The oven, the witch, and the editors

Hansel & Gretel bookThe other day, I settled in on the couch with Elsa to read Hansel and Gretel.  There were two beautiful children, a wimp of a Father, and a bitchy Step-Mother who hated children.  One day, the Father caved under the pressure of the unrelenting Step-Mother who wanted to get rid of the children so she could have all of their food.  As a result, he methodically lead his children deep into the forest to die (she was probably withholding sex, who knows, I can’t imagine any other reason this seemingly loving father would do this).   Great book for kids, huh?

Anyway… the children are eventually captured by a witch, a storybook version of Hannibal Lecter.  She puts the brother in a cage and forces the sister to work around the house.  The witch is determined to fatten up the brother so she can eat him.

After several hefty meals, the witch decides that the boy is fat enough to eat so she asks his sister to light a fire in the oven.  If I was going cannibal I’d want my meat cooked too, so I can’t blame her there.

Now, here’s where the story gets a little dicey.  The sister manages to help the brother escape and together, they shove the witch into the cage.  Ummm… what happened to the oven, people?  They shove her into the oven, dammit!  OVEN!!

I understand that shoving someone into an oven is violent and could even come off as being anti-semitic, but is this really necessary?  I remember this story well and can confirm that, as a result of hearing the original version as a child, I didn’t become a murderer, a hater, a child molester, or a nasty step-mother.

When are we going to quit rewriting history to reflect sunshine and roses and simply take some responsibility for communicating with our children instead?  The Brothers Grimm are rolling around in their graves right now, I’m quite sure.

When Cinderella moves into a frat house with a myriad of gorgeous sisters, a sweet-as-pie house mother, and gets hit on every weekend by the quarterback of the football team, I’m done!

On a lighter note, CLICK HERE to read more about the origins of Hansel and Gretel.

5 comments to The oven, the witch, and the editors

  • Pete D.

    Let’s just buy an old version and read that one…oh, wait, if we do that then our kids will be the crazy ones who don’t know the story…I say it’s worth it!

    Heidi Danos Reply:

    Agreed.

  • 2gunmike

    There is hope…

    http://chuckpalahniuk.net/news/tyler-durden-quote-in-high-school-hallway

    Unless of course they have already taken out the Ikea part. We don’t want to piss off the Swedish.

    Heidi Danos Reply:

    I’m a little Norwegian, Swedish, and French Canadian. Don’t piss of the Swedish. Ask Pete if you don’t believe me.

    2gunmike Reply:

    I will be sure to bring a package of Swedish Fish and ABBA’s greatest hits as a peace offering next time I come to pick up Pete for golf.

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