3 - frau trude

A retelling of an old Grimm fairy tale.

you may stream the story here


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Once upon a time there was a small girl who was stubborn and wild. Whenever her parents said anything to her, she disobeyed them.

One day, with a ruddy, immodest face wound tight with spitefulness, she went to her parents and said “I have heard so much about Frau Trude. Someday I want to go into the woods see her house. People say such amazing things are seen there, and such strange things happen there, and I’ve become very curious.”

Her parents strictly forbade her, "Frau Trude is a wicked woman who commits godless acts. If you go there, you will no longer be our child.” But the girl still paid no attention to her parents.

On a blue, moonless night, the little girl snuck down the creaky wooden stairs of her little house ever so slowly. A little hand clutched at her face as if it would crack wide up without her iron grip holding it together.

As she scampered out of the front door, not even bothering to close it behind her, her bare feet slapped against the wet cobblestones of the darkened street. She could barely contain her self. She giggled and laughed all the way down the road. After much walking, she reached the wide path between the tall, tall trees. Thick branches hung over the little girl as she hopped into the forest, the stones growing colder beneath her feet. She was walking blind in the forest, without even the dark blue glow of the midnight sky above her.

As the little girl walked further and further into the dark, dark forest, she slipped off the path and something sharp stuck her foot. She cried out in fear “Frau Trude, do not bite my toes, for I have been walking without shoes and they are muddy!” The pain stopped as she jumped back. Her eyes had finally adjusted to the dark forest. She had stepped on one of the small broken bones that lined either side of the path. “Frau Trude might have won the bones of children, but she shan’t get mine.” cried the little girl fixedly.

“Frau Trude is cunning, but she surely cannot match you.” answered a big, fat man hanging high from a tree. His teeth glistened like knives in the dark and his skin was as red as blood.

The little girl grew pale and continued down the path, her cold little feet carrying her further into the woods.

As the little girl walked further and further into the dark, dark forest, she heard the baying of a wolf, and growling in the bushes. She cried out “Mister Wolf, you won’t find dinner here, for Frau Trude is waiting for me with tea!” The wolf stopped growling and sprung down the path at the mention of Frau Trude’s name. As she watched the wolf off, she saw the little house at the end of the path. “The wolf might have won rabbits, but he shan’t win me.” cried the little girl adamantly.

“The wolf is brave, but he surely cannot match you.” answered a man buried up to his neck in the dirt by the path. His wide eyes glowed like moons in the dark and his skin was as green as a saplings fresh branch.

The little girl grew paler and continued down the path, her cold little feet carrying her to Frau Trude’s home.

As the little girl walked closer and closer to the brightened windows of Frau Traude’s home, she heard the pleading calls of a wounded man in the woods. She cried out “Calling Man, do not tempt me from the path, for I have walked a long hour to meet Frau Trude!” The calls for help stopped as she responded. The man began to offer her sweets and delicious meat if she left the path instead. “The Man might have won another child, but he shan’t win me.” cried the girl obstinately.

“I am sly, but I surely cannot match you.” answered a man with no legs, walking on hands like spiders. His fat hung from his bones like toffee melting off of him and his skin was as black as the night.

The little girl grew paler and climbed the stairs to Frau Trude’s door, her cold little hands knocking at the wood. She peered into the illuminated window, not daring to glance back at the man.

Frau Trude opened the door and gleamed down at her.

“Why are you so pale?” She asked.

"Oh," the little one answered, trembling all over, "I saw something that frightened me."

"What did you see?"

"I saw a blood-red man hanging from a tree."

"That was a butcher."

"I saw a green man in the dirt."

"That was a huntsman."

"I saw a black man on your steps."

"That was a charcoal burner."

"Oh, Frau Trude, it frightened me when I looked through your window and could not see you, but instead saw the devil with a head of fire."

"Aha!" she said. "So you saw the witch properly outfitted. I have been waiting for you and wanting you for a long time. Light the way for me now!"

The little girl’s skin grew tough and hard like the bark of a tree, her blood dried in her like firewood and her eyes grew blind and turned into knots in her skin. Frau Trude lifted an axe from the side of her fireplace and lopped off the obstinate girl’s little head. With that she threw it into the fire, and the little girl screamed in agony. When the fire was thoroughly aglow she sat down next to it, and warmed herself by it, saying: "It gives such a bright light!"

Wisps of smoke rose merrily out of Frau Trude’s chimney, above the tall, tall trees of the dark forest.

From a dim window in the town, a couple watched the smoke writhe against dark blue sky.

do you believe in x
Thursday October 2nd, 2008

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