"I'm not going," I said. I had waited a long time for Mr. Walt Disney's movie. My mom, who is probably the smartest woman in the world, understood. "All right, Tomie, sit right here and don't move. I'll be in the lobby with your brother." That was fine with me.
Lots of mothers left with their kids. I thought that was a good thing to do if the kids were afraid of the trees. They probably would wet their pants when the Evil Queen made the poisoned apple for Snow White and drank the magic potion to turn herself into the Evil Witch (even I was a little scared when that happened).
Then things about the story started to bother me. Why was the Evil Queen making the poisoned apple now? The true story was different. In that story, before the Evil Queen gave Snow White the apple, she went to the dwarfs' cottage and pulled the laces of Snow White's vest so tight that Snow White couldn't breathe and she fainted. The dwarfs came home just in time to loosen the laces and save her.
Next, the Queen went a second time to visit Snow White with a poison comb, which she stuck in Snow White's hair. Snow White fainted once more, but the dwarfs got back in time to take the comb out and save her again.
The third time was the poisoned apple.
Maybe Mr. Walt Disney hadn't read the true story, because he used only the apple. I stood up and shouted at the movie screen, "Where are the laces? Where is the comb?"
A lady behind me said, "Hush, little boy! Sit down." I did, and the movie was like the book again until the dwarfs put Snow White into the crystal coffin.
But I knew that Mr. Walt Disney hadn't read the true story carefully enough because he got it all mixed up with "Sleeping Beauty" and had the Prince kiss Snow White, and she woke up. In the true story the Prince carries the coffin to his palace, and on the way the piece of poisoned apple falls out of Snow White's mouth and she wakes up. But this time I didn't yell at the movie screen, in case the lady behind me got mad at me again.
But when "The End" appeared on the screen, boy, was I mad! I couldn't help it. I stood up and hollered, "The story's not over yet. Where's the wedding? Where's the red-hot iron shoes that they put on the Evil Queen so she dances herself to death?"
That was the true end of the true story. Just then my mom came running in, grabbed me, and dragged me out.
"Mr. Walt Disney didn't read the story right," I yelled again.
I never did understand it, and when I went to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs again, with Carol Crane, I warned her that Mr. Walt Disney hadn't read the true story. I didn't yell at the movie screen. But I still wished I could have seen the Evil Queen dancing to death in those red-hot iron shoes!
Copyright ©1999 by Tomie dePaola. Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, a division of Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers.All rights reserved.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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