This story has been haunting me since the first one written about Cinderella, and I struggle to write to the audience what makes sense, and to give a lesson. My personal “captive” audience is my three girls 5, 7 and 9.
I would tell the Snow White story to them like this:
There was once this girl Raquel who thought she was beautiful. Every day she looked in her mirror and asked the mirror who was the most beautiful girl in the land. The mirror was her friend, so she told her that she was the most beautiful. Actually, the mirror was the only friend that Raquel had. When she was a little girl the other girls would not play with her because she was very selfish. Her mother gave her the mirror to keep her company. Her mother warned her to listen to the advice the mirror would give, and not to let her outward beauty keep her from doing good. She also said that everyone is beautiful in their own way. But Raquel did not care about everyone else.
Raquel married a handsome king who had a daughter, so Raquel became a queen and a step mother. And she was a mean step mother. The princess’ name was Diamond. (My kids love the name Diamond) She was very little when her mother died so all she knew about her was what her dad would tell her. He told Diamond that she looked just like her mother, and that her mother had been very kind to everyone, and that everyone loved her mother. Diamond wanted to be just like her mother, and so she made it her business to be as nice as she could to everyone. Diamond especially loved her dad and wanted to make him happy. She knew by her being good she would make him very happy.
The Queen Raquel was not concerned with what made the king happy. She could not wait until Diamond was old enough to get married and move out so she could live alone with the king. (Knowing that my girls are very close to their dad, I would have to include the part that said Diamond would always live very close to the king, so the mean step-mother the queen would just have to get over it. And since the queen did have some fear of Allah, she would not try to kill Diamond, so the forest and seven dwarfs scene is not necessary.)
The mirror was tired of hearing Queen Raquel talking every day about how she looked and moaning about wanting all of the king’s attention. One day she said “Raquel, I hear you talk about looks and attention. If you insist on action, there is someone very lovable that the princess Diamond may love enough to marry.” The selfish queen got very quiet and paid attention to someone else for the first time. The mirror continued, “They may then move far away. You would be taking a chance, as we have no control over matters of the heart.” The Queen did not care about the chances. She just wanted to do something to get the king’s attention to herself.
Queen Raquel became very excited about this idea and begged the mirror to bring this man to her. The mirror said “He is someone who is very very nice, but he does come with a very dear price.” “Bring him here now!” said the Queen. Again the mirror warned “You are asking something that could be nice, but the feeling may end up cold as ice.” “No more riddles!” shouted the queen. “I want him here now!” “You are so on my nerves!” said the mirror, but she did as the queen demanded.
Suddenly there appeared before Queen Raquel a handsome prince. She asked his name and understood why he was called Yusuf. She could hardly take her eyes off him as she sent for Diamond. This mean woman was finally very happy. She could see clearly that Diamond was truly in love at first sight of the handsome and well mannered Prince Yusuf. (She was not happy that this beautiful and very kind princess would be happy, but she was glad to have a way to get rid of her.)
Prince Yusuf was also in love with this princess who was everything he wanted. She was beautiful outside and very kindhearted inside just like his mother. He was polite to the king, who gladly gave his blessing to their marriage. The wedding was set for the following month. All through the preparations for Princess Diamond’s wedding the queen also planned her own vacation, as she was looking forward to finally having all of the king’s attention.
Every day she asked her friend the mirror “How do I look now, am I not the finest in the land?” Her friend agreed, but warned “Fear Allah, my friend, you better think twice. What you are planning may not feel so nice.”
Finally the day of the wedding came, and the Queen was hardly able to hold onto her composure. The many guests started to arrive, but the queen asked her mirror one last time “How do I look now, am I not the finest in the land?” to which the mirror replied “Fear Allah, my friend. There is much more than meets the eye.” The Queen was not in a mood for riddles, so she just rushed out of her room without saying a word. She was late getting to her place to greet the many beautiful guests, and to meet her husband who was especially handsome that day. “What a handsome king for me” she thought to herself as she took her place at his side.
The Prince entered the main hall and was holding a most beautiful woman on his arm. “This lady must be his twin sister” thought the Queen. She had not met her, although she did visit the palace during the wedding planning period, but the Queen was too busy with her own plans to notice the family of the groom. She did not see how the king, her husband had taken notice of the kindness of the prince’s mother, and how she reminded him of his own former wife, Diamond’s mother. The Queen did not notice the gifts that had been exchanged between the two of them, and how the king had proposed to her!
After all, he was allowed to be married to this new queen, and he married her that very same day. Now the Queen Raquel not only had to share her king with Diamond, but also with the new queen as well. At last she understood the advice of her mirror when she told her to be mindful of what she asks for, and that there really is much more that meets the eye.
Diamond on the other hand, was the happiest princess ever, and lived right there in the palace with her husband, her father, and her two very nice step-mothers. (Yes, the Queen Raquel finally got over it. That’s my nice ending for tender hearts. I want them to believe in happy endings. )
Thank you for reading