The Snow Queen

Bedtime Stories for Kids

The Snow Queen | Bedtime Stories for Kids

Illustrated By: Sarah Frank

Chapter 1: The Wizard’s Mirror

ONCE THERE WAS AN EVIL WIZARD who made an enchanted mirror with his dark magic.  If anything good or beautiful was put in front of the mirror, what the reflection showed back was only rotten and gray.  

The Snow Queen

The wizard laughed.  He wanted to show his evil mirror to the whole world!  He held it under his arm and flew up into the sky.   The mirror started to shake.  He could no longer hold on to it - it dropped!  The evil mirror smashed into many tiny sharp bits of glass on the ground and the wind blew it all around.  If even one bit of that evil glass blew into anyone’s eye, that person would see only the bad and dark in people, and no longer the good.  

Years later, two friends, a boy named Kai and a girl named Gerda, lived next door to one another.  Both of their bedrooms were in the attic.  When they opened their attic windows, they were so close they could reach out and touch fingertips.

The Snow Queen

An old gutter ran between the two roofs.  Where rainwater ran down, the families had planted vegetables and roses.  Kai and Gerda tended to it as if it were their very own garden.  Kai and Gerda’s families were poor.  There were no toys to play with.  But they played in their garden on the roof, and were happy.

One day, Gerda and Kai were on the roof weeding the garden.  All of a sudden, a gust of wind blew by.  It blew a sharp bit of that evil glass right into Kai’s eye.  He stood up, stepping on the roses.  "I do not want to weed this stupid garden anymore!" he said loudly.  

"Okay," said Gerda.  "Do you know you're stepping on the roses?  Let's clap and dance instead."

Kai cried out, “What do I care if I step on the roses? Stupid roses aren't worth anything.  And I never want to play with you, Gerda, ever again!"  Gerda did not know what to say.


Chapter 2: The Snow Queen

The next day, Kai took his sled into town.  Ah, that sled was so slow!  A big white sleigh sped down the road very fast.  The sleigh came close to Kai and as it did, it slowed down just a bit.  Kai had an idea.  He quickly tied the rope of his sled onto the back of the sleigh.  Now his sled could ride behind the big sled!  He thought this was very clever, but Kai did not know that driving the sleigh was the evil Snow Queen.  

In her white fur coat, the Snow Queen knew very well that Kai and his sled were on the road.  She had slowed down her sleigh when she got closer, just to give him a chance to tie on the rope.  She did not turn around to look.  She knew that Kai was speeding along behind her.  Soon he would be near frozen with cold.  Then, she knew,  it would be easy to make him hers.

The Snow Queen drove on.  When she knew Kai must be bitter cold, she stopped the sleigh, went up to the boy and said,  "Poor thing, you must be frightfully cold."  Kai could only shiver in response.  "I can make it so you do not feel the cold," said the Snow Queen.  “I will kiss your cheek.  Then you will no longer be cold.”

The Snow Queen

Kai nodded.  She gave him a kiss on the cheek and sure enough, he was no longer cold.  

“Now, one more kiss,” said the Snow Queen. “With this one, you will forget all about Gerda and your family.”  Before Kai could say anything, the Snow Queen had kissed the other cheek.  She laughed and said, “If I kissed you a third time on your forehead, you would die.  But I have things for you to do for me back at my palace.” Then she got back into her sleigh and drove on.


Chapter 3:  Where was Kai?

Kai did not return home that day.  Or the day after that.  You can imagine how upset everyone was!  They said poor Kai must have drowned in the river.  Gerda ran down to the river.  She called out to the waters rushing by - Is it true?  The river would not say.  Gerda took off her red shoes and held them up.  

She said she would throw her red shoes into the river, if only the river would give back Kai. But the river would not let her throw in the shoes. And that is how Gerda knew that he must not be under the water.

But where was he?  

Gerda went many places looking for Kai.  She went to see a witch.  The witch tried to trick Gerda into staying with her forever. Gerda ran out very fast, just in time.  Then she met a crow. The crow told Gerda that to find Kai, she must go to the palace of a Princess.  

So off went Gerda to the palace of the Princess.  The Princess did not know anything about Kai.  But she gave Gerda warm clothes and a beautiful coach she could ride on her way.


Chapter 4:  The Robber Girl

Gerda was riding her coach when a band of robbers jumped up from behind.  Their leader, a Robber Girl, forced Gerda to go in the coach.  She took the reins.  Gerda was her prisoner!

Gerda was not only a prisoner, but she had no more clue than ever where to find Kai.  

The Robber Girl took Gerda back to the house where she lived.   Gerda must sleep in the barn, in a corner next to a reindeer. 

The Snow Queen

When the Robber Girl left, Gerda cried out, “Oh Kai, where are you?” Two white dove birds up high in the loft of the barn, heard her cry.  

Said one dove to her, “We remember seeing that boy Kai you speak of.”  

"You do?" said Gerda.

“What a sad day that was!" said the other dove.  "That was when the Snow Queen drove by on her sleigh.  The boy Kai was riding behind on his sled, very fast."

"We were sitting in our nest and our friends were flying over us," said the first dove.  "When that evil Snow Queen passed by, she turned and breathed on our friends.” The dove could not finish, and the other one said, “Only we lived after that!”

“How terrible! I am so sorry for you,” said Gerda.  “But you saw my dear Kai?  Where was the sleigh headed?”

“Most likely the Snow Queen was going to her palace in Lapland,” said the first dove. “Where there is snow and ice all year long.”  

“How will I ever find this place - Lapland?” said Gerda.  

Then the reindeer, who was roped to a post, spoke up.  “I know all about Lapland,” said the reindeer.  “I was born there.”

“How will I ever find this place - Lapland?" said Gerda.  

"Please,  could you take me there?" said Gerda.

“Yes I could, if only you and I were free of this place.  But who knows how long we must stay here!”

The Robber Girl was just outside the barn door all this time.  She was not really so mean after all.  She went into the barn and cut the ropes that bound the reindeer.  She helped Gerda mount the reindeer and gave her a cushion to sit on.  She even gave Gerda a pair of fur boots, two loaves of bread, a and a piece of bacon, too.  "Be off now," said the Robber Girl.  "Find your friend."

Off like the wind flew Gerda and the reindeer.  They rode and rode until it got dark.  Then they needed to find a place to stay for the night.  


Chapter 5:  Two Visits

They knocked on the door of a hut.  An old woman opened the door and welcomed them inside. Gerda and the reindeer told her about their search to find Kai.  The old woman said, “You still have a long way to go to get to Lapland.  The Snow Queen's palace is 100 miles away."

"How will we know it?" said Gerda.

“The windows of her palace burn with a blue light that can be seen for miles around," said she. "You can't miss it. But when you get there, do not go to it first.  You must look for a cabin nearby with a red door.  Inside that cabin lives a Lapland woman I know."  The old woman picked up a piece of dried fish and wrote some words on it.  “Give her this fish," said the old woman, "and she will help you."

The Snow Queen

The next day, the reindeer and Gerda rode as fast as they could.  They flew like the wind for three days.  On the third day, they saw blue lights from afar.  When they got closer, they saw it was a large, dark palace.  But they did not go inside.  Instead, they looked for a cabin nearby with a red door. Very cold they were by then, and hungry too.  And glad when they found the cabin, knocked on the red door, and a Lapland woman opened it and let them warm themselves by her fire.

Gerda told her that they had come looking her dear friend Kai.  And that Kai was last seen with the Snow Queen.  Gerda handed the fish to the Lapland woman.  

The old woman read the words on the fish three times.  She put it in the pot on the fire for soup, as she never wanted to waste anything.  

“Did it tell you anything at all?” cried out Gerda. 

The reindeer said, “Is it some magic that will give Gerda the power of ten men?”

“The power of ten men!” said the Lapland woman, in a huff. “That would be of very little use."  She turned to Gerda. “There is no magic power anyone can do for you that you cannot do for yourself.  Your friend Kai got some bad glass in his eye.  That is why the Snow Queen took him.  By now, she has probably kissed him twice.  That gives her full power over him.” 

"Surely something can be done!" cried Gerda.

“Surely something can be done!” cried Gerda.

"Maybe," said the Lapland woman.  She turned to the reindeer. "Take Gerda to the Snow Queen’s palace.  You will see a bush with red berries half covered in snow.  Put her down at the bush and wait for her there while she goes to find Kai.  And Gerda," said she, turning to the girl, "When you find Kai, he will not want to leave.  He is in her power.  He thinks that her palace is the very best place in the world.  He has forgotten all about you.”

“Forgotten all about me?" cried out Gerda in alarm.  "But then how can I rescue him?”  

“Look at what you have already done!" said the Lapland woman.  "Look at how far you've already come."

And so Gerda mounted the reindeer, and off they went.



Chapter 6:  The Palace of the Snow Queen

“Oh, no!” said Gerda after the cabin was no longer in sight.  “I left my fur boots behind!”  But there was no time to go back.  So on they went.

At the bush with red berries, Gerda climbed off the reindeer. 

There she was, with no boots and her feet bare in the cold snow.  But the Snow Queen’s palace was right ahead of her, its blue lights burning in the windows.  So Gerda walked on.  

As she went, she called and called for Kai.  And then, at last, there he was!  He was sitting on his knees on top of a frozen lake.  A throne sat on the lake, and it was empty.  The Snow Queen had given Kai a job of arranging pieces of ice into words.  Other pieces of ice he must make into numbers.  For this frozen lake was the Lake of Reason.  And the throne was the very throne of the Snow Queen.

"Kai!" called Gerda.  But he did not look up.

Kai's skin was dark blue, as if he were frozen. 

The Snow Queen

Kai had so little feeling left he did not even notice the cold anymore.  The Snow Queen was away and Kai was busy with his task, working on the frozen lake.  He moved one piece of ice here and another there, making the words and numbers.

“Kai!” called Gerda again.  Still, Kai did not look up.  Gerda ran right up to his face.  “Kai, Kai! It's me, Gerda!”  

At last, Kai looked up.  But he looked right past her with his deep dark eyes, and did not see her at all.  Gerda burst into tears.  Cold and cutting was the wind on that lake.  As Gerda cried “Kai, where are you? Where have you gone?” one of her tears blew right onto Kai’s face.

The tear burned his face until his whole face felt hot.  Then Kai, too, was crying.  

“Gerda!” said Kai, “is that you?” Kai shivered.  He cried with joy, for the evil bit of glass was washed from his eye.  Kai took Gerda’s hands.  Though they were both frozen cold, each of them felt deeply warm inside.



Chapter 7:  The Trip Back Home

Gerda and Kai walked hand in hand back to the bush with the red berries, where the reindeer waited.  As they walked, the sun came out and warmed and dried them.  The wind stopped and birds started to chirp.  Before they knew it, there was the reindeer, in front of them.

The reindeer took them back to the first old woman, who gave Gerda a new pair of fur boots.  Each of them got a fur hat, too.  As the reindeer carried them on the long road back home, who came along the road but the Robber Girl!  She was riding the coach she had taken from Gerda, but Gerda was glad to see her, just the same.

The Robber Girl said to Gerda, “So this is the friend you traveled all the way across the world to save.  I hope he was worth it!”   They all smiled.

The Robber Girl said they should hop on her sleigh and she would give them a lift home.  By the time they finally got home, it was summertime.  Much to their surprise, they were all grown up.

The Snow Queen

In the years that came to be, Gerda and Kai stayed the best of friends.   There were no more adventures with the Snow Queen or the cold frozen north, and it was a quiet life.  But it was one where each of them knew deep down that no matter what, they would always look out for each other.



Think and Share Questions: See Other Kids Comments below!

Question 1:  Why did Gerda keep looking for Kai after he was mean to her?

Question 2: What was the wise old woman thinking when she said, “There is nothing anyone can do for you that you can not do for yourself"? 

Posted in Bedtime Stories, STORIES FOR KIDS.


  1. I personally feel as if this story was poorly written. A good story nonetheless, but very badly written. At times I could not even make out what a sentence was supposed to say.

  2. It is a lovely, marvelous and splendid story, full of morals to us. It teaches us how your friends, your closest and dearest, and your loved ones treat you. One day it’s 100 percent sure that your love will change him or her.

  3. I am thrilled by this story. It is something unique to read and its theme is very important. “Even if you don’t like someone’s actions, do your best to help them so they might accept friendship with you.”

  4. I loved this story. My grandpa read it to me. It is always good to love your friends, no matter what. Moroever, if you try hard you will manage to succeed. Never give up.

  5. This story is so amazing because similar things like this happen in real life and you should always look out for your friends and they will do the same for you if they are not fakes. Even when your friends aren’t being good friends at all or something, you should try to help them.

  6. It’s important to always help your friends. I had a best friend who is one of the four pieces in my heart. But our friendship broke because of her jealousy. She told everyone that it’s my fault and she would say to everyone that I am bad and so my other friends left me and thought I am bad, which I’m not! There was a time another friend helped me. She was a friend whom I don’t have much importance. She told me that bad people may enjoy the moment but never win. Everyone would say to me that I am really a very good girl but I don’t know how they believe the false rumours. One day, all my friends came to me and said ” We’re extremely sorry. Though you’re a very good girl, we know that good girls always are the culprit of dangerous cases. We always feel a little jealousy about your kindness and we don’t want to show you are good, so when we get a way to make false rumours, we joined with that girl. I am so sorry because today she said bad lies about us.” “I am so shocked,” I said, but “It’s ok, leave it. We all make big mistakes. I am really glad that at least you accept this. Let’s again be friends”. I thanked heartily the girl who helped me keep patient and thus, she joined us in the group. Even till now she turns her face when she sees me but I never react. It’s just like a story but god’s sake, this was a real incident. It was a friendship from childhood, 6 years of friendship. I learned that you should always keep patience and good luck will come running to you. My friends who are reading this please try your best to keep patience. I heartily say that good luck will come running even if it was in the best person’s luck. ☺️

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