Tony and I watched 'Rumpelstiltskin' a few weeks back on YouTube. He hadn't heard the story before and found it very interesting. We then watched 'Hansel and Gretal'. Tony was gobsmacked with how awful the stepmother was. He had seen the 'Hansel and Gretal' movie at his Aunty's house but I could tell he really couldn't fathom the idea of a mother leading her children out to a forest and left to starve just because there wasn't enough food to feed all four of them. What a horrible, horrible woman!
I agree. It is horrible......if the story is accurate.
It seems that the story we hear is the children's side of it all. I'm not saying its completely wrong, just that if we heard the step mother's story, perhaps we wouldn't view her as such a villain. Let's give a fellow mother the benefit of the doubt - we all know what kids are like right?
I see flaws in this story which lead me to believe Hansel and Gretal may have taken a few liberties in their story.
1. They WILLINGLY went into the woods with their Father and Stepmother and when told to stay there as their parents left.....they did. One word here raises doubt to this story.
2. When they overhead their parents planning the night before they were taken into the woods for the first time, they gathered white pebbles to help them find their way back. Now I can't speak for anyone else but my boys can hardly plan where to put their next foot when walking, let alone plan to outsmart a supposed 'nasty' Stepmother.
3. The lack of bickering. At no point in this story do Hansel and Gretal argue, bicker, or tease me another. This story has GOT to be false.
It's not that I think the whole thing is a big fat lie. I just think it didn't quite happen as we have heard it.
Suppose 'perfect' little Hansel and Gretal didn't take kindly to their new step mother. Suppose they refused to eat the nutritious meals she slaved over.
Perhaps they WERE sent out into the forest, but only to find berries, and they wandered off and decided to muck about for hours on end and get lost. Instead of wanting to get in trouble, perhaps they made up an elaborate story. Yes, it's a good story.....but it REEKS of childish imagination. I mean a house made of sweets with a witch inside to lure unsuspecting children?
COME ON!! It sounds a little too convenient to me.
For all we know, this poor step mother could have just sent them out of the house for a moments peace. Just a quiet hour to clean up the never ending mess, to be away from the never ending barrage of questions;
"What can I eat?"
"Where is my other shoe?"
"I want to play the WII but its not working properly! Muuuuummm can you fix it!!"
(I know WII didn't exist in 1990 but MAYBE Hansel and Gretal had one in old time Germany??)
Perhaps she just wanted a moments peace to go to the bathroom alone or shower without having to referee arguments over who is Peppa Pig and who is Brother George.
Now I would never send my children out to the woods alone! I'm not condoning this at all. But I see flaws ind these stories we are told and the more I think about it, I am pretty certain Hansel and Gretal is a story passed around by these two cunning children to get their Father back to themselves and become little heroes in the meantime.
Or maybe I am wrong. Maybe they really did outsmart their parents, find a house of lollies, and defeat a witch.
Maybe I just have too much time on my hands.