Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hansel and Gretel

The sweet version of Hansel and Gretel is already a bit violent with the ending.

It tells about two children, Hansel and Gretel, who go wandering into the forest and get lost.  They come across a gingerbread house and decide to enter.  The witch who lives there kidnaps them and fattens them up to eventually eat them.  When she is about to cook them, Hansel and Gretel escape by pushing the witch into the fire.

Even though the story is violent enough for children, the French version, “The Lost Children”, takes it a little step further.

The witch is actually the devil’s wife.  The devil’s wife puts together a sawhorse to put one of the children on.  She wants the children to bleed slowly.  The children pretend not to know how to get on, and so the devil’s wife demonstrates.  As she is lying down, the children slice her throat and are able to escape.

Surprisingly, the endings do not have that much of a difference.  Either way, the witch/devil’s wife is brutally murdered.  It only depends on the reader’s preference to the villain being burned alive or getting their throat sliced.

Moral of the story: Never take candy (or any kind of food) from strangers... especially one that lives in a gingerbread house that is deep in the woods.

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