Hansel and Gretel
Once upon a time, there was a woodcutter who lived near a great forest with his wife and two children: Hansel and Gretel.
Their mother taught Hansel and Gretel to read. Hansel was only six and Gretel five when their mother died. After a year, their father took a new wife who was mean and cruel to the kids.
Hansel would stand up to his stepmother especially when Gretel was concerned.
The stepmother complained that Hansel did not respect her and persuaded her husband to take Hansel with him to the forest every day.
Hansel did not want Gretel to be left alone with their stepmother. She would work Gretel to death.
He remembered their grandmother who lived beyond the forest. He and Gretel would go to their grandmother.
So Hansel and Gretel left home before sunlight the next morning. They took a small piece of bread with them and walked their way into the deep forest.
It was getting dark when the tired and hungry kids saw a small house from afar. They hurried to the house, and to their surprise, the house was made of bread, cake, cookies, and candies.
They broke off some pieces and started to eat.
A door opened and out came an old woman who shrieked, “Who are you and what are you doing?”
Hansel and Gretel were startled. “Are you a witch?” Gretel asked innocently.
The old woman glared at Gretel. “Oh, how I hate kids…” she murmured.
“Are you going to eat us?” Gretel asked again. Hansel shushed his sister.
“I don’t eat kids! But if you keep asking questions, I might!” the old woman snapped.
“We’re going now, “Hansel pulled his sister away.
“But Hansel,” Gretel said. “It’s dark and wild animals are out there.”
“Where are your parents?” the old woman snapped.
“Father was just behind us when we took a wrong turn. He would be along anytime,” Hansel lied. He thought that if the old woman knew their father might come along, she wouldn’t harm them.
The old woman sighed, “Alright, you can stay here for the night but you leave tomorrow, at the break of dawn, understand?”
“Y-yes, ma’am…” Hansel agreed grudgingly.
Inside the house, Hansel and Gretel were amazed. From outside, it looked small but it was huge inside. The walls were lined with shelves, and the shelves were filled with books and pretty colored bottles.
Gretel immediately went to the shelves and reached for one bottle.
“Don’t touch that!” the old woman rushed and grabbed the bottle that Gretel had just opened. Pink liquid splashed on the old woman.
Suddenly, she was fawning over Gretel. “Oh, you pretty girl, you look so thin. Let me get you something to eat.”
Gretel ran to Hansel. “She wants to fatten me up. She is going to eat me,” she whispered.
Potions and Spells
“Oh, no, she won’t! Look, I found this Book of Spells.”
As the old woman came out of the kitchen with a basket of fruit, Hansel read a spell out loud. Poof! The old woman turned into a frog spilling fruits and nuts all over the floor.
“It works!” Hansel exclaimed. The frog jumped up and down and croaked loudly.
Gretel put the fruits back into the basket. Then she took a broom from a corner to sweep up the small nuts and grains.
“Grets, there’s a spell to make the broom fly.”
“This is a flying broom?” she giggled as she jumped into it and held on.
“Here goes…! Fly, broom, fly, and stay up high!”
No sooner had Hansel said the last word when the broom flew up with Gretel on it. “Hanseeel…” she screamed.
“Hold tight, Grets!” Hansel read frantically, “Land, broom, land safely on the ground!”
The broom landed and the two kids breathed a sigh of relief. Then Gretel said excitedly, “Let me do that again!”
“Later, Grets. Let’s do something about the frog. It’s breaking stuff in the house.”
Hansel said to the frog, “OK, I found the spell to turn you back.”
Gretel whispered, “But Hansel… she might eat me when she’s a witch again.”
“Then I’ll turn her back to frog again,” he whispered back. Then he recited the spell.
Poof! The frog turned into a rabbit which jumped up and down excitedly in front of Hansel.
“Oops! I made a mistake.” He lowered his head and pointed to a word in the page, “I did not read this right. Let me try again.”
The rabbit calmed down and waited as Hansel recited the spell again. Poof! The rabbit turned into a goat, an angry goat. It was poised to attack Hansel who jumped behind a chair. The goat rammed the chair with its horn. Hansel yelled, “You can’t be a witch again if you hurt me!”
Gretel came to his rescue. She hit the goat with the broom, “Bad goat!” She gave a yelp when the goat turned to her, but to her surprise, it sat meekly before her.
“She likes me,” Gretel grinned.
Hansel was at the book again, reading. “Sleeping wears off a spell. Sleep the night and the spell wears off the following morning.”
“I found a sleeping potion,” Gretel said as she took a blue bottle from the shelf. She patted the goat’s head and placed the open bottle next to its nose. The goat sniffed and in no time, fell asleep.
“Wow, that’s fast!” Hansel was thrilled. “Now we have to clean up and leave before she wakes tomorrow. I’m sure she will be very angry.”
“Hansel, I found this book near those pretty bottles.”
“A Book of Potions.” He opened the book. “Pink potion for mean people. Once they take or smell the potion, they become good to you.”
“Oh, the pink potion! She did not want to eat me. Even as goat she still liked me,” Gretel chuckled.
They ate fruits for dinner. Gretel fell asleep while Hansel cleaned up the house and put everything in order. He also prepared food they would take with them the following day.
The sun was up when Hansel awoke. He quickly roused Gretel and they quietly slipped out but they were shocked when they saw their father right outside the house.
“Hansel! Gretel! I thought I would never see you!” He sobbed as he hugged them.
“Father, you’re here! And stepmother?” Hansel asked.
“We had a big fight when you were gone. She confessed how she’d been treating you. She left when I said I was going after you. Oh, I’m so glad I found you!”
“You must be the father!” a sharp voice asked from the door.
“Uh-oh!” Hansel turned to the voice, “Please let us go. We did not mean to…”
“Silence!” the witch snapped. He turned to the woodcutter, “Are these your kids?”
“Yes! I thought I lost them. I spent the whole day yesterday and the whole night looking for them. I thank God I found them.”
“I took them in my house to provide shelter for the night. And what did they do?” her voice rose to a shrill. “Turned me into a frog! A rabbit! I spent the night as a goat, thanks to your boy!”
Hansel said, “I t-tried to turn you back…”
The witch pointed her bony finger to Hansel and to Gretel, I could have turned you into toads but I did not!” she screamed.
She stared at them and no one dared to speak or move. Then she sighed audibly, “Anyway, you cleaned up the mess you made in my house. That showed respect. I can’t let you leave just like that.” Her shrill voice called out, “Broom!”
The broom came out pulling a bag tied into its handle. The broom dropped the bag next to Hansel.
“Take that with you,” the witch said, then she pointed to the father, “Mind your children! I don’t want to see them again! Now, off you go!”
She turned and entered her house, with the broom marching behind her.
Hansel knelt next to the bag and opened it. Inside was a treasure they had never even dreamed of seeing.
The witch watched from inside as they left. She turned to the broom, “That boy is something else. It takes courage to make the spells work.” She smiled, “I admit I had fun with those pesky kids but it is too risky to go through that again.”
The following day, she burned her house down and took off to the deeper part of the jungle to build another house. She told the broom, “But never again made of bread and cakes. I don’t want children to come eating off my house again.”
With their wealth, the woodcutter and his children moved to town and lived in a huge house. Hansel and Gretel went to the best school in town.
A teacher in Hansel’s class was a known terror. One day, he did not come to class but the students noticed a frog sitting on the teacher’s chair.
The next day, the teacher was back but he was not himself. He was extremely nervous and jumpy. He was no longer the terror that he was.
A bully student claimed he became a goat somehow. He refused to go back to school but when he did, he was as gentle as a lamb.
The girls in Gretel’s class were so mean at first but she won them over by bringing to school home-made cookies and muffins. In time, she became the most popular girl in school.
Hansel and Gretel lived happily with their father. Prominent in Hansel’s room was a Book of Spells and in Gretel’s room, a Book of Potions.
They found the books at the bottom of the treasure bag.
Fractured Fairy Tale:
This is a Fractured Fairy Tale based on Grimm's Fairy Tales with the same title: Hansel and Gretel.
You can read the original Grimm's Fairy Tale here.
© 2020 Norma
Star on May 24, 2020:
Interesting story ... bed time story telling for kids too...