A very long time ago, in mid winter, when the snowflakes were falling like feathers from heaven, a beautiful queen sat sewing at her window, which had a frame of black ebony. As she worked, she looked sometimes at the falling snow, and it happened that she pricked her finger with her needle, so that three drops of blood fell upon the snow.The Queen said to herself as she looked it, “Ah me! If only I had a dear little child who had skin as white as the snow, lips as rosy as the blood, and hair as black as the ebony window-frame.”
Soon afterwards she had a little daughter, with skin white as snow, lips rosy as blood, and hair as black as ebony– and she was therefore called “Little Snow-White.”
But alas! When the little one was born, the good queen died.
A year passed away, and the King took another wife. She was a beautiful woman, but proud and haughty, and she could not bear that anyone else should surpass her in beauty. She had a mirror and when she stood in front of it and asked,
“Mirror, mirror upon the wall, Who is the fairest of us all?”
the mirror answered-
“Thou, O Queen, art the fairest of all,”
and the Queen was contented, because she knew the mirror could speak nothing but the truth.
But as time passed on, Little Snow-White grew more and more beautiful, until when she was seven years old, she was as lovely as the bright day, and still more lovely than the Queen herself, so that when the lady one day asked her mirror-
“Mirror, mirror upon the wall, Who is the fairest fair of us all?”
“O Lady Queen, though fair ye be, Snow-White is fairer far to see.”