June 24, 2011

Diary Of A Mad Dwarf, By Katrina Robinson


They all got it wrong -
every book, movie and play.
That’s what happens
when someone else tells your story.
 
They had us
whistling and working,
smiling and bowing,
shucking and jiving
- a minstrelsy of midgetry.
 
They grasped our truth in their hands,
stripped away our dignity.
Then, re-covered us in colorful, comical garbs,
re-christened us with colorful, comical names.
 
No one cares how it really was.
How we worked from dawn to dusk
carving out a livelihood
from harsh, unforgiving stone.
 
How we found a large, pale child
lounging in our beds
and eventually, looming over our heads.
 
How each day we looked up to her
and felt her presence in every crevice.
How she made us not fit
in our own home.
 
No one cares about the difficulty of keeping
a stubborn, mule-headed girl alive
when she ignores every warning
and opens the door
time and time again.
 
But, don’t listen to me.
Read the books,
watch the movies and plays.
Look at how they portray us –
Tiny people only living to please,
paying court to some displaced princess
that stumbled onto our doorstep.
 
Still, it’s over now.
We survived the reality
and later, we survived the lies.
 
We got our home back,
and we became ourselves again.
Secure in our skin,
Re-settled in our place.
 
And she has her own place now-
a palace, with servants and a prince.
 
She still hasn’t invited us over.

Katrina Robinson is a freelance writer from Aylett, VA. Her publishing credits include V Magazine for Women and Norton's Hint Fiction Anthology. Her poem, "Beauty," appeared in the Beauty and the Beast issue of Enchanted Conversation.

7 comments

  1. I love this. Such a great look at the dwarves, and not at all what I thought when I saw your title. My favorite part was the piece about keeping her safe when she just kept opening the door.

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  2. Tough, dour, and sensible, just like a dwarf. I like this!

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  3. Ha! The ingratitude of some princesses...enjoyed your spin, Katrina.

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  4. I liked this very much. I never really gave thought about how those dwarfs might have felt after Snow White left. They did grow fond of her, and no one knows if she did visit them again. I know I would feel someone was ungrateful if they never came back to visit, or even say, "Thank you." Most people would be upset if someone portrayed them in a story as being messy and dirty, when they are quite meticulous and clean. It seems that the author is referring to Disney's version of "Snow White". That would be extremely frustrating to this dwarf that in this story, Snow White allegedly came in and made their lives better, but it was the dwarfs that saved her, and tried to keep her safe.

    ***Angella M.***

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  5. One of Snow White’s seven dwarves is definitely not happy with her behavior, although it’s a bit disappointing not to know which one (written by the side of me that oh so enjoys the Disney version of this tale). It’s extremely interesting to see a side of the fairy tale from the perspective of one of the dwarves, and find out that the story was edited, probably to make it a more romanticized version. It makes me glad to know that at least one dwarf out of seven was completely put off by Snow White taking over the house, and then not being able to follow simple safety precautions. It makes me wonder if the dwarves worked so hard and so long in the mines solely because they were forced to do so, or if it also became necessary in order to put up with Snow White and her bratty ways. I loved the ending of this one, because after all the drama and work Snow White caused for those poor dwarves, she still hasn’t had the decency to invite them to her castle (I admit I giggled out loud at this last bit).
    Rachel B.

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  6. This is such a tragic take on how the dwarfs really felt. It’s true, nobody ever asked how the dwarfs felt and in the end they aren’t even thanked by Snow White for taking care of her. It’s funny how they brought in Disney and how he gave them all comical names, I mean it was intended for children so you had to bring in some child like aspects, but in reality the dwarfs got the worst of it. Fake names, strangers crashing in on their lives, and no thanks in the end. We really do portray them as kind of just there, going about their work and more on the back burner. The story, after all, is titled Snow White. Disney just added and the seven dwarfs to let you know they were included in the story. I think it would be interesting to have Snow White rewritten in the Dwarf’s point of view and their reactions and conversations that go on outside of the story that we all know.

    Taylor B.

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