When I pictured living on top of a mountain in the forest, I thought that the dream of me actually being Snow White might become a reality. I mean, I do kind of look like her. Not to say that I am the fairest of them all (at all) but I have the black hair, pale skin and ability to seriously rock a red lipstick.
I pictured foxes and deer eating out of my hand, and a small black bear on the side of the road on his hind legs waving to me as I drove by. There would be bunnies eating purple wildflowers in the field by the barn and all of my domestic animals would roam freely and happily.
I expected to be covered in furry creatures. We would adopt every stray we came across, and nurse baby critters back to health. We would have chickens, goats, horses, pigs, a dairy cow (why not), a gigantic thirty pound rabbit, and a three-legged cat. I would walk out and sing to them as I fed them their breakfast and they would come to me and sit at my feet.
The reality of living on top of a mountain in the forest is actually to my surprise, quite different. I know, I know, I am probably about to blow your mind, but should you choose to abandon everything to live a fairy tale life, I am here to tell you, princesses have never lived out here, and if the have, they were eaten alive, literally.
The animals kind of suck. None of the creatures that I made up in my head exist. None of them love me and want to worship me as their queen. None of them smile and none of them sing. None of them flock to me every morning to wish me a good day.
However, there are very very real animals that snarl and want to eat me. There are ugly, skinny, rabid dogs, also known as coyotes. Coyotes that are responsible for the deaths of two of my beloved cats. They are sneaky devilish creatures that hunt in packs and murder sweet creatures as a sport. There are bear. Not the type that eat honey out of a pot while humming a sweet song and definitely not the type to wave to us from the side of the road as we drive by. In fact, many of the locals have told us the same horrific story of a mother and daughter being mauled to death while hiking around a waterfall. So, there’s that.
There are foxes that do NOT resemble anything friendly at all. They are ratty sly looking creatures that would happily kill all eight of my chickens if given the chance. There are rabbits. Although they are adorable, the only experience I have with them is trying not to run them over as they dash in front of my car, and of my kids desperately trying to keep their babies alive when they end up orphaned due to a landscaping accident. Spoiler alert, they died, everything freaking dies.
I have yet to see any deer anywhere so I am still holding out that they are out there and waiting for me to love them, but I have a sneaking suspicion that they are not because there is something bigger and more sinister lurking around, something like a demigorgan*.
*If you don’t know what a demigorgan is, it’s because you haven’t seen Stranger Things. If you haven’t seen Stranger Things, please stop reading this and go watch it, seriously.
Also, you don’t get to look pretty, like ever. At all times I resemble one of the contestants on Naked and Afraid. Not the skinny emaciated part or the naked part, but the part where I am constantly sweaty and completely covered in bug bites and some sort of mysterious rash.
I have to wear boots at all times because of the threat of Copperheads and rattlesnakes, and most of my clothing has chicken shit on it. My hair is always piled high in a messy bun because again, sweat, but also because any stray hair brushing against my skin feels exactly like a bug crawling on me and there’s enough of that going on in a single day to last a lifetime. Most days I can be found wearing the same pair of cutoff shorts and tank top that I picked up off the floor and shook out because seriously, what’s the point?
Lastly (for now), nothing is ever clean. Snow White does not live in this house, I do, and although she could clean up after seven dwarfs in the matter of one song, I live with a husband, 3 kids, two dogs, two cats, a rabbit, and 8 chickens, and no matter how much I sing, none of the magical creatures come to my aid. Know why? They all died!
There is dirt and dust being tracked in at every moment and bugs sneaking in every time we open a door. The dishes are piled high because for some reason this house was built without a dishwasher, and there are mountains of laundry because I have to wash all the laundry from our cabins here as well. There’s chicken crap all over everything because even though they have the ability to roam throughout our whole property, they like to wait until all the concrete is pressure washed and then unload there.
I’ve waited all of my life to be Snow White and now that I’ve had a glimpse of her life, I am so over her. She can keep her woods, and her creatures and her dwarfs. I have my sights set on another princess all together. I want to live where everything is crystal clear. Where there is no dust or bugs or critters. I no longer want to sing to the animals, I want to shoot ice out of my hands to keep them away. Snow White can shove it, I want to be Elsa.