Walt Disney and GothicDancer proudly present:
Shizune as Snow White or Kishimoto's Shizune and the Seven Genin
Once upon a time, there lives a lovely little princess named Shizune. Her vain and wicked stepmother, Queen Tsunade, feared that, one day, Shizune's beauty would surpass her own. So she dressed the little princess in rags and forced her to be a scullery maid. Each day, the vain Queen consulted her Magic Mirror:
"Magic Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?"
And as long as the mirror answered, "You are the fairest one of all," Shizune was safe from her stepmother's cruel jealousy.
Queen Tsunade stepped forward into her chambers and approached a mirror hanging near her bedside. She lifted her arms high into the air and began, "Slave in the Magic Mirror, come from the farthest of space. Through wind and darkness, I summon thee, speak! Let me see thy face!"
Fire spread throughout the mirror, and when it cleared, a face floated in the glass, suspended in the air. "What is it you wish to know, My Queen?"
"Magic Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?"
"Thy beauty is famed, Your Majesty, but I see a fairer maid than thee."
"Reveal her name!"
"Lips red as the rose...hair black as ebony...skin white as snow...Rags cannot hide her beauty, a lovely maid, one quite close to you."
Tsunade gasped. "Shizune!"
Outside, Princess Shizune scrubbed the stairs leading up to the main entrance of the palace. She sighed and rinsed the soapy bubbles away as she walked back to the well in the middle of the courtyard to refill her bucket. Some doves were sitting on the sides of the well, and Shizune smiled at them. "Wanna know a secret?" she asked. "Do you promise not to tell?" She giggled when the doves nodded their heads and continued, "We are standing next to a wishing well! All you have to do is make a wish, and if it echoes, it'll come true." She peered down into the water and said, "I'm wishing for the one I love to find me today."
I'm wishing for the one I love to find me today.
Shizune gasped happily. It had echoed! She continued to wish into the well, singing out cheery words along the way.
What Shizune didn't know was that someone could hear her. Over the palace walls, the prince from the next kingdom was riding on his horse when his ears picked up the sound of Shizune's sweet voice. He dismounted his horse quickly and climbed over the wall to see the girl who had sung so beautifully. He smiled to himself when he realized the girl had looks to match her voice.
Shizune sang into the well one last time. "I'm wishing for the one I love to find me today."
"Today!" the prince sang next to her.
Shizune looked up in shock and gasped. Who was this man? Between his tan skin, sparkling eyes, and charming smile, he was so handsome!
"Pardon me," he began, "my name is Prince Iruka. I didn't mean to frighten you." He tried reasoning with the girl, but she was so scared that she fled into the castle and climbed up the stairs to one of the balconies. "Wait, please!" Iruka begged. "Don't go! Please, I have but one song for you!" He tried to sing to the beautiful girl, hoping it would coax her out of hiding.
It worked. Shizune tried to fix her hair and dress the best she could, and she walked out to the balcony to hear what the prince had to say. She smiled at him from afar, completely mesmerized by his voice. One of the doves flew to her and stole a kiss, and when it flew down to Iruka, it kissed him, sending the message. Slightly embarrassed but very happy, Shizune closed the curtains as she walked back into the palace.
Neither one knew that Tsunade had been watching them the whole time.
Later that day, Tsunade called her most trusted huntsman to the throne room. He bowed before the Queen as she spoke. "Take Shizune deep into the forest so she can pick wildflowers."
The huntsman nodded. "Yes, Your Majesty."
"And there," Tsunade continued, "you will kill her!"
The huntsman's head shot up. "But, Your Majesty, the little princess-!"
"SILENCE!!" The Queen stood and pointed down at the man. "Jiraiya, you know the penalty if you should fail..."
The man stood and stepped back. "Yes, Your Majesty, I understand."
Tsunade smirked. "But just to make doubly sure you do not fail, bring back her heart...in this." She held up a small box for the huntsman.
Just before sunset, the huntsman did as he was told and took Shizune to the forest. There, the princess skipped about picking flowers to bring back home. She twirled about in her finest dress, a nice gown of blue and yellow with a bright red cape. She was so happy, so carefree, for she had the handsome Prince Iruka in her mind.
Jiraiya watched the princess act from a few feet away. He knew what he had been ordered to do, but he wasn't sure if he truly could do it. The princess looked so sweet and innocent, and she was such a kind soul. She even stopped picking flowers to help a baby bird find its parents. Jiraiya did his best to shake those distracting thoughts off, and he gripped a knife in his hand.
When Shizune said goodbye to the bird, Jiraiya was right behind her. She turned at the ominous shadow and cried out, terrified of the blade before her. She screamed as the huntsman brought the knife down, but it never hit the girl. "I can't do it!" he panted. "Oh, Your Highness, you must listen to me. She's mad, crazy with jealousy!"
Shizune tried to catch her breath. "Who?"
"She'll stop at nothing until you're dead. You must go, run away, deep into the woods! Never return!"
Shizune was so confused and scared, but she turned and ran into the forest anyway. Now that the sun had started to set, the woods were dark, and Shizune could barely see where she was going. Too many times her dress caught onto the bare branches of the trees, which were starting to look more like monsters. She was so terrified she fell backwards into a murky pond, and she swore she could see deadly creatures coming after her. She swam for shore, and once she was on land, she tried to find a safe place to hide, but she was surrounded by scary images. Overwhelmed, the princess fell to the forest floor and sobbed, scared and confused.
Shizune had her head down, so she couldn't see the several little pairs of eyes watching her. The little eyes emerged from the darkness to reveal that they weren't so scary at all. The eyes belonged to adorable little woodland creatures. Birds, rabbits, squirrels, deer, and a few other animals gathered about her, and one little rabbit tried to approach her. When it tapped on Shizune's arm, she looked up and gasped loudly.
The animals were so startled that they ran back into their hiding places. "Oh, please, don't go!" Shizune begged. "I didn't mean to frighten you. It's just that I'm awfully scared and lonely. You don't know what I've been through!" She managed a small smile when the baby bird from earlier flew to her with its parents. "What do you do when things go wrong?" Shizune asked. Her face brightened when the birds began to sing. "Oh! You sing a song! With a smile and a song, the world seems full of sunshine!"
Shizune continued to sing with the birds, and several other animals joined in on the happy tune. When it was over, Shizune giggled. "I feel a lot happier now. All that before was just because I was scared. But now I know that things will work out. I'll be okay! Oh, but I do need a place to sleep for the night. I can't sleep in the ground, in a tree, or in a nest like you all can. Maybe you know a place I can stay though?"
The little animals perked up and guided the princess through the forest until they came upon a small clearing. When they pulled the last few branches of the trees away, Shizune was delighted. There was a little cottage sitting in the middle of the woods. "It's adorable!" she cheered as she ran towards it. Once in front of the cottage, she looked in the window but saw no one. When she knocked on the door, no one answered. "I guess no one is home," she told the animals as she opened the front door. "Hello?" she called. "Is anyone there?"
The little animals followed Shizune into the cottage and started to look around. There were dirty plates in the sink and dirty clothes on the floor. The floor itself looked as though it had not been swept in years, and the fireplace was covered in dust. Shizune looked to the table and saw seven little chairs. "Maybe seven little children live here," she thought aloud, "seven very untidy little children. I'll bet their mother...Oh, maybe they have no mother! Oh, that's awful. That means they're orphans! Well, why don't we clean the house? Maybe then they'll let me stay. Okay, let's get to work!"
The animals separated into groups, some taking on cleaning, others taking on organizing and rearranging of things in the house. Shizune herself took the broom from the corner of the room and swept the floors. "Just whistle while you work," she told her friends, "then we can all clean up together!"
On the other side of the forest, there was a training field where seven little boys were sparring and playing together. They showed off their physical abilities, known as taijutsu, to one another by running, jumping, and making their way though several laid-out obstacles. Others could do different kinds of magic called ninjutsu and genjutsu. To them, it was all about learning to defend and protect their friends.
Suddenly, a little alarm went off. One of the boys stopped what he was doing and called out, "Heigh ho!" to which the other little boys echoed the call back. They all lined up single file and walked down a hill while singing, "Heigh ho, it's off from work we go!"
Back at the cottage, Shizune and the animals had finished cleaning, and the princess decided to see what was upstairs. She lit a candle and climbed the steps to find a bedroom. "Oh, look!" she laughed. "How cute! Seven little beds. And they have their names written on them! Doc Konohamaru, Happy Lee, Sneezy Udon, Dopey Naruto...Oh, what funny names for children! Grumpy Sasuke, Bashful Shino, Sleepy Shikamaru..."
Suddenly, Shizune yawned. "I'm a little sleepy myself," she realized. She spread herself out over three of the beds and soon fell asleep, her animal friends tucking her in. They were just about to fall asleep themselves when they heard singing coming from outside.
"Heigh ho!" the boys sang as they approached the cottage.
"Oh, my gosh!" one of them gasped. "Look! The light is on, and smoke is coming from the chimney!"
"That means someone is there," another explained.
"It could be a ghost!"
"Or a goblin!"
"I know!" the first one announced. "Let's sneak up on it. Ready?" He led the other six boys to the cottage, and when they opened the front door, they were in for a shock. "The floor's been swept," the first one realized.
"The chair's been dusted."
"Our windows have been washed!"
"Our cobwebs are missing..."
"The cups are gone!"
"No, they've just been scrubbed."
"And something is cooking!" One of the boys smelled what was in the pot on the fire. "It smells really good."
"Don't touch it!" another one ordered. "This is some dirty work here. That could be poison, witch's brew!"
"Look at the flowers," one of the boys laughed as he pulled the blossoms from the vase. "Here, smell!" He handed them to another boy, who sneezed upon breathing in the pollen.
The little birds watched as the boys continued to inspect the room, and they decided to have a little fun with them. They made little noises, scaring the daylights out of the boys. They gathered together to see if they could find where the noises were coming from, and the birds led them to the stairs.
"Alright," the first boy began as he lit a candle, "one of us should go check what's up there. We'll chase it down and out of the house." He and five of the boys turned to the little one, a small blonde boy with whiskers on his cheeks. He nervously took the candle from the first boy and slowly climbed the stairs.
When he opened the door, he heard a strange noise. Something was groaning in the beds! The little boy cried out and ran down the stairs, terrified. The other little boys mistook him for the monster though, and they tried to get rid of him once he was out of the house.
"Hey, wait!" the first boy commanded. "It's only Naruto! Naruto, did you see the monster?"
The other boys bombarded little Naruto with all sorts of questions, but the child just pretended to sleep. They soon realized what he meant. "It's asleep in our beds! We have to go back!"
So the seven young boys snuck back into the house and climbed up the stairs together. They saw a lump in their beds and decided to attack the creature before it woke up. "One, two, three!" the first boy led them. He pulled back the covers, and the boys went to attack, but they stopped.
"It's a girl!"
"Wow, she's so pretty."
"She's beautiful, just like an angel..."
"An angel?" one of the boys snapped. "Ha! She's a woman! That means she's full of wicked wiles. She doesn't belong here!"
Suddenly, Shizune turned over and woke up. The boys hid behind the other beds and watched her stretch. "Ah," the princess sighed, "I wonder if the little children are home." She looked past the beds and saw the seven sets of eyes looking at her. "Oh my! You're seven little boys! Hee, how do you do?"
The boys were silent.
"I said," Shizune repeated, "'How do you do'?"
"How do you do...what?" one of them asked back.
"Oh, you can talk!" Shizune laughed. "That's good. Let me guess who you are. Hmm...you must be Konohamaru!" She pointed to the first boy.
"Oh, yes, I am!" the little boy confirmed.
Shizune moved onto the others. "And you must be...Bashful Shino!"
Shino shuffled in his spot, a little nervous. "How...could you tell?"
One of the little boys yawned, and Shizune said, "You're Sleepy Shikamaru." She then moved onto the next boy, who sniffed a bit. "And you're Sneezy Udon, hee!" She looked at two others and said, "Are you...?"
"Happy Lee!" one of the boys finished. "And this is Dopey Naruto. Heh, he doesn't talk."
"No, he just never tried!"
Shizune laughed and turned to the last little boy, who had a bitter frown on his face. His eyes were narrow and dark, and he didn't look amused at all. "Oh," the princess teased, "you must be Grumpy Sasuke."
The others laughed at the girl's lighthearted teasing, but Sasuke was far from laughing. "I know who I am!" he defended. "Who are you?!"
"Oh, how silly of me! I'm Shizune!"
Sasuke crossed his arms. "I don't care who you are. This is no place for you! Get out!"
"Oh, please don't send me away!" Shizune begged. "If you do, she'll kill me!"
The boys stared. "Who?!" they asked together.
"My stepmother, Queen Tsunade!"
"Yes, I'm afraid."
"But what if she finds you here, huh?" Sasuke snapped.
Shizune suddenly smiled. "Oh, she'll never find me. She doesn't know where I am! And if you let me stay, I'll keep house for you. I'll clean, wash, sew, cook..."
"COOK?!" the boys gasped together happily. "You can cook?!"
"Yes!" the princess replied. "I can make all sorts of things like hamburger steak, red bean dumplings, ramen..."
"RAMEN?!" the boys shouted together. "HOORAY, SHE STAYS!!" They cheered all together and watched as Shizune ran down the stairs to check the pot. "Soup!" the boys realized. They followed the princess down the stairs and tried to grab the food, but she stopped them.
"Supper isn't ready yet," she explained. "Go outside and wash those hands."
"Wash?" Konohamaru repeated. "What?"
"Feh," Sasuke huffed, "I knew there was a catch."
The boys tried to come up with some sort of excuse, but Shizune demanded to see their hands. When they showed them to her, a frown grew on the princess's face. "Go outside and wash," she commanded, "or you won't get a bite to eat."
One by one, the boys walked outside and towards the wooden tub full of water. However, Sasuke was stubborn. He stayed behind and glared at the princess.
"Aren't you going to wash?" Shizune asked. "What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?"
Sasuke, furious, stuck his tongue out at the girl and stomped forward. He was so angry he didn't even see the edge of the door before him! He slammed right into it, causing Shizune to giggle. When she asked him if he was alright, he charged outside and slammed the door behind him. "Women!" he groaned, exasperated. He turned to the other boys and said, "She's trying to take advantage of you all. If you give her an inch, she'll walk a mile!"
"Don't listen to the emo boy," Konohamaru countered. "Come on, Boys! It's easy! We just need to dunk our hands in and scrub."
"Yeah," Lee agreed, "I'll do anything for the princess."
"Besides, I'm hungry," Shikamaru yawned. Shino and Udon agreed and splashed their hands in the water. Naruto somehow managed to dunk his entire head underwater, but he was fine when he surfaced. Soon, all six of them were clean.
"Ha!" Sasuke teased. "I'd like to see anyone make me wash if I didn't want to!"
Konohamaru eyed the dark-haired boy and gathered the others. Slowly, they circled him, and then, out of nowhere, they grabbed him and dragged him to the tub. Naruto brought the soap and tried to scrub Sasuke's hair, but the bar was so slippery he ended up swallowing it! As he hiccuped bubbles, the other boys washed their friend down, only releasing him when Shizune called them to eat.
Back at the palace, Queen Tsunade held the small box containing a heart in her hands. She grinned and said, "Magic Mirror on the wall, who NOW is the fairest one of all?"
The mirror replied, "Over the seven jeweled hills, beyond the seven bogs, in the house of seven genin dwells Shizune, the fairest one of all."
Tsunade shook her head. "Shizune lies dead in the forest. Jiraiya has brought me back her heart."
"Shizune lives," the mirror replied, "as the fairest one in the land. Tis the heart of a pig you hold in your hand."
"The heart of a pig?" Tsunade growled. "Then I've been tricked!" She ran out of her quarters and down the stairs to the lowest part of the castle. The basement was eerie and cold and held several strange objects with a large spell book.
"The heart of a pig?" the Queen repeated. "What an idiot Jiraiya is." She tossed the box aside and opened the large spell book. "I'll just go myself, but I'll be in a disguise so great no one will ever suspect!" She grabbed all the necessary ingredients for the disguise to make herself old and poor. When the thunder cracked, she drank the whole potion down.
In a blast, the Queen began to change. She grew shorter and hunched over. Her skin wrinkled and her blond hair turned white. Her royal gown shredded into a peasant's cloak. When it was all over, she stood as a hideous old woman dressed entirely in black. She cackled wildly and turned a page in the spell book. "A perfect disguise. Now all I have to do is find an appropriate way to dispose of Shizune. Ah, here it is! A poisoned apple! One bite of the poisoned apple is all it takes to send the victim into sleeping death..."
The seven genin's house was quite happy. Shizune and the seven little boys danced to fun music that Sasuke played on a nearby piano-like instrument. Naruto was responsible for the drums, and his beat led the others to dance. Lee sang a funny tune and managed to push Shino to sing something as well. "Isn't this a silly song?" Konohamaru laughed.
Naruto then abandoned the drums to stand up on Udon's shoulders. The two wrapped a long coat around themselves, making them look like a tall man. They walked to Shizune, who danced with them in a cute routine. But when Udon sneezed, Naruto jumped up to the roof, and the others laughed as the sneezy little boy wrapped the coat around himself.
"That was fun!" Shizune cheered as she sat down.
"Now it's your turn!" Lee insisted. "You should do something."
"Tell us a story," Shikamaru yawned.
"A love story," Shino emphasized.
Shizune smiled and began to speak. "Well, once upon a time, there was a princess, and she fell in love. It was very easy to do, for the prince was so charming, handsome, brave, and strong. She waits for him to this very day." She paused and sighed, "Someday, my prince will come..."
That was when the clock started to ring. The boys looked up and saw just how late it was. Shizune tried to hurry them off to their rooms, but Konohamaru stopped her. "Your Majesty," he began, "you should sleep in our beds."
"But where will you sleep?"
"Oh, we'll be fine down here. Good night, Princess!"
"Good night!" the other boys called. Sasuke rolled his eyes.
"Good night," Shizune called back as she headed up the stairs. When she was in the bedroom, she knelt down before the tiny little beds and said, "Bless these seven darling children who have taken me in...and make my dreams come true. Amen." She went to get up but then knelt back down. "And please make Sasuke not so much of an emo boy. I don't think he's very happy."
In no time, the entire cottage was asleep.
Tsunade dipped an apple into a deathly brew, and when it emerged, a slime in the shape of a skull appeared on the outer skin. Tsunade laughed when it turned red. "So tempting to Shizune," she whispered. "Perfect! No, wait!" She ran to the spell book and flipped a few pages. "Is there any antidote? Ah, yes! The victim of the poisoned apple can only be revived by Love's First Kiss. HA!! No need to worry about that. The genin will think she's dead! They'll bury her alive!"
Tsunade then ran down to the moat surrounding the palace and got into a small boat. Under the shield of fog in the night air, she made her way out to the seven genin's cottage.
The next morning, the genin were getting ready to go out to the training field so they could practice their techniques. Shizune waited for them outside the house.
"Listen to me," Konohamaru said as he emerged. "Be careful, Princess."
"Oh, I will," Shizune replied, and she kissed him on the forehead.
Nervously, Shino stepped forward. "If anything we to happen to you," he began, but he was cut off when the princess kissed him on the forehead, too. She did that for each one of the boys, Udon after Shino and Naruto after Udon. Right after the blond boy received his kiss, he ran back around the house and appeared again at the door just as Lee was walking off, receiving his kiss.
"What?" Shizune asked when she saw Naruto. She smiled. "Oh, fine, but this is the last one. Run along now!" She pushed the little boy on and then gave Shikamaru his kiss.
Sasuke was the last one. He stomped outside and glared at Shizune. "Don't you let anyone in the house, hear me?!" he hissed.
"Aw, Sasu," Shizune sighed, "you DO care!" She pulled the little boy's face forward and gave him a big kiss on his forehead. The boy, happy on the inside, was so distracted that he fell right into the lake, completely missing the bridge. Narrowing his eyes, he swam to shore and followed the others to the training field.
Later that day, Shizune set to work in the kitchen cooking up lots of noodles for a ramen dinner. She hummed happily to herself and smiled at the little animals watching her work.
Suddenly, a dark shadow loomed before the young girl. She looked up and gasped at a hideous old woman. It was Tsunade in disguise, but Shizune didn't know that. "...Hello," she managed.
"All alone?" the old woman asked. "No little genin here?"
"Why yes," Shizune replied. "I'm...making ramen for when they return."
"How about a dessert ramen?" the old woman suggested. "With...apples." She held up the fruit for the princess to see.
Shizune nodded. "Oh, it definitely looks delicious." She reached out to take the apple, but the animals suddenly charged in and attacked Tsunade, sensing her evil intent. Shizune ran outside and swat them away. "Shame on you for hurting a poor, old lady!"
"Oh, my heart!" the woman gasped. "Take me inside, darling. Let me rest. A drink of water, please!"
"Of course," Shizune agreed as she set the woman down.
Outside, the animals watched in horror as an evil grin grew on the witch's face. They ran off into the forest to find the genin, hoping they would be able to save Shizune. They ran as fast as they could and tried to get the little boys' attention, but the children couldn't understand.
"Oh, thank you," Tsunade gasped. "For being so kind to Granny, I'll let you in on a secret. This is no ordinary apple. It's a magical wishing apple!"
"A wishing apple?" Shizune repeated. "Really?"
"Yes, really. There must be something in this world you want."
Shizune nodded and took the fruit from her. "There is something."
Poor Shizune had no idea of who the old woman was, but the genin quickly caught on to what the animals were trying to tell them. "It must be the Queen!" Sasuke realized. "She'll kill Shizune! We have to save her!" He and the other boys followed the animals back to the cottage as fast as they could.
"...And they all lived happily ever after," Shizune sighed.
"Yes, yes!" the old woman replied. "Now take a bite. Don't let the wish grow cold!"
Shizune took a big bite from the apple and swallowed the piece. Suddenly, her world seemed odd. "Oh," she panted, "I feel strange."
And she fell to the floor.
"HA HA!!" Tsunade cackled. "Now I'LL be the fairest one of all!" She continued to laugh as she made her way outside, only to run into the seven genin, who had returned but moments too late. Shocked, Tsunade quickly ran away in hopes of avoiding the boys. She eventually climbed up a cliffside and found a large boulder resting there. The seven boys were close behind, so she picked up the nearest branch and jabbed it underneath the rock. "I'LL CRUSH YOUR BONES!!" she cried, laughing hysterically.
Just when she was about to push on the branch one last time, lightning struck and cracked the edge of the cliff. Tsunade screamed and fell backwards, the boulder soon following. The seven little boys didn't have to look to see what had happened to the Queen, for two vultures flew down to the impact point.
When the boys returned home, they found Shizune in sleeping death on the floor of the kitchen. Together, they carried her upstairs to their bedrooms and laid her out. They cried at her bedside as the rain poured outside. Even Sasuke found himself shedding tears.
So beautiful, even in death, that the genin could not find it in their hearts to bury her, they fashioned a coffin of glass and gold and kept eternal vigil at her side. Prince Iruka, who had searched far and wide, heard of the maiden who slept in the glass coffin.
When Prince Iruka finally found the coffin, he stepped forward to see the girl who slept, and his worst nightmare came true. It was indeed the girl he had fallen in love with seasons ago. Heartbroken, he knelt before her to pay his respects, but he couldn't resist a single kiss with the beautiful girl.
As soon as Prince Iruka pulled away, something amazing happened. Shizune's eyes fluttered open! She stretched her arms and yawned as if she had just woken up from a nap, and when she looked up, she saw the prince! Overjoyed, Prince Iruka picked her up and spun her around. The seven little genin cheered happily and celebrated. Their princess was alive!
Iruka carried Shizune to his horse and placed her up on the saddle. One at a time, the boys approached her to say goodbye. Shizune was so happy to see Sasuke so eager for a kiss. "Goodbye, Sasu-kun!" she laughed. She kissed the other boys' forehead until she came upon a little blond boy. "Oh, Naruto!" She finally kissed him and said her last goodbyes to the genin. They waved as she and the prince walked off, knowing Iruka would take good care of her.
When Iruka and Shizune reached the end of the forest, they could see the next kingdom over the horizon. There was Iruka's castle! The prince continued to guide his horse down the path to his kingdom, his heart full of love for his princess.
And they all lived happily ever after.
Next: Moegi as Alice