Apr 11, 2012

Rewriting Stereotypes

Magaly over at Pagan Culture is having an anniversary party for her blog, entitled "Sexy, Dark & Bloody Fiction."  Her goal?  To re-write witchy stereotypes in fiction in whatever way the contributors imagine. 

Here is my take on Hansel & Gretel:

Once upon a time, there was a great famine in the Village.  A poor woodcutter and his wife did not know how they were going to feed their children and so after much discussion, it was agreed that the children would go out into the forest to try to snare a bird or rabbit, while the woodcutter and his wife went to work cutting wood.

The children, wanting to be sure they knew the way home, left pebbles to mark their path, but dusk came quickly and they stumbled in the twilight and could not see the way home.  They made a bed of leaves and grasses and decided to stay the night in the forest, rather than become more lost and cold.

The next morning, the children awoke to find that they were outside the sprawling gardens of a most fascinating house.  Vines grew over the home and raspberry and blackberry canes stretched up the side of the building, full of fat, juicy fruit.  The children, being famished, began to eat the sweet berries off the side of the house.

Their mouths were full and stained purple and red, when a woman came around the corner and startled them.  She was wispy and tall, with long wild hair that was tied back from her face with a piece of twine.  She smiled when she saw the hungry children and offered them her harvest basket, but the children just looked at her with confusion.

Realizing that these must be townsfolk who weren't used to growing and foraging their own food, the wild woman set to teaching the children about growing plants for food and medicine.  She taught them the joy of harvesting in the forest as well as growing plants at home in any space that you had - even if you had to grow plants up the sides of your house!

She also taught the children about the joys of creating teas and using herbs for crafting cleaners...and even a little magic.

After spending a few days with the wise woman, the children made their way home with their new found knowledge and several baskets of herbs, roots, flowers and vegeteables.  They told their parents of their adventures and the wild woman who taught them about the magic of plants.  And although they never saw the woman again, they shared their knowledge with the people of the Village, and the townspeople never went hungry or without medicine (or magic) again!

The End

*Thanks and Happy Blog-iversary to Magaly!

**Photos in this post are linked to the websites where I found them.


Magaly Guerrero said...

What a sweet, sweet, sweet tale. And the picture of the little witch is lovely. It reminds me of me walking around the kitchen, cooking while listening to an audio book.

And how true your story sounds, a witch would be more likely to teach a couple of kids about survival than to abuse them or, as stories usually suggest, eat them.

Thanks for sharing!

Linda in New Mexico said...

Well done, I love it. The benevolent woman is a far cry from the horrible haggy picture that was painted in the original. Thanks for this. Oma LInda

pensive pumpkin said...

i like your version.

even as a child, i thought maybe hansel and gretel deserved what they almost got. but then again, i didn't like harry potter for the first few books either. he was soooo whiny!! lol

L. Starkey said...

Love it!

mermaid gallery said...

Now why aren't children told stories like this!...so supportive and educational too....really great!

Gina said...

They found my house? LOL That was lovely, and most probably how the story originated :D XXX

Polly said...

I LOVE this! Your version is so much more realistic and a pleasure to read!


Sunshineshelle said...

Lot's better take on the tale & I think this would be an awesome way to start a kid's recipe book - Have the story woven through the pages with breaks for information on herbs etc & her recipes - wonderful :)

Mina said...

Oh, this is the very best take on Hansel and Gretel that I have EVER read. I truly loved this tale, especially since you are using the real actions of a witch. Fabulous! Hugs, Mina

Tana said...

Ah, yes.
I like new takes on old stories.
Very beautifully done. :)