Snow White and Rose Red

First off I'd like to thank Thyme and Sabina for the use of their characters John and Bobby from their Sunshine Files universe. Also thanks to Thyme for the beta. :) This is based on the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm.


There was a lonely cottage in the woods where a poor woodcutter and his wife lived.  Around the house there was a garden in which they grew vegetables, and Jennifer's pride and joy, roses, one red and the other white. Jennifer's husband had given them to her when he had found out she was pregnant. Unfortunately he died before he ever got to see his sons.

The widow, whose name was Jennifer named her sons Justin and Bobby but called them her little rosebuds as they reminded her of the roses that had been her husband's final gift. The boys were good children who for the most part were always busy and happy. Rose Red as Bobby was called by his mother loved to run in the meadows and study all the flowers and animals that lived there, while Snow White as Justin was called, was quiet and gentle, preferring to stay at home and help his mother or paint when there was nothing else to do.

The boys loved each other very much and were hardly ever found apart. Often they walked in the woods to gather berries, but no harm ever came to them as the animals loved them as well. The rabbits and squirrels would eat from their hands and the deer would graze by their sides while the birds sat in the trees and sang to them. They felt so safe in the woods that if night came, they would simply lie down on the moss and sleep until morning. This happened so often that their mother no longer worried about them.

Justin and Bobby kept their mother's cottage so clean that it was always pleasant and cozy. Every morning in the summertime, Bobby swept the kitchen and placed a fresh bouquet of roses by his mother's bedside before she was up.

Every morning in the winter Justin made the fire and put the kettle on to boil. Although it was made of copper, the kettle shone like gold because Justin kept it polished so brightly.

In the evenings when the snow fell, Jennifer would say to Justin, "Go and bolt the door, my little Snow White." Then they would sit down by the fire and Jennifer would put on her glasses and read from a large book while the two boys listened. While their mother read to them, Justin would sometimes draw or spin wool with which Bobby would make wonderful clothes and blankets or he would carve. Near them on the floor lay a little lamb, while perched in one corner sat a white dove with its head under its wing.

One evening as they were sitting together, there was an urgent knock on the door.

"Quick Rose Red," Jennifer said to Bobby, "open the door; it may be a traveler looking for shelter."

Bobby opened the door, thinking there was some poor man outside. Instead two huge wolves poked their heads inside. Bobby screamed and jumped back startled before rushing toward the door to try and close it. Meanwhile, the lamb gave a frightened bleat; the dove flew wildly around the room; and Justin rushed to stand in front of his mother to protect her.

The black wolf, however, began to talk and said, "Don't be afraid. We won't hurt you. We're half frozen and only wish to warm ourselves by your fire."

"You poor wolves! Of course you can come in, but only if I have your word that you will not harm us," said Jennifer. As both wolves bowed their heads in acceptance, she moved towards them. "Come in and lie down by the fire, but take care that you do not burn your fur." Then she turned to the boys who were about to argue. "Snow White, Rose Red, the wolves will not hurt you. They are noble creatures and will keep their promise."

The boys watched the wolves carefully as the lamb came out of hiding and the dove stopped fluttering around the room. The grey wolf then said, "Would you get the brooms and brush the snow from our fur please?"

Justin and Bobby looked at each other before finally bringing in the broom and brushing them clean. After they were done, the black wolf growled cheerfully and stretched himself out comfortably before the fire without another word. The grey wolf sat beside him and looked at the boys. "Thank you."

In a short time, Justin and Bobby became friendly enough to tease and play with their guests. They brushed their shaggy fur, tried to get them to play tug of war and just wrestled around. The grey wolf seemed to enjoy playing with the boys; however, the black wolf every now and then would pretend to grumble which would make everyone laugh.

When it was bedtime, and the children were in bed, Jennifer said to the wolves, "You may lie by the hearth all night if you want to. You will at least be protected from the cold and bad weather."

As soon as morning dawned, the boys let the wolves out, and they trotted away over the snow deeper into the woods. Every evening after that, the wolves came back at a certain hour to the cottage, lay down at the hearth, and allowed the boys to play with them for a little while. They became so accustomed to their visits that the door was never bolted until their black and grey friends had arrived.

Over the winter, the boys and the wolves became close, almost inseparable. The wolves would sit quietly during the occasional snowstorm, as Justin would draw and Bobby would carve figurines. Sometimes they would just sit together and talk quietly deep into the night. Often during the winter nights, Jennifer would wake up to check on everyone and find the boys sleeping curled up with the wolves, Justin with his head on the black wolf and Bobby with his head on the grey wolf.

One day in spring, when everything was green, the black wolf leaned into Justin and said. "It is time for us to go away now, and we won't be returning the whole summer."

Justin felt very sorry to part with the wolf. As he sadly opened the door for him to leave, his fur caught on the latch and tore. Justin thought he saw something glitter like gold where his fur had torn but he wasn't sure for the wolf trotted hastily away followed closely by the grey wolf who had been saying goodbye to Bobby. They were soon swallowed up by the trees.

A few days later Jennifer sent the boys into the woods to gather firewood. As they moved deeper into the forest, they came to a large tree that was lying across the path, and something was hopping up and down beside it. Bobby and Justin couldn't imagine what it was. When they came nearer, they saw a little dwarf with a wrinkled face and a snowy-white beard that was at least a yard long. The end of his beard had caught in a cleft in the tree, and the little man jumped about like a dog on a chain, not knowing how to free himself.

He glared at the boys with his fiery eyes and cried, "Why do you just stand there? Can't you come and help me?"

"What have you done, little man?" asked Bobby.

"You foolish goose!" he cried. "I was trying to split this tree to get a little wood for our kitchen. I had driven in a wedge, and everything was going well, when suddenly it flew out and the tree closed up so quickly that my beautiful white beard was caught. Now I can't get it out! Don't just stand there laughing, you silly milk-faced creatures!"

Justin looked at the little man and said, "Of course we'll help you but you don't have to be ugly about it!"

Bobby and Justin tried as hard as they could to get his beard out but it was caught fast. Finally one of them said, "I'll run and get someone to help us."

"You stupid blockheads!" snarled the dwarf. "Who wants any more people?! You are two too many for me now as it is. Can't you think of anything better?"

"Don't be impatient." Justin said to the dwarf. "I can help you."

Justin reached into his pocket and took out his scissors. Then he cut off the end of the dwarf's beard.

As soon as the dwarf felt himself free, he snatched up a sack of gold that he had hidden among the roots of the tree, and throwing it over his shoulder he stomped off, growling to himself. "Stupid people! They had to cut off a piece of my beautiful beard, a plague on them!" Then away he went without once giving the boys a glance.

A couple of weeks passed and one day Justin and Bobby decided to go fishing. As they got near the brook, they saw something hopping on the bank like a large grasshopper about to jump into the water. They quickly ran toward it and saw it was the dwarf.

"What are you doing?" asked Bobby. "You will fall into the water."

"I'm not such a fool as to wish to do that!" he cried. "Don't you see that this fish is trying to pull me in?!"

The little man had been sitting on the bank fishing. When a large fish swallowed his bait, his beard had become entangled in the line and he didn't have the strength to draw it out. Instead, the fish was pulling him into the water. He tried everything to keep from being pulled into the water but he was fighting a losing battle.

The boys came just in the nick of time. Even so, at first their efforts were useless, the beard and string were in a hopeless tangle. There was nothing to be done but to cut off another little piece of his beard.

The dwarf was in a great rage. "You toadstools! Do you want to disfigure my face? It's not enough that you've cut it once, but now you've taken away the best part of it. I dare not show myself among my own people again. I wish you will have to run the soles off of your boots before I see you again!"

Then he picked up a bag of pearls from the rushes and without another word disappeared behind a rock. Justin and Bobby just shook their heads and went on with their fishing, hoping that they never had to see the dwarf again.

This was not to be the case, however. A month later, Jennifer sent the boys to the village to buy supplies. As they walked along through a meadow, they saw a large bird slowly flying in a circle over their heads. As they continued to walk, it drew nearer and nearer until it finally sank down by a grouping of large stones. In the next instant, they heard a piercing scream. Running toward the bird, they saw that it had a hold of the dwarf and was just about to carry him off. The boys quickly grabbed hold of him and struggled with the bird until he finally let go of his prize.

As soon as the dwarf had recovered from his fright, he exclaimed in his shrill voice, "Could you not have treated me a little more politely? You have pulled on my fine coat so hard that it is all torn and full of holes. Clumsy meddlers, that's what you are!"

Without a word of thanks, he picked up a bag of rubies and slipped into his den under the stone. The boys who by now were used to his rudeness, thought nothing of it but walked on to the village to do their errands.

On their way home, as they were re-crossing the meadow, they suddenly came upon the dwarf who, supposing that no one would pass at that late hour, had come out of his den so that he might spread out his jewels and admire them. They glittered and shone in the setting sun, and the boys stopped to gaze at the wonderful sight.

"What are you standing there gaping for?!" the dwarf cried, and his face became crimson with rage. Rising he picked up a club and advanced upon the boys when loud growls were heard and two large wolves rushed out of the woods. The dwarf dropped his club and rushed for the entrance of his den but the wolves overtook him.

Terror stricken, he cried. "Dear wolves, spare me! I will give you back all the treasures. See, there are the precious stones! Spare my life! Of what use would such a poor little fellow be to you? You would hardly feel me between your teeth. Here, take those two wicked boys. They will make nice tender morsels. They're as fat as young quails. Eat them instead of me!"

The wolves paid no attention to his words. They lunged at the dwarf and tore him apart. The boys were about to run away but the wolves cried out. "Justin! Bobby! Don't be afraid. It's us. Wait and we will go with you."

The boys recognized the voices and stopped but when the wolves came up to them, their wolf skins fell off and before them stood two tall and beautiful men, one dressed entirely in gold, the other silver. The one who had been the black wolf, who was now dressed in gold, walked up to Justin. "We are the sons of a king. The wicked dwarf bewitched us when we were sent to stop him from his evil ways. We were to wander the forest in the forms of wolves, so that we would be hunted. Only his death could set us free."

The prince who had been the gray wolf, who was now dressed in silver, walked up to Bobby. "I hope that we didn't scare you too badly. We've been searching for the dwarf for awhile but he has always managed to elude us."

The golden prince wrapped his arms around Justin. "Justin, my name is Brian. When we saw him pick up his club and move towards you, I became furious. There was no way I was going to let him hurt you, my beautiful Snow White."

The silver prince wrapped his arms around Bobby. "Bobby, my name is John. All I could see was the club and thinking about you being hurt. I just knew I had to stop him, my beautiful Rose Red."

Slowly the princes leaned down and placed tender kisses on the lips of the boys. Upon raising their heads up both princes were greeted with large smiles. Together they walked back to the cottage where they had spent a warm and wonderful winter.


Not many years afterward, Justin married Brian and Bobby married John. With the treasure that the dwarf had collected and hidden in his den over the years, they built a large castle in which the four of them could live happily. They made sure that there was plenty of room and Jennifer came to live with her sons. The rose bushes were also brought to the castle and planted in front of it and every year they bore the beautiful red and white roses which reminded her of her sons.


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