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The queen, at home, went in front of the glass and said:
"Looking-glass, looking-glass, on the wall, Who in this land is the fairest of all?" Then it answered as before:
"Well, you are fairest of all I see, But over the hills, where the seven dwarfs dwell, Snow-white is still alive and well, And none is so fair as she." When she heard the glass speak like that she trembled and shook with rage. "Snow-white shall die," she cried, "even if it costs me my life!"
Then she went into a quite secret, lonely room where no one ever came, and made a very poisonous apple. Outside it looked pretty white with a red cheek, but whoever ate a piece of it must surely die.
When the apple was ready, she painted her face and dressed herself up as a country-woman. Then she went over the seven mountains to the seven dwarfs again and knocked at the door. Snow-white put her head out of the window and said, "I cannot let anyone in; the seven dwarfs have forbidden me to do so."
"It's all the same to me," answered the woman, "I shall soon get rid of my apples. There, I'll give you one."
"No," said Snow-white, "I dare not take anything."
"Are you afraid of poison?" said the old woman; "look, I will cut the apple in two pieces; you eat the red cheek, and I will eat the white."
The apple was so cunningly made that only the red cheek was poisoned. Snow-white longed for the fine apple, and when she saw that the woman ate part of it she could resist no longer. She stretched out her hand and took the poisonous half. But hardly had she got a bit of it in her mouth than she fell down dead. Then the queen looked at her with a dreadful look, laughed aloud and said, "White as snow, red as blood, black as ebony-wood! this time the dwarfs cannot wake you up."
And when she asked of the looking-glass at home:
"Looking-glass, looking-glass, on the wall, Who in this land is the fairest of all?" it answered at last:
"Hm, in this land you are still the fairest of all As long as it lasts. But age is wont to take its toll, you know." Then her envious heart had slightly more rest.
The dwarfs, when they came home in the evening, found Snow-white lying on the ground, without breathing, as far as they could tell. They lifted her up, looked to see whether they could find anything poisonous, unlaced her, combed her hair, washed her with water and wine, but it was all of no use; the poor child lay still and unmoving. They laid her on a bier, and all seven of them sat round it and wept for her, and wept two days long.
She still looked as if she was alive, and still had her pretty red cheeks, so they said, "We cannot bury her in the dark ground." So they had a transparent coffin of glass made, so that she could be seen from all sides. There were many small, round holes in the coffin too, just in case Snow-white was alive. They had been mistaken many times before already. Then they laid Snow-white in it and wrote her name on it in golden letters, and that she was a king's daughter. They put the coffin out on the mountain, and one of them was to stay by it and keep guard. Birds came too and wept for Snow-white; first an owl, then a raven, and last a dove.
Now Snow-white lay for many hours in the glass coffin. She did not change, but looked as if she were asleep - as white as snow, as red as blood, and with hair as black as ebony.
Now a king's son came into the forest. He saw the coffin on the mountain, and the beautiful Snow-white within it, and read what was written on it in golden letters. Then he said to the dwarf who stood on guard, "Let me have the coffin, I will give you whatever you want for it."
The guardian dwarf summoned the others, and they answered, "We will not part with it for all the gold in the world."
Then he said, "Let me have it as a gift, then, for I cannot live without seeing Snow-white. I will honour and prize her."
As he spoke in this way the good dwarfs took pity on him, and gave him the coffin. Now the king's son had it carried away by his servants on their shoulders. As they walked along with it, they chanced to stumble over a tree-stump and lose the coffin on the ground. The thump made the poisonous piece of apple that Snow-white had bitten off come out of her throat. Before long she opened her eyes, lifted up the lid of the coffin, sat up, and was alive!
"Oh, heavens, where am I?" she cried. The king's son, full of joy, said, "You are with me." He told her what had happened, and said, "I love you more than everything in the world; come with me to my father's palace and be my wife."
Snow-white was willing and went with him, and their wedding was held with great show and splendour. Snow-white's wicked step-mother was also bidden to the feast. When she had arrayed herself in beautiful clothes she went before the looking-glass, and said:
"Looking-glass, looking-glass, on the wall, Who in this land is the fairest of all?" The glass answered:
"Well, queen, of all here the fairest you are, But the young queen is fairer by far." Then the wicked woman cursed and was so wretched that she did not know what to do. At first she would not go to the wedding at all, but she had no peace, and must go to see the young queen. When she went in she saw it was Snow-white; and the queen stood still with rage and fear and could not stir. But iron slippers were brought in and set before her. She was forced to put them on and dance and dance. She got so embarrassed of the iron footwear that she dropped dead.Last modified on 25 April 2012, at 17:10