Oh, how I love those girls! We spent all winter playing by the hearth and they became quite at ease with me. I let them maul me and pull my fur and beat me with their switches. When I growled, they only laughed. Sometimes I had to plead for my life, saying:
Snow-white and Rose-red
Don’t beat your lover dead!
When spring came, and the grass turned green, I said to Snow-white: “Now I must go away, and I won’t return again the whole summer.”
“Where are you going, dear bear?”
“I must go into the forest,” I said. “When the sun thaws the ground in the spring and the dwarves come up, they steal from us.”
“What do they take?”
“Treasures, my dear. Anything and everything valuable. And what they take to their caves is not easily brought back to light.”
The Black Bear in Snow-White and Rose Red, Blue Fairy Book. Illustration by Hermann Vogel.