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Little Snow White

I was a happy child. I loved my father and stepmother. I cherished tales of my mother. My father told me I was her image exactly, matching her snow-white skin, dead-black hair and red lips. When my father died, my stepmother and I grieved. I made myself necessary to her, for it did not seem like she was capable of taking care of herself.

Even as she became dependent on me, she made a slave of me. She loved solitude so much that she dismissed all of the servants, and it fell to me to wait on her. My beautiful gowns turned to rags, and I no longer looked like a princess. I looked like a servant.

My stepmother, the Queen, grew strange, and the rapport once between us was broken as she no longer confided her thoughts to me. Still I loved and served her faithfully, even as I became starved of the familial love which once had enriched my life.

My one solace was the handsome young man I saw when I drew water from the well. He came around the castle on his horse, and I believed he looked for me. I took care not to gaze on him, but I could not hide the radiant happiness I felt when I glimpsed his face.

The Queen became, if possible, even more pale and grave. It seemed like all the light of life had left her face. It had been whispered at Court that she ought to marry again, and that there was a noble that she favored, but she never revealed any of this to me, and I dismissed Court gossip from my mind.

Her sole confidante was her mirror. I heard her crooning to her reflection on more than one occasion. At first I had grown cold with terror, certain that the Queen had lost her sanity, but she bore no other signs of a crazed mind, and eventually I became used to this peculiarity.

One evening as I stepped toward her room I heard her low timbre on the other side of the door. "It is said that little Snow White is the fairest maiden in the land. If this is so, then she must not live. I will tell you what you must do. Take Snow White to the woods and slay her. Bring her heart back to me in this box."

At these words of betrayal I became nearly senseless with fear and grief. I knew I must run away, but I did not know where, or how. The huntsman came to me the next day and told me that he was going deep into the woods to hunt a particular animal. He knew I liked to go with him there, for I could pluck the rarest and most beautiful flowers.

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