- By Garrison Keillor
This text 'Gretel', written by Garrison Keillor, is a contemporary adaptation of the story 'Hansel and Gretel'. This adaptation takes the form of a statement made by Gretel. Gretel's version is put into a modern setting.
Gretel is not satisfied with what Hansel and her father did. Gretel had to get 50% of the profit earned by selling the book but Hansel's layer forced her to sign a new contract by putting her under a spell. Thus she would get only a very little money. Her complaint was that Hansel and her father did not tell the true version of the story. Hansel was presented as a strong and capable person and Gretel as a weak sister. The father was presented as a loving person and the mother as a wicked woman, who forced him to give up the children in the forest, but Gretel says that nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Hansel was really weak and incapable of doing anything. She always had to help him and she had carried him on her back with difficulty. She says that her father was not a loving person, but he was really unkind and unpleasant because he wanted to leave them in the forest. He would get drunk. The step mother, Glad's could not do anything without his permission.
Gretel says that many parents would leave their children in a forest hoping that the animals, birds or persons who lived in the forest would rescue them. She says that their act was not necessarily evil. She was not worried because of such expectation. It was a usual; activity in those days. She says that living in the jungle was a hard experience, but not a single child suffered permanently. Instead such a child would become an active person afterwards. She points out that Hansel was still a stupid person. He lived with their father in a great luxurious building comfortably, but Gretel and the step-mother had to live in a small attic room of an inn. Thus Gretel is expressing a lot of dissatisfactions. She says that the witch suffered extremely, so she has sympathy for her mother and the witch suffered extremely, so she has sympathy for her mother and the witch, because she had pushed the witch without a good reason. She feels sorry because she had killed the witch. Actually the witch was not after Gretel, but she was after Hansel.