Grim(m) Stories: Hansel and Gretel – Dumb.Dumber.Witch.

In the woods lived a woodcutter. He had a wife and he also had two children named Hansel and Gretel. Now they were very poor and one day, they don’t have anything to eat anymore. So at night, the wife suggests that they should just dump their children in the forest, where they wouldn’t find their way back. Have you ever noticed how in fairy tales, the mother is always the bad one? #aufschrei! But seriously. What’s going on, Grimm brothers?

The kids have heard them, though. Gretel starts crying, because she’s useless like that, but Hansel has a brilliant idea – he creeps outside and collects pebbles shining in the moonlight. Thus, when the parents do dump them in the forest next day, Hansel leaves a trail of those behind and the two find their way back. The father is very happy, takes them in again and they miraculously have better times now, so they don’t do it again. Happy end? Nope.

There’s another dearth and the parents make up the same plan. The children make the same plan, too, but the evil mother has locked the door, so Hansel can’t get the pebbles. He decides, therefore, to just drop pieces of bread. Idiotic boy, really, it was clear that wouldn’t work.

Obviously, they don’t find their way back and instead wander through the woods for three days.

Finally, they arrive at a house made of bread and cover in cakes. Instead of going, “Oh, let’s knock at the door – maybe they have something to eat!” (would be probable, seeing as they built a house out of bread), they start eating the cakes on the house. I would be pissed if someone ate my house.

“Nibble, nibble, gnaw, who is nibbling at my door?”

“The wind, the wind, the heaven-born wind.” Such a stupid lie. As they said this, they go straight back to eating. WTH?
The door opens and the witch invites them in, pretending to be a nice old lady. Turns out, as the fairy tale tells us, that she only built the house to lure in children, so she could cook them. She’s probably working with Rumpelstiltskin.

The witch locks Hansel in a stable and orders Gretel to clean and cook. She wants Hansel to be really fat, because, remember, they were starved and if she puts up the effort to cook a child, she at least wants to have something off it in the end.

Hansel is not completely stupid, though. Every morning, the witch demands to feel his finger to see if he’s already fat – but she can’t see, you know, so he holds out a bone and she keeps wondering why he doesn’t grow. It’s really lucky for them that the witch is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, especially since the two of them aren’t that bright either…

After four weeks, the witch decides that she has enough of it, and she wants to cook Hansel anyway. Also, she wants to bake Gretel. So, she orders Gretel to climb into the oven to “see if it’s properly heated”. Gretel has a rare moment of cleverness and says that she doesn’t know how, so the witch climbs in to demonstrate and Gretel shuts the oven door behind her. Witch cake! I’m too morbid for my own taste…

Gretel frees Hansel and they go in the house and take all sorts of jewels and pearls. After that, they set off through the forest and actually find their way! Only, the need to cross a river and can’t swim or I don’t really know why, there’s no bridge, they can’t get across. A duck offers to take them and they have that short problem that they don’t know what to do because they’re too heavy together. (They figure out that the duck should just swim twice. *sigh*).

They arrive home, the father is very happy and the mother is very dead. I’m not kidding, she really died. Because they stole, they’re also very rich now, and can live happily ever after.

This tells me that a) you don’t have to be bright if your enemy is even dumber than you, b) ducks can carry a lot of weight and c) the Grimm brothers must have had some problem with women.

You can read the Grimm brothers’ version of this fairy tale here.

If there is any fairy tale that you would like to see recapped, please feel free to comment and I’ll see what I can do! Have yourself a lovely day :)

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