Hansel and Gretel — fantasy poem

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Hansel and Gretel — fantasy poem

Hansel and Gretel – fantasy poem.  
My Hansel and Gretel is a  fantasy poem from a very old fairy tale that has several versions.  Basically, Hansel and Gretel are the children of a poor woodcutter. When a great famine settles over the land, the woodcutter’s wife decides to take the children into the woods and leave them there to fend for themselves, so that she and her husband do not starve to death.   Another version is they just wander off into the woods and get lost — that’s the one I picked.  Either way, we all know the rest of the story, along with the evil witch they deal with.  I’ve done my best to put it all into a fairy tale poem true to the latter version, just as I did with my other old fairy tale poems such as the Cinderella poem, Beauty and the Beast poemRapunzel poem, and Snow White poem.  By the way — aside from a host of films made about Hansel and Gretel – there’s also an opera about it, and of course,  the very violent and adult Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.

Hansel and Gretel – fantasy poem
copyright 2013 by jon gutmacher

Hansel and Gretel
ah, so young
in the forest
having fun
picking berries
from the brush
tasting each
not in a rush

Deeper, deeper
both do go
deep in forest
they should know
not to do
what they have done
now shadows grow . . .
the night will come

Suddenly lost
no path but trees
Gretel falls
upon her knees
“Hansel, what will we do now?
“I fear we’re lost
“I don’t know how”

Then a clearing
begins to grow
a joyous light
a wondrous glow
coming closer
what to see?
a candy cottage
How can that be?

Out of nowhere
an old woman there
invites them in
they have no care
gives them lots of things to eat
they fall asleep

Wake to find them
in a cage
no escape
and quite afraid
the old woman now
a witch, you see
feeds them daily
just candy

Gretel is now
made a slave
does witches bidding
while always chained
while Hansel is kept
within the cage
getting fatter
his life unmade

Each day the witch
checks Hansel out
feels his finger
getting stout
waiting for the fat to grow
then she’ll cook him
really slow

Hansel knows
the witch can’t see
her eyesight is bad
as it can be
so he tricks her
with a bone
“It’s way too lean”
the witch does moan

But after days
and days go by
her hunger grows
and that’s no lie
she heats the oven
very hot
so she can cook them
on the spot

But Gretel senses
what will come
she must act now
she cannot run
the oven’s burning
ah, so hot
the witch tells Gretel
to check the slot

“Go open the door”
“See if the embers are red”
“I’ll bake a pie”
That’s what she said
But in her mind
the witch does know
that when Gretel opens the oven
her foot will go
and push Gretel in
and cook her good
a tasty child
cooked over wood

But Gretel fakes
she does not know
how to open the oven
fast or slow
and the witch
who’d take her life
bends to show her
while she holds a knife

And Gretel sees
what she has planned
pushes evil witch in
and lets her land
inside the oven
then locks its door
the witch is burned
and is no more

Gretel then releases Hansel
they both are saved
and leave the cottage
no longer slaves
and make it back
to whence they came
Yes . . .

Hansel and Gretel
that was
their name

The image was found at: . There was no reference to an artist identity.
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