Gretel and Hansel

Gretel and Hansel

A Story by No_One_Special

A dark and surprising twist on the classic 'Hansel and Gretel'.


Gretel and Hansel

Once upon a time there was a woodcutter who lived in a cabin in the woods with his wife. They were blessed with a son, whom they named Hansel, and two years later they had a daughter they called Gretel. They were all very happy for a time, but when Hansel was ten his mother died suddenly of illness. Not wanting to be lonely, the woodcutter very quickly took a second wife, and they in turn birthed a third child. Now with the man, his wife, two children and the baby, it was getting difficult to support them all. 

To make matters worse, Hansel loathed his stepmother and was violently jealous of the attention the baby got. He would lash out brutally at the two of them, and often break things around the house or stay out all night without any excuse or notice. 

As for Gretel, she was so very hungry in their current poverty that all she would do was complain and carry on all the day long. No matter how many extra crumbs of food the couple tried to spare for the girl it was never enough to satiate her, and on more than one occasion she would clutch at her stomach and wail all night long.

Needless to say this environment was very disruptive to the baby, and eventually the couple were forced to sit in counsel and consider what to do. No matter what form of discipline they had tried to enforce upon Hansel it never worked, and they simply had no additional food to give Gretel. So, finally the man was forced to present an option he felt, although difficult for him to bear, was the only recourse.

“Have I ever told you,” the man told his wife after the children had gone to bed, “About the witch?”

The woman listened eagerly, and although the plan her husband eventually presented disturbed her, she too felt they had no other option. And so the next day when the children woke up, their parents blindfolded them and led them deep into the woods, saying that they were playing a game. Although, after some time, in his rebelliousness Hansel removed is blindfold, only to find his father and stepmother long gone. To make matters worse, he was desperately lost without the slightest idea where he was. 

After removing Gretel’s blindfold for her and deliberating much on the subject, he decided that they would press forward together and see if they might come upon a town, or someone charitable at least, to aid them. He ordered her to stay close to his side at all times, and for several days they journeyed in the woods.

On the first night, as Hansel had a dagger with him, he managed to kill a rabbit. The two  roasted it and ate it for dinner, but even after Gretel had picked its bones clean she still complained of terrible hunger. Hansel was sympathetic to the girl, and held his ailing sister until she fell asleep.

They set out again and traveled throughout the day, on the second day. That night, Hansel killed a pheasant and the two ate it for supper. It had provided much more meat than the rabbit, and yet Gretel still complained of how hungry she was, after eating every last morsel. Hansel didn’t know how she could possibly be so hungry still, and her cries began to weary his nerves. This time he told her coldly to be silent and go to sleep.

The third night of their traveling together, Hansel was lucky enough to kill a young doe. He skinned it, cleaned it, and cooked the meat for their supper, but no matter how much of the venison he gave to his sister, the girl still complained of miserable hunger. He was quite sure now that she must be lying, and so struck her across the mouth and ordered that she wasn’t to talk for the rest of the night.

On the morning of the fourth day, the siblings had come to the edge of the forest. Only they did not fInd a village, or cozy home there, all they saw was a steep cliff and a river far down below it. As Hansel sat on a rock, exasperated and not sure where they should venture from here, Gretel dug deep down into her dress pocket. Her hand surfaced with some old gingerbread cookies, baked in the shape of cute little cottages. She’d taken these from their home and not touched them during the journey. Now, she offered them to her brother.

“What are these? If you had food, why didn’t you say so before?” the boy asked, in extreme agitation as he snatched them from her hand.

Gretel smiled mischievously and said, “Dear Brother, these are my final gift to you.”

Hansel frowned, even as the crumbs fell from his lips while he said, “And what do you mean by that?”

Suddenly a peach colored vapor started to rise from Gretel’s skin. Very quickly it was caught up in the wind, blowing away to reveal that it was her skin itself, turning into a mist and separating from her body. Her flesh now appeared a gruesome green color, and her eyes grew red. Hansel sprung from the rock and tried to escape, but a mighty shock of blue lightning flew from her finger tips and struck him down. Gretel’s mouth opened very wide, revealing rows and rows of jagged, uneven teeth. She forced the boy’s arm in, and bit it off with a loud Crunch. Several crunches later and there was nothing left of the boy but some blood upon the rock.

After her meal, Gretel was, for the first time in her life, no longer hungry and very fully satisfied. She easily found her way back home, where she was greeted kindly by her parents, who’d expected just as much would happen. And so the man, his wife, young Gretel and the baby lived happily ever after and never again was a single cross word or complaint ever uttered from the cabin.

© 2011 No_One_Special

Author's Note

Part of my collection of 50 'No One Special Fairy Tales', I had been wanting to do Hansel and Gretel for a while but none of my ideas really stuck until I thought up this version. I hope you enjoyed it!

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Added on October 23, 2011
Last Updated on October 23, 2011



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