Here’s some News of the Weird to take your mind off the News of the Even Weirder that constitute current events in America these days: Apparently a bunch of witches are up in arms about the fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel.” They say it gives their kind a bad name, and they want it removed from the Mount Diablo School District near San Francisco.
According to the Associated Press, witches like Karlyn Staganana have had it up to here with the Brothers Grimm story and its depiction of a cannibalistic witch hidden deep in the forest.
″We do not eat children,″ she said. ″No matter how irritating they get, I don’t do anything more than turn them into frogs.″
Staganana and her fellow witches were upset to learn that a fifth-grade teacher in the area has been using the fairy tale to put Hansel and Gretel through a mock trial of sorts. It’s up to the students to debate whether the children were just innocent babes in the woods…or whether they were actually out there looking for trouble as they snacked on the witch’s house.
In the story – in case it’s been a while since you’ve read it – Hansel and Gretel are banished from their house by their father’s new wife: The classic wicked stepmother. Under strict orders from the wife to kill the children, the father instead merely takes them out to the forest and abandons them. A real stand-up guy, Hansel and Gretel’s father. Probably a liberal.
In any event, the children wander up to the witch’s gingerbread house and begin feasting on the decorations. Soon enough, they are caught by the homeowner and learn a valuable lesson about private property rights. The witch locks Hansel up and proceeds to fatten him for her dinner, but Gretel kicks her into her own oven and roasts her before she gets the chance to make a meal out of them.
“A few weeks ago, the fifth-graders, who read a version that ended with the children going home with the witch’s riches, found that Hansel and Gretel acted in self-defense, but ordered them to return the booty,” reports the AP.
Sounds like a pretty fun assignment, but of course we can’t have anything these days.
″What happened to common sense?″ asked Mount Diablo school board member Dennis McCormac. ″It’s getting to be if the kids tried the wolf from the Three Little Pigs, the animal rights people would be upset.″
We really can’t improve on that quote, so we’ll just leave it at that.