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Author Topic: Hansel and Gretel: Tormentors of Old Women  

Topic Original "No modification"
Written for Autumnvale forum contest

There once was an old woman who lived in the forest by herself. She was quite happy, living all alone, and kept her house clean and neat. So clean, that you could eat off the floor, the walls and the roof. She loved to cook and bake, and she often made sweets from apples and berries and sugar. And very often it was far too much for her to eat all by herself, so she'd hand out sweets to passer by's or leave the sweets on the window sill.

The old woman had lived on her own for so long, that hardly anyone who never came into the forest knew of her. But the woodsmen knew her and often told their children tales of the kind woman in the forest who made sweets for them to take home. All the children loved the stories and the sweets.

All of them? No, not all of them. Two children, a brother and a sister, often made fun of their father and the stories he told of the old woman.

"How can an old woman live alone?" they'd say. "I bet she is a witch!" said Gretel, the sister. "I bet she eats children!" said Hansel, the brother. And then they'd giggle as children do when they make up silly stories. And nothing that their parents said or did could make them stop making up silly lies about the old woman in the forest.

One day, their father took the along when he went out chopping wood. But as he worked and moved further into the forest, away from the road, Hansel and Gretel were so caught up in their silly stories that they lost their father in the woods. It was starting to get dark and they did not know where to go. Gretel started to wimper, and Hansel's lip wobbled. They held hands as they walked along the road. They did not know they were walking deeper into the forest, and further away from their home.

When the last sliver of light dropped over the top of the trees, and the chill in the air made them shiver, they saw a light at the end of the road. It was a little house. And the smells that came from this house were sweet and rich and made their mouth water, and their stomachs rumble. On the window sill there was a bowl of sugary sweets, and an apple pie, and strawberries with cream.

The two children ran at the house and started to stuff all the sweet food into their mouths. When they were done with all the food, a soft, grandmotherly voice said: "Poor children. Would you like to come in and have some tea? Where are your parents, my dears?"

Hansel and Gretel looked at each other and could barely contain their laughter. "She smells of sprouts!" Gretel whispered. "She has only two teeth!" Hansel whispered back with a grin. They hid their faces in the hands, and the old women thought they were crying.

"Come in, come in!" she said. "No need to cry! You're the woodsman's children, aren't you? Your father will come by tomorrow morning, to deliver my firewood. He will take you back home then." She ushered the two children into jher little clean house and told them to make themselves at home, while she made tea and dinner.

Hansel and Gretel sat in hard wooden chairs at the thick wooden table, their elbows on the table cloth, waiting to be fed. "She walks like a cow!" Gretel whispered as the old woman hobbled back and forth with her bad hip hindering her with every step. "Her breasts are dangling at her knees!" Hansel sneered softly to his sister, as the woman who had suckled three babies stirred the pots and pans. The siblings were almost laughing out loud, when the old woman set down two well filled plates with meat, potatoes and greens in front of them.

"Eat up," she said kindly. "A full stomach makes every problem lighter."

Hansel looked at the food. He sniffed at the food. He pushed the plate away. "I'm not eating that!" he said in a nasty voice. "Give me some cake, woman!"

Gretel looked at the food. She picked at the food. She pushed the plate away. "I'm not eating that!" she said in a nastier voice. "I want cake, woman!"

The old woman looked a little startled. But she loves children, and these two reminded her of her grandchildren who lived in a city far, far away. She would love to bake a chocolate cake or her grandchildren, but she only saw them once a year. And she remembered that these children, who pushed their plates away, had already eaten all the sweets that she had put outside.

"No, no more sweets for you, my dears," she said to the children. "Too many sugary treats, makes for sour stomachs."

Hansel stood up from the table and raised his fist at the old woman. "Make cake now!" he bellowed. The old woman shook her head.

Gretel stood up from the table and picked up a broom. "Make cake now!" she yelled, standing next to her brother. The old woman shook her head again.

Hansel and Gretel took the broom and pushed it at the old woman. "What are you doing?" the frail woman said as she was forced back into the kitchen, where the fire in the oven was still burning fiercely.

"Feed us cake!" the siblings said together. The old woman shook her head, her eyes wide with fear.

One firm push of the broom was all it took for the children to push the old women into the fire in the large oven. With her bad hip, and her old bones, the old woman fell badly, and caught fire straight away. Her screams echoed in the kitchen, the clean house, and the forest.

The next morning, Hansel and Gretel were found by their father. They were sitting in front of the house, their faces covered in chocolate, sugar, cake, and cream. They sobbed, as they told their father how the old woman had offered them sweets, to get them in the house. How she fed them lots of food, to fatten them up. And how she wanted to cook Hansel in the oven and eat him all up.

Their father could scarcely believe it. The old woman who had been so kind to him, had been a child-eating witch all along! He quickly took his children back to the safety of their own home. And there they lived until they got old and feeble, and young kids came by to taunt them.


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  • Date: 10/07/12
  • Time: 06:40 PM
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