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Snow White was exhausted. It had been a stressful first few weeks at The Prince’s palace. She stole a quick glance in the mirror. She wasn’t one to use one very much these days, but she wanted to see if these bags under her eyes looked as bad as they felt.

She was thankful for the help she had gotten from the animals. The birds had been very gracious in flying over some clothes she had over at the dwarves’ old home. The deer had dutifully carried some towels and linens on their back. The dwarves, however, had not been as helpful to Snow White. She understood that Sleepy just didn’t have the energy for this kind of thing, but the rest had no excuse.

Just then, Doc walked into her room asking for a few minutes of her time.

“Umm, Snow White, the other Dwarves are worried about their new living quarters.”

Snow White blinked. She wasn’t sure how to respond.

“What’s wrong with the rooms? Is that side of the castle too drafty?”

“No, it’s not that, Snow White. Sneezy is complaining that it’s dusty and his allergies are acting up. Bashful has hinted that his room doesn’t have a very nice view. Dopey keeps getting lost and going into Grumpy’s room, which you can imagine how that turns out.”

Snow White threw her arms up in the air. “What am I supposed to do about that, Doc? Do you know how much I have to take care of around here right now?”

“If only you could come by and talk to the group. Give them a pep talk. I think that might cheer them up a bit.”

“No, Doc. I don’t have time for that right now. Prince Charming is throwing a ball in my honor tomorrow night, and I still have to make sure the floors get mopped. Where are those birds anyways? And the food list needs to be finalized, and the fancy curtains need to be put up. And—”

“I know, I know. And I really am sorry, but maybe you can at least talk to Grumpy. He likes you.”

Snow White let out a sigh and slumped on her bed. 

“Why does it all have to be like this?”

It was Doc’s turn to not know how to respond. A silence hung in the air. Snow White buried her face in her hands.

“Snow White?” Doc waited a moment for her to respond. “Are you okay?”

“No, Doc. I’m not okay. This isn’t how it’s all supposed to go. I know this is what all the girls in the land want—to be rescued by a prince and taken to live in an elegant castle where they will be taken care of for the rest of their lives. To live happily ever after. But there is no happily ever after, Doc. There is always something that has to be done. Some obstacle to overcome. It’s all exhausting. I didn’t ask to be rescued. I didn’t ask to manage a castle, but apparently I have to since my prince is off hunting or riding or doing God knows what all day long. So, no Doc, I’m not okay at all, and I could use a little help from you guys rather than more stress!”

Snow White threw herself down on the bed, resigned to her fate. 

But it wouldn’t always be this bad. She would end up putting together an amazing ball in her new castle. And the dwarfs did end up helping! Doc rallied the troops to clean, mop, dust, cook, and do whatever was needed. All her new friends and neighbors were so very impressed, and talked about the party for weeks.

There will be many days like this to come for Snow White. She will do her best, as we all do in our day to day. She will come to realize there is no “happily ever after,” but rather a constant search for content, and that’s okay.

Ben Chavez

Ben is a bit of a nomad with a mild case of ADHD. He hopes to squeeze in some writing between hiking, work, and video games.

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