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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Retold by Rohini Chowdhury

This story was first collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, and was translated into English in the 1820s. Its present status as one of the best loved of the stories collected by the Grimm brothers seems to derive from the fact that in 1937, Walt Disney turned it into an animated film. In the film the seven dwarfs have been given names, and personalities to match those names: Happy, Sleepy, Doc, Bashful, Sneezy, Grumpy, and Dopey. The film remains hugely popular even today.


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Once upon a time, when the snow lay thick and white on the ground, a Queen sat by her palace window, sewing her husband's shirts. As she sewed she pricked her finger, and a drop of blood fell on to the snow gathered on the windowsill. The Queen looked at the red drops on the white snow, and at the ebony black frame of her window and liking the way the colours looked together, thought to herself, 'I wish I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, as black as ebony.' Soon a little daughter was born to her, with skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony. She called her daughter Snow White. A few days after Snow White's birth the Queen died.

A year later the King, Snow White's father, married again. The new Queen was very beautiful, but so vain and haughty that she could not bear anyone to be more beautiful than her.

Now, the Queen had a magic mirror, that could talk, and would answer truthfully any question that it was asked. The vain Queen would look into the mirror and ask,"Mirror, mirror on the wall,who is the fairest of them all?"

And the mirror would reply, "You are the fairest, lady Queen."

Then she would be happy, for she knew the mirror always spoke the truth.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs cont'd...  next page
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Last updated: April 2010. Copyright © Rohini Chowdhury 2002. All rights reserved.

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