Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs/Scene 3

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Scene 3: The House of the Seven Dwarfs
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In the House of the Seven Dwarfs

The Dwarfs' House is very tiny. It is built of rough stones and logs, and niched into a hillside int the depths of the great wood. It has but one room, two windows, and a half door. Along one side of the room are ranged seven little beds of different sizes; on the other is a stone fireplace for cooking, and a rustic pump with a barrel under its spout to catch the water. In the middle of the stone floor stands a low table with seven places laid for supper. A single candle on the table lights the room. Through the window we see the forest, dim in the moonlight.

Presently the little Brown Bird flies past, and perches on a branch just outside, still calling Snow White to follow him. They have come a long way and she is very tired and hungry. But, as she sees the little house, and realises at last where the Brown Bird was leading her, she runs up and peeps in through the window.

Snow White. Oh, was it toward this light you were leading me, brown bird? Why, it's a little house! Are you flying away now? Please let me thank you first:— see, I blow you a kiss! He's gone. Perhaps birds don't like kisses; their faces are so sharp. [Calling after him.] Good-bye, little friend! [She looks cautiously through the window into the house.] What a queer little room! Seven beds and all so small. There must be lots of children in the family. Nobody with so many children could be so wicked. [She calls.] May I come in? [As there is no answer she knocks at the door and then opens it a crack.] Please good people, may I come in to rest—just for a moment? I'm lost in the forest. [Still no answer. She creeps into the room and looks about.] Nobody at home. But they couldn't mind if I sat down, just a minute. Oh, there is the children's

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"I wish I might live in your nest, little bird"

supper, all laid out. I'm so hungry! If I took just a bit—only a tiny bit— from each place, I'm sure they couldn't be angry. [She goes to the table, and as she nibbles a morsel at each place she sings to herself.]

eating song
A sip of water from this cup,
Of porridge just one tiny sup.
I'll take this little knife to spread,
A corner of the next one's bread;
And borrow this wee fork to break
A morsel from this barley cake.
I'll take one cherry from these four,—
But not a single mouthful more,
No, not a single mouthful more!

Snow White. Nobody could begrudge me that. But I'd like to do something to pay for my supper. [She looks about.] There's plenty to be done. It isn't at all a tidy house. [She yawns, and then shaking herself.] Wake up, Snow White! You musn't get sleepy yet; not till the people come home. [But she cannot quite stifle another yawn.] There's a broom. Suppose I sweep a little. [She begins to sweep, but the broom raises such a cloud of dust, that, coughing, she has to stop at once.] Dear me, that only makes things worse. This floor needs a good scrubbing. I might make up the beds. [She goes to the biggest bed; but she is so tired that she sits down on it a moment before beginning.] This one looks as if it hadn't been made for years and years and years. I wonder if it's as humpy to lie on as it is to sit on. [She lies down to try it.] Oh, it's more . . . It's humpy and bumpy . . . and bumpy and humpy . . . and . . . [Her voice trails away into silence. She has fallen asleep.]

[For a time all is quiet in the little room. Then, from far underground is a sound of distant knocking. It comes nearer till it sounds just under the house. Finally a great stone slab in the floor is pushed up slowly, and from an underground passage that leads from the house into the deep mines, six of the Seven Dwarfs clamber up into sight.
Their names are Blick, Flick, Glick, Snick, Plick, and Whick. They are very small—the tallest hardly above your waist—but they are extremely old, and their beards are long and grey. Each carries a lighted lantern and a pickaxe, and bears a heavy sack over his shoulder. As soon as the last one has climbed into the room they form in line, with Blick, the eldest, at the head.

Blick. Now, brothers, evening roll-call! [He calls his own name.] Blick [And answers.] Here! [Then he calls each of the others by name'] "Flick!" "Glick!" "Snick!" "Plick!"

"Whick!" [Last of all Blick calls.] Quee!
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[There is no answer. He repeats.] Quee! [Still no answer. Blick shakes his head sadly.] Late as usual! He's been stealing again. Whatever shall we do with that boy? [All the Dwarfs sigh and hang their heads with shame at Quee's conduct. But Blick goes on.] Well, brothers, what result of to-day's work? Half a ton of gold nuggets for mine. [He takes a handful of enormous nuggets from his sack. The others also exhibit their treasures as they name them.]

Flick. A hundred weight of silver dust.

Glick. Fifty pounds or diamonds.

Snick. A bushel of rubies.

Plick. A gallon of emeralds. Whick. A peck of opals.

Blick. Fair, fair! But we ought to work longer hours.

Flick. Yes, what's the good of coming home—except to sleep.

Glick. And have supper.

Flick. [With scorn.] Oh, that supper!

Blick. I know, I know! It's wretched. If we cook it at night it's too hot to eat; if we cook it in the morning it's cold and dusty by night; but what else can we do?

Glick. And I'd rather sleep underground than in those beds.

All. So would we!

Blick. I know! They haven't been made for twelve years. But it doesn't pay to take time from digging diamonds to make beds, so what can we do?

All. [Sighing.] Nothing.

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From an underground passage. . . six of the Seven
Dwarfs clamber into sight

Snick. But if we didn't come home to supper we wouldn't have to wash.

Blick. [Shocked.] Oh, brothers! Washing is a duty. Hush! I think I hear Quee. [They all cock their heads sidewise like robins and listen.] Yes, that's Quee. He has been stealing again! We must scold him soundly.

Flick. It never does any good.

Blick. But we must bring him up in the way he should go. He is the youngest of us; he's only ninety-nine next April. Clear away and ready for him.

[They pile their sacks in a corner, and squat on the floor in a semi-circle, with Blick, like a presiding judge, in the centre.
[Quee creeps up stealthily through the underground passage. He is much the smallest, but grey bearded like the rest. As he faces his brothers, one finger creeps into his mouth. Blick greets him sternly.

Blick. Quee, you are late again! [Quee nods.] Been stealing as usual, I suppose? [Quee nods.]

All. [Shaking their fingers at him, reprovingly.] Oh!

Blick. You know it's wrong!

All. Very, very wrong! [Quee nods.]

Blick. Did anybody catch you at it? [Quee shakes his head.] That's good—as far as it goes.

Flick. Did you get me a mouse-trap? [Quee nods]

Glick. And my candles? [Quee nods]

Flick. And a pin? [Quee nods.] I'm glad of that. I've never seen a pin.

Blick. Of course you understand, Quee, that stealing is a sin, and that your conduct makes us very sad? All. Very, very sad!

Blick. Will you promise to reform, and never, never steal again . . .?

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Flick. [Interrupting hastily.] Wait, wait! Give him the list of things to get to-morrow first!

Blick. Dear me, I almost forgot! Quee, tie a string around your finger to remember by. Now, what do you all want?

The Dwarfs. [Speaking in rapid succession; each names one article.]

A chain. A plane. A weather-vane.
A hat. A mat. A pussy-cat.
     A pound of brass.
     A pane of glass.
A crock. A lock. An eight-day clock.

A can. A pan. A palm-leaf fan.
A tack. A sack. An almanac.

     A can of soup.
     A chicken-coop.
A map. A cap. A snappy trap.

A pole. A bowl. A baker's roll.
A rake. A cake. A pound of steak.
     A peck of meal.
     A pickled eel.
A slate. A plate. A ten-pound weight.

Blick. That's all for to-morrow. But remember, young man, if "it's a sin to steal a pin" how much worse it must be to steal a ten-pound weight. You appreciate that? [Quee nods sadly.] Brothers, we shall have to correct him again to-morrow night. He is incorrigible.

All. [Mournfully.] In-cor-rig-ible!

Blick. Now for the evening washing. Get eh basin, Quee.

[Glad that his daily scolding is over, Quee runs cheerfully and fetches a basin of water a big sponge and a towel.

Blick. No flinching now, brothers. Line up! Right faces! [They all, except Quee, stand close together, and thrust their faces over one another's shoulders, with eyes closed. Running down the line, Quee washes all their right cheeks with one long sweep of his sponge.] Reverse! [cries Blick. They all turn and face in the opposite direction; and Quee, running up the line, washes all their other cheeks.] Right faces! [cries Blick. With a single sweep of his towel, Quee now dries all their right cheeks; and when Blick commands "Reverse," he dries the opposite sides in the same neat and speedy way. And the evening washing is finished.]

Blick. There! That's over for another twenty-four hours.

All. Thank goodness!

Blick. Oh come! It's quick and comparatively painless. Only—Quee gets dirtier and dirtier every year.

Flick. But somebody must do it. Glick. He's the youngest.

Whick. It's his duty.

Blick. Nevertheless he's a disgrace to the family. [ Quee bows his head in shame.] I'm glad that you realise it, at least.

Click. And now [with a heavy sigh] supper!

All. [Sadly.] Supper!

Flick. No hurry! It's been getting cold ever since breakfast.

[With lagging steps they march to the table, and are about to eat, when Blick starts back in surprise.

Blick.

    I say!
    Some one's been drinking from my cup!

Snick.

    Some one has eat my porridge up!

Flick.

    And used my brand-new knife to spread
    A monstrous corner of Quee's bread!

Plick.

Some one has used my fork.

Glick.

                             To break
A quarter off my barley-cake!

Whick.

One cherry's missing from my four!

All.

And, goodness gracious, how much more?

[They gaze at each other in amazement.

Blick. [Whispering.] Brothers, there must be Robbers in the house

Flick. Or Pirates.

Glick. Or Burglars.

Blick. Probably Burglars. If so, they are under the beds; burglars always are. Hush! Let every man look under his own bed.

[Each Dwarf creeps to his bed, and peers cautiously under it. Then, one after

the other, they rise, shaking their heads and saying, "Nobody under my bed!" "Nobody under my bed!" "Nobody under my bed!" Blickis the last to rise, but as he does so he sees Snow Whiteand cries, in a tense whisper] "But—there's something in it! Look brothers!"
[In wonder, the Dwarfs creep about Blick's bed, and holding their lanterns high, gaze down upon the sleeping Snow White. An "ah!" of admiration breaks from their lips.

Glick. [Whispering.] What is it?

Flick. I know! It's a child.

Blick. No, it's a girl. I saw one once.

Flick. Well, girl or child, it's the most beautiful thing I ever saw.

Glick. Or I. Is it tame, or will it fly away like a bird, when it wakes up? Flick. I've heard that children are quite tame;—and they can talk!

All. [In rapture.] Oh!

Blick. But I tell you this isn't a child, it's a girl. I don't think girls can talk. [They all heave a sigh of disappointment.]

Flick. I wish she'd stay with us just so we could look at her.

Blick. She won't.

Glick. Why not?

Blick. Of course she won't. Are we handsome, or young, or tall? In fact, aren't we dwarfs? [They all hang their heads.]

Flick. But if we didn't tell her that?

Blick. Flick, I wonder at you! Besides, she might find out.

Glick. She's beautifully white and clean. Look, she's had the broom; she's been trying to sweep. Flick. I can't bear to think of her leaving us.

Glick. None of us can.

Flick. I'm going to stay up all night just to watch her.

Glick. Do you think there's any way we could persuade her to stay?

Blick. I'm afraid not.

Flick. Even if we laid presents on her bed?

Blick. What kind of presents? Gold and diamonds?

Flick. Oh, not common things like that; really valuable things like my jack-knife!

Blick. Oh, things like that! It might! But I'm afraid not.

Flick. We might try anyhow. Let each man give the most valuable thing he has in the world.

[Blick collects the gifts. Each Dwarf names his present lovingly as he takes it from his pocket. Blick. My thimble!

Snick. My almanac.

Plick. My empty bottle.

Glick. And my pet frog.

Blick. [Laying the gifts gently on the foot of Snow White's bed.] There! that may help. But no! It's no use, brothers. There is Quee!

All. [Hopelessly.] Yes! There is Quee!

Flick. We might hide him? Blick. She'd be sure to find him sooner or later.

Glick. He might reform.

Blick. But we never could pretend he wasn't dirty. He hasn't been washed for fifty years.

Flick. [With a sudden inspiration.] Brothers, why not wash him now?

Glick. We might!

All. We WILL!! Blick. Flick, you're a genius. But it must be done at once or he won't be dry by morning. Get the utensils.

Blick. [Marching to the pump.]

Here's the pump to douse him with!

Snick. [Fetching the basin.]

Here are the suds to souse him with!

Flick. [Bringing the sponge.]

Here's the sponge to sop him with!

Plick. [Hurrying with the broom.]

Here's the broom to mop him with!

Glick. [Running with the soap.]

Here's the soap to scrub him with!

Whick. [Waving the towel.]

Here's the cloth to rub him with!
[They surround Quee, who stands abashed, his finger in his mouth.

Blick. Quee, you are going to be . . . All. [In a tremendous whisper.] WASHED !

[They carry him to the barrel, plump him in with a great splash, and pump on him. hen, as they scrub and rub and soap and stir him about in the water, they chant in chorus:

The Dwarfs.

Here's the pump to douse him with!
Here are suds to souse him with!
Here's the sponge to sop him with!
Here's the broom to mop him with!
Here's the soap to scrub him with!
Here's the cloth to rub him with!
Rub! Scrub! Mop! Sop! Souse! Douse!
    Rub!
        Scrub!
            Mop!
               Sop!
                   Souse!
                      Douse!

[In their excitement they forget to be as quiet as they had meant to be, and Snow
White stirs in her sleep. Then she wakes, and sits up.

Snow White. Where is this—? Oh, there are the children that live here. Why, they're not children. They have long beards! They're queer, little old men. They'll never let me stay with them. But I must tell them I'm here. [She rises, and standing by the bed says shyly.] I beg your pardon.

[The Dwarfs turn suddenly.

Snow White. [With a little curtsey.] I'm sorry if I've disturbed you; but I was lost in the forest, and when I saw your house I was so tired and hungry that I cam in and took a little food—without asking. Then I'm afraid I fell asleep. [She waits for an answer, but the Dwarfs gaze at her in silence, so she falters on.] I'd pay for it, but I haven't any money. [Again a silence.] So all I can do is to say, "Thank you "—and "Good night." [She moves reluctantly to the door. The Dwarfs sigh deeply. She turns for a farewell curtsey.] Thank you very much. [She half shuts the door behind her, then re-opens it to repeat.] Good night! [There is no answer, except another heavy sigh from the Dwarfs. With sudden pity she burst out.] Oh, you're not dumb, are you?

Blick. [Clearing his throat.] No, we're not dumb; but you're a girl, aren't you?

Snow White. [Wonderingly.] Yes—I'm a girl.

Blick. And young?

Snow White. I'm not very old.

Blick. We don't know how to talk to young people.

Snow White. Well, most grown people begin, "why, how you've grown!" And usually the next thing is, "How do you like your school?"

Blick. [To Snow White.] "How you've grow."

Flick. "How do you like your school?"

Snow White. [Smiling, but a little embar- rassed.] Well—perhaps it is a little late for conversation. It's long past bedtime, isn't it?

Blick. Long past.


Snow White. There are six of you and—seven beds. aren't there?

Blick. [Hastily putting the cover on the barrel.] Yes, there are seven beds.

Snow White. Oh, before I go perhaps I ought to tidy the one I slept in. I didn't tumble it much. [She goes to the bed.] What are these things on it? [She starts back.] Oh! one's a frog. It's alive!

Glick. He was my frog. He's perfectly tame.

Snow White. What a funny thing to put on a bed.

Blick. [Edging toward her eagerly.] They were meant to be presents.

Snow White. Presents? Is it Christmas here? Blick. We don't know. We don't know what Christmas is.

Snow White. Oh—somebody's birthday?

Flick. No, it's nobody's birthday.

Snow White. Then I don't see&mdash?

Blick. They were meant to be presents for you.

Snow White. For me?

Flick. We were afraid you wouldn't like them.

Blick. I knew you wouldn't like them.

Snow White. But I do like them. Do you mean that you're not angry with me,—that you don't dislike me so very much?

Flick. Dislike you!

Blick. We think you're the most wonderful thing we've ever seen!

Snow White. Oh, you darlings!—oh, I beg your pardon. Perhaps that wasn't respectful Blick. Nobody ever called us "darlings" before, so we don't know.

Flick. But it sounds nice.

Snow White. And you wouldn't mind if I should stay to-night,—only just to-night?

Blick. We wouldn't mind if you should stay forever—only just forever!

Snow White. Forever?

Flick. Oh, will you?

Snow White. Oh, will you let me? Please let me live with you! I could be so useful.

Blick. But our housekeeping . . .

Snow White. That's just how I could be useful. I can cook and sew and sweep and brew and make beds, and—oh, lot's of things.

Blick. [Solemnly.] Will you excuse us a moment, please ? [He calls the Dwarfs together and whispers to them.] Did I hear right? Did she say she would stay? All. [Eagerly.] She did!

Blick. [Confused.] E—whatever shall we say?

All. [Perplexed] We don't know.

Blick. [Turning again to Snow White.] Er—could you tell us what it's usual to say when you're so glad that it almost bursts you?

Snow White. Would "Hip-hip-hurrah!" do?

Blick. It sounds right. [Slowly.] Hip-hip- hurrah?

All. [Solemnly trying the new word.] Hip- hip-hurrah? [Then deciding that it does fit their feelings, they shout in a joyous outburst.] Hip-hip-hurrah!

Snow White. [Clapping her hands.] Oh, please, may I say, "Hip-hip-hurrah!" too? I am so glad and grateful.

All. Hip-hip-hurrah!!

Snow White. [Remembering] But, oh— you may not want me when I tell you who I am. It may be dangerous . . .

Blick. [Hopefully.] Do you steal?

Snow White. [Smiling.] No, not so bad as that. My name is Snow White.

Blick. It sounds extremely clean.

Snow White. This morning I was a Princess. [She sits on Blick's bed to tell her story. She is growing drowsy again.]

Flick. What's a princess?

Snow White. Why, the daughter of a king and queen. My step-mother is Queen Brangomar. [More sleepily.] She hates me so much that I'm afraid there must be something horrid about me . . . [she is very drowsy now] but I'm sure Prince Florimond didn't not like me . . . for . . . [She sinks back onto the bed and her eyes close. The Dwarfs pull their fingers to their lips. Then she revives a little and murmurs,] for a year and a day . . . oh, what was I saying? I'm so sleepy.

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She sits on Blick's bed to tell her story

Please, mayn't I tell you to-morrow morning? All I can think of now is "good night."

Blick. [Softly.] Good night, Snow White!

Snow White. [Almost asleep.] Good night.

Flick. Good night, Snow White.

Snow White. Good—night.

Glick. Good night, Snow White.

Snow White. Good . . .

[There is a silence.

Blick. [Whispering.] Brothers, she's asleep. But she'll stay, she'll stay!

All. [Whispering.] Hip-hip-hurrah!

Flick. I'm so happy I'm sad!

Glick. [Wiping away a tear with his long beard.] I'm so happy it's making me cry!

Snick. We're all so happy! [They all wipe their eyes with their beards.] Blick. We musn't wake her. Not a sound now. We'll be quietest in bed. [Each Dwarf creeps toward his bed.]

Blick. [Puzzled.] But she's in my bed! Well, I'll take Flick's.

[He moves to the next bed, jumps in, and pulls, the clothes over his head, (Dwarfs always sleep with the bedclothes over their heads). Of course each of the others has to move up one bed. As they pop in, one after another, and cover their heads they cry:

Flick. I'll take Glicks!

Glick.I'll take Snicks!

Snick.I'll take Plicks!

Plick.I'll take Whicks!

Whick.I'll take Quee's!

Blick. [Sitting up suddenly.] Brothers, we've forgotten Quee! [They all sit bolt upright. Then in a whisper they call.] All. Q-U-E-E! [The cover over the water-barrel is pushed up, and Quee's head appears. He is very wet, but washed as clean and pink as a new doll.]

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Blick. Quee, she'll stay, but you'll have to sleep in the barrel.

Quee. Hip-hip-hurrah! [He disappears again into the barrel, and

the curtain falls