Tag: witch

Hansel and Cinderella and the Witchy Stepmother

Little Hansel and Cinderella were having a terrible year. Their mother died and their father remarried. Their new stepmother doted on her interchangeable twins, but wasn’t ever very pleased with Hansel and Cinderella. And then, their father died while away on a trip.

Their stepmother sent Twin A and Twin B off to some magical boarding school. When Hansel and Cinderella asked if they could go to school, their stepmother gave them a list of chores to do instead.

The list was too long. Luckily, they were able to trick neighborhood children, passing strangers, and small animals into helping with the list. Each day it was a struggle to find new ways to complete the list.

“Would you like to try the latest workout? It’s called weeding the garden, and it’s going to be the next big thing.”

“I know you don’t like your mop booties, but you’re going to be running around the patio chasing squirrels anyway. Just leave them on, and I’ll throw a stick for you to chase later.”

“I suppose I could let you try painting the fence. It’s my favorite thing to do. If you wash the front window first, I’ll let you paint three feet of fence.”

Completing the list of chores each day, even with help, left little time for anything else. One evening, Hansel and Cinderella dared to ask about going to school again. The stepmother narrowed her eyes and ordered them out to the carriage.

She drove them to the middle of the woods and left them there. Hansel and Cinderella watched the carriage drive away in silence. “Do you think we could find our way back? Cinderella asked after it was gone.

“It’s worth a try. The carriage had to have marked a path, even where there wasn’t a road.”

But the ground was dry, and the night was windy, so the tracks of the carriage quickly blew away. The forest was full of many roads, and they were soon hopelessly lost. “Now what?” Hansel asked.

“Let’s sleep here and look around in the morning.”

In the morning, they found a promising path that led them to a candy house. When an angry woman stormed out, yelling and ordering them around, they knew they’d found their stepmother. She might look different and be living in a new house, but they weren’t fooled.

“It would have been nice of her to give us the address of her new house instead of making us look for it,” Cinderella muttered. Hansel snorted. Their stepmother stopped yelling, narrowed her eyes, and dragged Hansel into the house by his ear.

She locked Hansel up and gave Cinderella a familiar list of chores. Then she left to do whatever it was that she normally did. Build candy houses in the woods, apparently.

Cinderella picked the lock and freed Hansel. She showed him the list. He sighed. “And here there aren’t as many people to trick into helping out.”

“I don’t think she’s going to ever send us off to school,” Cinderella said sadly. “I wish we could go to school.”

Just then, an old lady appeared in the garden. “I’m your fairy godmother. Do you really wish to go to school?”

“Of course we do,” Cinderella said. “All we do around here are chores, and the list is much too long.”

“I can send you there, and spell you into a school uniform, but it’s up to you to figure out a way to stay. Oh, and the uniform will turn back into your regular clothes at midnight.”

Hansel and Cinderella looked at each other and nodded. “We can work with that,” Hansel said.

In no time, Hansel and Cinderella were scholarship students at a far away magical school. The school faculty were delighted with the bright young students who had so persuasively and charmingly argued their case. Their year had definitely improved. The children found a way to stay at school year-round, and eventually became successful politicians.

Meanwhile, the stepmother and the witch, who were not the same people, were never quite sure what happened. Twin A and Twin B didn’t remember Hansel and Cinderella at all. That was fine, because Hansel and Cinderella had forgotten all about them as well.

The Witch’s Pen

Jasmine was walking home from school with her brother Micheal and her best friend Anna. Anna’s birthday was coming soon, and she was hoping to have a big party this year. “Maybe we’ll rent a bouncy house or ponies or go to the zoo!”

Micheal rolled his eyes. “Or maybe you’ll rent a spaceship and you can go to the moon.”

“Stacey had a bouncy house at her party,” Anna said.

Micheal laughed. “Your mom will just have cake and ice cream and you’ll play musical chairs, just like you do every year.”

“Well, I’m not inviting you this year. I’m going to write it down so I don’t forget.” She checked her backpack. “All my pens are at school. Jasmine, do you have a pen?”

Jasmine checked in her backpack. “I have a pencil, but the lead is broken.” She looked around. There was a pen on the ground. She picked it up and handed it to Anna. “Here, use this.”

Anna made a face. “That was on the ground. I’m not touching it. It’s probably covered in germs.”

Micheal laughed again. “You should see your face. I can’t believe you’re scared of dirt.”

“What is wrong with you?” Anna glared at Micheal, and then she turned to glare at Jasmine. “And you never say anything when he’s mean like that.”

“I don’t know what to say,” Jasmine said.

“It’s because she secretly agrees with me.” Micheal folded his arms across his chest and smirked.

“Micheal!” Jasmine turned to look at her friend. She cringed. Anna looked furious. “I don’t agree with him. I don’t!”

“You’re an awful friend.” Anna shoved her arms back through her backpack straps and shrugged it on. “I can walk home by myself. You’re both not invited to my birthday party. You’re so lame that you don’t even have your own parties. Why should I invite you to mine? I hate you.” Anna stomped away.

Jasmine looked at Micheal. He shrugged. “You’re not missing out on much. Her mom’s cakes always taste like perfume mixed with smoke. And you hate musical chairs.”

“That’s not the point. She’s my best friend.”

Micheal laughed. “Ex-best friend.”

Jasmine’s eyes stung as they filled with tears. She clutched her backpack in one hand, the pen in the other, and she ran home, leaving Micheal behind. At home, she darted past her mom and ran up the stairs, shutting her bedroom door behind her.

She dropped her backpack and looked at the pen in her hand. It didn’t look particularly dirty. She sighed. Maybe she could write Anna a note to apologize and hand it to her. Maybe Anna wouldn’t rip up the note right away.

Jasmine sat at her desk and ripped a few pages out of the back of a notebook. “To my friend Anna, Anna, Bo Banna…” Jasmine stopped and looked at her page. Did she really write that? She couldn’t give something like that to Anna! Anna would probably hate her forever.

She crumpled up the page and started again. “Banana Fanna Fo Fanna…” Well that was even worse, and definitely not what she intended to write. Maybe Anna was right and the pen really did have germs.

She left it on her desk and went to wash her hands. When she returned, she used a different pen to write her note. “Anna, I’m sorry. Micheal is always a meanie-head. Let’s ignore him tomorrow. Still friends?”

She hurried downstairs. “Mom, can I take some apology cookies to Anna? Micheal was mean to her today.”

Mom looked up from whatever she was doing at her desk. “Yes, but you can’t stay over. It will be dinner soon. Do I need to talk to Micheal?”

Jasmine shrugged. “I don’t know. He was being his normal self, but he hurt Anna’s feelings.”

Mom nodded. “I’ll talk to him later.”

Jasmine put some cookies in a sandwich bag and folded up her note. She crossed the street to Anna’s house and left the cookies and note with Anna’s mom. Then she trudged back home.

Upstairs, there was someone in her room, sitting at her desk. It looked like a little girl in a long black dress, until she turned around. Then Jasmine could see that even though her hair was dark, the woman was old. Very, very old.

“You found my wand? And you used it?” The old woman glared at Jasmine.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Jasmine looked over her shoulder at the door and considered how quickly she could run. The door closed on its own with a gentle click. Jasmine turned back to look at the old woman, who was probably a witch, feeling just a little bit scared.

“Of course you do. It’s right here on your desk.” The witch pointed to the pen Jasmine found on the way home from school.

“That’s a pen,” Jasmine said cautiously. “Not a wand. But you can have it if you want it. I think it has germs.”

“My wand does not have germs!” The witch jumped from the chair. “Why would you say something like that?”

Jasmine stepped back and held up her hands. “I’m sure it’s a lovely wand. But it only writes weird things.”

“You’re not supposed to write with it. You shouldn’t have even picked it up at all. I just needed to disguise it to hide it for a few minutes.” She pointed at Jasmine. “But now that you’ve picked it up and used it, it’s transferred its loyalty to you. Give it back now.”

“Take it,” Jasmine said.

“I can’t,” the witch said. “It thinks I abandoned it, and it’s throwing a tantrum.”

“Can I hand it to you? Would that work?”

The witch sighed. “I don’t know. Try it and we’ll see.”

Jasmine picked up the pen and handed it to the witch. The witch waved it, and a wide-brimmed black hat appeared on the desk. The witch smiled. “It works,” she said.

“That’s good,” Jasmine said. At least someone was having a good day.

The witch put the hat on and looked at Jasmine. “You look like you could use a general good luck charm.” She drew a four-leaf clover in the air with her wand and muttered something. Jasmine suddenly felt lighter. The witch nodded, drew a spiral in the air, and disappeared.

Jasmine went downstairs. Mom looked up from whatever she was doing at the stove. “Oh, there you are! Anna brought by an invitation to her party. It looks like she didn’t invite Micheal this year. Did you want a birthday party? I know all your friends have parties.”

Jasmine smiled. “Do you think we could rent a bouncy house?”

Mom laughed. “I don’t think so.”

Jasmine hugged her mom. Bouncy castle or not, this was the best day ever. “Can I call Anna to RSVP?”

“Of course.”