I’ve got to give the little brat credit: Snow White is stronger than I thought. After she dethroned me, she spared my life but banished me from her kingdom and conscripted me to work in the orchards. (“I thought it only fitting, since you like apples so much,” Snow White said.) I tumbled through time, moving like a gypsy through apple groves and valleys, gathering bushels of Braeburns, Empires, Royal Galas, Golden Delicious, Pink Ladies, Winesaps, and Granny Smiths until I could taste them in my sleep.
But years of wandering took their toll, so I settled down. Don’t tell Rumpelstiltskin or Cinderella’s stepmother. They’d revoke my membership in the Storybook Villains Hall of Fame. But I did it, nothing fancy; just a cottage I bought in southern Michigan, good apple country, right off Lake Erie.
Some people take lemons and make lemonade. Well, I took apples and opened my own cider mill and bakery where I make apple strudel, apple cobbler, apple butter, apple doughnuts, apple honey, and apple wine. But my #1 seller is my apple pie. Customers like the pie because it’s delicious. I like it because it brought me Roger.
Now, I know firsthand about fairy tales, and I’m a little long in the tooth to believe in happy endings. But there’s a kindness in Roger’s voice, intensity in his eyes when he looks at me that warms my heart and takes the chill off the winds that blow in from the lake at night. He walked into my shop one day, smelling of sunlight and spice, looking like he’d stepped out of a magazine. If you imagine Sean Connery without his Scottish brogue, then you’ve seen Roger McIntosh.
He sat at the counter, eating his pie. “What’s your name?” he asked.
I’d spent so many years looking in a mirror and wanting to be someone else that I’d forgotten I even had a name. But something about Roger helped me remember.
“My name is Margaret,” I said.
“Mar-ga-ret,” Roger repeated, enunciating each syllable. He reached across the counter and clasped my hand. “It’s my honor to meet you, Miss Margaret.” Roger smiled and didn’t let go until I smiled back.
Last week, Roger asked me out. I said yes. This will be my first date in – well, let’s just say since before Snow White was a gleam in her mother’s eye.
I just might pay the Princess Brat a visit. After all, if Snow White hadn’t banished me, I never would have met Roger, the first man to treat me not like a queen or a witch, but a woman.
So I think I’ll make Snow White the best apple pie ever. I’ll sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar then wrap it in a red silk ribbon. And this time, I won’t even think about poisoning it.
published 14 March 2012