Mashup Tale: Snow White, the Prince, and the Bear
Long ago, in a kingdom far away, there lived a beautiful young princess called Snow White. She was beautiful with skin as white as snow and lips as red as blood. Snow White was an outspoken princess who was skilled in archery.
She lived in the castle with her stepmother. When she turned sixteen, her stepmother held a tournament for Snow White’s hand. Princes and royal men from nearby kingdoms came to participate in the archery tournament.
A handsome young prince won the tournament but Snow White challenged him to a match.
“If I lose, I will marry you but if I win, there will be no marriage.”
Her stepmother was furious but the prince said, “Your highness, please let me take my chances with the fair lady. I accept her challenge.”
The prince hit the bullseye. Then Snow White let her arrow fly and split the prince’s arrow in two as hers landed in the same bullseye.
The queen seethed with anger. She hired someone to kill Snow White.
So the next day, Snow White went into the forest with a few staff because princesses should never go out into the forest alone. The hired killer found a way to separate her from the others. “The queen wants you dead,” he said menacingly.
Her eyes fell on the bow and arrows at her feet. The man kicked them away. As he stepped forward with a dagger in his hand, Snow White screamed, not only from the danger she was in but mostly from what appeared behind the man. One growl and the huge bear snatched the man up and threw him off to a protruding rock where he lay lifeless.
Snow White was overtaken with fright. She ran blindly into the forest, and never stopped until her legs gave way and she slumped to the ground. She felt her lungs would explode and she gasped for air.
After some time, she thought of her stepmother’s treachery, and she screamed in rage. She screamed until the screams turned into sobs.
As she got her bearings, she stood up and looked around. Her heart sank when she realized she was in unfamiliar territory, and unarmed.
Once she made up her mind which direction to go, she started walking. It was afternoon when she came to the thickest part of the forest and she felt exhausted. She needed to find shelter.
Suddenly, strong hands grabbed and pulled her behind a tree. She fought wildly until she recognized her aggressor.
“You!” she snapped at the prince from the tournament. “What are you doing?”
“Shhh…” the prince shushed her. “Do you know that a bear is following you?”
“It’s behind the tree next to us.”
Snow White nervously peeked and stifled a scream when the bear was just a few feet from her. It saw her and she froze. It was the same bear that had slain the hired killer. The bear was handing her the quiver and the bow she had left behind.
When she did not move, the bear put them on the ground and stepped back.
“She wants you to take them,” the prince whispered.
The bear stepped away one more time, and sat on the ground. “It’s friendly. It saved my life and followed me to give me my bow and arrows,” she said with a sigh of relief.
She picked them up and slung her quiver over her shoulder. “Thank you, Bear,” she said.
The bear did not leave them. They spent the night together inside a small cave that the bear found. The bear also made fire which kept them warm while they ate fruits that the bear picked.
“Your friend really knows her forest,” the prince grinned.
“I thought you’re back to your kingdom by now,” Snow White said.
“I can’t go back to my kingdom without telling you that I… I need a rematch. That’s it, because I did not lose. It was even.”
“Is she that good… the princess who beat you?” Snow White teased the prince.
The prince sighed with exasperation. “She did not beat me. If you must know, I lost deliberately because I don’t want to marry her. She’s not my type.”
Snow White frowned, “Does she look bad?”
“As a matter of fact, she does,” the prince chuckled.
Snow White made a face. “Tell me, why are you really here? Are you stalking me?”
“Do you really think I would leave without a rematch?”
Snow White burst out laughing and the prince joined her.
The prince suddenly turned serious. “I heard your stepmother wants you dead. They found the man hired to kill you. He is dead. More men are out to hunt you. You are in grave danger, princess. I came to warn you.”
“You looked for me all over the forest just to warn me? Why would you do that?”
Suddenly, the bear growled and put off the fire. Snow White and the prince knew there was danger. They quickly dashed out of the cave so as not to be trapped inside. They climbed up to a rock to see what was going on, and crouched low.
They heard movements, and in the dark, they were able to make out a number of men.
“The fire’s just been put out. She is near. She could be anywhere,” someone reported.
“I can take them out from here,” Snow White whispered.
“It’s too dark. We don’t know how many men there are,” Prince cautioned her. “Let’s not take a chance, let’s leave.”
The bear took the lead and they followed, knowing that bears could see well in the dark. They crept slowly down the rock when suddenly, they heard a voice. “Hey!” the man yelled, “I found her!” The prince let his arrow rip and the man fell but half a dozen men had already been alerted.
“Run!” the prince ordered. “I’ll cover you.”
“No, this is not your battle, it’s mine,” Snow White said as she plucked an arrow from her quiver and aimed. As one man fell, a barrage of shots rang in the air.
“Guns!” the prince was alarmed. “What did she do, send the whole army? We cannot stay here. We will run out of arrows,” the prince said grimly as he shot one more man. “Let’s go!”
They ran as fast as they could as peal of gunshots rang through the air. “We have to cross the river, and get to the other side as quickly as we can,” the prince said.
Before they reached the river, both the prince and Snow White were out of arrows.
They struggled to cross the river because of the strong current. They had to hold on to each other for support. With much difficulty they made it to the other side.
They ran deeper and deeper into the forest, with only one thought in mind, to put as much distance between them and their pursuers.
Suddenly, the bear keeled over. Snow White and the prince rushed to it. The bear was bleeding. “It’s wounded,” the prince exclaimed. “We need to stop the bleeding.” Snow White tore at the hem of her clothes. She needed something to stanch the blood flow.
The cold air had become freezing, especially with their wet clothes on. The prince gathered twigs and dried leaves and in no time, he had a fire blazing. “This is good enough to keep us warm but it can’t help the bear…” the prince said sadly.
Then they heard the sound of running feet and breaking twigs.
They found themselves in the presence of little people who took them to safety.
“I can’t believe we are in the enchanted forest. I heard that only good and happiness exist here,” Snow White was ecstatic.
“I can’t believe it really exists,” the prince said.
“Do you think the bear will be alright,” Snow White asked the prince.
“The fairies said she would.”
“I really had no idea that she’s a she-bear,” Snow White sighed. “I am glad the dwarfs found us in time.”
“Because of the fire I made. Don’t forget that,” the prince reminded her.
“Yes, thank you very much,” Snow White grinned. Then she became serious, “And thank you for staying with us, when you could have left.”
“Without a rematch? Oh, no… you don’t get rid of me that easy.”
“I take it you have never lost to anybody before.”
“Wrong,” he said. “Do you know that my father had always begged me to take a bride, and every time there is a tournament or a contest for a princess’ hand, there he sends me. I have never won in any of those tournaments or contests. I always come in second…”
Snow White rolled her eyes, “You lose on purpose because they are not your type…”
“Right…” the prince grinned. “I came to your kingdom with the same mindset, lose the tournament. But just as I reached the castle grounds, I saw the prettiest lady I have ever seen in my life… with skin as white as snow and lips as red as blood.”
Snow White felt the blood rush to her face.
“You’re blushing,” the prince teased.
“I’m not!” she protested.
“Princess, you are as white as snow, and when you blush, it is unmistakable,” he winked. “When I learned that she was the princess I was fighting for, I resolved to win the tournament and I did. But I made one tiny mistake, I accepted the lady’s challenge…”
“Why? You underestimated her?”
“Perhaps I did, and perhaps I wanted to show off to her… but I ended up with a bruised ego instead,” he chuckled.
“Princess,” one of the seven dwarfs called her.
“Yes, Doc,” Snow White replied.
“You remember my name,” Doc looked lovestruck.
“Of course, I remember your names,” she said as she looked at the other six dwarfs standing behind Doc. “Let’s see, “Happy, Sneezy, Sleepy, Bashful, Grumpy, and Dopey.”
They swooned over her, except Grumpy who scowled and said, “Fairy Merryweather is here to see you. Prince, you can also come.”
Fairy Merryweather was distinguished from the other fairies by her diminutive stature. She was feisty and cheerful.
“I am tasked to be the bearer of good and bad news,” she told Snow White. “It’s about the bear. The good news is that she is well and that she is a human. The bad news is that she is under a curse. It is a powerful spell that can only be broken by the death of the evil one who cursed her. The spell was meant to be forever.”
Snow White was shocked, “Who is she and why was she cursed?”
Fairy Merryweather continued, “She was a queen, beautiful and kind-hearted, and envied by many. One of those who envied her is an evil queen who practiced witchcraft. She successfully turned the queen into a bear that was chased out of the castle. The king had no idea how and why his queen disappeared until he died. The sad thing is that the king married the same queen who put the curse on his wife.” Fairy Merryweather took a deep breath, “Princess, what you know of your mother?”
Snow White was taken aback by the question. “I have little recollection of my mother… she… she disappeared when I was a child,” Snow White was suddenly frightened.
“Do you remember this?” Fairy Merryweather held a golden chain on her palm. It had a locket dangling from it.
Snow White stared at the piece of jewelry. It looked familiar.
Fairy Merryweather said, “Go ahead and open it.”
She did and gasped as she recognized the pictures inside. Then she remembered where she had seen the necklace. It used to hang on her mother’s neck. She stared at the pictures of her mother and father and she wept bitterly. The Prince held her head on his chest.
“That necklace is her only connection to the past. She watched you grow from a distance,” Fairy Merryweather concluded.
At one point Snow White wanted to go back and confront the evil queen but the prince discouraged her. “Not a good idea unless you want yourself dead or become a bear. I don’t want to be saddled with a cute little bear, no matter how pretty it would turn out to be.”
In spite of herself, Snow White laughed.
One day, the prince was gone. She learned that he left to go home to his father.
She was distraught that the prince might be in danger outside the enchanted forest but she was told the dwarfs went with him. They were powerful enough to protect him.
He did not even say goodbye, Snow White thought.
Snow White was heartbroken. Her mother was a bear and she lost the prince.
I thought the enchanted forest is a happy place, why am I so unhappy?
Days quickly passed. One night, Snow White was awakened by a bright light bursting from her mother-bear’s body. She feared for her mother but she was helpless. She could only watch.
When the light dimmed and completely shut off, she found a human form. Snow White quickly took sheets to cover the body. “Mother?” she asked incredulously.
The fairies believed that the evil queen was dead but Snow White didn’t care anymore. She had her mother, and that was more important.
A few days later, Snow White was alone in the dwarfs’ garden when she heard a familiar voice. “You still owe me a rematch.”
She turned to see the prince. It took all her self-control not to throw herself at him.
The prince explained that he planned to attack the evil queen’s castle and he needed his father’s army to do that. With the help of the seven dwarfs, they successfully attacked and defeated the stepmother who died in battle.
Once when they were alone, Snow White asked the prince, “So how about that rematch? I just might let you win this time…”
“I have something much better in mind,” the prince said.
“Such as…” Snow White prodded.
“Telling you that I fell in love with you the first time I saw you,” the prince said as he touched Snow White’s blushing cheeks. “Princess, would you be my bride?”
Snow White could not even look at the prince. “I… I don’t even know your name,” was all she could say.
“Prince Philip,” the prince said as he lifted her face up and kissed her lips.
They were startled when a cheer broke out around them. The seven dwarfs, the fairies, and Snow White’s mother were all there, sharing in the happy moment.
Snow White and her mother went back to their castle where her mother took her rightful place as the queen. Prince Philip and Snow White were married and stayed in the castle while the prince waited for his time to be crowned king in his own kingdom. They were often seen at the enchanted forest, and the seven dwarfs and the fairies became frequent guests at the castle.
© 2015 Norma