Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Mother and the Witch

This is from the Brothers Grimm version of Hansel and Gretel. I think it shows an interesting parallel between the mother in the story and the witch they encounter later:

"'I'll tell you what husband,' answered the woman. 'Tomorrow morning we will take the children out quite early into the thickest part of the forest. We will light a fire and give each of them a piece of bread. Then we will go to work and leave them alone. They won't be able to find their way back, and so we shall be rid of them...' 
"At daybreak, before the sun had risen, the woman came and said, 'Get up you lazybones! We are going to the forest to fetch wood.'"

"All at once the door opened and an old, old woman, supporting herself on a crutch, came hobbling out. Hansel and Gretel were so frightened that they dropped what they held in their hands...
"Then she went to Gretel and shook her till she woke, and cried, 'Get up, little lazybones! Fetch some water and cook something nice for your brother. He is in the stable and has to be fattened. When he is nice and fat, I will eat him.'"

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