Queen Of The Snow

Once upon a time, there lived an evil dwarf who had made a magic mirror. Anyone who looked into the magic mirror at once became naughty, bad-tempered, selfish and cruel. For a long time, the dwarf had great fun with the mirror, then one day, it broke and shattered into millions of tiny pieces; two of these little pieces, not as big as the smallest splinter, sailed into a garden where two children named Mark and Wendy were playing.

One of the magic mirror’s tiny pieces went into the corner of the little boy’s eye, and the other went into his heart. They did not hurt him, but from that moment, he became the naughtiest and most bad-tempered boy in the city.

He quarrelled and fought with all his friends and soon would not play with any of them. One day, when it was Winter, Mark was alone with his small sledge in the snow. When a great sledge, pulled by four reindeer, came swishing by, Mark had the naughty idea of fixing his small sledge onto the back of it.

At first, he enjoyed it, but Mark became very frightened when the vast sledge began to go faster and faster through the town and the countryside.

“Stop-please stop,” he shouted.

At last, the big sledge stopped, and the Queen of the Snow stepped out. She picked up little Mark and put him beside her in the sledge. She kissed him, and from that moment, Mark forgot all that happened, and he fell asleep while the Queen of the Snow drove to her land far away.

Days passed by, and Wendy waited in vain for Mark to return. At last, she decided that she must go and search for him and set off along a river in a small boat.

A solid current carried her for many miles into that place Wendy had never seen until it bumped to a stop against the bank of a garden.

In the garden was an old house, and an old lady lived alone. She hurried out and took Wendy in her arms, taking her indoors, where she combed the little girl’s hair with a magic comb.

At once, Wendy forgot everything. Under the spell of the magic comb, she was content to live with the old lady, playing happily in the garden.

Nobody knows how long this would have gone on, but one day, Wendy came dancing into the house and knocked down a hanging mirror. It fell to the floor and shattered to pieces, breaking the spell of the magic comb. Wendy remembered then why she had set out on her journey and, determined to find Mark at all costs, escaped and ran into the forest.

She ran and walked for hours and hours and was beginning to feel very tired when she came upon a cottage where a young country girl lived.

The girl listened to Wendy’s story and pointed to pigeons perched on the roof. “They fly everywhere and know everything,” she said. “I will ask them about your friend Mark.”

She spoke to the pigeons, and they strutted along the roof- tiles, with their heads nodding up and down.

“Yes, we know where he is,” they replied. “The Queen of the Snow has taken him away to her castle in the far north of Finland.”

“I shall never be able to get there. It is too far,” sighed Wendy, but the other girl smiled and went to a giant reindeer tied to a tree.

“I am going to set you free,” she told the reindeer, “but in return, you must take my little friend to the castle of the Queen of the Snow, which is in the land you came from.”

She helped Wendy onto the back of the reindeer, which joyfully shook its great antlers at the thought of returning its freedom and went off at a gallop towards Finland, where it was born.

Together Wendy and the rein- ‘deer crossed fields, went through woods, jumped rivers and splashed through marshes, finally reaching Finland, where they found the castle of the Snow Queen.

Its job is done; the reindeer leaves Wendy in the castle’s garden and gallops away into the woods.

Alone, the little girl walked a few steps nearer to the entrance, but as she did so, snow began to fall in such large flakes that she could not see and could hardly breathe as they hit her face. But she kept her head down, eyes closed, and struggled bravely through it all.

“Whatever happens, I must not turn back now,” she panted. At last, Wendy entered the castle and saw Mark sitting alone on a cushion on a glistening glass throne. He looked up but did not know her, for he had been made to forget.

Wendy, however, rushed to him and embraced him. Tears were streaming down her face. And some of these tears reached Mark’s heart, where they washed away the tiny piece of the magic mirror.

At the same time, Mark also began to cry, and his tears washed out the other splinter of mirror from the corner of his eye, resulting in him becoming his good self again and greeting his friend Wendy with a glad cry.

Quickly, Mark and Wendy ran from the cold castle and found the reindeer, ready to take them back home.

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