, Snow White stuck her head out of the window and said:
"I dare not let anyone in. The seven dwarfs have forbidden me to do so.”

"I don't mind," replied the woman, "I'll probably get rid of the apples anyway, but take this, you'll get it for free!"

"No," answered Snow White, "I dare not accept anything."

"Are you afraid it will be poisoned?" said the woman, “Look here, I am cutting the apple in two. You get the red side and I'll take the white.” The apple was so ingeniously poisoned that only the red part contained poison.

Snow White looked longingly at the apple and when she saw that the peasant woman ate one half, she could no longer resist it, but reached out and took the poisoned half. As soon as she took a small mouthful of it, she fell down as if dead.

The wicked woman looked at her evilly, laughed loudly and shouted:
“White as snow, red as blood and black as ebony! This time the dwarves won't be able to bring you back to life!”

Then she went home and asked the mirror:
“Mirror, mirror on the wall over there
Tell me who is the most beautiful in the country?”
and at last the mirror answered:
"Queen, you are the most beautiful in the land."
Then her jealous heart was at rest, if now a jealous heart can be at rest.

When the dwarfs got home, they found Snow White lying on the floor not breathing. She was dead. They lifted her up and saw if they could find anything that poisoned her. They untied her lace, combed her hair, and washed her with wine and water, but all was in vain. The poor girl was dead and remained dead. Then they put her on a stretcher and sat, all seven of them, around her. and mourned and wept for three whole days. Then they were going to bury her, but it looked like she was still alive with her beautiful flowery cheeks so they said:
"We can't hide her away in the underworld." Instead, they made a coffin out of glass so they could see into it from all sides. They then put her in the coffin and wrote in gold letters on it her name and that she was the king's daughter. Then they put the coffin out among the mountains. The seven dwarves then took turns standing guard at the coffin. Even the animals of the forest came to the coffin and mourned Snow White.

Snow White lay in the coffin for a long time without changing. It looked like she was sleeping. She was still white as snow, red as blood and black as ebony. After some time a king's son came riding through the forest to the house of the dwarfs, which was near the place where the chest stood. He got to see the coffin lying among the mountains with the beautiful Snow White inside. He saw what was written in gold letters on it. He then said to the dwarfs:
"Let me have the chest, and you shall have whatever you desire."

But they told him they would not part with the chest for all the gold in the world.

The prince then said:
"But give it to me instead, because I can't live without being able to watch Snow White. I will respect and honor her, as my dearest and I will protect you as if you were my brothers.

The dwarves then gave way. They gave in and let him take the coffin with him. The prince then called his servants and asked them to carry the coffin on their shoulders. On their way through the forest, they happened to stumble upon a bush. The coffin shook and then suddenly a piece of the poisoned apple flew up from her throat. Snow White then opened her eyes, pushed open the coffin lid and sat up as lively as possible.

“Oh, my creator, where am I!” exclaimed Snow White. The king's son looked at her surprised and full of joy and answered:
“You are here, close to me.”

He then told her what had happened to her and then said:
“I want you more than anything else in the world. Come with me to my father's castle and be my wife.”

Snow White was delighted and accompanied him to her father's castle, where the wedding was held with great pomp and circumstance.

Snow White's wicked stepmother was also invited to the wedding. Dressing in her beautiful clothes, she went to the mirror and asked:
“Mirror, mirror on the wall over there
tell me who is the most beautiful in the world.”

The mirror then replied:
“Queen, you are the most beautiful in the hall
but the young bride, a thousand times more beautiful is.”

She was then completely beside herself with rage and disappointment. At first she thought she wouldn't go to the wedding, but then she thought she wouldn't have any peace of mind if she didn't get to see the bride.

When she arrived at the wedding and got to see the bride, she immediately recognized Snow White and was completely frozen with fear and horror. The stepmother had to atone for her crime against Snow White by dancing in a pair of iron shoes, heated over a charcoal grill, until she dropped dead.

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