by Jennifer Christie Temple
Snow White had grown tired of living in poverty in a little cottage in the woods with her poor father.
“I will follow my mother,” she told her father one day, “and seek my fortune in the wider world. When I am rich, I’ll get my bank to set up a direct debit and send you an allowance each week.”
After walking for eight hours, Snow White decided the wood was bigger than she had thought and she wished she’d not worn her best Jimmy Choos. She was about ready to give up on her quest when, just at that moment, she spied a tiny cottage almost hidden by the dense undergrowth at the side of the path.
Her knock was answered by a collection of harmless-looking dwarfs and SnowWhite decided it would be safer to shelter with them than to risk spending the night alone out in the forest, especially after what happened to Red Riding Hood and her grandmother.
The dwarfs offered Snow White a deal. “You cook and clean for us and we’ll let you live here rent free.”
Snow White laughed bitterly. “Are you for real! If I’d wanted to be a cleaner and cook I’d have stayed at home with my father. Look, I’ll tell you what I’ll do. You cook and clean for me and, when I get my first book published, I’ll give you a percentage of the royalties.”
The dwarfs were too polite to argue and so an uneasy peace settled over the little cottage. Snow White spent her days writing and the seven dwarfs became increasingly resentful of her sloppy ways and the amount of food she was putting away.
One day, there was a knock on the door and Snow White found a haggard old woman, inadequately disguised as a pizza delivery boy, on the doorstep.
“I have a lovely pizza for the lovely Snow White” she cackled, holding out the cheesy concoction.
Snow White was immediately suspicious. She knew there was no such thing as a free lunch, not even in fairy tales. After inviting the old woman inside and giving her a couple of pints of the dwarfs home-made toadstool beer, Snow White was able to ascertain that the seven dwarfs had hired the old woman as a hit man armed with a poisoned pizza.
Things at the cottage went downhill after that and then, one morning after the dwarfs had left for work, Snow White found a note nailed to her laptop…
We are tired of being ignored and taken for granted. We have gone to live with your dad.
Love, the seven dwarfs. p.s. your dinner is in the oven.
Snow White sat down and stared at the note. She was so unhappy. She couldn’t believe that the dwarfs had been selfish enough to leave when she still had four chapters of her book to write.
Suddenly, she heard a commotion outside and she ran to the door. The handsome young prince of the Land of Fairy Tales, who happened to have mushroom picking rights in the woods, was outside with his courtiers, all busy gathering mushrooms for the gala ball that was to be held at the palace that night.
The prince, who had been brought up by a strong, independent-minded nanny, saw Snow White and fell in love with her at once.
“Marry me and be my Queen,” he begged.
Snow White quickly weighed up the merits of one day becoming Queen of the Land of Fairy Tales against living alone in a hut in the middle of a wood and accepted his proposal.
They were soon married and she lived happily ever after, ruling over the domain and her husband with a fair and even hand, so that she came to be loved throughout the land. She even sent regular sacks of gold home to her dad and the seven dwarfs. Her book, though, was never completed.
Jennifer Christie Temple, escapes from her image as a serious poet and lets loose with this quirky sideways glimpse at the traditional fairy story. This is Snow White, liberated and empowered…