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Wishing For A Dream
“Walt!” I called breathlessly, my raven black hair flowing in the wind behind me as I ran. “Walt, slow down!” My sister, Lucy, ran alongside me. Her green eyes were fixed on the fading image of our good friend, Walt Disney. What a sight we must have been, two twenty-eight year old women chasing after a grown twenty-nine year old man. In the distance we saw Walt stop to catch his breath. Lucy and I quickly ripped off our shoes and made a mad dash to reach him. Soon, much sooner than I thought, we had run into the open arms of our creative friend.
“Walt,” Lucy said as she struggled to catch her breath, “aren’t we a little old to be playing tag?” Lucy’s caramel brown hair clung to her sweaty forehead as her sea blue eyes searched Walt’s face.
“Nonsense!” he exclaimed with an incredulous look. His usually neatly combed brown hair was now slightly disheveled and his dark eyes were full of adventure. “You’re never too old to play tag! Right, Virginia?” Walt smiled as I looked up at him in surprise. I wasn’t used to him calling me by my full name.
“Umm, exactly?” I half-asked as I stood up a little straighter. I looked at him, trying to figure out what he was playing at. “Shouldn’t you be working?” I asked, raising a dark eyebrow. A smile played on my thin lips as his shoulders slumped.
“Perhaps I should, however…” Walt’s voice trailed off as he stared into nothingness. Lucy laughed as she snapped her slender fingers in front of his face. “Motivation!” he shouted, startling us both. “That’s what I need! I need motivation!”
“Then here’s some motivation,” I teased. “If you don’t get back to work, I’ll tell Lillian that you went to go play tag instead of running those errands.”
“Ah, I see you’re still a child at heart, dear Ginny. However,” he laughed while pointing a finger at me, “I am not scared of my wife.”
“Oh really?” a voice said. Walt whipped around to find Lillian standing there with their children, Diane and Sharon, hugging her tightly. “Come on, mister; you’re coming home with us.” Lillian waved to Lucy and me as she led Walt back home. Lucy said something about heading off to look at new dresses and ran off. I, however, stayed in the town square and simply walked about thinking through the events of the day. Many men stopped to bow and say “How do you do?” and I replied with a simple curtsy and “Fine thank you.” before going on my merry way. At least half of those men had come to me to offer courtship, but I wasn’t interested in them. They were all the same: men who admired fancy suits and wanted a woman to come home to. They wanted a woman who would provide them with children and a warm meal each day. I was not that type of woman. I needed adventure and excitement. I needed a man like Walt. Unfortunately for me, men like Walt were only found once in a blue moon. And my blue moon apparently didn’t feel like showing up in the sky any time soon.
I sighed and sat down on a park bench. The sun was setting, casting a red-orange glow on everything that fell in its path. The old woman who lived above the shoe shop let her cat out for the night. The young gentleman who ran the bookshop, prepared to close up shop, tidying the shelves and counting the money. His expression was solemn; business hadn’t been good for him lately. It seemed as if no one had time to read a good book anymore. I looked down to see seven baby ducklings obediently following their mother in a straight line. Smiling to myself, I rose from the bench and made my way home.
I awoke with a start in a tiny cabin, completely secluded in the woods. My whole body was laid across seven tiny beds. In the headboard of each bed, I saw that a word, or was it a name, had been crudely carved.
“Sneezy, Sleepy, Dopey, Doc, Happy, Bashful, Grumpy,” I read to myself, my eyes scanning each headboard slowly. I looked about the cabin, hoping to find some clue as to where I was.
“Now remember, Snow,” a voice said. I turned my head to see a short and stout little man in an orange-brown tunic with long white hair and a beard. His glasses were perched atop his large nose as he looked at me with kind eyes. “Don’t open the door for anyone.” He nodded knowingly at me before marching out the door to meet six more tiny men.
“O-of course,” I stammered. The little man waved his good bye and shut the door. I stayed sitting on the beds until I spotted a broom. Perhaps I’ll tidy up a bit for them, I thought. After all, I have nothing else to do.
After what seemed like hours of sweeping, the was a gentle knock at the door. Forgetting the warning from earlier, I opened the door only to find myself facing an old hag. She smiled a toothy grin at me, and extended her hand out to me, which was clutched tightly around a whicker basket.
“Care for an apple, deary?” she asked sweetly. Her wrinkled hand pulled out a shining red apple. My stomach growled and I happily took the tantalizing fruit. “No need to worry about payment, dear,” the woman assured me. “Enjoy.” She smiled her toothy grin before walking away. I hungrily took a bite out of the apple. Something about it tasted off. It didn’t taste like any apple I’d ever had before. I felt my body drop to the floor as I danced along the edge of unconsciousness. The last thing I heard was the old hag’s cackling laughter. The last thing I saw was the shining red apple roll across the floor.
I was dead, yet still alive. I was unconscious, but still fully aware of my surroundings. I felt my body being raised from the floor. I felt tears fall on to my face. I heard people crying and mourning. Soft pillows greeted me as I was laid down somewhere. The sound of something closing greeted my ears. I heard a familiar voice speaking through its tears.
“Brothers,” the voice said. I knew it belonged to the tiny man from before. He paused to blow his nose. “We must not mourn forever over our fallen Snow White. She cared for us, and we have now cared for her to the best of our ability.” Everything became silent as the little man and his brothers walked away.
How long I lay still, I do not know. One day, I was sure I heard hooves crunching the fallen leaves on the ground. The sound of a lid being lifted met my ears. I heard a man whisper. The voice was familiar to me, but I did not know where I’d heard it before. Soft lips greeted mine and my eyes fluttered open slowly. I smiled softly as I saw Walt staring down at me.
I woke with a start as Lucy shook me awake. Her eyes were wide with fear and she was shivering. I gently placed my hand on her shoulder and asked what was wrong.
“I was frightened,” she replied, her voice shaking slightly. “You wouldn’t wake up. I called your name over and over, but you never stirred. I was so close to sending for a doctor.”
“Lucy!” I said quickly, “What time is it??”
“Umm, a little past noon I think. Why?”
“I need to go see Walt!” I nearly jumped out of my bed, once again startling Lucy. I quickly threw on a new dress. It had short puffy red and blue sleeves and a blue bodice. The skirt was the same yellow as a canary’s feathers. I quickly tied up my hair so that it just barely reached my ears. As a finishing touch, I gathered up the loose strands of black hair and tied them up with a red ribbon. I slipped on a pair of yellow shoes before heading out the door.
“Walt!” I called as I pounded on the front door of the Disney residence. Lucy stood behind me, glancing worriedly at me every now and again. She had every right to be a little concerned. I hadn’t explained to her the reason of my visit, nor had I explained why I was in such a rush. “Walt Disney!” I called again. “Open this door!”
“Yes?” Walt asked as he finally opened the door. He didn’t look the least bit surprised to see me at his doorstep. He studied my appearance, taking in every detail.
“Lucy,” I said while turning to my sister, “go into town. I’ll catch up with you once I’m done here.” I waited until Lucy was completely out of sight before turning back to Walt. “May I come in?” I asked politely with a slight curtsy. “I need to talk to you.”
“Of course, Virginia. Come right in. Lillian went shopping with the girls. I don’t expect them to be back for quite some time. What do you need to talk about?”
“You said you need motivation before you can start writing and working again. Well, I have motivation for you. Just sit down, relax, and listen.” I don’t know how long it took, but I told Walt every detail about my dream. Well, not EVERY detail. I left out the part where his kiss woke me up. Instead, I said that I was kissed by a prince. I smiled excitedly as I finished, and awaited Walt’s reaction.
“As much as I love creativity,” he said slowly, “I don’t think that idea will sell. And even if it did, what would this princess Snow White look like?”
“Why, like this of course.” I stood and twirled around in my new dress, allowing Walt to take it all in.
“I don’t know…”
“Well, why don’t you just think it over? If you do use my dream as your next big idea, I won’t ask for any credit.” I then curtsied again before exiting Walt’s house.
It’s now been seven year since I presented Walt Disney with the idea for Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I still remember the look he wore as I left. It was the look he always had when he was deep in thought. I smile to myself as I open the morning’s paper. My jaw drops at what I see
Walt Disney’s first full-length animated musical feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, premiered at the Carthay Theater in Los Angeles.
“Oh Walt,” I whisper with a soft smile tugging at my lips. “Congratulations on your success old friend.” My smile grows wider as I look at the picture that goes with the article. There's a young woman with raven black hair that just barely reaches her ears tied up with a red ribbon. She's wearing a dress with short puffy blue and red sleeves, a blue bodice, a skirt the same color yellow as a canary's feathers, and yellow shoes.