Lesson 7 Hansel & Growly Gretel

Have you heard the story of Hansel and Gretel? Well believe me it isn’t true. How do I know this you will be thinking, well, let me tell you about it.
Hansel & Gretel were always doing things together. One day their father asked Hansel to fetch kindling from the forest he told him that the best kindling for the fire was deep inside the dark wood.
Their mother asked Gretel to bring back the special mushrooms for making soup; she told her that they only grew near the wishing well near to an old ladies house at the far end of the forest. Little did the children know that their parents had met an old woman at a market and she had told them how she could help get rid of them. It’s not that the parents didn’t love Hansel and Gretel, but they had fallen on hard times and could no longer afford to feed, clothe and warm them.
That morning Hansel and Gretel went out to gather the kindling and mushrooms. They followed the footpath, because as you know if they had come off it they would have got lost. As they got deeper into the dark wood the road they followed split in two different directions.
‘You go left and I’ll take the right as mum always says a road always leads you back together’ said Hansel. Now this boy was very clever and always liked a challenge.
‘Let’s make a bet, if I get home before you then you have to do all my chores for the week’ he stuck out his hand for Gretel to shake. She thought for a minute.
‘If I get back home first you have to do my homework for a month’ Gretel was sneaky as she knew the forest like the back of her hand and she knew she would be back long before him. They shook hands and disappeared going their separate ways.
You see she wasn’t the sweet innocent child everyone thought. She had already decided while walking down the left path that she would find any old mushroom and quickly rush home.
As the morning turned into afternoon Hansel still hadn’t found where his father had said the kindling would be. As he walked further into the forest he looked back behind and noticed that the path he was walking on had disappeared and it was getting darker and the trees were getting bigger and seemed to be surrounding him.
He was feeling very scared but because he couldn’t find his way back he walked on and could see in the distance a light glowing and heard strange singing and chanting. When he finally made his way into the clearing there before him was a beautiful house made out of gingerbread. It had lollipops and candy canes and lovely jelly sweets stuck all over the roof.
But who should be there already Gretel. She had already filled her basket with mushrooms and was greedily stuffing her fat face with gingerbread and happily dancing around like a mad thing possessed. As you know sweets are ok but sometimes too much sugar makes you do crazy things.
Because Hansel was very hungry he decided to eat a lolly. His sister was not very happy that he had suddenly arrived and they began to argue.
‘Gretel we need to find our way back home, its late and mum and dad will be wondering where we are’ he said in between each sweet bite of the lolly.
‘I couldn’t care less I want to stay here you go home if you’re so worried’ she carried on breaking bits off the gingerbread house. Hansel could see a little old lady watching them from behind her liquorice blinds. She looked frightened and was pointing to Gretel and saying something that he couldn’t quite make out.
‘Gretel the old lady is watching us. She doesn’t look very happy. Come on we better go’ he dragged his sister away from the house.
‘I’ll find some kindling on the way home’ he said. Realizing that his sister was not with him he turned to see her hurling abuse.
‘Take that you old witch’ barked Gretel throwing one of the candy canes at the old woman’s window. The sugar glass window splintered. A shard of glass flew into Gretel’s eye. She screamed and ran after Hansel holding her eye that was pouring with blood. As she left she heard the old woman cackle with laughter and say,
‘If you keep pulling faces at me I’ll make you wish you hadn’t’.
‘I’ll get you for this old woman see if I don’t’ Gretel growled.

When the children finally arrived home their parents were sitting down eating a large meal and drinking wine. They were shocked to see Hansel and Gretel walk in the door. They acted pleased to see them but in all honesty they weren’t happy.
‘Oh my goodness come in here children quickly what has happened to you and where on earth have you been?’ The children saw the food on the table and immediately tucked in to the roasted hog that looked so inviting. Their father was most put out as he didn’t want the children back in the home.
They explained how they each had collected the kindling and mushrooms and how they had seen a beautiful house deep in the forest made of gingerbread. Gretel told them how she hurt her eye; of course she didn’t tell them the whole truth.
For a little while life returned to normal. But a few months later however Gretel got a craving for gingerbread and decided she would pay the old woman a visit. With each visit Gretel would call her evil names, pull faces at her and tear large chunks of gingerbread off her house this made the old woman very angry as she had to keep fixing her lovely house of gingerbread.
The old woman sent the woodsman to speak to her parents as she had taken out an Asbo against Gretel. She gave him a brown glass bottle that was filled with a liquid that smelled of gingerbread. The witch told the woodsman that this was medicine to help with Gretel’s moods and would calm her down. He told her parents that she was to have this mixed with hot chocolate and they must make sure that she drinks it all. Her parents did exactly as they were told.
Over the summer months Gretel had drunk all the gingerbread smelling mixture. It seemed to fix the cravings and all was well. That was until the evening of All Hallows Eve which is when all the ghosts and ghouls are supposed to come out to play.
The moon was at its highest and brightest shining down upon the little girl. Gretel had decided that she couldn’t help but want more of the delicious gingerbread and decided to pay the woman a visit. The old witch watched her once more eating the sweet treats and pulling faces at her through her liquorice blinds, smiling to herself.
Suddenly Gretel fell to the ground clutching her stomach. The pain that suddenly surged through her body was so bad that she was creased up but she wouldn’t let go of the sweet treats. Every bone in Gretel’s body began individually contorting, breaking and reforming. All the while the old witch carried on chanting and stirring her cauldron.
The pain was excruciating. She sprouted large ears for which she could hear the incantations of the witch. Her face distorted with the pain as a large furry muzzle grew. She could smell the potion the witch was boiling, it didn’t smell sweet. Her legs and arms went bendy and buckled forming paws with large claws and fur.
‘Ahhh Woooooo’
She cried for help at least that’s what she thought but all that came out of her mouth was a loud howl and a large slobbering tongue. Her eyes were blood shot from the straining pain she had endured. She whimpered as the old witch opened the door of the gingerbread house and stood before her.
‘I told you if you kept pulling faces at me it would one day stay like that’. The wolf stood on all four legs looking at the old woman. With eyes burning red in the darkness and fur as black as the night she ran far away into the forest never to be seen again.
What happened to Hansel and Gretel’s parents I hear you ask? Well the mushrooms were used by her mother to make the soup for All Hallows Eve night but the mother and father didn’t know that their daughter had heard them talking the night before she and her brother were to go into the forest and had decided to pick the most poisonous mushrooms.
How do I know this story to be true?

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