Snow White and Rose Red: Things Aren’t Always How They Appear

I have a confession to make. I don’t love all fairytales alike. I know. Shocker. There’s one that’s my favorite, Snow White and Rose Red (sometimes known as The Ungrateful Dwarf). It’s a very simple story, but it has a lot going for it. Probably my biggest affection for it comes from my personal connection to the titular characters. As a very little girl, I had black hair and fair skin with rosy red cheeks and lips. My cousin had pale blond hair and even fairer skin. Neither one of us had a sister, but we are so close that we basically are sisters. When I learned this particular story as children, one thing became very clear: she was Snow White, and I was Rose Red.

My cousin and I as toddlers. She was serious and I seriously wanted candy.
We were very close.

Another reason why I love this story is that it features my favorite animal, the BEAR! Bears have a bad reputation in fairytales. It makes sense given that bears can easily kill people and can be quite scary. However, I have a soft spot for the creatures, probably because I’m a Momma Bear myself, and I empathize with just wanting people to leave you alone while you nap or whatever.

For Christmas last year, my cousin gave me a book called “Snow & Rose,” written and illustrated by Emily Winfield Martin. I was immediately excited about it and wanted to read it right away. However, like many authors, I already had a pile of books to read and write. So, it sat on my bookshelf for months.

Recently, I went on a little cabin trip for the weekend, and this was my companion. It was perfection. I would actually say that it improved the original story by fixing the only thing wrong with it. Not only that, but it made Martin made me feel like I was in the story with the characters. There were more characters in this book than I remember hearing about before. She wrote them so well that I cared about them as though I’d been reading about them for years. She also uses that clean, descriptive language that I hear in the soft, enunciated voice my mother used to tell me stories at night. Her illustrations are whimsical, almost like a Wes Anderson film as a fairytale watercolor. It’s beautiful. Go buy it and then come back to read my blog.

Welcome back! Now that you’re here let’s do a quick little summary of the fairytale itself.

Once Upon a Time

There were two girls named Snow White and Rose Red. They lived in a small house with their widow mother in the woods. One winter night, there was a loud knocking at the door. Everyone was shocked to find a large, snow-covered bear on the other side. However, the bear reassured them he was nice enough and just wanted a warm place to rest his head for the night. Strangely, they immediately took him for his word and let him inside. Snow White and Rose Red cleaned the snow off of him and let him sleep in front of their fireplace. He left in the morning but came back every evening to rest.

Soon, the bear and the sisters became very close friends. They treated his wounds and played around with him like he was a big dog and not a giant talking bear. He enjoyed their company and kept the home safe. It was an adorably symbiotic relationship.

Big bears need flower wreaths too.

Then, the summer came, and the bear had to leave. He explained that it was to guard his treasure. Snow White and Rose Red didn’t spend their time sitting around upset over the loss of their shaggy pal, however. They explored the forest and played around in the lovely weather. Over and over, they kept running into a dwarf in perilous circumstances. He was stuck to a tree, attacked by a giant bird, and fending off fish. It was like the forest was out to get this guy. Over and over, Snow White and Rose Red rescued. Yet, the dwarf did nothing but complain about their methods.

“Ugh! You’re pulling too hard!” ~ The Ungrateful Dwarf

One day, they spotted their bear friend and the dwarf together. Their lovely, friendly bear was going feral on the man the girls had rescued countless times that Summer. The dwarf is understandably scared and incredibly selfish. So, he pleads with the bear, “I’m just a few little bones. Go eat those plump girls over their instead.”

The bear isn’t going to eat his friends, and the dwarf’s pleas just make him angrier. With one quick swipe of his claws, the dwarf dies, and the bear magically transforms into a prince. It turns out that the dwarf had placed a curse on the prince, turning him into a bear. By killing the dwarf, the curse was broken. And they all live happily ever after as friends? As much as I’d like that ending, that’s not it.

In the end, the prince marries Snow White, and his brother marries Rose Red. I’ve had a problem with that ending since I first read the story. They’re little girls. Some versions I’ve read age them up, but most like to show the contrast of innocent children rescuing a big bear. It seems so strange to me that the Brothers Grimm felt it was necessary to force a romantic ending onto this story. However, I think that Emily Winfield Martin must have felt the same way. She wrote a much better ending and did a wonderful job explaining why the girls would have trusted the bear when he came knocking, to begin with. I hope you bought her book when I recommended it earlier.

Like reading my blog? Then, you’ll love my book!

Struggling With the Current is the first book in The Telverin Trilogy, a story about an exiled princess who finds herself in a terrifying world with equally frightening powers.

Read the Beginning Now!

Click on the download button below to receive the prologue and first chapter.

Coming November 30th, 2020!

Princess Eya’s life changes forever with the discovery of the Statue of the Goddess Winds, just as she’s coming of age. The long-overlooked kingdom of Hicares finds itself in a war it isn’t prepared for against the far more powerful empire of Pescel. To survive, Eya must flee her home, losing everything and everyone she loves in the process.

Yet, by leaving behind all she’s ever known, she learns that her sheltered life didn’t prepare her for the real world’s strange and frightening nature. She encounters people, places, and creatures beyond anything she ever imagined, along with sinister enemies from every direction. Perhaps her most surprising revelation is that she is developing terrifying powers of her own. Will Eya be able to find happiness in her new life, or will she continue struggling with the current?

Struggling With the Current is the first book of The Telverin Trilogy, a fantasy war story that takes place between several countries in the world of Telverin.

Like reading my blog? Then, you’ll love my book!

Struggling With the Current is the first book in The Telverin Trilogy, a story about an exiled princess who finds herself in a terrifying world with equally frightening powers.

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