The Twisted Tale Of Little Snow White

Snow White Witch Apple Inktober 2019 Watercolor

For our Doodlewash prompt of “Apple,” combined with the Inktober prompt of “Enchanted” this likely leads one to the famous story of Snow White. Disney, of course, has the most popular version of the tale, but you gotta love the morbid creativity of the early version by the Brothers Grimm. For those not aware of the differences, here’s a quick little recap of the original story. First, Snow White’s mom dies immediately after giving birth to her. The king morns briefly, but remarries another woman the next year who happens to have a magic talking mirror that tells her daily she’s the prettiest (my mirror just tells me I look older each day). Alas, everything changes when Snow White reaches seven years old.  The mirror declares Snow White the next popular girl in town and the queen orders a huntsman to kill Snow White and bring back both her lungs and liver as proof. One should think either organ would have sufficed. But, he doesn’t actually kill her, and guts a wild boar instead. The cooks boils the organs, with salt, we are assured, and the queen gleefully eats them thinking she’s eating Snow White. Meanwhile, back in the woods, the spared little girl gets hungry and breaks into a house. Later, she’s caught by the owners who turn out to be seven dwarves. They tell her she can stay if she becomes their unpaid domestic slave and she foolishly accepts.

The better known Disney version omits the queen’s cannibalistic nature, but there’s still more craziness they neglected to include. As it turns out, Snow White isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. In the Disney version, she’s simply fooled by an old lady with an apple, but in the original version, she’s quite easily tricked two times before that. First, the queen disguised herself as an old woman selling bodice lace, and tries to suffocate Snow White by trussing her up too tight. The dwarves find her lying on the ground, unlace her a bit, and she’s fully restored.

They then tell her not to open the door for anyone when they’re gone, worrying she might just be an idiot. She apparently doesn’t speak dwarf as she opens the door for a different old woman the very next day.  This one is selling combs, but yep, they’re poisonous. The only lady combs Snow White’s hair, and she quickly passes out and the dwarves find her once again. They just take the comb out and she’s totally fine. Feebly, they warn her to stop letting old ladies in the house, but well, she’s Snow White, so they pretty much know what to expect by now.

Snow White Witch Apple Inktober 2019

Sure enough, the next day, an old lady comes with an apple. Though she initially declines, the lady performs a “taste test” to prove it’s not poisonous. It’s actually an apple that’s half white, which should have been enough to arouse Ms. White’s suspicion, but she’s just not the suspicious type.

The old lady takes a bite out of the white half and offers the used apple to Snow White. There’s an old saying that comes from an Italian proverb, modernized as “fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” There’s not a phrase for the third time one gets fooled as it’s never supposed to happen in the first place. This time, the dwarves find her simply dead, so they cram in a glass coffin, set her out in the woods, and no doubt put out an ad for a new housekeeper.

Years later, she’s mysteriously not decayed and instead grown older. A prince happens by, and he immediately falls in love with the dead girl and offers to buy her from the dwarves, saying he can’t live without her. The dwarves refused to sell, but take pity on the creepy prince and decide to just give him the corpse instead. The prince’s clumsy servants try to carry the coffin away, but stumble, jiggling her just right so as to create a Heimlich maneuver that makes her spit out that nasty apple chunk, that was apparently just lodged in her throat. She bursts back to life once again, perfectly unfazed, as we all know by now, she’s just really special. A wedding happens immediately after and her stepmom shows up to the ceremony. Since she obviously wasn’t on the guest list, she is instead made to dance about in iron shoes that had been placed in hot coals until she dies. And the story ends abruptly there, leaving us all grasping for the point and yet still curiously wondering if Netflix will greenlight a second season. So, now you know the twisted tale of little Snow White.

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Snow White Witch Apple Inktober Watercolor Sketchbook Detail
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38 Comments
  1. Karen Fortier 1 month ago

    Fantastic version Charlie! I remembered parts of that version but not all of it. Great post!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕hehe… yeah, the original is much darker and crazier than any movie version.

  2. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 1 month ago

    Ohhhhhhh I love the mood of this fabbbulous. LOL ya the brothers Grimm are a weeeeee bit dark lol. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 hehe… yep! The Grimm Brothers were definitely a bit grim, but the stories were so fascinating!

  3. Bonnie Ottaviani 1 month ago

    Love the story! Your apple is awesome!

  4. Sandra Strait 1 month ago

    I have the annotated version of Grimm’s Fairytales and love reading all the history and meaning that modern readers would never pick up on. I always preferred the older versions, though I often did ‘grasp for the point.’ I think the points were that it’s a cruel old world, and good looks get you more than good smarts unless you’re killing flies or fooling giants.

    • mlaiuppa 1 month ago

      There were other lessons besides the entitlement of royalty and beautiful people always seem to luck out with romance. One is that kindness will be rewarded and cruelty will be punished. That’s a theme in almost every European fairy tale. Greed is discouraged, generosity valued. You should keep your promises. You should respect your elders. If you don’t do as you’re told bad things happen so follow directions. Often times even royalty or the beautiful have to earn their rewards and show they are worthy through passing trials or tests of some sort.

      You’ll also find the numbers three and seven occurring quite often.

      I don’t think Snow White is stupid as much as she is gullible because she lives an isolated life. While she does live with the dwarves she is sheltered from society and so hasn’t developed the skills to spot a liar or someone who is out to do her harm. She isn’t suspicious. Not even after falling for it twice. She is too trusting and her kindness and generosity as well as respect for elders are used against her. The protection of the dwarves all her life has left her defenseless. Eventually she does get a clue and grows up. The magic number three again. Third time’s the charm.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Yeah, the original versions were so intriguing! 😃💕I do adore them, but they definitely come across as strange these days, which makes them even more fun!

  5. Lisa 1 month ago

    😁😂😁😂 Your asides are the best snarky comments ever. And your witchy painting is great! The greenish skin is just right.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 I thought a modern review of a classic like it just came out would make for a fun post! lol

  6. Sharon Nolfi 1 month ago

    Love that red apple! I didn’t know all the details of the original Snow White – I think I prefer the Disney version. I do recall reading that many of the original fairy tales were actually quite terrifying, especially to children.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, many of the early tales were meant for society, not children. Cautionary tales of sorts. But I love the movie translations best. Gotta have a happy ending!

  7. Loan Anh Pham 1 month ago

    I laughed immediately after reading a half of this sentence : my mirror just tells me I look older each day. I had thought : my mirror just tells me I look younger or more beautiful each day. The opposite sides giving to me many funny pieces for laughing all day. Yeah, you depicted the hand of witch was too powerful and enchanting to the little girl accept unconsciously. Love this sketch, Charlie ❤️

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Hehe… thanks, Loan! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this and I could make you laugh! And thrilled you enjoyed the sketch.. this month is new ground for me!

      • Loan Anh Pham 1 month ago

        This month is new ground and you’ve done it very well 🍀❤️

  8. Rhoda 1 month ago

    Loved your summary! I think the point is just a good story that conjures so many images—just like your summary. Your apple is a perfect imagining.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Rhoda! 😃💕Glad you enjoyed this! Yes! A good story is always a wonderful thing indeed!

  9. mlaiuppa 1 month ago

    Actually, I know this version. And quite a few other versions of Fairy Tales that would curdle your milk. Cinderella is particularly gruesome in its original form.

    But you must remember, these tales were not created to entertain children or as some sort of fun bed time story.

    They were cautionary tales created to instill certain cultural social traits and requirements into children and to warn them of consequences if they failed to live their lives according to society’s expectations. Cautionary fictions if you will.

    Not all fairy tales have happy endings. Look at The LIttle Mermaid. And then what Disney did to it.

    I have a beautifully illustrated book called The Golden Book of Fairy Tales, translated by Marie Ponsot and illustrated by Adrienne Segur. I highly recommend it. I cherished my first edition for years and when in college had it rebound in leather as it was falling apart. Golden Books later reissued it and it was still available on Amazon last I checked. Adrienne Segur illustrated several other books but I consider The Golden Book of Fairy Tales to be her best work. Much of it is highly detailed pencil sketches with some of them colored in soft pastels or pencil. I know you would love this book and appreciate the illustrations.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Yeah in Cinderella the stepsisters cut off toes to fit in that shoe, I think! 😉 I simply thought it would be funny to write a modern recap as though the text were just released for a bit of jest. And it’s been fun to try a more illustrative style this month. I adore those old storybooks and am still so impressed by their illustrators!

  10. LoriCtoo 1 month ago

    Oh I love this post for so many reasons! Your hands are wonderfully creepy. Your apple looks good enough to eat……or not! Grimm sure had a twisted mind!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, I had fun with this one!

  11. Laura Kate 1 month ago

    Your drawing seems to vibrate with energy.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Oh wow! What an awesome compliment! Thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕

  12. memadtwo 1 month ago

    I love your illustration Charlie–captures the essence of the story. (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Kerfe! 😃💕 I was hoping to get the idea of the story across in one sketch. I’m on a personal challenge this month to stretch my wings a bit. 😉

  13. Ann 1 month ago

    The original Grimm fairy tales were NEVER meant for children — they were too, well … “grim” and gruesome. The brothers published many editions, each becoming a little more sanitized and a little more suitable for children. An English version of the first edition was finally (!) published by Jack Zipes, Princeton University Press, in 2014. https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691160597/the-original-folk-and-fairy-tales-of-the-brothers-grimm

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Yes! I know! hehe It’s wild to think so many children’s tales we adore come from cautionary tales meant for adults. 😉 Very cool on the book! It’s fun to see how much they’ve changed over time.

  14. ejmordasky 1 month ago

    awesome work by you and tales by you !!!!

  15. Mary Roff 1 month ago

    Your Snow White illustration is fantastic!!! WOW!!! A couple of years ago I decided to revisit the Grimm brothers and bought a book with a collection of their stories….these were really whacko story tellers and they must have lived in very disturbing times. I think I read two stories and haven’t opened it again since. Scary stuff!!! And the mirror thing? I’m sure there has to be a much older woman living in the mirrors in our house and she only shows up when I stand in front of it… what an impersonator! 😍🤣😃😃

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      haha!! I know, right? There’s this bloated old man that likes to haunt my mirrors in the morning! 😳😳 And yeah, the original tales are totally whacko in these times, but there’s so much truth to them still! I have to admit that modern times are a bit whacko in their own right! 😉 lol

  16. smzang 1 month ago

    Absolutely love the painting,
    and the twisted tale…Wow!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕I’m having fun this month! hehe… and thought a modern day recap of an old tale would be another fun challenge.

      • smzang 1 month ago

        You met the challenge and mastered it!

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

          You’re too sweet! Thanks! 🙂 Seriously… I truly appreciate it… I’m off the rails this month and adore the encouragement!

  17. kiddlescarol 1 month ago

    OMG, now you MUST write your perspective of every fairytale. Your story is fantastic, Charlie! Love the apple painting, by the way 😂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      aww thanks!! 😃💕 I’m so thrilled you enjoyed this! It was so fun to write a modern book review on a classic tale. I think I might have done something similar before, but at this point I can’t remember which post! lol

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