Rosemary and the three dwarves

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic
A young girl named Rosemary is abused by her stepmother and stepsister, but they get their comeuppance and are forgiven by Rosemary

Submitted: April 04, 2017

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Submitted: April 04, 2017

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ROSEMARY AND THE THREE DWARVES

A man once had a beautiful girl called Rosemary. She was strikingly beautiful both inside and out and had taken care of her father since her mother died when she had been about four. She swept and polished for him, and at mealtimes baked and brewed for him, but for her father it wasn’t the same as having a wife, and he also knew that Rosemary wished she had a mother, but he couldn’t quite make up his mind whether he would indeed marry again, so one day he came to his daughter with an old boot with a hole in it and said to her “Take this boot into the barn, pour water into it, and tell me what happens. If the water stays in the boot, I will marry again, but if it runs out, I will stay a widower for the rest of my life. The girl did so, feeling pretty sure that her father would be a widow for the rest of his life, but as she filled the boot, the water made the leather swell and much to Rosemary’s surprise, the boot was soon full of water. She went to tell her father and he said “Well, that settles it. I must go and find some lady who will marry me. He soon found a woman who already had a daughter. They soon came to love each other and were soon married, which turned out to be the biggest mistake Rosemary’s father could have made. Whenever her father was out chopping wood, his new wife and her daughter treated Rosemary very badly and made her do all sorts of work that she should not have had to do, but Rosemary never complained and did her best to please them, and that made them hate her all the more. That winter, Rosemary’s stepmother made a dress out of paper and told her stepdaughter to put it on. She did so and her stepmother shoved a bucket into her hands and said “Now go out into the woods and get me some raspberries, because I have a great craving for them. “But I’ll never find any raspberries here.” protested Rosemary “Don’t argue with me!” snapped her stepmother “And don’t let me see you back here again until the bucket is full of raspberries!” She then shoved a piece of hard, dry bread into her hands and said “That’s your food for the journey. Now be off with you.” Rosemary went on her journey. The cold wind cut through her paper dress like a knife and she shivered with cold. She knew she would never be able to go home because she would never find any raspberries. She soon came to a house and she was so bitterly cold that she knocked on the door and a voice soon said “Come in” and she did so. She noticed three strange looking men sitting at a table. She was hungry and she pulled the piece of stale bread out of her pocket and the men said “Mmm, food. May we have some?” “Certainly” said Rosemary, even though she knew that would leave almost no food for her “It’s only stale, hard bread, you know.” breaking it into four pieces and giving it to them. One of them then asked “What are you doing out here in the depths of winter in that paper dress?” and she said “I must find some raspberries or I cannot go home.”, and one of them said “We are very old, tired and stiff. Will you please sweep the snow away from our back door?” “Oh, yes” said Rosemary and did so. When she had swept away the snow, she saw the darkest, juiciest looking raspberries. Joyfully she gathered them up and ate a few herself. She  then came into the house and gave the men a handful of raspberries each and thanked them for them  As she was on her way home, the men said “We must reward that kind girl for sharing her only crust of bread with us, but how?” and one of them said “Every day she shall grow prettier” “Every time she opens her mouth to speak, rubies and diamonds shall fall from her mouth.”, said another and finally the one who thought they should reward her said “A prince shall some day marry her.” Rosemary came home and said “Here are your raspberries” and a shower of rubies and diamonds fell out of her mouth. Her stepsister came in and saw what had happened “Just look at that!” she exclaimed “Rubies and diamonds fall out of her mouth whenever she speaks! Pray, how did that come to be?” and Rosemary told her family what had happened. Her stepsister then said “I want to go and see those men! I want rubies and diamonds to fall from my mouth whenever I speak, too!” Her mother wouldn’t let her go; it was too cold, but her daughter kept being on her back about it, and she finally relented. She dressed her daughter in a luxuriant fur coat, and packed a chocolate cake and a thermos full of hot chocolate. She soon found the house and came in without knocking. She sat down in a chair and cut herself a huge slice of the cake “Mmm, food” the little men once again said “May we have some?” “Humph” said the girl “Certainly not. I’ve got barely enough for myself!” The little men sighed. Finally after she’d eaten her rich, decadent chocolate cake, one of the men said “Will you please sweep the snow away from our back door?”, but as he expected, the girl said “Certainly not! I’m nobody’s servant! I came here to have rubies and diamonds fall out of my mouth every time I speak. No actually, I want sapphires instead of rubies and opals instead of diamonds.” The men said they wouldn’t do it until she’d swept away the snow, so she jumped up and walked away without saying goodbye “Humph!” said one of the men “Sapphires and opals indeed! She doesn’t deserve them! What shall we give her?” and one of them said “Every day she shall grow uglier.” The second one said “Every time she opens her mouth to speak, a dirty great big toad shall fall out of it.”, and the one who had said she didn’t deserve the kind of reward they had given Rosemary said “She shall live a miserable life” When she got home to complain to her mother about the little men, a huge toad jumped out of her mouth, so from that day on, she hardly ever dared speak again. The very next winter, Rosemary’s stepmother made her wear a paper dress again, gave her some twine and said “Don’t you dare show your face here again until you’ve caught as many fish as there are days in a year.” Rosemary went to the river and smashed a hole in the ice. Just as she did so, a handsome prince came by on his golden chariot. He chuckled and said “What are you doing out here in the depths of winter in that flimsy paper dress?”  “Trying to catch some fish.” replied Rosemary “And how many do you expect to catch?” laughed the prince “Three hundred and sixty-five. I cannot go home until I do.” The prince thought that the girl was the most beautiful girl he had ever laid his eyes on, even more beautiful than the princess he’d had his heart set on a few years ago, but the princess had ended up marrying his brother instead of him. “My name’s Prince Edward. What’s your name?” “Rosemary” she replied “Well, Rosemary” said the prince “Will you come to my castle with me?” “I will very gladly” she replied, because while she would miss her father, she never wanted to see her stepmother or stepsister again. They were soon married and the prince made a beautiful jewel painting out of the rubies and diamonds that fell out of his wife’s mouth every time she spoke. It consisted of a background of diamonds, a heart in the middle made of rubies and the words “Prince Edward and Princess Rosemary” in diamonds in the middle of the heart. It was a truly breathtaking sight. As for Rosemary’s stepmother and stepsister, her father soon got sick of shooing toads out of the house and ended up turning them out. They were soon to be the most miserable beings in the world. Rosemary’s stepsister had offended a witch by refusing to marry her son, and her mother had refused to make her because for one thing, he was a witch’s son and for another he was the ugliest freak they had ever laid their eyes on and they were both turned into donkeys, and most unfortunately for them, they soon found themselves at an auction and were sold to a cruel man who made them cart heavy loads for him. They resigned themselves to their fate until a twist of fate in their favour led them on a route past the castle Rosemary was living in. Rosemary saw them and reckoned the load was way too heavy for them. Finally the man parked the cart out in the hot sun. Rosemary was incensed at that and went down with a bowlful of water for them. They lapped it up thirstily and then one of them said “Thankyou” and Rosemary was astonished that at least one of them could talk. The donkey then nudged the other and said “You should thank the young lady, too.”, and Rosemary suddenly recognized the donkey’s voice. The donkey who had thanked her was her stepsister and she reckoned the other donkey must be her stepmother, and as soon as the other donkey thanked her, the voice gave the game away.  She was not going to allow them to be abused any longer, no matter how badly they had treated her and she begged the man to sell them to her. As she was speaking, rubies and diamonds were raining from her mouth and the man said “Fill my hat with yer rubies and diamonds and I’ll consider it a deal.” The man’s hat was soon full of rubies and diamonds and she led the two donkeys back to the castle and they said “Well, thankyou for saving us from a life full of cruelty and hardship. I know we don’t deserve it, but would you please let us stay here for the rest of our lives, so that even if we remain donkeys forever, we’ll never be mistreated again?” and Rosemary instantly said “Oh, yes”. That evening, she gave them each an apple which she had cut in half and sprinkled with sugar and stroked them. As she was stroking them, she noticed that their backs had been very badly wounded. It looked like they’d been whipped. She said kindly “You poor donkeys; you’ve been whipped. I must get your backs treated otherwise they’ll fester.” One of the donkeys burst into bitter tears and sobbed “Well, call a vet if you must, but I want you to stay here with us and stroke us while we’re being treated. And I want the vet to treat only one of us at a time, so you can devote your full attention to both of us.” Rosemary agreed. She called the nearest vet and she was appalled when she saw the donkeys’ backs. She boiled up some water and added some pinky-purple crystals to it. When it had cooled down, she called one of the donkeys over and dabbed her back with it. When she had finally finished with the donkey, she called the other over. Not long after that, the same little men came to visit Rosemary and they said she could have three more wishes granted and she took the men out to the stable where the donkeys were and said “My first wish is for you to turn these donkeys back into their human form.” The dwarves did so and were quite taken aback when they recognized Rosemary’s stepsister, but Rosemary said “My second wish is for you to make my stepmother and stepsister as beautiful as I am, both in looks and in behaviour”, and they both became as beautiful as Rosemary, both inside and out. She then said “And my third wish is that some day a handsome prince will marry my stepsister.” Rosemary’s stepmother and stepsister felt very guilty. They had abused Rosemary ever since they had set foot in the house, and she had thrown away all of her wishes for their sake. “I want three wishes too”, said Rosemary’s stepsister “but not for my sake. I want Rosemary to have two children, a boy and a girl and I want the girl to be as beautiful as she is and the boy to be as handsome as the prince she’s married. I also want her father to come and live in the castle. And finally I want there to be no more unhappiness or cruelty in this world.” The dwarves rejoiced and eventually everything Rosemary’s stepsister had wished for came to be.

THE END

(By Shelley Goodman. Written on the 13th of April 2011)


© Copyright 2017 Bill Shakepear. All rights reserved.

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