Snow-White and Rose-Red
"Snow-White and Rose-Red" (German: Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot) is a German fairy tale. The best-known version is the one collected by the Brothers Grimm as tale number 161. An older, somewhat shorter version, The Ungrateful Dwarf, was written by Caroline Stahl (1776–1837); this in fact appears to be the oldest variant of the tale, as there are no known previous oral versions, although several have been collected since its publication. The oral variants of this tale are very limited in area.
It is not to be confused with the Grimm fairy tale Snow White (which is written Schneewittchen in German, rather than Schneeweißchen) that provided the basis for the Walt Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This is a completely different version of Snow White and she has nothing in common with the other one other than the fact that she shares her name in English and has an encounter with a dwarf.
Snow-White and Rose-Red are two little girls living with their mother, a poor widow, in a small cottage by the woods. Fair-haired Snow-White is quiet and shy and prefers to spend her time indoors, doing housework and reading. Dark-haired Rose-Red is outspoken, lively and cheerful, and prefers to be outside. They are both very good little girls who love each other and their mother dearly, and their mother is very fond of them as well.
One winter night, there is a knock at the door. Rose Red opens the door to find a bear. At first, she is terrified, but the bear tells her not to be afraid. "I'm half frozen and I merely want to warm up a little at your place," he says. They let the bear in, and he lies down in front of the fire. Snow-White and Rose-Red beat the snow off the bear, and they quickly become quite friendly with him. They play with the bear and roll him around playfully. They let the bear spend the night in front of the fire. In the morning, he leaves trotting out into the woods. The bear comes back every night for the rest of that winter and the family grows used to him.
When summer comes, the bear tells them that he must go away for a while to guard his treasure from a wicked dwarf. During the summer, when the girls are walking through the forest, they find a dwarf whose beard is stuck in a tree. The girls rescue him by cutting his beard free, but the dwarf is ungrateful and yells at them for cutting his beautiful beard. The girls encounter the dwarf several times that summer, rescue him from some peril each time and the dwarf is ungrateful each time.
Then one day, they meet the dwarf once again. This time, he is terrified because the bear is about to kill him. The dwarf pleads with the bear and begs it to eat the girls. Instead, the bear pays no heed to his plea and kills the dwarf with one swipe of his paw. Instantly, the bear turns into a prince. The dwarf had previously put a spell on the prince by stealing his precious stones and turning him into a bear. The curse is broken with the death of the dwarf. Snow-White marries the prince and Rose-Red marries the prince's brother.
- "Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot" (German editions), Brothers Grimm, The.
- "Snow-White and Rose-Red". May Sellar, transl., Andrew Lang, ed., The Blue Fairy Book, 1889
- "Rose White and Rose Red". Storybook and cassette from the Once Upon a Time Fairy Tale Series
- "Snow-White and Rose-Red" Margaret Hunt, transl., Grimm's Household Tales, Vol. 2 No. 161
- "Snow-White and Rose-Red" (short story) by Edith Wyatt
- Snow White and Rose Red (fantasy novel based on the tale and set in medieval England) by Patricia C. Wrede, part of The Fairy Tale Series created by Terri Windling
- Tender Morsels (2008 fantasy novel based on the tale) by Margo Lanagan
- Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin, Random House, October 10, 2017
In popular culture
- Snow-White and Rose-Red was featured in Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics under its "Grimm Masterpiece Theater" season.
- The 2001 film Snow White: The Fairest of Them All (based on the "Snow White" fairytale) features the prince being turned into a bear by the Evil Queen, which was taken from this fairy tale.
- Snow White and Rose Red are both characters in the comic book Fables, with Rose Red more vulnerable to death due to being less famous than her sister among "mundies" (non-Fable people).
- An allusion to "Snow-White and Rose-Red" is made in the 7th installment of Dark Parables, "Ballad of Rapunzel": Here, the Snow Queen, Snow White, is a combination of both of Grimm Fairy Tales' Snow White's ("Snow White and Rose Red" and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfes") as well as Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen", and she has a fraternal twin brother, Prince Ross Red (of a/the Mountain Kingdom up in the Bernese Alps, Switzerland). Snow White was the 5th and last wife of the Frog Prince (with whom she had a son, Prince Gwyn), and Ross Red is in love with and engaged to Princess Rapunzel of the Kingdom of Floralia, Sněžka, Czech Republic, in Central Europe. The twins Snow White and Ross Red have power over Ice and Fire, respectively.
- Snow White and Red Riding Hood's friendship in the television series Once Upon a Time is meant to allude to Snow White and Rose Red.
- The characters Rose Red and Pearl White in the song cycle and musical Ghost Quartet are meant to be an allusion to Snow White and Rose Red. Pearl White was initially called Snow White, but the name was changed to avoid confusion.
Snow-white and Rose-red, by Alexander Zick
- Grimm, Jacob and William, edited and translated by Stanley Appelbaum, Selected Folktales/Ausgewählte Märchen : A Dual-Language Book Dover Publications Inc. Mineola, New York. ISBN 0-486-42474-X
- Andrew Lang's "Blue Fairy Tale Book"