Have you ever heard the story of 'The Snow Queen'? There are many versions of the old fairy tale; you may know Hans Christian Anderson's version in which the Snow Queen was an evil and cruel ruler but more recently the fairytale has inspired Frozen in which Elsa is a far kinder and lovelier Snow Queen. But as a young fairy I was told a different story, of a fairy princess who was turned by a dark power; this is the fairy story of the Snow Queen.
Once long ago there was a fairy princess called Frostlinga who loved the ice and snow; she was known as the Princess of Winter. Her sister, Daffodila, the Princess of Spring, loved flowers and sunshine. But despite their differences, the two sisters were the very best of friends. They were as close as it is possible to be for sisters so different.
The two princesses lived in the fairy kingdom with their mother the Queen of all fairies. It was a beautiful and wonderful kingdom with many amazing treasures. This made the trolls very jealous, so they conjured up an evil power, a dark magical mirror. This mirror only reflected the ugly and dark side of everything making all the wonderful and beautiful things in the world look horrible and ugly. The trolls used the mirror to trick the fairies into seeing all the darkness in their magical kingdom. They carried the mirror around the kingdom in a magic sled pulled by flying reindeer.
One day, the trolls were flying over the kingdom with the mirror, fighting over who would get to use the mirror first. As the trolls argued, they pulled the mirror back and forth between them, until after one too vigorous yank, the mirror went tumbling over the side of the sled. The magic mirror tumbled towards the ground and hitting it hard, shattered into thousands of tiny pieces. Little shards of the mirror were carried by the winds all over the kingdom.
These little pieces were powerful and evil like the mirror they came from and as they dispersed they spread darkness through the kingdom. They got into the hearts and minds of all manner of folk who lived there corrupting their souls. The princess Frostilinga was shopping in the village when a tiny speck of the shattered mirror caught in the breeze flew into her eye. From that moment on, she was under the dark magic of the mirror, and like the mirror she could only see the ugly and darkness in the once beautiful kingdom.
The fairies who had always loved and admired Frostilinga began to see her differently. Once, Frostilinga was kind and good-natured, the life and soul of the party but now they say she was twisted and mean, always bad-tempered and never heard singing. Even her sister, Daffodila, found her cold and unfriendly. Daffodila was confused but still full of love and tried to help but Frostilinga shut her out.
That Winter was brutal and unforgiving. The cold was bone-chilling and the palace became cased in ice. When Spring never arrived as usual, the fairies were worried and the Princess of Winter was blamed. The Fairy Queen banished Frostilinga from the kingdom. Daffodila begged her mother to let her sister stay but Frostilinga didn't seem to care.
After Frostilinga left, the Spring came and the ice melted. The flowers bloomed and the kingdom was pretty again but Daffodila couldn't forget her banished sister. Despite the return of warmer weather, evil was still stalking the kingdom. The fairies whose hearts had been corrupted by the mirror were up to no good.
In the Summer, the Fairy Queen, was killed. Princess Daffodila was heartbroken, having lost both her sister and mother, and now she was to become queen. Daffodila did not want to be queen; it was her older sister Frostilinga who should be queen. The princess decided to go in search of her sister.
In her search, Daffodila came upon a garden of endless Summer. The garden was home to a witch who said she had seen Frostilinga and if Daffodila helped her tend to her garden she would point her in the right direction. Daffodila agreed but the cunning witch had no intention of letting her leave. She cast her spell to make Daffodila forget Frostilinga and keep her in the garden of endless Summer.
One day, a dove flying overhead spotted the princess and flew down. The dove recognising the fairy asked her why she was there. Daffodila couldn't remember but when the dove asked her about her family, she suddenly recalled her exiled sister. The dove helped Daffodila escape from the garden. Daffodila was surprised to see that it was Autumn outside the garden.
She journeyed north into the Troll woods. She was amazed by all the fantastic Autumnal colours of the forest. She'd never seen Autumn quite so beautiful. Suddenly, there was a rustling in the leaves and a gang of trolls jumped on the baffled fairy. She was taken to the their dungeon. The trolls imagined they'd get quite a ransom for the fairy princess.
In the dungeon was a reindeer who the trolls had recently captured. The reindeer had refused to pull the trolls sled and ended up thrown in a cage. The reindeer was from Lapland and as luck would have it, he had seen Frostilinga on his travels. Daffodila was very grateful to the reindeer but she needed to ask another favour.
When the fairy and reindeer had escaped, Daffodila hitched a ride with the reindeer back to Lapland. As they travelled north it got colder and it began to snow. The land below got whiter and whiter. Even the reindeer began to feel the cold. Up ahead in the distance, Daffodila saw a huge impending shape. As they got closer she saw the great palace made of ice. The reindeer told her that this palace was new.
Daffodila knocked on the doors of the palace. Frostilinga came to the door but she barely reacted to her sister's presence. Daffodila gave her sister the news that their mother was dead and that she was queen. The Princess of Winter knew that she should be sad about this news but she couldn't seem to fit in any more sadness in her heart. Daffodila gave her sister a hug and told her that she loved her. Unexpectedly Frostilinga began to cry. She hadn't cried in such a long time but now she couldn't stop. She rubbed her eyes and feeling something sharp she brushed it away gently. The tears had dislodged a shiny piece of metal from Frostilinga's right eye. The princess looked at her younger sister and for the first time in over a year she saw something she truly loved.
The fairies returned to their kingdom for the end of winter. But this year, there was something magical about the snow. The fairies built wonderful snow sculptures to mark the return of the princesses. Queen Frostilinga, having missed Christmas day declared an extended special Christmas, which brought joy throughout the land. The magic of Christmas could melt the hearts of even the most cold and hard of folk. And so it was that the darkness that haunted the kingdom began to wash away thanks to Frostilinga the Snow Queen.