Hermann Vogel-Snow White and Rose Red

Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot

"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; this in fact appears to be the oldest variant of the tale, as there are no previous oral versions.

Not to be confused with the Grimm fairy tale Snow White (which is written Schneewittchen in German, rather than Schneeweißchen). This is a completely different version of Snow White and she has nothing in common with the other one, other than sharing her name in English, and having 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, shy and prefers to play indoors, doing housework and reading, while dark-haired Rose-Red is outspoken, lively and cheerful, and prefers to play outside. They are both really good little girls who love each other and their mother dearly, and their mother is very fond of them as well.

One winter's night, there is a knock at the door. Rose-Red opens the door to find a bear. At first she is frightened, but the bear is kind and gentle and tells her not to be afraid. "I'm half frozen and I merely want to warm up a little at your fireplace," he says. They let the bear in and he lies down beside the fire. Snow-White and Rose-Red beat the snow of his fur, and they quickly become quite friendly with the bear, rolling around and playing with him. They let the bear spend the night in front of the fire, and the next morning he leaves, trotting out into the woods. The bear comes back every night for the rest of the winter and the family grows use 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, as during winter his treasure was hidden and buried by the snow. Duing the summer, the girls are walking through the forest when 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 more times that summer, rescue him from some peril each time, and each time the dwarf is ungrateful.

Then one day, they meet the dwarf again who is terrified because a bear is about to kill him. The dwarf pleads with the bear and begs it to eat the girls. Instead, the bear takes no heed and kills the dwarf with one swipe of his paw. Instantly, the bear transforms into a prince. The girls learn that the dwarf previously put a spell on the prince, turning him into a bear so he could steal the prince's precious stones. The curse is broken with the death of the wicked dwarf, and Snow-White marries the prince and Rose-Red marries the prince's brother.

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