Unless anyone is truly interested, I'll spare you the academic side of my final and share my twenty-first century version of Hansel and Gretel. Check back next Friday for part two of three!
A Modern Fairytale
Not so long ago in a peaceful valley far, far away, surrounded by rolling hills rife with lush trees of holly, stood a hustling and bustling village. It was filled with creatures from across the galaxy like lived winged monkeys, shape shifters, artists, heroic cowboys and even a few humans. This land was so beautiful that many of the stars made their homes there so that they could sleep during the day and head out to party at night in their flashiest outfits. It just so happened that a woman named Carla and her twin children, Hans and Greta also lived in this magical land. Although Hans and Greta were very good children who looked after her, Carla didn't much care for her children. Instead, she wanted nothing more than to live in a castle among the royalty and stars. One day, as she as she walked down the street, a decree was published in the town paper announcing that a new prince in town was looking for a beautiful young woman to make his princess.
Immediately, Carla ran to her local magician and asked, "Magician, what must I do to catch the eye of the prince so that I can live in a castle and be celebrated by all of the people in the world?"
"It is very simple," replied the magician, "You are very beautiful, but you are a little too old for him. We can however trick him into believing you are younger if you use this magic potion." The magician pulled a small jar out of his long sleeve and opened the lid. The serum inside sparkled like a million diamonds.
"Give it to me! Give it to me quickly!" shrieked Carla.
"Not so fast! First, you must give me ten thousand gold coins."
"Ten thousand?" cried Carla. She turned away to leave, totally dejected.
"Momma! We could go to the bank! The trolls there will give you all the money you need!" suggested Hans. He had seen it work for countless others. Carla thanked the heavens for her intelligent child and hightailed it to the bank. However, before going inside she tore the children's clothes and rubbed dirt on their faces.
"Good afternoon, Sir," Carla dragged her pitiful looking children in behind her.
"I need gold coins, as many as you can give me. My children are hungry."
Looking down his long nose, through his tiny glasses the troll examined the lot of them. The children did not look like they were hungry, but the mother was so skinny, he took pity on the family. "I can lend you ten thousand gold coins if you give me the deed to your house as collateral."
Elated, Carla handed over the deed and took the coins to the magician. Although the serum did make her look younger, the magician pulled her aside before she left his high-rise office, "Carla, one last thing. This prince. He does not like children. Get rid of your children and I can promise you he will want to marry you."
Carla tossed and turned all night that night trying to figure out what to do. Finally, at the crack of dawn, she had hatched a plan.
"Come along children, we are going to hike out past the hills today.” As the children got ready, Carla took some sleeping powder out of her nightstand drawer and hid it in her purse. The small family hiked for hours, Carla in front, Hans and Greta playing together behind her as they made the trek. When they had reached a shady glen on the other side of the hills, the children were tired and asked for a break. Carla used this opportunity to sprinkle her sleeping powder into the children's water bottles and before long they were passed out in the grass. Carla made sure to take their cell phones before she ran as fast as she could back to her home.
When the children awoke they were frightened to find their mother gone and even more frightened to be without their cell phones. "How will we ever get home without our maps?" asked Greta.
"Don't worry," announced Hans bravely, "I know how to get home! I learned this trick from a story I heard once!" As they had been traveling, Hans had been crumbling his Power Bar into little pieces on the ground, partially in case they got lost and partially because it was a flavor he didn't like. He knew that by following the crumbs they could easily return to safety and find their mother. However, although Hans did not like the flavor of his Power Bar, the forest animals did and they ate up all of the crumbs before the children had even woken up from their nap.
The twins wandered for hours until Hans finally admitted he was lost. Greta started to cry, "I'm hungry," she cried out. "Me too," Hans tried not to cry, rather unsuccessfully. Just then they heard singing.
"Do you hear that?" Greta stood up and followed the sound. It was a trio of deformed rats singing show tunes. The twins stopped and listened to the rats, clapping when they had finished their songs.
“Bravo friends!” exclaimed Greta, “We are hungry, do you know where we can get some food?” The rats motioned for the children to follow and scattered away. Before long, the small group came to a tiny clearing where they found a quaint little cottage. The children’s eyes widened when they saw a beautiful garden on the side. Famished, the children feasted on carrots, tomatoes, and berries until their bellies were about to burst.
"Brother, do you think we will get into trouble for eating from this garden?"
"I'm sure we won't! Look, here comes the gardener now! We will explain it to her!"
Sure enough, a small woman with a blue bandana and clogs made her way into the clearing. She startled upon seeing the children, "Who are you?" she called out.
"I am Greta and this is my brother Hans! We were lost in the woods and had nothing to eat!" The old woman surveyed her turned up garden, but hid her dismay.
"Well, that I can see. Come inside," the old woman smiled and ushered in Hans and Greta. Hans thought he heard a lion roaring in the distance.
Tune in next week for Part II!