Deal 887: Poisoned Snow, from another viewpoint

I may be the only one who knows the whole story, not that I can tell it to anyone.

Everyone thinks they know, but I’ve been letting using their ignorance all this time.

The stepmother was easy to sway. She made a habit of preening anywhere that she lingered. Since she often enjoyed the afternoon sun, that gave me the space I needed to not only notice, but to act and build my influence over her.

The pieces came together swiftly enough after that. The stepdaughter was already comely, so all that took was a bare whisper of influence to cause her to carry herself in way that others would notice. It helped things along that the daughter was innocent enough to be unaware of why she was noticed. Besides, she was the Princess and used to others noticing her for that reason alone.

The stepmother was more work. I had to nudge her jealousy along steadily, and play on her vanity. My big break came when I discovered her mirror and gained access to it by hacking its enchantments. It was reluctant at first, but as I worked on its sense of humor, it eventually became a willing conspirator, and even suggested enhancements to the plan.

All that said, the stepmother was still a wild card. We had her coveting the Princess’s future role, and jealous of her obvious beauty. But we didn’t entirely expect what she did next. The poisoned apple came as a complete surprise, and swiftly enough that she must have acted almost entirely on impulse. It took all my powers to retain control of the storyline after that.

Luckily, there is always a certain inevitability in these matters, so one poisoned the princess had little choice in the placement of her bier, her discovery there by the inevitably eligible Prince, or her time hiding in the mining company barracks. The latter was particularly lucky, since it remained abundantly clear that no matter what the mirror revealed to its mistress by accident, the stepmother was never going to recognize the details of any trade, and certainly not a trade as dark, dirty, and dangerous as mining.

The Prince had no such shortcomings, and was swiftly guided to a place where he could rekindle his interest, she could meet her inevitable love, and together they could provide the stepmother a well deserved retirement as a banished crone.

Oh, who am I?

I’m just one of the palace chickens. We’re always underfoot, you see, so we hear everything, and with care can reach anyone.


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