Once upon a time, a poor widow lived in a lonely cottage.
In her garden were two trees, one of which bore white roses and the other red.
Her two daughters were like the two trees:
one was called Snow White, and the other Rose Red.
Snow White was quiet and gentle, always helping the mother with the housework,
but Rose Red preferred to run around, picking flowers and chasing butterflies.
One evening, there was a knock at the door.
Rose Red went to open it, and was surprised to find a bear standing there.
The widow invited him inside and he sat comfortably by the fire,
while the two girls played with him.
For the rest of the winter, the bear returned at the same time every evening.
When the first morning of spring came, he told Snow White that it was time for him to
leave so he could guard his treasures against the wicked dwarves.
With sorrow, Snow White said farewell and watched him bound away.
Sometime later, the girls were searching for firewood
when they found a dwarf with his beard caught in the nook of a tree.
They tried to help him, but could not pull the dwarf free,
So Snow White took a pair of scissors from her pocket,
and cut off the end of his beard.
Bolting forward, the dwarf looked down at his beard in disbelief.
He screamed at the girls for what they’d done,
grabbed a bag full of gold from the floor
and ran away, cursing them.
The next day, the sisters went fishing.
At the river, they saw the same little man,
this time with his beard twisted up in a fishing-line.
They tried very hard to free his beard, but it was impossible.
There was nothing left to do but use the scissors
and snip off another small part of his beard.
Grumbling loudly, the dwarf picked up a big sack of pearls,
and blustered away from the girls.
On their way back to the village, the two sisters glimpsed a huge eagle
clawing and pecking at the dwarf, and fiercely trying to carry him away.
Without hesitation, they grabbed the little man by his jacket,
and wrestled him away from the bird.
When the dwarf had caught his breath,
he cursed the girls at the top of his voice
for putting holes in his overcoat.
Picking up a sack full of precious stones,
he pushed past them once more and disappeared.
When almost home, the girls saw the dwarf again,
this time emptying out his bags of treasures.
Suddenly, their bear friend came striding out of the forest.
The dwarf sprang up in fright, but could not get away.
With dread in his heart, he cried out
and begged the bear for mercy.
The girls were frightened,
but the bear told them to wait and not to be afraid.
He approached the girls and his bearskin fell to the floor,
revealing a handsome man inside,
clothed from head to toe in gold finery.
The man explained that he was the King’s son,
and had been bewitched by the dwarf, who had stolen his treasures.
Falling in love, Snow White married the Prince,
and Rose Red was wed to his brother.
They divided the great treasures between them,
their mother living with them in their castle.
She took the two rose trees with her,
and planted them outside her window,
where every year they bore the most beautiful roses,
white and red.