May 24, 2012

Hansel and Gretel, By Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, 1857

Editor's note:  "Hansel and Gretel" probably has done more to harm the reputation of stepmothers than any other fairy tale -- except, of course "Cinderella." But in many early versions, the mother figure wasn't a step at all. She was plain, old mom. Once people began to see fairy tales as children's stories, the stepmother label became more common.

But let's not forget that the father in this story is a weak man who knows he shouldn't give into his wife but does anyway. Oh, it's a bad tale for parents, "Hansel and Gretel" is.

Some other points to ponder: 

The mother figure and the witch are likely meant to be the same woman. The witch is burned at the end of the story and the mother is dead at the end as well. More telling is that both the "mother" and the witch call Hansel "lazybones." In a story where words are not wasted, these seems like it is probably not an accident.

Anne Anderson

Next, it seems that Hansel and Gretel are meant to be "regular" children with the charm and shortcomings of real children. Gretel is a classic crybaby for much of the story and Hansel is a solidly dependable big brother figure. Yet, after the witch imprisons them, Gretel ..., well, she cries some more, but after four weeks, she has grown a lot and it is through her initiative that she and her brother break free. 

Also, note that when the witch first encounters Hansel and Gretel literally eating her out of house and home, she asks them who they are and they seem to blame it on The Heavenly Child. Wouldn't that have been a Baby Jesus reference? It's a weird little scene.

Oh, notice the birds. They show up in important places in the story.

That little bit about the mouse at the end of story seems to have been a convention of the time that sometimes showed up in these stories.

Finally, the "gingerbread" house, you will note, is made of bread and cake in this version.

Next to a great forest there lived a poor woodcutter with his wife and his two children. The boy's name was Hansel and the girl's name was Gretel. He had but little to eat, and once, when a great famine came to the land, he could no longer provide even their daily bread.

One evening as he was lying in bed worrying about his problems, he sighed and said to his wife, "What is to become of us? How can we feed our children when we have nothing for ourselves?"

 Jennie Harbour

"Man, do you know what?" answered the woman. "Early tomorrow morning we will take the two children out into the thickest part of the woods, make a fire for them, and give each of them a little piece of bread, then leave them by themselves and go off to our work. They will not find their way back home, and we will be rid of them."

"No, woman," said the man. "I will not do that. How could I bring myself to abandon my own children alone in the woods? Wild animals would soon come and tear them to pieces."

"Oh, you fool," she said, "then all four of us will starve. All you can do is to plane the boards for our coffins." And she gave him no peace until he agreed.

"But I do feel sorry for the poor children," said the man.

Ethel Franklin Betts

The two children had not been able to fall asleep because of their hunger, and they heard what the stepmother had said to the father.

Gretel cried bitter tears and said to Hansel, "It is over with us!"

"Be quiet, Gretel," said Hansel, "and don't worry. I know what to do."

And as soon as the adults had fallen asleep, he got up, pulled on his jacket, opened the lower door, and crept outside. The moon was shining brightly, and the white pebbles in front of the house were glistening like silver coins. Hansel bent over and filled his jacket pockets with them, as many as would fit.

Then he went back into the house and said, "Don't worry, Gretel. Sleep well. God will not forsake us." Then he went back to bed.

At daybreak, even before sunrise, the woman came and woke the two children. "Get up, you lazybones. We are going into the woods to fetch wood." Then she gave each one a little piece of bread, saying, "Here is something for midday. Don't eat it any sooner, for you'll not get any more."

Jennie Harbour

Gretel put the bread under her apron, because Hansel's pockets were full of stones. Then all together they set forth into the woods. After they had walked a little way, Hansel began stopping again and again and looking back toward the house.

The father said, "Hansel, why are you stopping and looking back? Pay attention now, and don't forget your legs."

"Oh, father," said Hansel, "I am looking at my white cat that is sitting on the roof and wants to say good-bye to me."

The woman said, "You fool, that isn't your cat. That's the morning sun shining on the chimney."

However, Hansel had not been looking at his cat but instead had been dropping the shiny pebbles from his pocket onto the path.

When they arrived in the middle of the woods, the father said, "You children gather some wood, and I will make a fire so you won't freeze."

Hansel and Gretel gathered together some twigs, a pile as high as a small mountain. The twigs were set afire, and when the flames were burning well, the woman said, "Lie down by the fire and rest. We will go into the woods to cut wood. When we are finished, we will come back and get you."

Jessie Wilcox Smith

Hansel and Gretel sat by the fire. When midday came each one ate his little piece of bread. Because they could hear the blows of an ax, they thought that the father was nearby. However, it was not an ax. It was a branch that he had tied to a dead tree and that the wind was beating back and forth. After they had sat there a long time, their eyes grew weary and closed, and they fell sound sleep.

When they finally awoke, it was dark at night. Gretel began to cry and said, "How will we get out of woods?"

Hansel comforted her, "Wait a little until the moon comes up, and then we'll find the way."

After the full moon had come up, Hansel took his little sister by the hand. They followed the pebbles that glistened there like newly minted coins, showing them the way. They walked throughout the entire night, and as morning was breaking, they arrived at the father's house.

They knocked on the door, and when the woman opened it and saw that it was Hansel and Gretel, she said, "You wicked children, why did you sleep so long in the woods? We thought that you did not want to come back."

But the father was overjoyed when he saw his children once more, for he had not wanted to leave them alone.

Not long afterward there was once again great need everywhere, and one evening the children heard the mother say to the father, "We have again eaten up everything. We have only a half loaf of bread, and then the song will be over. We must get rid of the children. We will take them deeper into the woods, so they will not find their way out. Otherwise there will be no help for us."

Kay Nielsen

The man was very disheartened, and he thought, "It would be better to share the last bit with the children."

But the woman would not listen to him, scolded him, and criticized him. He who says A must also say B, and because he had given in the first time, he had to do so the second time as well.

The children were still awake and had overheard the conversation. When the adults were asleep, Hansel got up again and wanted to gather pebbles as he had done before, but the woman had locked the door, and Hansel could not get out. But he comforted his little sister and said, "Don't cry, Gretel. Sleep well. God will help us."

Early the next morning the woman came and got the children from their beds. They received their little pieces of bread, even less than the last time. On the way to the woods, Hansel crumbled his piece in his pocket, then often stood still, and threw crumbs onto the ground.

"Hansel, why are you always stopping and looking around?" said his father. "Keep walking straight ahead."

"I can see my pigeon sitting on the roof. It wants to say good-bye to me."

"Fool," said the woman, "that isn't your pigeon. That's the morning sun shining on the chimney."

But little by little Hansel dropped all the crumbs onto the path. The woman took them deeper into the woods than they had ever been in their whole lifetime.

Charles Robinson

Once again a large fire was made, and the mother said, "Sit here, children. If you get tired you can sleep a little. We are going into the woods to cut wood. We will come and get you in the evening when we are finished."

When it was midday Gretel shared her bread with Hansel, who had scattered his piece along the path. Then they fell asleep, and evening passed, but no one came to get the poor children.

It was dark at night when they awoke, and Hansel comforted Gretel and said, "Wait, when the moon comes up I will be able to see the crumbs of bread that I scattered, and they will show us the way back home."

When the moon appeared they got up, but they could not find any crumbs, for the many thousands of birds that fly about in the woods and in the fields had pecked them up.

Hansel said to Gretel, "We will find our way," but they did not find it.

They walked through the entire night and the next day from morning until evening, but they did not find their way out of the woods. They were terribly hungry, for they had eaten only a few small berries that were growing on the ground. And because they were so tired that their legs would no longer carry them, they lay down under a tree and fell asleep. It was already the third morning since they had left the father's house.

They started walking again, but managed only to go deeper and deeper into the woods. If help did not come soon, they would perish. At midday they saw a little snow-white bird sitting on a branch. It sang so beautifully that they stopped to listen. When it was finished it stretched its wings and flew in front of them. They followed it until they came to a little house. The bird sat on the roof, and when they came closer, they saw that the little house was built entirely from bread with a roof made of cake, and the windows were made of clear sugar.

"Let's help ourselves to a good meal," said Hansel. "I'll eat a piece of the roof, and Gretel, you eat from the window. That will be sweet."

Hansel reached up and broke off a little of the roof to see how it tasted, while Gretel stood next to the windowpanes and was nibbling at them. Then a gentle voice called out from inside:

Nibble, nibble, little mouse,
Who is nibbling at my house?
The children answered:

The wind, the wind,
The heavenly child.

They continued to eat, without being distracted. Hansel, who very much like the taste of the roof, tore down another large piece, and Gretel poked out an entire round windowpane. Suddenly the door opened, and a woman, as old as the hills and leaning on a crutch, came creeping out. Hansel and Gretel were so frightened that they dropped what they were holding in their hands.

But the old woman shook her head and said, "Oh, you dear children, who brought you here? Just come in and stay with me. No harm will come to you."

She took them by the hand and led them into her house. Then she served them a good meal: milk and pancakes with sugar, apples, and nuts. Afterward she made two nice beds for them, decked in white. Hansel and Gretel went to bed, thinking they were in heaven. But the old woman had only pretended to be friendly. She was a wicked witch who was lying in wait there for children. She had built her house of bread only in order to lure them to her, and if she captured one, she would kill him, cook him, and eat him; and for her that was a day to celebrate.

Witches have red eyes and cannot see very far, but they have a sense of smell like animals, and know when humans are approaching.

John B. Gruelle

When Hansel and Gretel came near to her, she laughed wickedly and spoke scornfully, "Now I have them. They will not get away from me again."

Early the next morning, before they awoke, she got up, went to their beds, and looked at the two of them lying there so peacefully, with their full red cheeks. "They will be a good mouthful," she mumbled to herself. Then she grabbed Hansel with her withered hand and carried him to a little stall, where she locked him behind a cage door. Cry as he might, there was no help for him.

Then she shook Gretel and cried, "Get up, lazybones! Fetch water and cook something good for your brother. He is locked outside in the stall and is to be fattened up. When he is fat I am going to eat him."

Gretel began to cry, but it was all for nothing. She had to do what the witch demanded. Now Hansel was given the best things to eat every day, but Gretel received nothing but crayfish shells.

Every morning the old woman crept out to the stall and shouted, "Hansel, stick out your finger, so I can feel if you are fat yet."

But Hansel stuck out a little bone, and the old woman, who had bad eyes and could not see the bone, thought it was Hansel's finger, and she wondered why he didn't get fat.

When four weeks had passed and Hansel was still thin, impatience overcame her, and she would wait no longer. "Hey, Gretel!" she shouted to the girl, "Hurry up and fetch some water. Whether Hansel is fat or thin, tomorrow I am going to slaughter him and boil him."

Oh, how the poor little sister sobbed as she was forced to carry the water, and how the tears streamed down her cheeks! "Dear God, please help us," she cried. "If only the wild animals had devoured us in the woods, then we would have died together."

"Save your slobbering," said the old woman. "It doesn't help you at all."

The next morning Gretel had to get up early, hang up the kettle with water, and make a fire.

"First we are going to bake," said the old woman. "I have already made a fire in the oven and kneaded the dough."

She pushed poor Gretel outside to the oven, from which fiery flames were leaping. "Climb in," said the witch, "and see if it is hot enough to put the bread in yet." And when Gretel was inside, she intended to close the oven, and bake her, and eat her as well.

H.J. Ford

But Gretel saw what she had in mind, so she said, "I don't know how to do that. How can I get inside?"

"Stupid goose," said the old woman. The opening is big enough. See, I myself could get in." And she crawled up stuck her head into the oven.

Then Gretel gave her a shove, causing her to fall in. Then she closed the iron door and secured it with a bar.

The old woman began to howl frightfully. But Gretel ran away, and the godless witch burned up miserably. Gretel ran straight to Hansel, unlocked his stall, and cried, "Hansel, we are saved. The old witch is dead."

Then Hansel jumped out, like a bird from its cage when someone opens its door. How happy they were! They threw their arms around each other's necks, jumped with joy, and kissed one another. Because they now had nothing to fear, they went into the witch's house. In every corner were chests of pearls and precious stones.

"These are better than pebbles," said Hansel, filling his pockets.

Gretel said, "I will take some home with me as well," and she filled her apron full.

"But now we must leave," said Hansel, "and get out of these witch-woods."

After walking a few hours they arrived at a large body of water. "We cannot get across," said Hansel. "I cannot see a walkway or a bridge."

"There are no boats here," answered Gretel, "but there is a white duck swimming. If I ask it, it will help us across."

Then she called out:

Duckling, duckling,
Here stand Gretel and Hansel.
Neither a walkway nor a bridge,
Take us onto your white back.

The duckling came up to them, and Hansel climbed onto it, then asked his little sister to sit down next to him.
"No," answered Gretel. "That would be too heavy for the duckling. It should take us across one at a time."

That is what the good animal did, and when they were safely on the other side, and had walked on a little while, the woods grew more and more familiar to them, and finally they saw the father's house in the distance. They began to run, rushed inside, and threw their arms around the father's neck.

The man had not had even one happy hour since he had left the children in the woods. However, the woman had died. Gretel shook out her apron, scattering pearls and precious stones around the room, and Hansel added to them by throwing one handful after the other from his pockets.

Now all their cares were at an end, and they lived happily together.

My tale is done,
A mouse has run.

And whoever catches it can make for himself from it a large, large fur cap.

Creators names are under images, when known.


Jeff Chapman said...

"The Hand with the Knife" also features a cruel mother rather than a step-mother. In this case the mother favors the three brothers against the daughter.

steve shilstone said...

What a classic simple story. Many a fairy tale roams here and there, but this one moves straight through - beginning, middle, end. The opera is a winner, too. I like Hansel and Gretel so much I brought them in as guests in one of my own tales, The Carven Flute.

Christie said...

Maybe it is the translation, but the mother figure is never referred to as "the mother" like the father is but as "the woman." Maybe later tellings embellished on this implied lack of kinship?

Also, perhaps the children are calling the wind "the heavenly child," implying that the witch is only hearing things in the wind.

Anonymous said...

I am a relatively new reader when it comes to the “old” fairy tales. “Hansel and Gretel” is the first one I’ve read and I found it quite interesting. I was intrigued by what would become of the children and impressed by their persistence and perseverance to survive and make it back home. At the same time I was also disturbed by the fact that their own mother was so evil that she wanted to take them further and further into the woods so they wouldn’t be able to find their way home and would eventually die. I’m also curious as to why the father didn’t try to search for his own children and instead seems to have just waited for them to come home. I found the witch to be an interesting character and the fact that she lured the children in with candy is something we tell our children today, “don’t take candy from strangers.”

~Allison R.

Anonymous said...

Hansel and Gretel, By Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, 1857
The fairytale Hansel and Gretel is one that I have heard before, but only a few times. As a child I did not particularly care for the tale, probably because it doesn’t include a princess or a fair maiden. Having read it as an adult I find the tale to be very interesting, it is how I remember, but it seems like I have gotten more out of it this time around. The children in the story are quite bright and plan ahead the best that they can. Although I am not sure of Hansel’s age, I assume he is around the age of 7-9 years old, he takes the initiative to plan and to take care of himself and his sister, and given the little time and provisions; he does a wonderful job.
For some reason I am not really fazed by the detachment of their mother. She clearly is only interested in her own well-being, and is willing to do anything to make sure her future is secure. The children’s father is apparently soft, weak, and a feeble man, and it is clear that he does what he is told and seeks out direction. It is truly amazing that the children were able to grow up to the age they are in the story. The witch although clever in her initial deception, seems to bring out the children’s confidence or at least makes them think on their feet. I think the underlying story rings true, don’t take candy from strangers.
Serena W.
September 21, 2012

Anonymous said...

I think it's interesting that Hansel in Gretel, in almost all of the pictures in the story above, are portrayed as different ages. I think for the more scared and timid portrayal of the two, they look a lot younger than when they are just walking through the woods. Jennie Harbour's picture portrays the two as looking almost adult in age where Jessie Wilcox Smith portrays the two as dramatically younger, almost toddler age. This is all very interesting and brings insight into the notion that fairy tales in fact exist to strike our imagination, and maybe there isn’t meant to be an exact image of what characters look like and that is our interpretation based on our personal experiences and beliefs. I feel this is what makes fairy tales great, and maybe what makes visual interpretations of the fairy tales lose their validity. Snow White by Disney, to me, is just seen as a story that strikes a pretty close resemblance to the story, but because it incorporates the visual element and almost ruins the opportunity for me to create the characters in my head, Disney has forever ruined the chance for me to create those characters and I now have a hard time thinking about anything other than the Snow White that appears on the cover of the movie and I never had an opportunity to create my own Snow White. I guess I am just glad Disney hasn’t ruined Hansel and Gretel for me….yet.

Michael L.

Ruth Sokol said...

The story of “Hansel and Gretel” is one that has seen less of the spotlight when it comes to Disney movie remakes of fairytales and modern versions of the story. Although I enjoyed the eerie version of “The Juniper Tree”, the Grimm’s version is by far the one I enjoyed most. Out of all of the fairy tales I have read so far in class, this one projects the parents with the evilest role, especially the stepmother. The father of Hansel and Gretel himself plays a naïve role just like his kids, he let’s his second wife convince him multiple times to leave the children out in the woods even when he misses them sick. Now the story of “The Juniper Tree” is still about siblings Hansel and Gretel but has an even more evil feel to it. With the cannibalism that takes place and the chopping of Hansel’s head, it seems quite disturbing at first but that was the point of fairy tales when they were being created.

Anonymous said...

This story is really interesting and very thought provoking. Fairytales often portray mothers as uncaring and even cruel and fathers as neglectful. It is hard to imagine a mother ever deserting her child but it happens all to often in the real life. I think that is why it is so hard for me to read this story. I can picture the confusion and hurt that Hansel and Gretel were feeling. And it makes me sad to think of all the children in real life who are deserted or abused by their parents. When Hansel and Gretel return to their father at the end of the story, it makes me wonder what is going to stop the father from deserting them once again. The father has proven himself to be a selfish man. I have twelve nieces and nephews and I cannot imagine how anyone would want to hurt them. I get very defensive when it comes to someone hurting a child so this story is frustrating for me to read. All throughout the story, I want to cheer Hansel and Gretel on for their gumption and perseverance throughout their trial. While at the same time I want to smack the parents across the head for being so cruel.

Abbey Ward

Unknown said...

“Hansel and Gretel” is a wonderful tale of sibling teamwork. It reminds me of, “The Bundle of Sticks”, one of Aesop’s Fables. Not because the stories are similar, but rather in that the message of, the whole is greater than any individual part, is present in each tale. Each sibling plays an important role throughout the tale. Initially it is Hansel’s internal strength and ingenuity which lead the siblings safely through the woods. However, in the end, it is Gretel who ultimately kills the witch and guides them back home, and in knowing that they could rely on each other so unquestionably, returning home to a negligent father is more than feasible. Having two siblings of my own, reading this tale makes me recall times when we relied on one another’s strengths to overcome obstacles in our own lives. It is for this reason that “Hansel and Gretel” is perhaps my favorite fairy tale of all time.
-Adam Z.

Joyce D said...

I tried to “notice the birds” and where they show up in the story. First Hansel lies to his step-mother about seeing a pigeon on the roof while he was putting down the crumbs. Then thousands of birds pecked up the crumbs that he had laid on the path. A snow-white bird is what led them to the witch’s house. Finally, a white duck helps them cross the large body of water. Although not all instances show this, me it seems as though the birds represent a huge turn in the story this is especially true when the birds are the reason Hansel’s plan didn’t work, the white bird was the reason they noticed the tempting witch’s house, but the final appearance of a bird is what allows them to make the final escape from the woods. I also noticed that when Hansel is freed from his cage it is described as “[He] jumped out, like a bird from its cage when someone opens the door.” Birds could represent the moments when we have to work hard (or be smart) before we can be free from our troubles. Although highly unlikely, it could just be a coincidence that there happens to be several appearances of birds in the story.

Megan W. said...

I like the classic gingerbread/bread/cake idea for the witches house I do. However I think a better idea would be a house made out of ice cream that never melts, do to magic of course. The walls of the house would be made out of waffle cone bricks with either vanilla or chocolate Ice cream at the top where the roof would start there would be a chocolate dip at the top of the waffle cone, then there would be three ice cream scoops the size of a decent sized hill, one vanilla, one chocolate, and one strawberry. On top of the ice cream would be hot fudge, caramel, cool whip, sprinkles, and of course a cherry on top. To me that would be irresistible and I could probably die happy after eating it.

Anonymous said...

Hansel and Gretel, By Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, 1857

“Hansel and Gretel” is one of the most classic fairy tales around and is honestly one of my favorites. That being said, it is almost hard not to notice that bad parenting throughout this fairy tale. The mother in this fairy tale ultimately wants both the children dead and gone just so she can live more comfortably with food than with them and the father is somewhat of a push over character because he allows the mother to convince him that it is alright to abandon your children in the woods. Another factor that is brought up is the possibility that the mother and the witch are in the end the same person. This is because by the end of the story Gretel had pushed the witch into the oven and killer her and when the children arrive back home their mother is gone and dead but it is not said how she died or where she was. Bad parenting is apparent throughout the whole tale and I believe this is to just prove the will power and fight of the children.
-Tiffany P.

Anonymous said...

I am new into the world of fairy tales, with Disney being my only knowledge of fairy tales until just over a month ago. That being said, I was completely shocked when I read “Hansel and Gretel” by the brothers Grimm. I could not believe that a mother would actually leave their children in the woods to fight for their lives, knowing very well that they probably would be killed or die of hunger. Luckily the kids were able to escape however. I think parents can learn from this story as the mother is not the only one to blame here. The father could have very easily stopped her evil plan from occurring, but he didn’t have the guts to stand up to his wife. I think this is a story to show people that they should stand up for what they believe and not just follow in other footsteps, because clearly the father did not want to abandon his children.

-Thomas L

HD said...

“Hansel and Gretel” is one of my personal favorites due to its sibling camaraderie and vivid illustrations both verbally and visually. Not only do Hansel and Gretel save themselves, they save the parental figure in their lives as well. Hansel is a smart boy from the beginning. Always listening, watching, and after careful thought, devising a plan and executing it. Gretel begins as being more innocent and seeming to depend on her older brother blindly but it is ultimately Gretel’s evolved cleverness which saves them from the witch. The fact that both the witch and the mother end up dead by the stories end is no coincidence and neither is the same jeer of “lazybones” The witch and mother seem to be reflections of themselves, as both also end up dead by the story’s end. This tale really demonizes the step-parental figure as it is implied that the wife is not in fact a biological parent.

Unknown said...

I LOVE this fairy-tale! It can't be a coincidence that the mother was dead when the children returned. She wanted to get rid of her own children because of the famine and the witch happened to want to eat them. What a horrible mother. All of these fairy tales so far have horrible parents and/or a wimp for a father. Dad needed to grow a big backbone in this story. What kind of a man actually does everything that his wife tells him to do? Especially when it involves abandoning your own children. I do like that he was miserable to abandon them though. That's what he gets. I also like how smart Hansel was to give the witch a bone instead of his finger. That's survival skills for you.

Anonymous said...

Hansel and Gretel, By Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, 1857

What’s most surprising to me is the father’s lack of a backbone. Usually, fathers in fairytales are portrayed as being absent, whether in person or in mind, but in this one it clearly shows a man who cannot stand up to his wife. His only excuse for agreeing to leave the children in the woods a second time was the fact that he had done so once before. As if that is reason enough! The story claims the father had not had any happiness since they were gone yet there is no evidence to prove that he tried to look for them at all. Clearly, for this man, his wife was more important than his own two children. It’s kind of funny that this man is shown as weak in a time when most likely homes were very patriarchal. Another interesting character is Gretel. Through most of the story she is described as a little crybaby, merely following her brother’s lead. However, at the last moment she has the wherewithal to catch the witch unprepared and escape. It was a sudden turn around for the scared little girl from the most of the story. – Melinda P.

Timothy B. said...

The thing that I found most intriguing about this story is the children’s smartness in certain parts of the story while in other parts they still have foolish children’s minds. Hansel and Gretel both have intelligent moments. For example Hansel putting the shiny pebbles down to mark the path and tricking the vision impaired witch into thinking that the bone was his hand. In addition Gretel has the ultimate victory when she locks the witch inside the oven and also shows wisdom in the duck situation. In spite of these moments of greatness Hansel and Gretel still show signs of foolishness which may result from the fact that they are young children. The main example of this is when Hansel leaves a trail of bread crumbs; it may have been a desperate attempt but he should have known that something would eat them before the moon light appeared. Likewise Gretel when separated from their parents in the woods was quite an emotional wreck. Interestingly enough Hansel and Gretel are never given an age in this story so we are unable to know if these foolish moves were because of their age or maybe something more serious like hunger.

Anonymous said...

Hansel and Gretel is one of those childhood stories that I feel almost all adults have heard at least once in their lives. I was told this story as a kid but I do not remember much from it, other than that the witch’s house was made of candy and that the kids had tricked her into getting into the oven, which is in my opinion the best part of their sweet, sweet revenge. It’s almost as if karma is coming back to bite the witch in the butt. The story really makes you think that the witch and the mother are the same person, which also makes you wonder why she didn’t just use her house to feed the children or the money to buy them things. She really is an evil woman and she doesn’t even try taking care of her husband once the children are gone. It really makes you realize, witches aside, that some people really do have it bad and are forced to go without food sometimes.

Taylor B.