This was the ultimate advice that could have been given to Hansel and Gretel in last night's episode of Once Upon a Time! Actually, the evil queen did give the children that advice, but I guess candy and sweets are just too tempting for kids. I don't want to give too much away for those of you who haven't seen the episode yet. I will say this much: The blind witch who lives in the gingerbread house is looking better than any storybook witch ever has, and the evil queen gets some awesome Steampunk type outfits. Here's a brief video clip showing some of her stylish clothes:
I've never disliked a character so much, while at the same time wishing I had her wardrobe. It's almost conflicting in a way.
The next clip is a preview for the episode. You can catch a brief glimpse of the blind witch in this:
Didn't they find the most precious children to play Hansel and Gretel? If you would like to watch the entire episode, you can do so here:
Hansel and Gretel episode
Hansel and Gretel is one of those fairy tales that is probably supposed to leave children with a message. It was the original "Don't take candy from strangers" story! Of course, being a Grimm tale meant that it had its gruesome parts. I decided that a story that was grisly enough to involve a witch in an oven deserved a place here. So, I'm going to delve a little further into the story...
In the original Grimm version of Hansel and Gretel (which is probably the one we all know) the children live with their biological parents, who share the blame for abandoning them. I was surprised to learn that they later adapted the story so that the children live with their father and stepmother. From what I've found online, the story was updated in the 1850s. In the updated version, the stepmother would like to get rid of the children and sends them into the woods to fend for themselves. According to Wikipedia...
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm heard "Hansel and Gretel" from Dortchen Wild, and published it in Kinder- und Hausmärchen in 1812. In the Grimm tale, the woodcutter and his wife are the biological parents of the children and share the blame for abandoning them. In later editions, some slight revisions were made: the wife is stepmother to the children, the woodcutter opposes his wife's scheme to abandon the children, and religious references are made.
In both versions of the story, the children end up at the witch's gingerbread house, which lies deep in the woods. The witch plans to eat Hansel and Gretel, but the children manage to outwit the witch and throw her into the oven. In the revised story, the evil stepmother mysteriously dies of unknown causes at the same time the witch is burnt up in the oven. Hmm... Could it be that the witch and the evil stepmother were the same person? In that story, the children and their father live on in the witch's house and enjoy her wealth.
I was reminded of a funny scene from Addams Family Values where Morticia gets a job reading to school children. You'll have to watch a few other scenes first. Morticia's unique take on Hansel and Gretel:
Job Agency Lady: Major?
Morticia: Spells and Hexes
Job Agency Lady: Liberal Arts
If you'd like to learn more about the origins of Hansel and Gretel and related stories from around the world, you'll want to check out this informative web site:
The History of Hansel and Gretel Tales