Write here: Disney told you one version of Snow White - here's what really happened

Write here: Disney told you one version of Snow White - here's what really happened

Just because you’re the fairest of them all doesn’t mean you’re the sweetest


Skin as pale as snow, lips as red as a rose ... there's something not quite right about Snow White.
Photo: Ken Cheng/SCMP

She is coming. She has hair as black as ebony, lips as red as a rose, and skin as pale as snow. She is called Snow White.

Night is fast approaching, and my pen is flying across this piece of paper. My words shall detail the truth that has been hidden for too long: the truth of Snow White. It isn’t anything like the fairy tale about the lovely princess and the evil queen that you’ve heard before. Now that she has found me … I must get these words out, because by sunrise tomorrow, one of us will be dead.

It began, as you’ve been told, once upon a time in a kingdom. Snow White lived there, as did her stepmother, the queen. The king, who had died a short while before it all began, had told his wife that the mirror in her room was enchanted, and would answer all her questions truthfully.

The queen, the real queen, was not obsessed with her own beauty. It was out of pure curiosity that she asked the most famous question in all of history: “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”

“Snow White,” the mirror replied.

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The queen was not jealous of Snow White’s beauty. She was pleased to hear the reply, as she thought the girl spent too much time hiding in her room. She summoned Snow White to her room, in the hopes that she would hear the mirror’s compliments and be happy. When the princess entered the room, though, the queen noticed something chilling.

She could not see Snow White’s reflection in the mirror.

Everyone knows, of course, what creatures do not have a reflection. Vampires.

She looked at Snow White again. Skin as pale as snow – too pale by far. Paler than that of a normal, living person. Lips as red as a rose … or as red as blood, perhaps.

“Why do you ask me to come here, stepmother?”

Were those fangs the queen could see behind her lips?

The queen put a hand over her thundering heart.

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“Nothing. I just wanted to ask you how you felt. Your father has just died, and, well … You may leave now.”

Snow White began to leave, turning just as she stepped through the door – and caught a glimpse of the mirror. The queen saw her stepdaughter’s eyes flash before she closed the door behind her.

The queen sat down on a chair, shaking as she thought of what she had just seen. If her father had only known …

And then it struck her. The king. Everyone had thought he died because of his age. But there had been something strange about his body – two tiny puncture wounds on his neck. She had not thought much of it at the time, but now she wondered … were they the result of a vampire bite?

There was only one way to find out, and she turned to the mirror. The answer she received was the one she expected, but the one she dreaded.

Snow White was a vampire, and she had killed her father – and now that the queen knew, she could well be her next victim. With her stepmother dead, Snow White would become queen. The queen knew she could not allow this to happen. Trembling with fear, she made the hardest decision she had ever made.

Snow White needed to die.

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The queen called for her huntsman, gave him a wooden stake, and told him to drive it through Snow White’s heart.

“Bring me her heart,” she said, for only then would she believe the princess was dead.

The huntsman went and came back, a heart in hand, and the queen believed it was over.

That was, until she heard of the news of a girl, with ebony-black hair, snowy-pale skin, and rose-red lips, who lived in the darkest part of the forest with seven undead dwarfs.

That was when she knew that the huntsman had fallen for Snow White’s charms and had not been able to bring himself to kill her. Snow White still lived, and she had vampire dwarfs under her command.

The queen realised then, that she could not trust anyone else to kill Snow White. She would have to do it herself. But she knew she would not be able to stab her through the heart – vampire or not, she was still her stepdaughter.

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Then, it occurred to her – vampires cannot eat garlic, because it hurts them. She scooped out the insides of an apple and stuffed it full of garlic. She would trick Snow White into eating this apple, and she would surely die.

Disguised as an old woman, the queen made her way to the darkest part of the forest, where even the sunlight did not touch the mossy ground. She knocked on the door of the cottage, and lowered her head as it opened. The queen fought hard not to tremble as, voice deepened and croaky, she asked Snow White if she would like an apple.

“I cannot sell them all, lovely lady,” she said, “but cannot bear to see them go to waste, so I am giving them away.”

That was when she realised the flaw in her plan – vampires do not eat food. They only drink blood.

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There was no way that Snow White would accept the apple!

As Snow White moved to shut the door on the old woman, the queen tried to shove the apple down her stepdaughter’s throat. The vampire’s eyes widened – and then narrowed. She grabbed the queen’s wrists and tightened her grip on them. The queen screamed as she felt her bones grinding together.

Suddenly, as if by some miracle, some of the trees above moved in the wind, and a small ray of light filtered though the thick foliage, landing on Snow White’s lovely face.

The vampire screeched, and moved away, smoking as she did. The queen, emboldened by this, moved with her, and smashed the garlic-stuffed apple into Snow White’s mouth.

The princess gagged, and fell down.

The queen would have stayed to make sure that she was really dead, but at that moment she heard footsteps. It was the seven dwarfs that Snow White had turned into vampires – they were coming. She fled.

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The rest of the story is almost the same as the fairy story you know. Snow White was placed inside a glass coffin, and a prince passing by saw her and fell in love with her. He ordered her coffin to be brought to his castle, and the journey dislodged the garlic-filled apple from her throat, waking the princess. Here’s where the truth and the fiction differ – Snow White didn’t just marry the prince, she turned him into a vampire. Later on, the prince became known by the name Dracula.

The queen died not long after Snow White woke up. She killed her, of course – killing the only person left alive who knew the truth and was against her.

However, what Snow White did not know was that the queen had a true daughter, one from her previous marriage. Before she died, she had told her daughter the truth about Snow White. Her daughter passed this knowledge onto her daughter and, in turn, that daughter passed it onto hers.

From mothers to daughters, they passed this knowledge on and on and on, until it was passed onto me. For generations, we have tried to warn people about Snow White. Tried to help people flee before they fell victim to her thirst for blood.

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But now, Snow White has found out the truth.

And now, the sun has sunk beneath the horizon, and the last rays of light are fading. Once darkness covers the land, she will come and try to kill me.

I have donned a necklace of garlic, and I have sharpened a stake of wood. I’m ready to kill her the moment I see her. But, just in case she lives and I am killed, remember this. Remember my warning.

Beware the girl who has hair as black as ebony. Beware she who has skin as pale as snow. Beware her lips, as red as a rose. Beware –

She is here.

Edited by Ginny Wong

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This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Don’t believe the fairy tale


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