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Hansel & Gretel Revisited This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
Once upon a time
A lifetime, a millennium, a fortnight ago
In an age when life was simple
And stepmothers were invariably evil,
The business of living continued
With small pauses to fill in the
Oversimplified moral at
The end of an impossibly unreal story
That even a fairy would be loath to admit ownership of.

Such is the epic of Hansel and Gretel.
A terrible economic downturn had occurred in the forest,
(A mere depression, nothing a few tax cuts couldn't fix)
And there was not enough food to go around.
So Hansel and Gretel's stepmother convinced their father -
A loving, caring, hungry man -
To lead his offspring deep into the woods
And abandon them there.
It was a win-win situation for everyone
Except maybe Hansel and Gretel.

So the close family unit set off into the deep green yonder.
Scheming Hansel, however, had overheard his parents'

diabolical plan
(Kids in those days were always eavesdropping)
And dropped bread crumbs along the path
(After all, he was only a child, not Einstein.)
That would lead them back home.
Unfortunately, after spending the night
Beside the fire their father had so benevolently built them

before leaving his two children all alone in the wild forest,
Hansel and Gretel discovered that the crumbs were gone.

After wandering through the woods
With no shoes and empty stomachs
Hansel and Gretel came across a
Quaint little house that smelled of good things to eat.
Ignoring the electric fences (a sure sign of trouble),
The children trespassed on the property,
Where they met the proprietor,
A little old lady, who seemed kindly
But had an evil core lurking beneath
Her wrinkled façade.

Hansel and Gretel should have heard
The sinister music in the background.
But they couldn't hear it over the Barney theme song

running through their heads,
And besides, they smelled cookies and cakes.
They couldn't have known the senior citizen's
Evil plan.
So Hansel and Gretel followed her into the little house
Where they gorged themselves on treats
Like cows at a feed-lot.
After the old lady shoved Hansel into a stable
It suddenly became clear that Hansel and Gretel weren't
Out of the woods (literally or figuratively) yet.
The silver-haired criminal began to fatten Hansel up
To serve as a special meal at her bridge club meeting next week.
As Hansel's body-fat index continued to rise
The old lady became increasingly eager
To indulge herself in a sumptuous meal.
(Her measly Social Security check did not allow her

to do it often.)

Finally the day arrived.
The oven was pre-heated, the bridge tables were out, and
Hansel was sufficiently plump.
In a last act of revenge to all of the young people who had
Mocked her purple jogging suits and
Tailgated her Buick when she drove 20 in a 35 zone,
The old lady told Gretel to get inside the oven.
Gretel was smarter than that, however, and
With the proper degree of humility and reverence that should be adopted when speaking to one's elders,
She asked her captor to illustrate exactly how

one steps into an oven.
(She should have read Sylvia Plath.)
The old lady's mind was not what it once was
And she fell for Gretel's trick.
Grandma Cannibal stepped into the oven,
And Gretel quickly shut the door,
Trapping the old woman within the flames.
Gretel rushed to free her brother from the stable,
Where he lay waiting for his execution.
The pair went to admire Gretel's handiwork in the house
And wonder of wonders,
They found a bag of jewels,
Allowing them to live a life of luxury together forever.

Fairy tales, like sitcoms
Always have a happy ending.
But what can be learned from Hansel and Gretel's tale of woe?
The answer is twofold:
Beware of old people
(They vote down school budgets and eat young people.)
And in the off-chance you're in Gretel's situation
And have just shoved an old lady into an oven,
Check underneath the mattress.
That's where they hide the valuables.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 5 comments. Post your own!

native246 said...
May 31 at 3:47 am:
that was great. i expected to see the classic story but this was even better!
 
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Sarah_G said...
Jan. 29, 2013 at 5:31 pm:
I loved this! It was really clever and funny, not too short or too long. Nice job.
 
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In_Love_with_Writing said...
Jan. 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm:
That was hilarious! Awesome story! Can you comment and rate some of my work?
 
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KimaLima said...
Oct. 28, 2008 at 10:34 pm:
That was cute. I liked your comments. I love modern fairytales. kat m
 
Jamie replied...
Dec. 14, 2009 at 3:38 am :
This is a great record, for the holidays.
 
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