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‘Sunshine at last for Hansel & Gretel’ An unfairy tale by 12 year old Bookosmian from Kolkata

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Bookosmia Spotlight

Hunar Choudhary

Hey everyone, Sara here! Here is another impressive young writer, 12 year old Hunar Choudhary from Kolkata , rewriting an old fairytale to fit a more generous and relevant narrative. Kudos to Hunar for breathing a new life into the old witch.

 

Hunar goes to Modern High School for Girls, Kolkata and is a student of Word Munchers.

‘Sunshine at last for Hansel & Gretel’ An unfairy tale by 12 year old Bookosmian from Kolkata

Gretel sat on the damp forest floor, clenching her old blue dress which her  mother had sewn for her while Hansel rested his head on her lap and a tiny tear droplet rolled down his cheek.

 

He opened his mouth and was barely able to let out the words, “I… I refuse to  believe our father would abandon us and that too twice, just because our  stepmother told him too. She must have done something, yes, she must have done something.”

Gretel looked down at him and her red eyes glistened in the moonlight as she mouthed the words, “He abandoned the two people he called his sunshine and to whom he read out bedtime stories, in a second, just for her,” through her  clenched teeth.

Both the siblings woke up the next morning to the smell of candy and just like  every other eight year old would do, they let it lead them to the most beautiful  place they had ever seen. The door of the cottage was lined with candy corn  and it took every bit of control they had, to resist stretching out their hands  and plucking them out. The window was made of hardened sugar which shimmered in the sunlight and the roof consisted of mouth-watering  chocolate wafers. They knocked on the door and to their surprise it was  opened at the drop of a hat.

 

There, in front of them, stood an old lady dressed in a black dress with a hood.  She opened her mouth displaying all her crooked teeth and said, “What do you  two want?”

Gretel stammered, “We… we want a place to stay and we are willing to work for it.

“Come in then,” she said.

Some days passed and they both washed clothes, cooked and cleaned in  exchange of shelter and food. They did not mind this lifestyle as long as it meant not going back to the forest although every now and then, Hansel and Gretel found themselves missing their bedtime stories, playing in their  backyard and their father’s warm hugs but then they remembered he loved  them just enough to leave them in the forest to get eaten by wolves.

They would often find the old lady staring longingly at them while they worked  as if she wanted to comfort them. She would try to use few utensils and  secretly cover Hansel and Gretel with a blanket after they had fallen asleep.

One day, the lady got really sick and as she lay on her bed, helpless, she saw  Hansel and Gretel come in on their own with a bowl of hot chicken soup and  medicine. Hansel fed her while Gretel kept the tablets in a little tray beside her,  she gave them a faint smile and said, “Let’s hire some help.”

 

This is when they  all knew that after everything they had been through, they had a chance at  happiness and a family after all. They had found their sunshine, and for real this time.

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