Happily Ever After

By Melissa

Disclaimer: The story that I am quoting from was originally published in German as "Little Snow White" by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in 1812. Although the Disney version was not around in the 1800s, I’m going to add some elements of it into the story…just for fun!




"Jimmy, would you cut it out?!?"

"Aw. c’mon Cody! Stop bein’ such a baby!"

"I am not…just knock it off already!"

"Jibby, will you jud cuddit out, achooo, and leabe Codee, achooo, aw hell, alone already?"

Lou shook her head and sighed. It was just another day in the life of the Pony Express. They were all on their way into town to buy supplies for Rachel, and Jimmy decided that it would be fun to take Cody’s new book and taunt him with it. He and Kid kept riding in front of Cody and playing "monkey in the middle" by throwing the book back and forth, without allowing Cody to grab it. And poor Noah, who had come down with a horrible cold, was trying to stop them, but to no avail.

"Hey Ike! Catch!" Jimmy called out before throwing the book over to Ike.

Ike, who was in his own little world, looked up and completely missed catching the book, causing it to land in a puddle of mud. Ike gave a sheepish grin and shrugged. <<Oops!>> he signed.

"Now look what you gone and did!" Cody accused. "My book is ruined!"

"It’s not my fault Ike missed it," Jimmy tried to reason.

"If you hadn’t bid teazig Codee, achooo, in da first place, achoooooo!" Noah cut himself off as a rather fierce sneeze shook through his body. He sniffled, wiped his nose and continued. "Damb code. Where was I?"

Teaspoon sighed loudly. "Would you all cut it out already? We’re almost in town and we have a lot of shoppin’ to do. If we don’t get everything on Rachel’s list, she’s gonna have our heads."

"But Teaspoon!" whined Cody as he let loose a yawn. "Wow, didn’t realize I was so beat." He shook his head.

"You’re always tired," Jimmy snapped, still angry that Cody was blaming him.

Cody opened his mouth to reply, but then thought better of it. Instead, he turned back to Teaspoon. "But what about my book? It was just starting to get good and now I’ll never know what happens!"

"I’ll buy you another damn book, will that make you happy?" Jimmy grumbled.

Cody smiled smugly. "Yes it will."

Lou glanced over at Buck, who had been quiet throughout the whole thing and smiled in amusement. Buck just grinned and looked away shyly. He was still feeling a little embarrassed at catching Lou coming out of the shower earlier that morning. Now every time he looked at her, he could feel his ears turning red.

I’ll never stop thinking how—


—weird they all are, Lou thought to herself. They were each unique in their own ways, and certainly kept her entertained. But one thing was for sure—they’d each lay down their lives for her, and for that she was grateful. And tolerant when times like these arose. Lou giggled to herself.


Ten minutes later they arrived in town, and began dismounting. They greeted Barnett, Teaspoon’s deputy as they all walked into Thompkins’ store.

Barnett was standing outside drinking a cup of coffee and whistling to himself. "Mornin’ all!" he called out cheerfully.

"Must you always be so damn happy in the mornin’?" Jimmy asked him, shaking his head.

Once inside, they started dividing Rachel’s list in order to get the task completed quicker. After Lou brought up all of the items she needed to find, she walked over to where Cody was standing by the book display.

"Did you find your book?" She asked him.

Cody grinned. "Yeah, Jimmy just brought it up to the counter. He huffed and moaned about it the entire time, that grump. I swear, it was his fault and…"

"Uh huh," Lou drowned the sound of his voice out. If one wasn’t careful, one would get stuck listening to Cody whine for hours on end.

She was just about to turn and walk away, when a book sitting near her hand caught her eye. She picked it up and read the title. "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," she said to herself. As she quickly scanned the back cover, she decided that she was going to purchase it. She didn’t have a run for another couple of days, and she was owed some rest and relaxation time. She walked up to the counter and handed Thompkins the book.

"I’d like to buy this please."



Back at the waystation, after helping to unload the packages, Lou was ready to start reading. As she began to walk in the direction of the bunkhouse, a voice beckoned to her from the house.


Lou stopped and turned around. "Yeah Rachel?"

Rachel walked over to her with a determined look on her face. "Where do you think you’re going? Did you forget that you promised to help Ike fix that corral gate today?"

"Aw Rachel, can’t I do it tomorrow? I’m really tired and was lookin’ forward to readin’ this new book I bought."

Rachel shook her head. "The book will be there later, but those horses won’t if you don’t go and fix that gate."

Lou grumbled under her breath and stomped off towards the corral. Who does she think she is, orderin’ me around like that? Lou thought to herself. She knew that Rachel was right, but right now she just didn’t feel like admitting that to herself.


An hour later the gate was fixed and Lou set off in search of a nice quiet spot to sit down and read. She finally found a cozy little corner in the back of the barn where she figured she’d be safe for a while. She curled up on her side and opened the book…

Once upon a time in mid winter, when the snowflakes were falling like feathers from heaven, a beautiful queen sat sewing at her window, which had a frame of black ebony wood. As she sewed, she looked up at the snow and pricked her finger with her needle. Three drops of blood fell into the snow. The red on the white looked so beautiful, that she thought, "If only I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as this frame." Soon afterward she had a little daughter that was as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as ebony wood, and therefore they called her Little Snow White. Now the queen was the most beautiful woman in all the land, and very proud of her beauty. She had a mirror, which she stood in front of every morning, and asked:

Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who in this land is fairest of all?
And the mirror always said:
You, my queen, are fairest of all.
And then she knew for certain that no one in the world was more beautiful than she.

Now Snow White grew up, and when she was seven years old, she was so beautiful, that she surpassed even the queen herself. Now when the queen asked her mirror:

Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who in this land is fairest of all?
The mirror said:
You, my queen, are fair; it is true.
But Little Snow White is still
A thousand times fairer than you.
When the queen heard the mirror say this, she became pale with envy, and from that hour on, she hated Snow White. Whenever she looked at her, she thought that Snow White was to blame that she was no longer the most beautiful woman in the world. This turned her heart around. Her jealousy gave her no peace. Finally she summoned a huntsman and said to him, "Take Snow White out into the woods to a remote spot, and stab her to death. As proof that she is dead bring her lungs and her liver back to me. I shall cook them with salt and eat them."

The huntsman took Snow White into the woods. When he took out his hunting knife to stab her, she began to cry, and begged fervently that he might spare her life, promising to run away into the woods and never return. The huntsman took pity on her because she was so beautiful, and he thought, "The wild animals will soon devour her anyway. I'm glad that I don't have to kill her." Just then a young boar came running by. He killed it, cut out its lungs and liver, and took them back to the Queen as proof of Snow White's death. She cooked them with salt and ate them, supposing that she had eaten Snow White's lungs and liver…

"Ewww!" Lou squirmed with disgust. But she couldn’t stop herself from reading on. She had to find out what happened next!

Snow White was now all alone in the great forest. She was terribly afraid, and began to run. She ran over sharp stones and through thorns the entire day. Finally, just as the sun was about to set, she came to a little house. The house belonged to seven dwarfs. They were working in a mine, and not at home. Snow White went inside and found everything to be small, but neat and orderly. There was a little table with seven little plates, seven little spoons, seven little knives and forks, seven little mugs, and against the wall there were seven little beds, all freshly made. On each bed, a name was carved in: Doc, Dopey, Sleepy, Sneezy, Happy, Bashful and Grumpy.

Lou giggled. That could be the boys! She thought to herself.

Snow White was hungry and thirsty, so she ate a few vegetables and a little bread from each little plate, and from each little glass she drank a drop of wine. Because she was so tired, she wanted to lie down and go to sleep. Since the beds were so small, she laid herself across all seven of them and quickly fell asleep. When night came, the seven dwarfs returned home from the work. They lit their seven little candles, and saw that someone had been in their house.

The first one said, "Who has been sitting in my chair?"

The second one, "Who has been eating from my plate?"

The third one, "Who has been eating my bread?"

The fourth one, "Who has been eating my vegetables?"

The fifth one, "Who has been sticking with my fork?"

The sixth one, "Who has been cutting with my knife?"

The seventh one just shrugged and threw up his hands in confusion.

They then discovered Snow White lying across their beds, fast asleep. The seven dwarfs all cried out with amazement. They fetched their seven candles and looked closely at Snow White.

"My God! My God!" they cried. "She is so beautiful!" They liked her very much. They did not wake her up, but let her lie there in the beds…

Snow White wasn’t the only one who had fallen asleep. Lou hadn’t even realized that her eyes were closing. In a matter of minutes, she too, had fallen into a deep and peaceful sleep.


Snow White slowly woke to find seven pairs of eyes watching her eagerly. As she rubbed the sleep from her eyes, she pulled herself into a sitting position and stared at her companions in amazement.

"Oh my Lord!" Lou exclaimed. "It’s you!"

The seven little men all looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders. Then they started talking all at once.

"What’s she talking about?"

"I wanna go to sleep…is she gonna get off our beds?"

"She’s awfully pretty…"

"Who cares, and why is she here?"

"We never get, achooo, company…how did she, achooo, find us?"

"Does it matter? We have a visitor! We have a visitor!"

Lou shook her head in amazement. There were Jimmy, Cody, Buck, Ike, Noah, Teaspoon and Barnett. Barnett?? She thought to herself. The only difference was, they were all miniature versions of the men! Not one of them was more than 3 feet tall!

Suddenly, the dwarf that looked like Cody walked forward. "May I ask who you are and why you’re sleeping on our bunks?"

"My name is Snow White," Lou found herself saying. She told them how her mother had tried to kill her, how the huntsman had spared her life, how she had run the entire day, finally coming to their house.

The dwarfs all shook their head in pity and clucked their tongues.

"You poor thing. How scared you must be," the dwarf that looked like Teaspoon said. "Let us introduce ourselves here. My name is Doc." He smiled and her and extended his plump little hand.

Lou smiled, then reached out and shook it. "It’s a pleasure to meet you Teasp—Doc." She caught herself just in time.

Next in line was Barnett. "My name is Happy and I’m so glad to have you here!" The little man bubbled with excitement as he eagerly shook Lou’s hand.

Then Noah stepped forward. "I’m, achooo, Sneezy!"

Buck walked over shyly. "My name is Bashful," he said quietly as a red blush began to creep across his cheeks.

Then the Jimmy dwarf walked forward with a scowl on his face. "Yeah, I’m Grumpy."

Next, the little Ike walked forward, red bandana and all! Lou wondered for a moment if he was going to speak! Instead he reached out his hand and smiled. He looked towards Grumpy, who sighed.

"This here is Dopey. He don’t speak."

The seven dwarfs felt bad for her. Doc walked forward and told her, "If you will keep house for us, and cook, sew, make beds, wash, and knit, and keep everything clean and orderly, then you can stay here, and you'll have everything that you want. We come home in the evening, and supper must be ready by then, but we spend the days diggin’ for gold in the mine. You’ll be alone then."

Lou raised an eyebrow. She was no maid, and she certainly wasn’t going to pick up after these guys. If the dwarf versions were anything like the boys she knew, then they were a bunch of slobs! She was just about to protest when she thought better of herself. "If I say no, where else could I possibly go?" She thought to herself. Finally she agreed.

The dwarfs were just about to leave for work when Doc remembered one last thing. He turned to Lou. "Snow White, watch out for the queen, and do not let anyone in."

Lou nodded and the seven little men left the bunkhouse, and went off to work.


The queen thought that she was again the most beautiful woman in the land, and the next morning she stepped before the mirror and asked:

Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who in this land is fairest of all?
The mirror answered once again:
You, Rachel my queen, are fair; it is true.
But Little Snow White beyond the seven cacti
Is a thousand times fairer than you.
It startled the queen to hear this, and she knew that she had been deceived, that the huntsman had not killed Snow White. Because only the seven dwarfs lived in the desert of seven cacti, she knew at once that they must have rescued her. She began to plan immediately how she might kill her, because she would have no peace until the mirror once again said that she was the most beautiful woman in the territory. At last she thought of something to do. She cast a spell and turned herself into an ugly old peddler.

"A perfect disguise!" the Queen cackled. "Snow White will never recognize me now! And I know just the thing to put an end to Snow White…one bite of this poisoned apple will make her fall into a lasting sleep only to be awakened by love’s first kiss!" Then she headed out to the dwarfs’ bunkhouse.


Lou shivered as another roar of thunder let loose above. A storm was coming and she was trying to prepare some food for when the boys got home. She was busy making a pie when the old peddler woman appeared at the window. "Open up. Open up. I'm the old peddler woman with magical fruit for sale."

Lou thought for a moment. That voice sounded oddly familiar…where did she know it from? And magical fruit? She knew that there was no such thing as magic. Then again, look where I am, she thought to herself. She peered out the window and saw an old hag standing outside. She looks harmless enough, Lou thought to herself. "What do you have?" She called out to her.

"This is no ordinary apple my dear child. One bite and all of your dreams will come true," said the old woman, and held up a shiny, perfect red apple. "Would you like one?"

Lou’s stomach grumbled to remind her that she still had not eaten anything all day, even though she had cooked enough to feed an army. Besides, her curiosity had been piqued and she couldn’t help but wonder what was so special about that apple. "Oh, yes," she told her, thinking, I can let the old woman come in. She means well. She unbolted the door and asked how much for the apple.

The old woman smiled at her. "For you my dear child, it is free. Enjoy."

Well that was certainly nice of her, Lou thought as she closed her eyes and took a bite out of the juicy apple. Suddenly the room started to spin and Lou felt very dizzy. Before she knew what was happening, she had collapsed on the floor, as if she were dead.

The old hag laughed and turned to walk out of the bunkhouse. "Now I’ll be the fairest in the territory again!"


Night had fallen, and the seven dwarfs returned home just in time to see the Queen making her escape. They chased her to the edge of a cliff overlooking a canyon. With a wave of her hand the old hag was transformed into the beautiful blonde queen again. "If you take one more step I’ll turn you all into mules!" She threatened. Suddenly a bolt of lightening struck the edge of the cliff and the Queen fell down, down, down…gone forever!

"What in the hell was she supposed to be?" Grumpy asked.

Sleepy shrugged. "I don’t know, but I want to get home before the rain comes. I’m hungry and tired."

Happy jumped up and down. "I can’t wait to see Snow White again!" he said in a sing-song voice.

"Achoo!" Sneezy sneezed loudly. "I tink my code is gedding worse."

The seven dwarfs walked back to their bunkhouse and immediately knew that something was wrong. The front door was wide open. Grumpy cocked his Navy Colt, Sleepy loaded his rifle, Sneezy unwound his whip, and Bashful pulled out his knife, while Dopey, Doc and Happy cocked their pistols. They all walked quietly until they reached the door.

"Oh my God!" Sleepy cried out.

They were horrified to find their dear Snow White lying on the ground as if she were dead.

"It must have been the queen who tried to kill her," Doc said.

They tried all night, but they could not wake her up. Finally, they laid her on a bier, and all seven sat next to her and cried and cried for three days. They were going to bury her, but they saw that she remained fresh. She did not look at all like a dead person, and she still had beautiful red cheeks. So, they had a glass coffin made for her, and laid her inside, so that she could be seen easily. They wrote her name and her ancestry on it in gold letters, and one of them always stayed at home and kept watch over her. Snow White lay there in the coffin a long time, and she did not decay. She was still as white as snow and as red as blood, and if she had been able to open her eyes, they still would have been as black as ebony wood.

One day, three weeks later, a young prince came to the dwarfs' house. He introduced himself as the Prince of Sweetwater and told the dwarfs that his royal horse Katy has been injured and he needed shelter for the night.

After what had happened to Snow White, the dwarfs were hesitant, but the Prince’s friendly eyes and warm smile won them over. They agreed and let him into their bunkhouse.

When the Prince entered their parlor and saw Snow White lying there in a glass coffin, illuminated so beautifully by seven little candles, he could not get enough of her beauty.

"Who is this fair maiden?" He asked the little men.

Doc walked forward to explain. "You see son, she was the daughter of a king and the wicked Queen was so jealous of her, that she tried to kill her. Now, we think she’s dead, but her body ain’t changin’ none."

The Prince could not help but feel saddened by the story the dwarfs told him. He had heard in town that the young Princess was missing and he knew that this had to be her. He did not know why, but for some strange reason he felt an instant bond with this woman. He asked them to give her to him, for he knew that he could not live without being able to see her, and said that he would keep her, and honor her as his most cherished thing on earth.

The dwarfs all looked at each other as if this man were mad. He wanted to take their Snow White from them and keep her? They were the ones who took care of her, and they were the ones who kept her comfortable.

Bashful stepped forward. "How are we supposed to believe you?"

Grumpy stepped up behind him. "You ain’t goin’ nowhere with her, y’hear?"

One by one all of the dwarfs lined up in front of the coffin, with their weapons drawn. They had all sworn to protect Snow White and take care of her until the day they died. The Prince knew that he had lost and turned to walk away. But then he turned back with a hopeful look in his eyes.

"May I give her a kiss goodbye?" He asked.

The dwarfs all looked at each other and shrugged, as if to say "why not?" Grumpy was the only one who objected, but he was quickly hushed by the others.

"G’head son, just don’t try and pull anything funny or you’ll have us to deal with." Doc warned him.

The Prince walked up to the glass coffin and carefully lifted the top. He still could not get over her flawless beauty. He slowly lowered his head until he felt his lips gently brush the warm lips of Snow White. He pulled his head away and was about to turn and leave when Happy jumped up.

"Look!" He cried out gleefully.

The other dwarfs ran to the coffin and the Prince turned back towards it. He couldn’t believe it! Snow White’s eyes were open! The spell had been broken!

Lou slowly sat up and looked around, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. It took a minute for everything to come into focus, but when it finally did, she got the biggest surprise of all.

"Kid?" she asked, incredulously.

The Prince smiled at her and carefully lifted her out of the coffin and helped her stand up. "I am the Prince of Sweetwater, but yes, sometimes I am called the Kid since I am the King’s youngest son."

Lou giggled and yawned. She felt like she had been asleep forever. "What happened?" she asked as she looked around. The last thing she remembered was taking a bite out of the apple that the peddler woman said was magic. Suddenly it all made sense to her! Her world began to spin as she slowly put the pieces together. She grabbed a hold of the Prince’s arm to steady herself. She looked up at him and smiled. "So my Prince, how does this fairytale end?"

The Prince smiled down at her. "We will live happily ever after…after… after…"


"…after she finished fixing the gate she said she was gonna read her book. That was the last time I saw her, so she must have been in here ever since then."

"Well, it looks like she fell asleep instead. Speakin’ of which, I never did take that nap I wanted to."

"Y’know Codee, achooooo, I dunno what you like more… sleebin’ or eadin’. Ah-ah-achoooo!"

Lou heard the voices around her and she expected to open her eyes and find the dwarfs standing around her, arguing like usual. But when she opened her eyes she found that she was still curled up in the corner of the barn, a lantern hung overhead, and the seven riders, plus Rachel and Teaspoon all surrounding her with worried expressions on their faces. Lou slowly pulled herself into a sitting position and looked at each and every one of them carefully.

"You’re all tall again…"

The riders all looked at one another, then back at Lou. "Lou, you sure you didn’t hit your head on something?" Jimmy asked, concerned that she might have hurt herself.

Rachel leaned down and stroked Lou’s hair. "Honey, why don’t we get you something to eat? I baked a fresh apple pie, and I’m sure it’s still warm.

Lou recoiled from Rachel’s touch and backed up. "No! You’re the witch! I knew I knew that voice! You tried to kill me!"

Kid glanced at Teaspoon. "You want me to fetch the Doc?"

Teaspoon let a breath he was holding and looked at Lou. He cocked his head to the side and saw something out of the corner of his eye. He leaned forward and picked it up, examining it closely. It was a book. He flipped through the pages and made several clucking noises with his tongue. "Mhmm…uh huh…mhmmmm…I see…"

"What is it Teaspoon?" Buck asked cautiously.

Teaspoon turned towards the riders and held up the book. "This here, is called a fairytale boys." The riders all raised their eyebrows and waited for Teaspoon to finish. "It’s been known to cause weird side effects in the reader, such as believing that the story is really true."

Lou shook her head. "I know it sounds crazy, but I could have sworn that really happened. You were all there."

Kid reached down and helped Lou to her feet. Her legs were still partially asleep so she grabbed a hold of Kid’s arm to steady herself, then realized the déjà vu of the situation. She looked at Rachel and smiled. "I’m sorry Rachel."

Rachel smiled back. "It’s okay."

"Can I still have some of that pie?" Lou asked.

Rachel laughed. "Of course you can."

Everyone started to walk out of the barn when Kid stopped Lou. "So, tell me Lou, how did that story end?"

Lou smiled up at Kid. "Happily ever after…"

The End
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Copyright 2000 - All rights reserved. This story may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author.
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