The inspiration for Black as Night: A Fairy Tale Retold was one of the most well-known of the classic fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm. Most people know the story of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" thanks to the Disney animated version, but few are familiar with the original version, with its three encounters between the disguised queen and Snow White. Those who would like to compare my work with the original tale find it below.
Little Snow White
by the Brothers Grimm
from the version published by Andrew Lang in his Blue Fairy Tale Book
ONCE upon a time, in the middle of winter when the snow-flakes were falling like feathers on the earth, a Queen sat at a window framed in black ebony and sewed. And as she sewed and gazed out to the white landscape, she pricked her finger with the needle, and three drops of blood fell on the snow outside, and because the red showed out so well against the white she thought to herself: `Oh! what wouldn't I give to have a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as ebony!'
And her wish was granted, for not long after a little daughter was born to her, with a skin as white as snow, lips and cheeks as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony. They called her Snow White, and not long after her birth the Queen died.
After a year the King married again. His new wife was a beautiful woman, but so proud and overbearing that she couldn't stand any rival to her beauty. She possessed a magic mirror, and when she used to stand before it gazing at her own reflection and ask: `Mirror, mirror, hanging there, Who in all the land's most fair?' it always replied: `You are most fair, my Lady Queen, None fairer in the land, I ween.' Then she was quite happy, for she knew the mirror always spoke the truth.
But Snow White was growing prettier and prettier every day, and when she was seven years old she was as beautiful as she could be, and fairer even than the Queen...