The Real Story of Hansel and Gretel

October 28, 2007
By Katie De Filippo, Hoffman Estates, IL

Finally, after one hundred long dreadful years in a chimney, I’m free. Now you may ask who in the world this is, well I am Annabel. I’m a pastry chef, deserts are my specialty.
Now that’s a ridiculous question, how did I get stuck in a chimney? Well haven’t you ever heard the story of Hansel and Gretel, the two sweet little children trapped by a wicked witch, only to escape by pushing her into her oven?
That story pains my heart, for I believed those two to be angels that is until they Well, pushed me into my oven and escaped with all of my precious jewels. The real story goes a little something like this…
Hansel and Gretel’s mother died when they were quite young, and soon after their father remarried. The children however, were not pleased with the arrangement. They tried everything in their power to get their sweet stepmother to leave. They refused to eat any of her cooking, causing them to become tremendously thin. They refused to help clean, or do anything for that matter, they were just plain nasty. Their stepmother, a once gorgeous beautiful woman, had been trying so hard to please the children that she became worn out, ugly, and bitter.
One day, the two children decided to frustrate their poor stepmother even more by running away. Hansel, knowing the two would not be returning for supper stole a loaf of bread from the cupboard, and the two munched on their way through the forest. But, being the sloppy pigs they are crumbs spilled from their mouths, leaving a trail of crumbs behind.
The children continued walking, until finally they came upon a cottage, my cottage, made completely out of sweets. Before you think to ask why my house is made completely of sugar, I’m a little over obsessive about my profession. But that is beside the point; the two came upon my house and began to devour it, breaking off pieces of the roof, gnawing at the walls, nibbling at the windows.
Upon all the ruckus of crunching and munching I ventured outside to see what was destroying my beautiful work of art. It was then I saw two frail children eating away at my house. Angry and perplexed I asked them, “Children, why must you nibble at my house just like a little mouse?”
Gretel immediately turned on the puppy dog face and with tears welling un in her bright blue sad eyes replied, “I’m sorry but we are oh so hungry.” Guilt filled the pit of my stomach stomach; I had never felt so badly for two human beings in my entire life, they appeared so helpless, so hungry. So I invited them in and started to bake, it is the only talent have.
I baked and baked everything I could think of; cookies, cakes, brownies, and candy. The two were so slender and frail; I believed it my responsibility to plump them up., before I sent them back on their way. So everyday, I would check if they had gotten anymore meat on their bones, by asking them each to stick out their index finger in order to check. But the duo outsmarted me, for they were greedy and all they wanted were more treats. So in order to keep themselves in strong supply of goodies they would stick out a tiny chicken bone instead.
Now my eyes had begun to fail my in my elderly age, so I was unaware that what was actually being held out was a skinny little chicken bone. The immense feeling of pity overwhelmed me everyday. I couldn’t bare to send these children back into the world when they were so thin. So I continued to bake, clean, and spoil them completely rotten all because they were bamboozling me with a chicken bone.
For weeks, I slaved over the two, draining myself of all energy, yet I continued; they appeared so innocent, always saying please and thank you. Then, one day while I was baking a cake, I heard a crash and a clatter, so I went to see what was the matter. I arrived to back of my cottage to see Hansel and Gretel collapsed on the floor, an antique chair toppled over, my precious, glimmering, shiny jewels and gems scattered around them
“What happened here?” I scolded, for another mess to clean would surely drain me.
“We’re sorry we’ll clean it up,” smiled the children.
Their sweet smiles left me with a feeling of relief and I went back to baking. As I prepared to place my delectable triple chocolate cake into sweltering oven, I heard the pitter patter of tiny feet just behind me, I crooked my neck to see Gretel creeping stealthily behind me. A few feet back Hansel crept, trying to escape towards the front door, with a sack overfilled with my jewels.
But, before I could even stand completely upright, Gretel barreled into me full speed. I toppled into the scorching flames of the oven, the heavy steel door echoed as it shut behind me.
Trembling and terrified of death and the flames I crawled up into the chimney pipe to escape, where I got stuck, imprisoned for life. Or at least until today, when you found me. So now you know the truth. I never tried to eat Hansel, make Gretel do chores; I was just trying to be polite.

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