Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Hansel and Gretel and the Rock Festival


Mum and Dad had put their foot down. They were adamant.

“You are not going to the disco, and that’s final. I don’t care how many of your friends are allowed to go, you are not going. You are too young, ask us in a year or so and we’ll think again.”

Brother and sister were crushed. They’d told their friends that they’d all go together to the rave to be held in a large barn on the outskirts of the local town, just four miles away from their village.

The place was called ‘Escape’ and that’s what it appeared to be to the village kids, a place where you could get away from boring adults and their restrictions.

Gretel stamped her foot. “I hate them”, she wailed, “they never let us do anything. I bet Hannah’s Mum lets her go.”

Hansel scowled. “Serve them right if we just went without their stupid permission.”

The seed was sown.

The Saturday of the rave was bright and cold. There’d been snow overnight, the countryside looked cheerful and inviting in the sunshine.

Still sore, Hansel and Gretel kept to their rooms after lunch. Mum was busy in the kitchen and Dad was tinkering in the garage.  The party was to start at four pm and last till seven, when the kids who’d been allowed to go would be picked up and ferried home again.

Hansel burst into Gretel’s room. “Come on, get your coat on, we’re going,” he commanded. Gretel was ready for him, she’d already got her sparkly silver top on under her jumper and her black leggins under her jeans. “If we go now, by the path through the wood and across Farmer Giles’ field, we’ll get there by four. We’ll cadge a lift home and Mum and Dad will never know that we’ve been out.”

They sneaked out by the French doors into the garden and ran. As planned they got to the barn in good time, the music had only just started and not many of their friends had arrived as early as they had. But a group of much older boys and girls from the town were there, standing at one end of the barn in private huddles, with a skinny, tall boy going from group to group, handing them something.

Gretel stared. “They’re not meant to be here.” she said curiously. “They’re a bit old, aren’t they,” she added. Hannah agreed. “Keep away from them, they’re bad news. Some of them are druggies.”

Gretel shuddered. She soon forgot all about them as she started dancing with the other girls, all of them in a circle, with the boys doing their own thing somewhere else. She felt a little guilty at having come without permission, but where was the harm; she and Hansel would be home again soon, with Mum and Dad none the wiser.

The music got louder, the barn heated up and the girls stopped for a drink of water. The tall boy was loitering by the improvised bar. He eyed Gretel, who was tall and looked older than her fourteen years, appreciatively. “Fancy a little booster?” he asked. “Ever tried it?” Gretel found it hard to get away from him in the crush. “Here you are, have a bit, just a quarter won’t do you any harm. Try it, it’s free.”

He took her by the arm and manhandled her out of the crush by the bar. and out by the barn door. “Get off me, let go of my arm, I don’t want your booster.” She was alarmed now. He gripped her a little harder. “Come on, be nice, have a little fun.”  

Suddenly, Hansel appeared. He was only thirteen and much smaller than the tall boy. “Hey, leave my sister alone”, he shouted; the tall boy turned and laughed. “Says who?”  Hansel threw a feeble punch at him. The boy side-stepped him and laughed louder, letting go of Gretel’s arm.  Furiously, Hansel picked up a thick broomstick leaning against the barn wall. He swung it, hitting the tall boy on the side of his head. At the same time Gretel shoved him hard and the boy staggered and fell back into the snow, momentarily winded.

“Come on, let’s get out of here,” Gretel said, “home, Hansel.” They ran to pick up their coats and legged it, back through Farmer Giles’ field and into the woods that would lead them home.

Gretel could have sworn that she saw a large pale arrow pointing them homewards, back on the right path.


  1. I've heard that too much 'snow' will produce these effects.

  2. I see that teenagers are tempted by a different sort of candy.

  3. I'm glad I was young when I was young and not now!

  4. Hansel and Gretel seem able to get in trouble in any era! Good warning, but will the kids listen??

  5. Well done, Friko

    Thank you for your dear friendship here in the blog-world.
    Please stop by today to share a special moment with me if you have the time. Warmly, c-
    Comfort Spiral


  6. I don't know if their parents were worried about them, but I sure was.
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  7. You surely are able to feel the pulse of time ! Impressed.

  8. I really enjoyed this! Great story!

  9. Dear Friko,
    that's a fine new way to tell "Hansel and Gretel"! And it gives me an idea for a very short post on witty and pretty...

  10. Children will be children no matter the era.

  11. Another original take on an old story!

    I once got asked to a "Rave" (but I was 49 then), and far too old to give up the comfort of my own bed at home!

    I like your new layout.

  12. I wrote you a comment, where has it gone?
    Hmmm, I said something like, All fairytales are "moral" stories with a good ending for those who take the right decision. Children like such help, I am sure. Did you read Bruno Bettelmann`s "Kinder brauchen Märchen?"
    Thanks for your comment on mine. I think we had the same upbringing!

  13. I'm glad they found their way back!

  14. Life is so fraught with difficulties re drugs for young people today. Your tale highlights the timelessness of trouble for all youngsters. Perhaps we need a return to fairy tales to warn of dangers. Thanks for a new twist to an old tale.

  15. Friko's fractured fairy tales
    strike again, and wonderfully.
    Often the angst and rebellion
    of youth leads to life lessons
    soon to be regretted, and only
    then will the kids begin to see
    the wisdom in their parent's
    mandates and requests. Another
    wonderful bending of Grimm,
    and a very imaginative take on
    Tess's photo shop prompt.

  16. As usual, you clever girl, you've taken something we all take for granted and turned it inside out and backwards.

  17. Thanks for the wonderful post. Nice reading late this afternoon. Dianne

  18. I held my breath for them - glad they got home safely. Nicely told...

  19. Children of any era believe they know best, yet when given the choice, to make the right choice of paths can be difficult. Nice retell.

  20. Being modern parents, they probably didn't know they were gone. Oh, they did say the kids couldn't go. That's worth several points. Good story, Friko.

  21. ich fange an, mich wieder an Märchen zu erfreuen!
    Dir einen wunderschönen Tag, liebe Friko!

  22. nice twist to the old story..fun to read!

  23. I love your Friko fairy tales! Your blog looks nice, too. You've been redecorating!

  24. So much for "there's safety in numbers" !
    You've turned a satisfyingly scary , but distant , tale into every parent's nightmare .

  25. Enjoyed your mag and also the garage story below it, which had me cracking up. Thanks for brightening my day.

  26. love the changes
    and loved your fairytale Friko way

  27. Well, I'm so far behind in my reading that for sure I will only repeat something that's already been said. BUT I must add my applause: what a very clever route you took from that picture. Brava (yet again)!

  28. Brava!

    And I'm sure the parents found out. Somehow, they always do...

  29. Yes, you let your readers work out for ourselves just what happened when H and G eventually followed that arrow home.

    Well told, Friko.

  30. Oh boy...what a read!! Gripping!!
    I was almost sitting with my fingers crossed, hoping Gretel does not accept the "stuff"...
    I hope the sign led them home in one piece! Whheeww!!
    Immensely enjoyed reading this awesome take on the magpie!


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