Once upon a time, a queen was doing needle work while staring outside her window at the beautiful snow. It was because of her distracted state that she pricked her finger on her needle and a drop of blood fell on some snow that had fallen on her windowstill. As she looked at the blood on the snow she said to herself, "Oh how I wish that I had a daughter that had skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony". Soon after that, the queen gave birth to a baby girl who had skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony. They named her Princess Snow White, but sadly, the queen died after giving birth to Snow White. Later, the king takes a new wife who is beautiful but very proud, and possesses evil powers. She also possesses a magic mirror, to whom she would often ask "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?", and to which the mirror would always reply, "You are". But soon after Snow White becomes seven (which is the official age that a girl becomes a maiden) when she asks her mirror, it responds, "Queen, you're the fairest where you are, but Snow White is more beautiful by far".
The Queen is jealous, and orders a huntsman to take Snow White into the woods to be killed. She demands that the huntsman return with Snow White's lungs and liver as proof. The huntsman takes Snow White into the forest, but finds himself unable to kill the girl. Instead, he lets her go, and brings the queen the lungs and liver of a wild boar. (In the Disney movie, these are replaced by a heart.)
Snow White discovers a tiny cottage in the forest, belonging to seven dwarfs, where she rests. Meanwhile, the Queen asks her mirror once again, "Who's the fairest of them all?", and is horrified when the mirror tells her that Snow White, who is alive and well and living with the dwarfs, is still the fairest of them all.
Three times the Queen disguises herself and visits the dwarves' cottage where Snow White is staying to try to kill her. First, disguised as a peddler, the Queen offers colorful stay-laces and laces Snow White up so tight she faints and the Queen takes her for dead. Snow White is revived by the dwarves when they loosen the laces. Next the Queen dressed as a different old woman combs her hair with a poisoned comb. Snow White again collapses, and again the dwarves save her. Lastly the Queen makes a poison apple, and in the guise of a country woman offers it to Snow White. She is hesitant, so the Queen cuts the apple in half, eats the white part — which has no poison — and gives the poisoned red part to Snow White. She eats the apple eagerly and immediately falls into a deep, magical sleep. When the dwarfs find her, they cannot revive her; and so they mourn and place her in a glass coffin, thinking that she has died. (The Disney version only adopts the poison apple plot, and the queen meets her demise as she is chased by the dwarves.)
Time passes, and a prince travels through the land and sees Snow White in her coffin. The prince is enchanted by her beauty and instantly falls in love with her. He begs the dwarfs to let him have the coffin. The prince and his men carry the coffin away, but as they go they stumble, the coffin jerks and the piece of poison apple flies out of Snow White's mouth, awakening her. The prince then declares his love and soon a wedding is planned. (In the Disney version, the cure for this deep sleep was love's first kiss. The Prince takes a revived Snow White away, and the film ends.)
The vain Queen, still believing that Snow White is dead, again asks her mirror who is fairest in the land and yet again the mirror disappoints by responding that "You, my queen, are fair; it is true. But the young queen is a thousand times fairer than you".
Not knowing that this new queen is indeed her stepdaughter, she arrives at the wedding, and her heart fills with the deepest of dread when she realizes the truth.
As punishment for her wicked ways, a pair of heated iron shoes are brought forth with tongs and placed before the Queen. She is then forced to step into the red-hot shoes and dance until she falls down dead.