Snow-White 2
Snow-White 2
©2001 by Carolyn Ann Aish
All rights reserved. No part of this story may be copied or downloaded for profit.

Snow-White (Schneewitchen) was among the first of the traditional stories the Brother Grimm collected from the peasants of Hesse in 1812.

Snow-White 2 is a continuation of the original story. The author, Carolyn Ann Aish, dreamed the story one night from beginning to end. Building on her dream, she wrote the story down to share with all those who love Snow-White.

The original Snow-White is in this story, along with her handsome prince, now a king. And, of course, the seven dwarfs who truly have 'treasured skills.'

The wicked queen Dezabel is almost as evil-and definitely more irrational and impatient-as her sister of the original story. And like her sister, Dezabel longs to be the ONLY fairest in the land and will destroy all rivals if she can!


Chapter 1
     Long ago, when there were many castles and kings, three neighbouring kingdoms lay near to one another. Between the triplet kingdoms was a triangular-shaped plain.

     A new queen came to the throne of the first kingdom.

     After mourning her sister's untimely death, this queen, named Dezabel, cast her mind to the most important person in her life-herself. To be queen of a kingdom and own a castle made her consider herself to be very important, which, indeed, she was.

     The mirror in the queen's chambers was her most prized possession. Here she gazed at herself to admire her beauty. Queen Dezabel was most pleased to know that when she asked the mirror, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, Who is the fairest one of all?"

     The mirror replied:
          "You, O Dezabel, are most fair;
          None with you can compare.
"

     Therefore the queen was very content.

***

     One year passed, and Queen Dezabel was invited to the celebration of the birth of a new prince in a neighbouring kingdom. The step-daughter of her late sister, Queen Snow-White, had given birth to a lovely baby boy. The queen, and her husband, king of the kingdom in which they lived, were hosting a great celebration.

     The king did not like Queen Dezabel; but Snow-White, as a kind and accepting person, found her most friendly and cordial. Queen Dezabel's gifts for the baby prince, and her flattering compliments were a pleasant change from the heartlessly cruel treatment Snow-White remembered from her late step-mother.

     The celebration was a glad and happy time. Afterwards, Queen Dezabel visited Snow-White in the royal chambers. On the wall was a mirror, identical to the one in her own kingdom. Queen Dezabel longed to see if this mirror was also a magic mirror like her own. Would it also be able to tell her that she was fairest in the land? How much she loved to hear such adoration.

     Later, with the excuse that she had a headache, Queen Dezabel left the evening's entertainment and made her way to the mirror in Snow-White's chambers.

     At last she could speak to this twin mirror. Peering around in the candle-lit chamber to be sure she was alone, she moved closer to the mirror to ask, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?"

     The mirror replied,
          "You, O Dezabel, are most fair,
          But with Snow-White, you do not compare!
"

     Queen Dezabel could scarcely contain her rage. She spent the night, pacing back and forth in the guest bed-chamber, scheming what to do.

     In the morning, her face was so changed with anger that everyone believed she must, indeed, have a terrible headache!

     However, she had to return to her own kingdom and took her leave with as much composure as her disposition allowed. Even Snow-White realised she was not the cordial queen she had been when she arrived.

     Queen Dezabel wished she could rid her world of Snow-White, and she imagined much evil.

     After a few days fuming, she braced herself, and demanded, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?"

     To her great pleasure, yet bewilderment, the mirror replied:
          "You, O Dezabel, are most fair;
          None with you can compare.
"

     "How can this be?" she asked, "If none compares with me, how is it that the mirror, identical to you, but in Snow-White's chambers, gave me another answer?"

     "O Dezabel, in this kingdom,
     With your beauty, none can compare,
     But in Snow-White's kingdom,
     She is most fair.
"

     "Who then, is the most fair of all - of the two kingdoms?" the queen demanded. "Is it me? Or is it she?"

     "O Dezabel, that I am not able to share,
     But if you place two of us together,
     Then, we can compare.
"

Chapter 2

     The queen had no rest. She longed to be able to gain Snow-White's mirror and place it beside hers, to learn the truth. How she longed to be the most beautiful, the most fair in ALL the world!

     Travelling secretively to the second kingdom, Queen Dezabel stole Snow-White's mirror in the night, and brought it back to her own kingdom.

     Horror of horrors, the two mirrors, set side-by-side, spoke in unison, answering her question:
          "You, Oh Dezabel, are most fair,
          But with Snow-White, you do not compare.
"

     Storming around her chamber, the queen shouted, "What shall I do? How can I gain more power to deal with this situation?"

     Unexpectedly, the mirrors replied,
          "We each are one; but we are three;
          Great is the power we can give to thee.
"

     "What? What are you saying? A third mirror? Tell me about this power?"

     "With only two, our power is small,
     We each answer questions, that is all.
     But when you place us three together,
     Our power is so great,
     We can change the weather,
     All we can do, in an instant is done,
     To whom three belong, is the greatest one.
"

     Queen Dezabel stared at the two mirrors. Her painted eyes narrowed to slits. Great power? Oh to own such power!

     "You answer questions, do you?" she spoke with determination, "Tell me how I can gain the third mirror?"

     "In the kingdom, the third of three,
     There our triplet waits for thee;
     In the night, as before,
     On the wall, inside the door...
"

     "A door? Quiet, I must think," Dezabel interrupted. Her scheming mind imagined the power that would be hers if she could gain possession of the third mirror.

     "I must have that mirror! Tell me, I command you..." she stopped, realising she must ask a question, "How can I get inside that door? Whose door is it? Where is it?"

     "The mirror is so sad alone,
     For there is no queen upon the throne.
     Where we also are situated,
     In the queen's chamber; (one now belated).
     Left alone, and locked within;
     You need a key to enter in.
     Once you are in through that door,
     You may take the mirror as before.
"

     "But how do I get such a key?" the queen asked, as though to herself.

     The mirrors, their voices in unison, replied, making the queen jump;
          "The key you have by your side,
          With this key, the door opens wide.
"

Castle picture
     Again, travelling secretly, the queen came to the castle of the third kingdom in the night. But try as she might, she could not enter the gate. Unlike the one where Queen Snow-White lived, it was too well-guarded.

     In danger of being captured, she was shot at by a diligent guard with a cross-bow. The arrow missed her by a hair's breadth.

     Crouching silently in a crook in the wall, she was overlooked as the soldiers chased a shadow into the night. While they had their attention drawn away in another direction by a frightened cat, the queen escaped.

     Remembering the two mirrors could answer any question, she returned to her home castle.

     Storming at the mirrors, she demanded, "Why did you not tell me I could not get into the castle?"

     "Dear Dezabel, you did not ask,
     But only the queen's door to get past.
"

     "Tell me! Tell me...how do I gain entrance into the castle? And how do I get to that door?" she demanded, feeling sure that such a well-guarded castle outwardly would also have inside guards.

     "A large army you would need,
     To gain entry will be a battle indeed...
" the mirrors began.

     "There must be another way...one without a war!" she snapped; then when the mirrors were silent, she remembered she must ask a question to have the mirrors reply. "Tell me another way; I ask for a way. How do I enter without detection...or force?"

     The queen listened to the mirrors' suggestions, and upon more questions being asked and answered, she devised a cunning plan.

Snow-White 2 MirrorSnow-White 2 MirrorSnow-White 2 Mirror
Chapter 3

     Sending a messenger ahead to announce her coming, Queen Dezabel took valuable gifts for the king who ruled the third kingdom.

     Her red lips twisted into a smile as she was escorted between receptive, bowing soldiers who formed a guard of honour for the royal visitor. This truly was better than a battle. She was being greeted with great pomp and circumstance, escorted to the king himself. Seated on his golden throne, the king looked magnificent in the oval throne room which was filled with wonderful ornaments, statues and treasures.

     The sight of such an amazing chamber almost took the queen's breath away.

     Then Queen Dezabel's eyes were captured by the close sight of the king whose name she had learned was Magnus. Her breath came in quick pants.

     He was so young and handsome that she felt her heart pounding in a most unfamiliar fashion. Momentarily she forgot her mission.

     King Magnus smiled at her, and she felt as if the chamber filled with floating butterflies of a thousand colours. Never before had she felt such a feeling. King Magnus stood and descended the three dais steps to greet her. She was sure that she pleased him with her beauty and magnificent clothes.With a golden jewel-studded crown on his head, King Magnus wore expensive clothing glittering with jewels and embellished with gold and silver thread. The purple cloak trimmed with ermine trailed behind him. Queen Dezabel imagined such an imperial man to be the counterpart of herself.

     His eyes looked appreciatively at her. Bowing, he kissed her slender hand. Then his eye-brows raised as he asked, "To what may I ascribe the great honour of your visit, Queen Dezabel?"

      The queen explained, "It is with peace and friendship I have come to make your acquaintance and confirm our future alliance, King Magnus." Turning, she indicated that her footmen present to the king, her costly gifts.

      Greatly pleased with Queen Dezabel, her gifts and words, the king ordered a banquet and invited her to stay the night.

      "The weather is inclement and I could not abide it if you caught cold on your return."

      They smiled at each other, both feeling great pride due to their royal distinction.

      Everything was working out as the queen desired. However, she had not counted upon herself falling in love with this king!

      She had eyes for no one else at the banquet, and was most disappointed that King Magnus danced with her only for the first dance at the ball that followed. She had hoped he would stay by her side all night.

      When she saw him dancing the fourth dance with a third pretty lady from his court, she felt slighted, and remembered her mission.

      Excusing herself, she retired early. The night developed a violent storm with lightning illuminating the walls of the castle both inside and out. Like an upright snake, Dezabel stole from her room towards the royal chambers.

      To her relief, the diligent guards were watching the storm from a balcony off the corridor. They feared that the lightning may strike a tower. Between the flashes, she crept past.

      Using her key, Dezabel entered the queen's chambers. This had been King Magnus's mother's room. The mirror was exactly where its replicas had described.

      Knowing she could not resist asking one question, she closed the door with less than a cricket-sized click.

      Her voice echoed ominously in the empty chamber, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?"

      The mirror replied,
          "You, O Dezabel, are most fair,
          But with Snow-White, you do not compare!"

     Rage filled Queen Dezabel, so much so that she could neither think nor speak.

     Snatching the mirror from the wall, she pushed it into the large velvet bag she had brought for it. Drawing a deep breath, she left the room as quietly as she had come, taking care to lock the door. Again, between the flashes of lightning, she glided along the dimly lit corridor to her own room in the guest chambers.

     Taking her leave from King Magnus was a painful time for the queen. She wished she could be with him always.

     "Do not leave it too long to visit with me again, Queen Dezabel," he said, and kissed her hand.

     The feel of his soft lips on the back of her hand made the Queen quiver all over. Closing her eyes, she puckered her lips, wishing him to kiss her mouth; but he turned away and she was left feeling silly, her red lips untouched.

     "I will have him, I will have him," she told herself all the way back to her own castle. "My mirrors will help me. Now I have greater power, I will make him mine!"

Chapter 4

     At last the Queen, alone in her chambers, placed the three mirrors side by side. She began to learn the extent of the mirrors' powers. They told her that if she placed the forefinger of her right hand on the middle mirror, her wish became their command.

      A warning came from all three in unison;
           "Remember, greater power can be for thee;
          But greater power can corrupt greatly."

      "I like that," she said glibly; "'Id like to have greater power, corruption as well! There is nothing that will not be mine," she told herself smugly, thinking at this moment, of King Magnus.

     "Bring him to me," she commanded, with her finger on the central mirror, "Bring King Magnus before me."

      Instantly, King Magnus stood before her, looking completely bewildered. However, she thought how handsome he was, even though confused with the sudden transport to her castle.

      "We will be married today!" she cried, her face ablaze with triumph.

      "Pardon me?" he asked, frowning and staring about him.

     "You and I, Magnus...we will be married, now, today. Together we shall rule the three kingdoms."

      "Where am I? How did you bring me here?" he asked, rushing to the window and looking out. "Where are my guards? Where is my castle?"

      Feeling a hand on his shoulder, he half turned, but cringed away from her as though a reptile touched him.

      "Take me back to my castle! How dare you do this to me! I am the king!"

     "But...we shall be married. We shall rule together..."

      "Never!" he cried, rushing to the door and dragging it open. Two guards crossed their spears in front of his face, and he stepped backwards.

      "Marry me, or die!" Queen Dezabel shouted.

      "I...I'll not marry you!"

      "You will die then; Mirrors!" she shouted, stepping to touch the centre one, "I command that you kill him, now!"

      Before the mirrors answered, there was a short silence, then -
          "O Queen, it is not for us to kill;
          The power is yours for good or ill."

     The queen's eyes widened. "What?" she cried, "What are you saying? You have great power, but will not do as I ask? You can bring Magnus here, but you cannot kill him for me?"

     "Our power, Oh Dezabel, must be for life;
     'Tis your choice, for good, or strife;
     Change him into what you will;
     Or - by your own hand, choose to kill."

     Drawing his sword from its sheath, King Magnus turned to the queen. He hoped to be able to threaten her into sending him home.

     "Freeze him; like a statue!" she shouted.

     As if encased in ice, the king froze, his sword raised in his hand. Trembling slightly, the queen strode around him. Reaching out, she would have smoothed a rebel curl from his forehead, but it was stiff and she withdrew her hand as if touching something abhorrent.

     "I don't particularly like you like this; but if it is the only way to have you, then so be it." She walked back to the mirrors. "I'd like him to change his mind."

     Touching the centre, she commanded, "Make him fall in love with me."

     "That power is yours, Oh powerful one;
     To make him love you; From you must come.
     Choice is yours, to make him yours;
     You are responsible for all you cause."

     "What?" she cried, angry at being thwarted, "Then what good are you - what powers DO you have?"

     "As we have explained, we'll do your will;
     But not to maim or not to kill;
     And not to tamper with the heart;
     The choice is yours to do that part."

Castle Picture

     The queen schemed in her mind, "I have to make him mine. I have to make him love me." Pulling the sword from his hand, she threw it across the room.

     Commanding the mirror, she bade a great golden cage appear in her chamber, surrounding the king; then she commanded that he be unfroze. "You will stay in that cage until you agree to marry me," she asserted.

     With his hands tugging on the bars, he shouted, "Guards! Guards! Where are you? Surely no one supports or protects this...this...so-called queen?"

     He turned to face her, speaking angrily, "How dare you keep me locked here! Who do you think you are?...offering friendship; gifts and alliance? Now I..."

     Touching the mirror, the queen said, "He talks too much; make him a parrot, a silent parrot, in a smaller cage of course...but give him some room to fly about."

     Immediately King Magnus changed into a small colourful parrot, and the cage shrank to match his size. He fluttered helplessly around the cage before sitting on the perch. Dolefully, he hid his head under his wing.

Parrot

      "Oh dear, feeling a little foul are you?" she taunted, crouching to see him. She laughed loudly, hideously. "When you are ready to be less of a chicken and eggs-change your status, perhaps you will tell me." Chuckling at her humour, she touched the mirror, saying, "Let him speak the two words 'kiss me' when he wishes to become himself again. With his kiss to seal it, the cage shall be gone."

     Gliding back to the cage, she puckered her lips, saying, "Give a kiss, oh handsome thing; then you will change into a king," - to which the parrot flew helplessly about the cage, causing small feathers to rise in the air.

Chapter 5

     Queen Dezabel cast her attention to the mirrors. She remembered her mission. "Mirrors, tell me; who is the fairest of all - in all three kingdoms?"

     "You, O Dezabel, are most fair,
     But with Snow-White, you do not compare,
" the mirrors replied in unison.

     Screaming, she then cried, "What shall I do? What shall I do? Not to kill? Not to maim? Oh, how can I bear it?" Touching the mirror she said, "Banish Queen Snow-White and her king! I wish you to send her castle and all in it to...to an island in the far south of the world." Staring into the mirror, she asked, "Is it done?"

     "As you wish, O Dezabel;
     You've wished a wish,
     But have you wished it well?
"

     "Since when do you ask the questions?" She pouted, then demanded, "Show me the castle on this island!"

     A swirl of rainbow colours preceded the amazing picture of a castle amidst lush foliage, on an island surrounded by deep blue sea. Soldiers on the battlements looked extremely puzzled.

     Laughing but momentarily, Queen Dezabel asked, "Mirrors, on my wall, who now is the fairest one of all?"

     The mirrors replied,
          "You, O Dezabel, are most fair,
          But with Snow-White, you do not compare!"

     "What? What? How can you say that?" her eyes narrowed and she demanded, "Explain yourself! I ask you to tell me why you name Snow-White? Who is she? - show her to me."

     The mirrors swirled, and a girl in peasant-like clothing appeared in all three. She carried a basket full of wild-flowers, the colours of the spectrum.

SW in a Mirror

     The mirrors spoke in dreamy voices,
          "In the third kingdom lives a girl,
          With hair like golden grain;
          Not a princess, nor a queen,
          But a beauty, fair, the same.
          Eyes as green as grass;
          Bubbling nature like a spring,
          Skin like cream with peach-felt cheeks,
          And lips, like birds to sing."

     "But, Snow-White is her name? Why is she called Snow-White?"

     The mirrors swirled and showed a child with a mass of curls the colour of snow.
          "As a child, her hair was filled with light;
          A cloud of mist; or blossoms bleached,
          Her parents named her, Snow-White."

     The pretty child was pictured in stages, growing older, and her hair changing to a sun-gold colour.

     "A farm girl? How can she be fairest? Bring her here, I want to see her!" Queen Dezabel commanded, then, touching the mirror, repeated, "Bring this Snow-White here, now!"

     Bewildered, but beautiful, a young maiden appeared before the queen. Dropping the basket of flowers, she stared in astonishment about the chamber.

     "Oh!" she cried, her eyes taking in the queen and her crown. Curtsying low, she stayed in this position of obeisance.

     "Rise, child; let me look at you," the queen spoke in a controlled tone, "she is but a farm-girl, dressed in peasant's clothes!"

     Touching the mirror, Queen Dezabel commanded, "Let me see her properly...array her as a princess...with a crown on her head!"

     Snow-White's peasant clothes disappeared and instead, she wore a beautiful dress under a cloak trimmed with ermine, and a jeweled crown upon elegantly-styled hair. Even in her great astonishment at the sudden change, Snow-White was very beautiful. She stared at her new image in the mirrors.

Snow White in her finest

     The parrot in the cage flew to perch on the bar closest, his beady eyes upon the beautiful princess. But neither the queen nor Snow-White noticed the parrot's observation.

     "Your fate is sealed!" the queen shouted in jealousy at Snow-White's amazing beauty, now matched with beautiful clothes. With her fore-finger on the mirror, she commanded, "Make this Snow-White into a little white mouse."

     Gone was the glory of the princess, and there was a white mouse, trembling and peering up at the wicked queen in terror.

     "Now I shall make you squeak! I shall tread on you...if death is mine to give," she said, lifting her foot towards Snow-White. "Keep still! Come back here!

     "Where is she?" Lifting her long silk skirts, the queen stomped around her chamber, in a most unqueenly manner; but the little white mouse escaped under the bed and hid herself in a chink in the stone wall.

     Her voice shrill, the queen laughed loudly. "I shall just command her to come back! Then I shall freeze her, and stomp on her, shatter her to a hundred pieces!"

     Laughing cruelly, the queen stepped to the central mirror. Catching sight of herself, she calmed a little.

     Smoothing her hair, she asked, "Who shall be afraid of a little white mouse? Shall I, Queen Dezabel? Perhaps some large cat will be set loose in this chamber tonight. Whose supper shall she be then?

     "Now to important matters: Magic mirrors, on my wall, who is the fairest one of all?"

     The mirrors replied:
          "You, Oh Dezabel, are most fair;
          None with you can compare."

     The queen smiled and said, "Just to be sure, mirrors, I ask again; in all the kingdoms that are mine; who is the most beautiful at this time?"

     And the mirrors replied:
          "Of all who are in kingdoms three,
          None is more fair, Oh Dezabel, than thee."

     Releasing a contented sigh, the queen danced across to the chamber door. Flinging it open, she called, "Arrange a banquet tonight! I shall celebrate my beauty." Looking back at the parrot she said, "Perhaps tomorrow I shall celebrate my wedding."

***

     Having bathed and dressed herself in her most beautiful clothes, the queen stood close to the cage. "Kiss me; say 'kiss me' and upon your kiss, you shall be king again, and we shall be wed."

     But the parrot hid his head under his wing.

     On her way to the banquet hall, the queen ordered that a cat be brought to her chamber as she had seen a mouse under her bed.

Mouse

Chapter 6

      Snow-White crept timidly out from under the bed. She gingerly sniffed around.

     "Kiss me! Kiss me," called the parrot urgently, "Kiss me, kiss me!"

     At the sound of these words, screeched in a parrot-like fashion, Snow-White hid under the bed. But he kept on and on, "Kiss me, kiss me!"

     Now used to the parrot's call, Snow-White ventured out again. Half-way across the room the door opened. A large cat was released into the chamber, and the heavy door was closed soundly.

     At the same time as Snow-White's green eyes saw the cat, the cat saw her.

     "Kiss me, kiss me!" the king called urgently. "Kiss me, kiss me!"

     Around the room ran Snow-White; under the furniture; under the bed. The cat followed. Around the room again, then up the velvet drapes ran the mouse with the cat in close pursuit. With a crash the whole window fixture came down. The cat was covered with velvet. The apparition heaved this way and that with squeaks and meows sounding out.

     The parrot flapped around the cage helplessly.

     Out from the purple mass peeped a pink nose, then green eyes, followed by a tiny white body. The mouse had escaped the cat's claws.

     "Kiss me! the parrot shrieked louder, "KISS ME!"

     A tearing sound was followed by the cat freeing himself of the velvet.

     Into the chink Snow-White ran, panting in panic. A long clawed paw lunged in, but could not reach Snow-White who cringed back inside the small tunnel against the stone.

     Prowling back and forth, the cat then skulked away from the chink, keeping one eye focussed. Slowly Snow-White sneaked out of the hole and out from under the bed.

     She wondered if she might fit under the door. It was worth a try. The cat would be unable to follow. She longed to be out of this horrible chamber, and away from her feline enemy and the noisy parrot.

     Snow-White was half-way across to the door, when the cat turned.

     "Meow," he said, preparing to pounce.

     "Kiss me, kiss me," called the parrot.

     With but a brief hesitation, the mouse dived for the closest place of safety; the cage. As the cat sprang, she squeezed between the bars.

     "Yeee-ow..." the cat whined, his nose bruised on the metal. Not to be foiled, the cat stretched his paws between the bars, waving needle-sharp claws.

     The parrot flapped about and the mouse shrank against the other side of the cage.

     Shaking the cage, the cat rolled it on its side and the little mouse fell right into his paw.

     With a swift dive, the parrot pecked the cat's paw with his sharp beak.

     "Yeee-ow!" yelled the cat, retracting his paw.

     Before the mouse could move, the bird pecked her lips.

     Suddenly the cage, the parrot and the mouse were no longer.

     Instead, the king stood, his arms about Snow-White, and he was kissing her. She was dressed in the clothes she had worn before becoming the mouse...the clothes of a princess.

     "Yeee-ow!" the cat screamed in fright, his fur standing on end. With one leap, he hid under the bed.

Chapter 7

      Snow-White drew away from the king in bewilderment.

      "Why did you not kiss me?" he asked, his voice strained. "It would have saved all that panic."

     "You were the...the parrot?" she asked, feeling afraid and disoriented.

      "Yes, and you were the mouse," he said, "and Queen Dezabel is acting like a witch."

      "But...you are King Magnus," she said, stepping away. Bowing her head, she curtsied low.

      "We have no time to waste," he said, his attention on the mirrors, "We must find out how to gain the mirrors' help." Striding to the three, he asked, "Tell us, we pray, how do we gain your help?"

     "You may ask what you will,
     We'll answer questions, so take your fill," the three mirrors answered in unison.

     "But did you not do magic for Queen Dezabel?"

     "Yes, we belong to the Queen,
     until she gives release;
     Our power is hers,
     and shall not cease
."

     "Explain, please...how may we gain your powers?"

     "Only if she gives us to you,
     Can we your will and wishes do."

     Turning, the king strode to the window. It was high above the ground. He shook his head. "I do not know what to do next," he admitted. "The door is guarded; how shall we escape? I have no loyal guards...no horse...only my sword..."

     Stepping to the mirrors, Snow-White asked, "Tell me, mirrors; will you answer any questions...any questions I ask?"

     "Yes, Snow-White; ask what you will;
     We'll answer questions, so take your fill."

     "Then, please tell us, how to defeat Queen Dezabel and her evil plans...how do we make her give up her control over you mirrors?"

     "Queen Dezabel brought us here,
     Only she can change our sphere;
     With her word we three shall be,
     As we were previously."

     "Oh dear," Snow-White said, looking at her reflection in the mirror. "I should not wear a crown; I'm a farm-girl. She lifted the crown from her head, looking down at it, then frowning at its jewels in the mirror. The prince stood behind her, also looking into the centre mirror.

     Placing the crown on Snow-White's golden hair, he asked, "Tell us, mirrors; tell us how we may escape and gain help to defeat the queen?"

     "It will be dangerous, you can count,
     But tie the velvet and climb out..."

     "Yes," Snow-White cried, "why didn't I think of that? What then?"

     "You must make haste, or it will be too late -
     Take the path from the smallest gate,
     Through the forest; and over seven hills,
     Live seven men with treasured skills.
     In a cottage by the stream,
     Where the grass is lush and green.
     When you find them, ask their help;
     For with such a queen, they have dealt.
     You must remember all you have seen,
     And use your wisdom to defeat the queen."

     The king slit the velvet curtain with his sword and Snow-White plaited it into rope. Before he could speak, she fixed it to the balustrade, climbed over the edge, and slid down the velvet. At the bottom, she waited for him.

     King Magnus took her hand. Keeping in the long shadows of the afternoon sun, they made their way out of the smallest castle gate. The dark forest seemed to engulf them. Although Snow-White was used to walking in the forest, she gripped the king's hand tightly.

     Unsheathing his sword he slashed a path when the vines and thorns barred their way.

Chapter 8

     It was almost twilight when they crossed the first of the seven hills. Strange singing came from a distance; "Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's home from work we go; heigh-ho, heigh-ho, heigh-ho, heigh-ho heigh-ho...heigh-ho..."

     The sound seemed to reverberate many deep voices in harmony, and the king and Snow-White felt that they followed the voices. Without saying so, both were cheered by the singing.

     After passing the seventh hill, the singing ceased. Before long, Snow-White and King Magnus saw the cottage, through a clearing.

Cottage

     Very gingerly they approached. Motioning Snow-White back with one hand, the king knocked.

     When the door opened, King Magnus could see no one.

     Snow-White peered around him. "Oh, look...it's a little man..."

     "And what might you want?" a voice asked, then said, "If it's a costume party, then you've come to the wrong place!" With that, Grumpy slammed the door with a loud bang.

     King Magnus knocked again.

     This time, Doc opened the door. "Don't mind him. We don't get many visitors. And last time...well last time..."

     Doc looked past the king and saw Snow-White. Bashful peered around Doc. "She sure is perdy...who are you?" he asked.

     "Why, my name is Snow-White," she replied congenially, "And this is King Magnus."

     "And I'm an angel!" Grumpy said, pulling both Doc and Bashful away from the door. He slammed it and pushed a chair against it. "They're up to no good, I say."

     Stepping to the window, Snow-White peered through the open shutters. "Please, we do need your help. You are the only ones we can turn to. The fate of all three kingdoms is in your hands."

     King Magnus bent to look through the window, and said, "Snow-White speaks truly. And Queen Snow-White with her king and son need to be rescued."

     "What? Queen Snow-White is in trouble?" Doc said. "Door the open, I mean dopen the oor...that is, open the door; let them in!"

     Snow-White and King Magnus were made welcome by the seven dwarfs who listened to their story. Together, they discussed how they might defeat the wicked queen.

     "Well, we did it once, so we should be able to do it again!" Doc said, determinedly.

     "But how?" Sleepy asked, yawning.

     "She sounds like she's not as bad as her sister; that's something to be glad about," Happy said, smiling.

     "She's bad, all right...turning people into parrots...mice!" Grumpy said, "We'll all be featherless sparrows in a soup if we get involved in this."

     Dopey nodded his head, and shook it to match the mood. Now he flapped his arms like wings.

     Talk of birds and mice made Sneezy sneeze.

     "We should have our supper, then plan what to do next," Doc said practically, "You must be hungry."

     "Yes," King Magnus agreed, "we are hungry."

     "I think we should make our plans before we eat food," Snow-White said. "We could disappear at any moment."

     "Disappear?" the dwarfs asked, alarmed.

     "Snow-White is right," King Magnus agreed. "With the mirrors' powers, Queen Dezabel may call us to her as soon as she realises we are gone."

     "She will know you are gone, King Magnus; but she will not be sure about me," Snow-White said, smiling. She felt safe in the dwarfs' little cottage.

     "Let's plake mans; or, make plans," Doc agreed.

     Together, they made suggestions and discussed ways to defeat the queen.

     "It's too hard! She's got the power. We'll all end up frogs, or worse," Grumpy grumped.

     "It would take an army to defeat her; and then she could turn them all into whatever she wished," King Magnus said despondently.

     "But the mirror said she could be defeated; and that we must remember what we saw...and to use our wisdom," Snow-White said positively. "An army...yes, she would have a large army. And I do remember something I did see...but I did not see," she added, "It puzzled me..."

     "You speak in riddles, just like a woman," Grumpy said.

     "I also saw what could not be seen," the king said.

     The next hour, the plan was formed and perfected.

Chapter 9

     "Well, let's eat," Grumpy said, "and we already washed; so you two are the only ones who have not washed. I'll show you where."

     Snow-White rose and followed Grumpy; but King Magnus did not move. "He is the king," she whispered to the dwarf.

     "So what?" Grumpy said.

     He watched while Snow-White washed her hands and face at the wash-tub outside.

     Very solemnly, Dopey filled a wash-bowl, and with soap and cloth, took it to the king.

     The six other dwarfs and Snow-White stood watching while Dopey washed the king's hands and face. The little dwarf bowed lavishly to King Magnus before patting his face with a clean towel and drying his hands.

     Everyone laughed-including Grumpy (although he turned away so no one could see him), who laughed so much he nearly choked. Dopey slapped him on the back, and Grumpy fell over. His face landed in the bowl of soapy water. Very solemnly Dopey tried to dry Grumpy, but the dwarf shoved him away with a "humph" that turned to a hiccough.

***

     After the meal, Doc suggested, "Perhaps you will have time, before you are called away, to share some music with us."

     With Grumpy on the organ and the other dwarfs playing various instruments, Snow-White played the harp and sang. It was the most beautiful singing King Magnus had ever heard.

     Then the king danced with Snow-White again, much slower this time.

     "You are all my dreams come true," he whispered in her ear, "tell me, what is King Magnus, to you?"

     "You are the one I saw when I looked at the stars at night," she whispered, "and when the wind blew strong, I heard your voice…but always, you were unreachable."

     "Not now," he said, holding her tightly and dancing even slower.

     "Not now," she agreed, relaxing her head on his strong shoulder.

Chapter 10

     After the banquet, the queen returned to her chamber to see the cat, asleep on her bed.

     "What - asleep? Did you get that mouse? Where is my parrot?" She felt worried that the cat had eaten both creatures. "The cage...where is the cage?" she asked, rushing to the mirrors. Before they could reply, she screamed, "Where is my king? Bring him to me at once!"

     One moment, King Magnus was dancing with Snow-White, and the next, he was standing before the queen. He felt dazed at such a rapid change. The journey had taken Snow-White and him over two hours to walk, but he was transported back in a second.

     "Where have you been? How did you change back?" she demanded. Turning to the mirrors, she intended to command them to answer these questions.

     "Before you rage at me, Your Highness, perhaps we may come to an agreement," King Magnus said.

     "You will marry me?" she asked with hope in her voice.

     "I...would like to challenge you and your armies to a battle."

     "Then, when I win, you will marry me?" she asked with excitement in her voice.

     "If you win, Queen Dezabel, I will have no choice..."

     "Unless you wish to be a feathered bird for the rest of your life. Tell me...you, alone, will fight against my armies?"

     "Myself, with seven other men; eight of us altogether."

     "You cannot possibly win," the queen asserted, looking across at the three mirrors.

     "All I ask...is that your mirrors are to referee the battle, and they will declare the winner."

     "Hmmm," the queen said, feeling unsure. "Just a moment."

     Stepping to the mirror, and touching it, she said, "Show me those whom my armies shall battle against."

     After the swirl, the seven dwarfs walking with Snow-White were seen crossing the first of the seven hills. Each carried a lantern.

     "Snow-White...the mouse...and seven little men. This...this is your army?"

     "The very same," King Magnus replied, adding quickly, "I will pledge before the mirrors, that if your armies win the battle, we shall all do as you will. But you must promise, if you lose, Queen Dezabel, you will relinquish your power over the mirrors forever and...and you will go into exile."

     "You...you...and those little dwarfs? Against all my soldiers?" she said, smiling.

     "All I ask is that I may join them to prepare for the battle, which shall be held on the triangular plain between the three kingdoms, at noon tomorrow."

     "And I shall keep power over the mirrors until the battle is won?" Queen Dezabel asked.

     "Yes; but you must pledge not to use the mirrors for the battle, or to prevent us from coming to the battle."

     "Oh...it all sounds so tedious," she said, sighing.

     "Then do not expect to marry me," King Magnus said, "I could never marry a coward."

     Stamping her foot, she cried, "I'm not a coward!" Then calming a little, she added, "Not with such odds...I feel sure that I will win. Also, it will provide some entertainment...seven little men and Snow-White...and you, my king...the prize. Therefore, before my mirrors, I pledge..."

     "But you must touch the centre mirror while you speak," he reminded her.

     "I know, I know...I just hope you remember, when we are married, I will be supreme ruler. You shall be my consort; but perhaps, sometimes, I shall call you king."

     Feeling agreeable due to the king's concession, and her surety to win, Dezabel pledged that if she lost the battle, she would relinquish her possession of the mirrors and would be exiled immediately. The mirrors would return to their respective castles.

     "In turn, I pledge that if the queen's armies win the battle on the triangular plain, I shall do as she bids," he said, "Now, please return me to the dwarfs. We need to prepare for the battle at noon."

Chapter 11

     The queen summoned her captains and commanded they prepare her armies for a battle on the plain at noon the following day.

     Then, with her finger on her mirror, she demanded, "Show me what those dwarfs are doing."

     After the swirl, the dwarfs were seen, loading invisible articles on large carts. Into a cave they went, bringing out bags full of nothing, loading nothing on to the carts. Snow-White was helping them.

     The queen laughed. "They have nothing there; they are loading the carts with air."

***

     The next day, on the plain at noon, all the queen's armies waited.

     Snow-White, with King Magnus and the seven dwarfs, waited beside the carts containing stones of every colour and hue.

     But the queen watching through the mirrors could see nothing.

     As the dwarfs loaded catapults with precious stones, the queen laughed. She could see nothing in the slings. The mirror did not picture the precious stones. If she had taken the time to notice, her own crown looked empty of jewels.

     Both King Magnus and Snow-White had noticed this when Snow-White's crown was reflected in the mirrors.

     As the queen's armies advanced, the dwarfs released the catapults. Snow-White and the king helped them reload.

     "Drive them into the ground; trample on them!" the queen cried as she watched through the mirrors.

     The soldiers saw glistening stones being catapulted at them. They kept advancing because it had not dawned on them that such value was in these missiles.

     Grumpy yelled as loud as he could, "Can't you idiots see that emerald? An' here comes a ruby! Are you all blind?"

     "Here is a diamond!" Doc shouted, releasing a stone as big as his fist.

     "Hey! That was flashing colours at me!" a soldier yelled excitedly.

     "Ouch. It hurt! What is it?"

     A young soldier picked up the stone. He rubbed it on his breastplate and it cut a slash in it.. "What? It's a diamond!"

     "Give it here! It's mine!" a comrade grappled with him.

     "No! I'm going to have that. Ouch, here is another. They are raining jewels on us. Quick, get as many as you can!"

     Soon all the soldiers were quarrelling loudly, shaking fists and making threats; but at each other.

     A young captain rode his horse through his scuffling soldiers. He galloped over to King Magnus.

     "I'm on your side if you give me a sack full," he offered, "I'd like one jewel each for each of my men."

     Drawing his sword, the king shouted at the captain, "You are a traitor to your queen! Give one reason why you would treat me any better?"

     The captain jumped off his horse, drawing his sword.

     Snow-White stepped between the men. Holding a sack of jewels toward the captain, she said sweetly, "You have not been paid for a long time captain. I think you deserve a reward for choosing to serve a good king."

     Taking the bag, the captain bowed and mounted his horse.

     Soon all the jewels were dispersed and to the soldiers' surprise, everyone had at least one. Together they cheered the victors. Lifting the dwarfs, and Snow-White with King Magnus on their shoulders, the captains demanded that the armies declare them the winners.

     Back in the castle, the queen watched with anger and disbelief. How could it all have gone against her like this? Seven little men? - and Snow-White, the mouse - and the king?

     Snatching up a heavy ornament, she flung it at the centre mirror. All three cracked together, shattering pieces of glass on the floor.

     An earthquake rocked the castle. Everything seemed to swirl like a colourful whirlwind. Piece by piece, the mirrors returned to their respective castles.

     Then all was still.

Chapter 12

      Escorted by the dwarfs and the armies, Snow-White and the King rode to Queen Dezabel's castle. She was nowhere to be found. One mirror, its glass shattered, was in the queen's chamber. When questioned, no reply came forth.

     King Magnus declared that the dwarfs were to own Queen Dezabel's castle. He gave each dwarf a crown from the castle treasury.

     Very seriously, the king crowned each dwarf and gave them royal titles, "Prince Doc; Prince Happy; Prince Bashful; Prince Sneezy; Prince Sleepy; Prince Grumpy; and Prince Dopey."

     Every crown fit except Dopey's. His slid down around his neck, but he did not mind. He was now a prince!

     Riding to Queen Snow-White's castle in the second kingdom, King Magnus and Snow-White told the story to the astonished king, queen and people in the castle. Until now, they had no idea why the castle had been transported to a foreign place. They viewed the mirror in the queen's chamber; it was cracked and silent.

     Taking Snow-White's hand, King Magnus said, "I cannot live without you. We shall return to our kingdom, and we shall be married."

     "To a farm-girl?" she teased.

     "I loved you when you were a mouse; so I feel sure I will love you as my queen," he replied in his deep voice.

     Together they rode off toward the castle of the third kingdom to live happily ever after.

THE END


It has been our pleasure to present Carolyn Ann Aish's "SNOW-WHITE 2."
Please, if you've enjoyed this story, email Carolyn and let her know.


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