I appreciate Michael letting me write some thoughts here. I’m afraid his version of things – however true – does not paint me in the most flattering light. I’m not here to tell my side of the story (And for those who think the popular “fairy tale” is my side, I can only say: I should think not. Have you read it?) I’m only writing to clear up a few things and fill in some gaps. Of course, Michael filled in the biggest gap (the omission of a major character). But there is even more to divulge, and I feel it’s quite necessary given the growing popularity of this little book called 8, the development of the comic book version and (rumor has it) an animated short film to be produced some time in the future.
I can only conclude that certain points – ones that may have offered my side – are perhaps more difficult to express in rhyme.
First of all, Creepy (as I understand he’s called) might have seen my staying in the cottage as some sort of unjustified, obnoxious freeloading, but nothing could be further from the truth. I made an arrangement with the seven residents for temporary asylum. There was a bounty on my head, for goodness sake! A few of the more stubborn little fellows wanted the terms of the arrangement put in writing, but common sense prevailed. We just agreed to help each other out in the short term.
And as for my life being in danger, that was real and true and something that … thing under the floor knew nothing about. It makes for a quaint little story that the jealous queen wanted me dead just because her magical mirror found me more beautiful. But the truth is that her mirror showed her who was next in the kingdom to die. I hated the wretched thing and secretly had it replaced with a regular, everyday mirror.
Naturally, the next time she looked upon it, it reflected herself. She immediately (how do you say it these days?) freaked out, called in a loyal palace guard and killed him on the spot. Once the mirror was proven wrong, she knew something was amiss. (Of course, she could have just had the guard look into the mirror, but her mind didn’t work like that.) When I discovered her murderous deed, I yelled at her and told her what I’d done. Blaming me for the guard’s death, she ordered me killed. (Nice, yes?)
She even selected the royal Huntsman for the job. Despite all the portrayals (both classic and in recent “retellings”), the huntsman was anything but sympathetic. He was up for a bribe from the moment he found me in the forest and had some rather disgusting ideas for my payment. Luckily for me he was as dumb as a pickaxe, and I managed to escape after giving him the false location of some family treasure that didn’t exist.
Lastly, there has been much talk of the kissing. While it’s true the 8th, banished dwarf first woke me, I was merely startled by him being there, so close, when he (of course) wasn’t a moment before. From my point of view, he just appeared, and what woman wouldn’t be frightened by that? The retelling touted here has this poor creature proposing marriage to me. If he did, I heard no such thing. He made what amounted to mumbling, grunting sounds, and that’s all.
I had no idea it was a kiss that woke me that time – or the next time. Some years later, my husband the prince made reference to that fateful moment. Of course he thought he was being romantic, but that is always the case with him. What follows is by no means a precise transcript, but I do remember the conversation well:
Me: I’m sorry . . . you did what?
Prince: I kissed you and broke the witch’s spell. Don’t you remember?
Me: I remember waking up.
Prince: Well how do you think that happened?
Me: How should I know?
Prince: I had to break the spell.
Me: And you knew a kiss would do it? How did you know that? Were you and the witch working together?
Prince: What?! Darling, no. Of course not.
Me: Then how did you know a kiss would break the spell?
Prince: I didn’t.
Me: So that’s not why you kissed me.
Prince: I kissed you because you were beautiful.
Me: And unconscious.
Prince: No – I mean yes, you were. But it wasn’t like that.
Me: Then what was it like?
Prince: It was . . . magical.
He immediately sensed that was the wrong answer and has been apologizing ever since. Just so you know.
Thank you for your time.