SNOW WHITE + 7
The assignment in Italian class at the local community college was to write a new version of an old story. Snow White was my selection. I wrote this in Italian and then translated (almost word for word) into English. The result is a stilted or not-too-smooth reading in English (probably worse in Italian), but stick with it and you might get a couple of laughs from reading this unorthodox rendition of Snow White and Seven Little Men
A FRACTURED FABLE ( a somewhat literal translation of the original Italian writing) By Aureleo Rosano
Once upon a time there was a small kingdom far from here. In that kingdom there was a bunch of truly original characters. There was an almost-typical beautiful young woman named SnowWhite, who lived with seven little men. They were not typical, in fact they were seven dwarfs named Buffo, Ciuffo, Gufo, Luffo, Scufo, Tuffo, and Fred respectively. All seven were carpenters. They lived in a small house in the depths of the forest. There was a strange man, very tall, very thin, the only neighbor of SnowWhite and the dwarfs. This man called Longhandle had a remarkable knowledge of medicine, chemistry, plants, animals, etc. And of course, there was an evil queen, named Evil who lived in the castle with a dozen soldiers and two dozen servants. Every morning, the queen stood in front of her mirror. And every morning, Queen Evil asked “who is the most beautiful woman in the kingdom?” “It is not you, it’s SnowWhite” was the answer from the mirror. To herself, Queen Evil said “damned mirror!” The mirror continued “your nose is a little too big” or your eyes are a little too small” or “your voice is too metallic.” Every day the mirror had a new insult. One day the queen asked “where is this SnowWhite?” The mirror was silent. “Where is she?” screamed the queen. Perfect silence…and then… a crash of broken glass. A servant, a frightened young girl said in a soft voice, “I know. SnowWhite is in the forest with a bunch of men, a number of little men and at least one other.” Immediately the queen Screamed “Soldiers! Soldiers! Go to the forest! Find this SnowWhite and bring her to me! Or better than that, bring me her body! You filthy soldiers!” Queen Evil was trembling with rage. “Tomorrow? No! Now! Lazy!. Right away!” In the meantime the strange neighbor Longhandle had visited SnowWhite, but more specifically the seven dwarfs. “First, little friends, I want to thank you. The cabinet is perfect for my cabin. You guys are really fine craftsmen. It’s a very precious gift. Secondly, a question. Would you like to be bigger?” Buffo said “Yes!” Ciuffo said “Certainly!” All of the others said in unison “Absolutely!” “OK, my little friends,” said Longhandle, “we start today. I understand the cause of your smallness. You’re fine little guys, but you have a serious lack of a hormone. It’s called Hormone G. G stands for Great. I’ve brought seven doses of G medicine. I get G from very special plants in my garden. I’ll return tomorrow with more doses. You have to take the first dose now. That’s good! Until tomorrow!” When Longhandle arrived home, he saw that someone had been there. He also saw that someone had trampled part of the garden. Longhandle followed the tracks into the forest and in a short time, found Queen Evil’s soldiers. Longhandle courteously asked the leader, “Mister Captain, you were at my house. Why? Can I help you?” “Maybe” said the captain, We’re looking for a woman called SnowWhite. Do you know where we can find her?” Longhandle said “A woman called SnowWhite? No. I don’t know, but what a strange name!” The captain said, This SnowWhite lives with a bunch of little dwarfs or gnomes or who knows.” Longhandle laughed, “a bunch of dwarfs? A bunch of gnomes? How strange! You’re joking, no?” “Joke? Me? Never!’ The captain continued “Next week we will search this part of the forest again.” “How strange,” said Longhandle for the third time, shaking his head, “Ciao.” He thought to himself, “dull-witted soldiers! My poor garden!” Longhandle hurried back to his house to prepare the doses of hormone G for the dwarfs. He saw the G-plants had not been trampled. And so he prepared seventy doses. Very early the next morning, before dawn, Longhandle walked to the house of SnowWhite and the Dwarfs. Anxiously, in a loud voice, he called out “Good Morning! Ciao! Ciao everyone! Good morning to you, Miss White! Hey, you guys! Get up! There’s important news!” One voice complained “Good Morning, my ass! It’s still nighttime!” But, after a few minutes, the seven dwarfs appeared and were almost completely naked. Beautiful SnowWhite leaned out the window and asked, “Mr. Longhandle, tell us the news, and you, my little men, why are you nude?” “Why? Because our clothes are all too small. This morning we’re bigger than yesterday!” all seven were looking at themselves, laughing and making jokes. In a loud cry Longhandle yelled for joy, “It worked! Vitamin G! Hormone G! Great! Great! Grande! Grantastico! I have ten more doses for each of you! One dose every day! Here they are! Take them!” SnowWhite gave a big smile of approval and then asked, “The news? The news, please, Mr. Longhandle!” I’m sorry, Signorina, the news is bad. Yesterday afternoon, Queen Evil’s soldiers were at my house. They were looking for you, Signorina, and will be looking again next week. Therefore, be alert, stay hidden from view, please, kind lady, please! And to the dwarfs “above all, protect this young woman and don’t forget to take the doses of G. One other thing, all of you. Look at the sky often. When there is a cloud of black smoke from the direction of my house, the soldiers are in the area. Now I have to go. Pay attention!” Every day, each of the dwarves took the G medicine and every day, everyone looked to the sky. Within a week, the dwarfs were dwarfs no longer. They were men. By the ninth day, they were big men, very tall, very muscular, and very very strong. In the afternoon of the tenth day there was black smoke in the sky. After a short time, twelve soldiers and their leader arrived. The captain said, “Carpenters, stop your work. Do you know a young woman called SnowWhite? No reaction. “Do you know?” No answer. “Do we have a bunch of mutes?” Troops, search this entire house. Now!” The fight between the soldiers and the big dwarfs lasted a few minutes. The thirteen soldiers fled in fifteen directions leaving behind their weapons. At the same time, Longhandle, out of breathe came out of the forest, shouting “The soldiers are running like chickens! Congratulations to my enormous dwarfs! What a day! Now, now we must go to the castle! Come on, young woman! Come on, all you seven warriors! Let’s go! Quickly!” Gufo hollered “to the castle?” Luffo said “to the castle, why?” Longhandle quipped, “Because your house is too small now and the castle is bigger, no?” “You’re right!” said Scufo. “Signorina, would you like to be the new queen,” asked Longhandle. “LET’S GO! At the castle Queen Evil was waiting. Instead of soldiers, Longhandle, SnowWhite, and seven supermen arrived. The queen shouted “where are the soldiers? Who is this ugly woman?” Longhandle said “this young woman is the beautiful SnowWhite and your troops have run away!” Queen Evil was obviously upset and said “I thought that by now SnowWhite would be dead and…” “… and now” declared Longhandle, “my dear deposed queen, it’s time to get off your ass, prepare only one suitcase and leave the kingdom immediately!” It had been an unforgettable day! In the morning, Scuffo was saying “Signorina… signo… excuse me… Princess? Princess, there is a Prince at the main gate. He wants to give you a kiss according to tradition. He seems to be a sincere and good man.” Princess SnowWhite said “What a shame, but this Prince is in the wrong fairy tale. Give him a good breakfast and direct him to the right story. After all in this castle there are seven strong and muscular men. And for variety, there is a fantastic Longhandle! Who needs a Prince?” Fred didn’t say anything and gave a great big smile. THE END.