Even Dopey knew something was wrong, as the Seven Dwarfs came around the last bend of the path that evening. There was no aroma of supper on the stove, for one thing, and the laundry hadn’t been taken off the line.
“Didn’t I say she couldn’t be trusted?” muttered Grumpy, but as usual no one was listening to him.
There was a shout from inside the cottage where Sneezy had gone on ahead.
“Hey, Doc! Get in here! Snow White is out cold!”
Doc hurried to the bed where Snow White lay unconscious, her hair a
cascade of midnight black across the pillow. A garland of pink roses
sat slightly askew on her forehead. One arm was flung back as
thought arrested in mid-gesture, the other lay across her blue and
“Too much schnapps, ja?”
“Shut up, Grumpy.” Doc checked her slow, thready pulse, noted her
even-paler-than-usual skin. He rummaged around the bottom of his bag
among the diamonds they had been mining that day, located a small
flashlight. Eyes dull, pupils non-reactive. . . .
“She isn’t drunk, she’s been poisoned. Look around, guys, see if you can find anything she’s been eating.”
Dopey tugged at Doc’s sleeve. His face was anxious as he held up an apple with a bite missing.
“Good job, Dopey!” Doc took the apple as he estimated how much she had eaten. As the other six dwarfs gathered around the bed, looking hopefully for any sign of improvement, Doc went to the phone in the corner of the room and dialed an 800-number from memory.
“Poison Center, what is your emergency?” came a crisp voice at the other end of the line “Yeah.Looks like we have a case of apple-poisoning here,” said Doc. “Subject is a seventeen-year-old female, about 110 pounds, time of ingestion unknown. Pulse slow and weak. Hard to wake her. Looks like she only took a single bite, maybe twenty grams of apple.”
“Has she had any alcohol?”
Doc eyed the bottle on the shelf—about the same level it had been last night. “Not unless she’s been replacing what she drinks with water,” he said.
There was a pause at the other end of the line, as the consultant checked a computer print-out. “Twenty grams of apple in a fifty kilogram adolescent is less than the lethal dose, but she’s going to be sick. If you can make her vomit, it may help. Otherwise, just supportive measures. Watch for convulsions.”
“No antidote?” asked Doc.
“Some of the older texts suggest love’s first kiss,” reported the consultant, “but there has never been a controlled study. Plus, you have the problem: is it the kisser’s first, or the kissee’s.”
“Right. Well, thanks; we’ll keep in touch with you.” Doc hung up the phone, put on a pair of gloves, and went to the bedside.
“Okay, men, here’s what we’ll do. Happy, you hold this pan. Sleepy and Bashful, help me get her over on her side so she doesn’t choke. Steady, now . . .” Carefully, Doc put a gloved finger down the back of Snow White’s throat. The result was prompt and spectacular. Snow White thoroughly emptied her stomach contents into the pan and was soon sitting up, though still weak. Bashful fixed her a cup of hot broth. The Seven Dwarfs themselves ate cold beans that night.
Snow White never did meet the Prince. She stayed on with the Dwarfs till fall, then went back to school in the city to get her G.E.D. She later went to computer school, made a bundle as an investment counselor, and had a reasonably happy marriage to a lawyer.
But she never ate another apple in her whole life. Couldn’t stand them.