Snow White and her seven undersize companions have stood en masse in the front yard of Carol Home's modest home in Mount Marion, N.Y., since 1984. Home's mother had used the cement Disney figures to decorate the lawn of her trailer home near Toronto. When Home's mother retired to Florida, a state already knee-deep in Disney characters, she gave the octet to Home and her children, Tom, 11, and Susie, 9.
And there they have stood in more or less idyllic splendor. Oh, sure, there have been minor problems. When it rains, for instance, Snow White can lose her equilibrium. "Snow weighs between 350 and 400 pounds," explains Home. "When the ground gets soft out there, she looks like she's had a couple too many."
More troubling have been the occasional abductions of Grumpy. They tend to happen, says Home, "around March or April, when the high school seniors go through their scavenger-hunt time." In the last two years, the 80-pound Grumpy has been swiped twice. He always shows up, though—at the local Dairy Queen.
This year, however, something more sinister happened: Grumpy disappeared on March 16 and didn't turn up. "After the second week," says Home, "I started to panic. During the third week, I started driving around and looking on people's front lawns, going down a different street each time. I was so upset I didn't think we could get a replacement I've seen other dwarfs in plastic and plaster of parts, but I've never seen any in solid cement"
Then, on April 26, long after Home had given up hope of ever seeing him again, Grumpy returned. "There he was," reports Home, "with an envelope around his neck saying I'M HOME. It was signed 'Grumpy' in italicized printing." Inside the envelope were 28 snapshots of Grumpy, showing where he'd been. "They had them in order," says Home, a note of wonder in her voice. "They started out in New York at Yankee Stadium and went clear across to Boulder, Colo. There were pictures of him at Daytona Beach, Fla.. staring at a girl in a bathing suit visiting the Gateway Arch in St Louis, looking at the world's highest suspension bridge, which is over the Arkansas River, and wearing mountain climber's gear in Colorado—how'd they find a helmet to fit?"
Little is known about the identity of Grumpy's kidnappers—a portion of someone's head in one photograph is about the only clue. Home, however, isn't mad. "Someone went out of their way to make him happy," she says. "I want to shake their hands."
At least that was what Home said before the shocking event of Friday, June 2. Sometime during that terrible night Doc was taken.
He is out there somewhere—and Carol Home wants him back.
This story does not have a Happy ending. It does, however, have Grumpy beginnings and a slightly Dopey midsection. It is set in a Sleepy town. Some of the characters are Bashful, and their motives may be less than Snow White. Sneezy doesn't figure in it at all. Doc makes a cameo disappearance—right at the end.