painting by judith clay
Schneewittchen & Rosenrot
“Every once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life,
love gives us a fairy tale.”---Anonymous
Long long ago, when magic lived & evil could prevail,
in a small German village near the Dark Forest,
two young girls lived with her mother, an impoverished
widow, in a tiny hut, quite near the forest.
Rose-Red made friends easily, said what she thought,
always seemed to find the smile in every event, and
worshiped nature, loved to play outside.
Snow-White was taciturn & shy & loved to stay inside,
doing housework for her mother, or sitting by the hour
reading fairy tales, which she believed in.
One stormy early winter eve there was a loud banging
on their cottage door. Although everyone was terrified,
Rose-Red bravely went to the door and opened it,
to be greeted by a monstrous black bear, standing
taller than the doorway on two legs.
Rose-Red could see immediately that the big bear
had kindness in his eyes. He told them that he would
never hurt them, that he was not that kind of bear.
They could see him shivering, with ice pellets hanging
from his jaws so they decided to let him in. He was
happy to lie in front of their small fireplace, and
he told them how strange & unhappy he felt:
“For some reason, all my bear companions disappeared
last week. I called them over & over, but they never
answered me. I am all alone, and I don’t know why.”
The girls patted him dry with one of their old tattered
blankets, & soon they were all laughing & playing
& rolling around the floor. The mother had to chide
them for their unbridled friskiness before they broke
some of the furniture.
Early in the morning, the bear left, waving at them
until he was out of sight. He returned that night
with an armload of dry wood, and two wild turkeys
under his arm. They feasted on the birds, and
built a roaring fire.
All winter he was their guest
in the evenings, and he brought them venison,
rabbits, & more turkeys. Even the wolves, who
used to boldly approach the hut, began to stay
far away from them.
After the snow melted, mid-Spring, the bear
wept as he told his ladies that he had to leave
them for a few months, in order to go and guard
his treasure from a wicked dwarf wizard.
They missed their big bruin friend, of course.
One summer day while walking in the woods,
the girls came upon a dwarf who had his long
beard stuck in a thorn bush. Rose-Red used her
flower shears, and cut him loose. Rather than
being thankful, he was outraged; how dare
they cut off his magnificent beard.
Seven times that summer they came upon the
dwarf again, and each time he was in some kind
of peril. Each time they saved him, and every
time he became angry rather than grateful.
In early Fall, while out picking mushrooms,
the girls heard a terrible commotion, and
they came upon the bear preparing to slay
He begged the bear to kill the girls rather
than him, the bear became angry
and slew the evil wizard with one
swipe of his huge lethal paw.
Instantly the bear turned into a handsome prince,
and he thanked the girls for helping him through
the frozen winter. The dwarf had stolen precious
gems from the prince, and then placed a curse
on him, turning him into a bear.
The prince understood what he needed to do next.
The two young girls, and their mother, were moved
into the palace, and on Christmas Day, the prince
married Snow-White, who believed in such things,
and Rose-Red married the prince’s brother.
Sometimes if we believe enough in something,
the Universe pays attention, and obstacles
are eliminated, and we get what we wish for;
too bad that is too often not enough for some,
and even fairy tales end up in divorce courts,
or as beheading spectacles.
Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics
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