Once upon a time, there was a young king and his new queen. They were very much in love, so it was not long before a child was soon to be on the way.
As a gift to his young wife, the King commissioned for a great mirror to be made. In the gilded frame of gold, it enabled the Queen to look upon herself as the birth of their first child drew ever nearer. However, the Queen did not adjust well to her pregnancy. She was frequently ill and miserable, only to be placed on bed-rest by the royal physician.
Every day, the Queen would look upon herself in the mirror. She would stand in profile, enabling her to better see her swelling abdomen. She blamed the life growing inside of her for her never ending discomfort. She began to resent it so.
Then, at long last, the child was born. A girl child, fair of skin and dark of hair. She was beautiful, and all who looked upon her fell in love with her instantly.
All except for the young queen.
It was with much relief for the new mother that the child had been carried away by the wet nurse to the nursery. She wanted nothing more to do with the infant princess, much to the distress of the King and the palace servants.
The King tried on many occasions to try to engage his wife to form an interest in their daughter, yet she did not. She had much more interest in gazing at herself in her mirror, brushing her hair and humming to herself.
The little princess grew quickly, becoming ever more beautiful as she did so. She was much beloved by her father and the servants, who delighted in her intelligence and sweetness. However, it broke their hearts when she asked why her mother did not love her as they did.
The Queen began to come to resent her daughter. The way her husband doted upon the child, and the servants finding every excuse they could to be in the child’s glowing presence. She began to feel despised, like she were a social pariah.
It was all the fault of the Princess. She had turned them all against her. She made them not want to love her anymore.
And so she began to plot revenge.
At first, she thought to send the girl out with into the forest with a servant, in the hopes that the child would be lost. But then she knew that the servant would not allow for anything bad to happen to the girl. No, her only option would be for her to do it herself.
So she began to feign interest in the child, to throw off suspicion. Joining the girl and her father at meals, reading to her at bedtime. She would play with the girl in the garden and brush her hair. Then one day she took the child out into the forest to pick berries.
But only the Queen returned, covered in dirt and blood.
When asked of the girl’s whereabouts, she would only smile and say that she was gone.