Long, long ago, in the winter-time, when the snowflakes were falling like little white feathers from the sky, a beautiful Queen sat beside her window, which was framed in black ebony, and stitched. As she worked, she looked sometimes at the falling snow, and so it happened that she pricked her finger with her needle, so that three drops of blood fell upon the snow. How pretty the red blood looked upon the dazzling white! The Queen said to herself as she saw it, "Ah me! If only I had a dear little child as white as the snow, as rosy as the blood, and with hair as black as the ebony window-frame."