Once upon a time, a queen was doing needle work while staring outside her window at the beautiful snow. It was because of her distracted state that she pricked her finger on her needle and a drop of blood fell on some snow that had fallen on her windowsill….
As she looked at the blood on the snow she said to herself, “Oh how I wish that I had a daughter that had skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony.” Soon after that, the queen gave birth to a baby girl who had skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony. They named her Princess Snow White, but sadly, the queen died after giving birth to Snow White. Soon after, the king took a new wife who was beautiful, but very proud and possessed evil powers. She also possessed a magic mirror, to whom she would often ask. “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” and to which the mirror would always reply, “You are.” But after Snow White became seven (which is the official age that a girl becomes a maiden), when she asked her mirror, it responded, “Queen, you’re the fairest where you are, but Snow White is more beautiful by far.”
The Queen was jealous, and ordered a huntsman to take Snow White into the woods to be killed. She demanded that the huntsman return with Snow White’s lungs and liver as proof. The huntsman took Snow White into the forest, but found himself unable to kill the girl. Instead, he let her go, and brought the queen the lungs and liver of a wild boar. (In the Disney movie, the lungs and liver are replaced by a heart.)
Snow White discovered a tiny cottage in the forest, belonging to seven dwarfs, where she rests. Meanwhile, the Queen asked her mirror once again, “Who’s the fairest of them all?”, and was horrified when the mirror told her that Snow White, who was alive and well and living with the dwarfs, was still the fairest of them all.
Three times the Queen disguised herself and visited the dwarfs’ cottage where Snow White was staying to try to kill her. First, disguised as a peddler, the Queen offered colorful stay-laces and laced Snow White up so tight that she fainted, and the Queen took her for dead. Snow White was revived by the dwarfs when they loosened the laces. Next, the Queen dressed as a different old woman and combed Snow White’s hair with a poisoned comb. Snow White again collapsed, and again the dwarfs saved her.
Lastly the Queen made a poison apple, and in the disguise of a countrywoman offered it to Snow White. She was hesitant, so the Queen cut the apple in half, ate the white part — which had no poison — and gave the poisoned red part to Snow White. She ate the apple eagerly and immediately fell into a deep, magical sleep. When the dwarfs found her, they could not revive her, so they placed her in a glass coffin, thinking that she had died. (The Disney version only adopts the poison apple plot, and the queen meets her demise as she is chased by the dwarfs.)
Time passed, and a prince travelling through the land saw Snow White in her coffin. The prince was enchanted by her beauty and instantly fell in love with her. He begged the dwarfs to let him have the coffin. The prince and his men carried the coffin away, but as they went they stumbled. The coffin jerked and the piece of poison apple flew out of Snow White’s mouth, awakening her. The prince then declared his love and soon a wedding was planned. (In the Disney version, the cure for this deep sleep was love’s first kiss. The Prince takes a revived Snow White away, and the film ends.)
The vain Queen, still believing that Snow White was dead, again asked her mirror who was fairest in the land and yet again the mirror disappointed her by responding that, “You, my queen, are fair; it is true. But the young queen is a thousand times fairer than you.”
Not knowing that this new queen was indeed her stepdaughter, she arrived at the wedding, and her heart filled with the deepest of dread when she realized the truth.
As punishment for her wicked ways, a pair of heated iron shoes were brought forth with tongs and placed before the Queen. She was then forced to step into the red-hot shoes and dance until she fell down dead.