Oh, to be a prince! Or a knight! Or a boy without fear! But what if luck casts you as a bit player in the larger drama? Where are your accolades? Your adoring public?
Franz Hessel's The Seventh Dwarf tells the story of Snow White but from a rather different perspective. A smaller one if you will -- horrible pun intended. The narrator is the seventh dwarf (one who remains unnamed -- this isn't Disney, after all) and he takes credit for saving Snow White's life time after time.
Why, it was he who pulled the poisoned comb from her hair. It was he who loosened her corset. And when she ate the bewitched apple, it was he who startled the coffin bearers into dropping the glass coffin and dislodging the apple from Snow White's throat.
It is a fairy tale because it still deals with the main themes of Snow White. We have magic and witches and spells. Did I mention we have dwarfs? But it also is a fairy tale because of the story-telling narrator. The reader is being directly addressed. You are sitting by the fireside listening to this dwarf tell his tale.
He ends the story by saying, "She probably think about the seven dwarfs every now and then, especially when the children sing about the seven dwarfs, who live beyond the mountains. But I'm sure that she las long since forgotten me, the last one, the seventh." Notice that the dwarfs described as being "beyond the mountains." They are not in the normal realm of reality. The "She" here is Snow White but it could also refer to history -- the dwarf's story long forgotten for some falsehoods about a prince riding to the rescue. What a shame!