Archive for the ‘Mythology’ Category

My Spiritual Disciplines, Leaders and Mentors

Among the many FAQ’s during sessions and emails, some variation of the following comes through a lot: “If you don’t mind me asking, what are your spiritual disciplines, and who do you consider to be your spiritual leaders or mentors?” I live a deeply spiritual life, but I tend to keep my beliefs and practices quite private. More and more people keep inquiring, though, including this morning. I decided to write a somewhat lengthy response and will share that here, in case more people wonder what informs my work and life. I’m not one to post everything online, but this will give a general overview of some behind the scenes attitudes and inclinations. 🙂

My spiritual disciplines morph with the seasons and have shifted across the years. I used to meditate and/or chant for hours per day, but for the past six years, my primary spiritual practice has been gardening. In late 2012, Continue reading

Door Number 17 ~ Elen of the Ways

I create each portal door with very specific local or personal intentions, but it always amazes me how those doors take on a life of their own, lending themselves to larger concerns as time or the door evolves. I painted this “Elen of the Ways” door for “Sustainable Sovereignty” regarding a local situation back in 2014. (It worked here, btw … so well that it left people marveling at the synchronicities and unusual openings.)

It strikes me that we’re at a similar point of tension in the world right now. On the one hand, we’ve got governments run amok, trouncing on rights, privacy, and basic human dignity, often manipulating the masses through humanity’s inherent kindness and desire”to do the right thing.” On the other hand, we’ve got so many simultaneous ecological crises happening that I wouldn’t even know where to begin listing them.

How do we find our way through all the different layers and levels? How do we activate kindness and caring in those who have forgotten their way? How do we balance the rights of the oppressed and the oppressors? Can we find TRUE balance and harmony instead of just flipping oppressed and oppressor? Can we each shift away from “power over” and find and embrace new ways of “power to”? How do we invoke and evoke leadership that protects the Land while also honoring the People of the Land?

I’ve seen 4:44 for months now, and I even “fell” into this door a few months ago, letting me know the portal to Sustainable Sovereignty is re-opening for more than our local situation. Today, I pray for similar miracles on the national and international levels. May we each open our own portals to that healed and healing world that already exists in perfect form, just waiting for us to believe, love and nurture it into being. The Rumi quote on this door comes from this poem:

THOUSANDS OF ROSE GARDENS

The intellect says: “The six directions are limits: there is no way out.”
Love says: “There is a way: I have traveled it thousands of times.”
The intellect saw a market and started to haggle:
Love saw thousands of markets beyond that market.
Lovers who drink the dregs of the wine reel from bliss to bliss:
The dark-hearted men of reason
Burn inwardly with denial.
The intellect says, “Do not go forward, annihilation contains only thorns.”
Love laughs back: “The thorns are in you.”
Enough words! Silence!
Pull the thorn of existence out of the heart! Fast!
For when you do you will see thousands of rose gardens in yourself.

 

Laura Bruno's Blog

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, there have been times in my life when I’ve faced problems so tricky, so “impossible” that the only way out was in. Deeeeeep inside, through the inner rabbit hole, through the spiral and out the newly created portal. In those days, I’d paint a door, and you know what? It worked.

For the past three “doors,” I’ve taken to canvases that portray some sort of doorway or entry point — still portals, but not painted on actual doors. I usually select a local or personal issue as the initial point of need or emotional spark, but then I create the portals as offerings for how such issues play out across the world. “As Within, So Without,” and “As Above, So Below.” I’ve painted portals for healing Lyme Disease, for welcoming a return of the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine

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Golden Tickets and Enough Rope

Whenever energies grow particularly potent, the Universe sends out another batch of “golden tickets,” à la “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Intense desire to better one’s life summons unusual circumstances governed by “chance” or “fate,” synchronizing into the opportunity of a lifetime. As Carl Jung noted: “When an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate. That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposing halves.” Golden tickets can reveal truly golden characters, or they can arrange for circumstances to destroy lives as a result of rotten characters made visible.

This past month, and especially the last couple weeks, offered golden tickets galore to both private individuals and those on very public stages. I’ve seen this with clients, friends, former clients and others I’ve helped in secret behind the scenes, but even cursory glances at headlines reveal opportunities for more famous people to make a clean, definitive break with “the way things were” and truly embrace new realities, relief, and freedom. Golden tickets do not erase the past; however, they do bring with them “enough rope to save yourself or hang yourself.” In fact, golden tickets push inner indecision to the forefront, forcing people to take some kind of decisive action with that rope.

As with characters in any good story, we each hold within us both light and shadow, along with the potential for both courage and cowardice. Some people’s Shadows are darker and murkier than others, and some people’s courage hides itself more thoroughly than others. When a golden ticket arrives, even people with very dark Shadows and self sabotage programs who never managed to summon enough courage to break away from old patterns before — these people in possession of a shiny golden ticket suddenly find themselves with a chocolate factory full of highly visible opportunities to demonstrate their character.

Of course, we hope that everyone will be a Charlie Bucket, but we find plenty of Violet Beauregarde’s and Veruca Salts. Sometimes, we find a real Arthur Slugsworth. More often, we find people for whom we really do want to root, but we’re just not sure what they’ll do with this golden ticket. Such people might even have a great deal of charisma and somehow manage to beat the odds and summon multiple golden tickets throughout their lives, but maybe we’ve already seen them squander two golden tickets. Maybe we sense the ticket they now hold has attached itself to a more decisive rope. Will they save themselves or hang themselves? Will they win the chocolate factory or definitively reveal themselves as bad eggs or cowards?

Golden tickets force the truth forward in the form of enough rope. Unless we engage in vindictive Shadenfreude, we generally hope people use that rope to save themselves, envisioning how they could then use that same rope to inspire and lend a helping tug to others. But what happens when they don’t? What happens when someone’s responses to his or her golden ticket reveal the worst and weakest, rather than the best of inner character? What happens when someone with a golden ticket doubles down on that response?

In a golden ticket situation, the differences between someone we know and/or love saving themselves and hanging themselves become so apparent as to shine light in even the deepest corners of cognitive dissonance, hopium and our desire to believe that anyone can change. Depending on our relationship with the person squandering the golden ticket, we reach our own decisive point of trying to shake some sense into the person, walking away, and/or removing our entanglements and any enabling behaviors. Turning our backs on someone who has squandered a golden ticket  can feel like a lonely, disillusioned, and sorrowful time, but it also offers a vicarious opportunity to make a decisive change in our own lives.

As revelations, extreme life challenges and health crises often summon golden tickets, we will continue to witness (and sometimes even experience) the corresponding length of rope. As individuals, and as a society. Western culture is itself in an extensive golden ticket moment. What will we, as participants, decide to do with our opportunity? What will we, as individuals, choose to do in our own lives to honor courage and truth? Not pseudo-courage that hides behind ideologies or other people … and not slippery truth whose words promise all manner of contradictory things in an effort to pass the rope.

As I’ve mentioned before, I find fiction a useful medium for exploring consciousness and a variety of what if’s. I’ve recommended Starhawk’s novels as both prophetic and highly useful tools for navigating our now, but many novels or films with well developed characters can help us gain clarity on the miasma of light and shadow, courage and cowardice, truth and lies. Some interesting viewing for our times includes: “The Big Short,” “Revolutionary Road,” and on a more mythological level, “The Neverending Story,” as well as Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. This is our story, too. How we respond matters. As in, creates matter. Form. Reality.

People struggling with suspected narccisistic abuse might want to check out M. Scott Peck’s classic, “People of the Lie,” along with the resources on http://narcissismfree.com. Those who suspect they might be dealing with someone exhibiting borderline personality disorder might also appreciate Mason and Kreger’s book, “Stop Walking on Eggshells.” Those who just want to make sure they don’t squander their own golden ticket might want to read T. Thorn Coyle’s “Make Magic of Your Life.” Trust your gut on this one. The heart and mind get all sorts of entanglements, but your body knows when you need to remove yourself from a situation or person.

These are not easy times, but remember, “Whenever energies grow particularly potent, the Universe sends out another batch of ‘golden tickets,’ à la ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.'” Huge potentials exist for those who step into courage, love and boundless imagination:

Willy Wonka: Oh, And Charlie? Do not forget about the guy who got everything he wanted!

Charlie Bucket: Oh, What happened to him?

Willy Wonka: Well, he lived happily ever after.

 

Big blessings, love and support along your journey…

Laura

X-Files, Owls, Faeries and Soft Disclosure

Today’s post began one way, and then turned into a compilation of resources:

Here’s an interesting and thoughtful piece from Rebecca Hardcastle Wright called, “What’s Beneath ET Disclosure: Were We Lab Rats?” — definitely worth a read now that the new X-Files, Hillary, Podesta, all manner of experiencers and the New Age cavalry seem to be pushing a soft disclosure of ET presence. As an ironic rule, I don’t make firm conclusions, really not in any area, but especially not this one. Rebecca asks herself some difficult questions, yet her conclusion reminds me of something I notice in so many other areas these days — no matter what the original intent and real or imagined existence of would-be overlords, people continue to free themselves from the maze.

In addition to Rebecca’s article, I highly recommend Mike Clelland’s new book, “The Messengers: Owls, Synchronicity and the UFO Abductee,” which I’ve reviewed here. You’ll know if that book’s for you or not by reading the review.

Ardy Sixkiller Clarke also does an excellent job of chronicling Native stories in her books “Encounters with Star People: Untold Stories of American Indians” and “Sky People: Untold Stories of Alien Encounters in Mesoamerica.”

Rebecca’s article and these authors focus largely on the UFO phenomenon in recent times, especially since 1947; however, old faery lore and folk tales are filled with many of the same sorts of stories from hundreds of years ago. For an eerie exploration of the complex and sometimes spooky world of Faerie, I recommend this version of “The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries”, by W. Y. Evans-Wentz. His book arose from a c. 1910 dissertation and includes interviews with older inhabitants of Celtic Countries passing down their own experiences, as well as family stories. Even accounting for the good and ill of any species and the Christian overlay superimposed on original tales, this book heightens mystery and explores both positive and negative encounters with the Faery Realm. I found it impossible to read that book without marveling at the similarity of contemporary ET encounters and many of these true “fairy tales.”

I also very much enjoy Margie McArthur’s book, “Faery Healing: The Lore and the Legacy.” She covers ancient stories with somewhat of a Christian overlay, but she also explores specific healing gifts from the faeries, along with specific illnesses attributed to faeries (and possible cures).

The BBC film series, “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell” offers a creepy look into reasons for exercising caution making deals with faeries. Remember, according to Faery Rules, “A person’s word is bond,” so don’t make deals unless you intend to keep them! You might also like my follow-up post, “More Tips for Connecting with the Faeries.” That said, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell are definitely dealing with what’s known as “The Unseelie Court,” composed of faeries not friendly to humans. While these do exist and it’s wise to use discernment, there’s also the “Seelie Court,” whose members are much more kindly disposed to humans. Additionally, you can find wild faeries, solitary faeries, trooping faeries, Elementals, Leprechauns and all manner of Nature Spirits. It’s a vast world out there … and in here!

Again, I make no conclusions in this realm. I’ve had paranormal experiences of such wide variety, and my brain and energy system work so differently than most people’s that my own world won’t come crumbling down with anyone else’s disclosure — sincere, highly sensationalized and/or carefully orchestrated. I include these links and resources for those who aren’t at all sure what to think, or who find such things of interest. The more consciously we approach these topics, and the more we exert our own sovereignty and ability to create our own experiences, the more freeing and expansive it all becomes. 🙂

Book Review ~ “The Messengers: Owls, Synchronicity and the UFO Abductee” by Mike Clelland

Book Review

The Messengers: Owls, Synchronicity, and the UFO Abductee

By Mike Clelland

To say I devoured this book would be an understatement. The fact that the title includes the phrase, “UFO Abductee” also makes that understatement a miracle. Although I’ve had a lifetime of extremely paranormal, inter- and extra-dimensional experiences, have used telepathy since childhood, and religiously watched the show “Roswell” during my non-reading brain injury years, that whole X-files, UFO Conference, and “abductee” panoply is just not my scene. I’m much more of an intuitive reading, gardening, Reiki teaching, shamanic journeying, Faerie Realm, create beauty, tree-hugger type.

Not that the two can’t coexist! I’ve long noticed obvious crossovers; I just really don’t like to focus on any kind of victim mentality or the cloak-and-dagger secret space war, black-ops military projects, and “the Nazi’s won WW2” conspiracies. Nor do I enjoy the largely dis-empowering, Savior-in-the wings, “luv-n-lite” cotton candy of most material supposedly channeled from ET’s. Thankfully, Mike Clelland’s new book is none of these things. Rather, “The Messengers: Owls, Synchronicity and the UFO Abductee” explores the absurdly frequent appearance of owls before or after periods of unexplained missing time, UFO sightings, death (including Near Death Experiences), and/or moments of extreme spiritual questioning.

Although Mike does address the common “screen memory” of a four foot tall owl so often shared by abductees, this book spends much more time looking at synchronicities with real owls. Parts of “The Messengers” will no doubt make readers uncomfortable, but anyone who’s ever had an attraction to or relationship with owls will value the diversity of exploratory lenses — from owl experts to shamans to animal communicators to contactees to paranormal researchers to psychologists/psychiatrists to hypnotherapists to outdoorsmen to myths from around the world. The book also becomes an exploration of consciousness itself. How does synchronicity “work,” and by extension, what role(s) do we really have in the creation of our own experience of reality? More importantly for the purposes of “The Messengers,” what role do owls play in the Mystery of mysteries, and what reality-shattering implications might that role bring with it?

“The Messengers” presents both a deeply personal and universally human quest. Mike Clelland, also known as “The Owl Guy” has experienced truly bizarre owl encounters — in frequency, unusual behavior patterns, and especially in their meaningful timing. On his journey to understand his own experiences and their implications, Mike has interviewed hundreds of other people about their own synchronous owl stories. Page after page of magical tales weave their own comforting web of synchronicities across time and space. We find owl stories and dates linking people and events sometimes thousands of miles and many years apart. Inexplicably intertwined with the owl stories come sightings of UFO’s, colored orbs, strange lights, and the development of certain personal traits — high levels of intuition, energetic healing abilities, and a profound sense of “mission.”

Since so many people who contact Mike with their on owl stories (myself included) also end up having weird owl synchronicities right after emailing or calling him, “The Messengers” contains multiple layers of such intricately knotted stories that the book rewards readers with an undeniable sense of the vastness and complex beauty of life. So many stories involve moments of intense doubt and then the mysterious appearance of an owl that results in clarity and a deep reverence for life. Many people also share how owls “freak them out” or “terrify” them, and Mike explores these stories through a variety of lenses, including the highly inconsistent attitudes of indigenous cultures to owls. Unlike many animals, the spiritual meaning of owls varies from place to place.

Everything I’ve mentioned so far would make “The Messengers” an interesting and powerful book; however, imho, Mike’s treatment of what he calls “the maybe people” makes this one of the most important books of our time. Mike spends most of the book trying to make sense of his own “maybe” status as someone who does not consider himself a UFO abductee but who nevertheless exhibits very similar traits and paranormal experiences as those who do. His journey remains his own, but by providing it in context of so many others’ journeys, it encourages readers to look more deeply at our own lives. Doing so takes courage, and Mike shares his own struggles with the journey, which, in turn, helps others to continue on own own path. I cannot say how “The Messengers” will affect you, but I promise you, it will.

I feel so grateful for the release of this book at this moment in time. Of course, we would expect perfect timing from a book on synchronicity, but this book arrives like the caress of an owl’s wing. As chaos seems to spiral out of control, readers will find a strange sense of both comfort and awe in recognizing intricate harmony just beyond the veil. When all the old structures fail — in individual lives or in society — unanswerable questions arise. At such moments, remembering the Mystery becomes its own answer. I offer deep thanks to Mike Clelland for his gift to humanity in these challenging times.

 

 

Hopi Prophecy and the End of the Fourth World ~ Part 1

This just in from reader Kate:

Hi Laura,

I have trouble posting to WordPress, but this article seems in sync with a lot of the info you have been posting.

Happy Samhain!

http://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends-americas/hopi-prophecy-and-end-fourth-world-part-1-002280

 

The article is strictly copyrighted, so I cannot reproduce it here, but it does go right along with information I’ve been posting — in part, because I’ve been acutely aware of the Hopi Prophecies for quite a long time, watching as they eerily unfold. The article discusses Grandfather Dan’s warning: “When earthquakes, floods, hailstorms, drought, and famine will be the life of every day, the time will have then come for [either] the return to the true path, or going the zig-zag way.” I’ve posted (and reposted) this message before in the video “Hopi Prophecy of Coming Fifth Age and the Blue and Red Star Kachinas,” but the article shows original Hopi artwork, some history, and discussion of the Sun’s role, along with exact quotes from Hopi Elders.

Some of these prophecies are a lot to take in, so the Hopi have listed “Four Easy Steps for Surviving the Earth Changes and All the Prophecies:

1. Keep your eyes open.
2. Let go of fear.
3. Learn all you can.
4. Live your spirituality.”

As they say, “This can be a good time.”

Please click  here to read the Hopi Prophecy and the End of the Fourth World, Part 1.

Hansel and Gretel

Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm


Hansel and Gretel

Hard by a great forest dwelt a poor wood-cutter with his wife and his two children. The boy was called Hansel and the girl Gretel. He had little to bite and to break, and once when great dearth fell on the land, he could no longer procure even daily bread. Now when he thought over this by night in his bed, and tossed about in his anxiety, he groaned and said to his wife: ’What is to become of us? How are we to feed our poor children, when we no longer have anything even for ourselves?’ ’I’ll tell you what, husband,’ answered the woman, ’early tomorrow morning we will take the children out into the forest to where it is the thickest; there we will light a fire for them, and give each of them one more piece of bread, and then we will go to our work and leave them alone. They will not find the way home again, and we shall be rid of them.’ ’No, wife,’ said the man, ’I will not do that; how can I bear to leave my children alone in the forest?–the wild animals would soon come and tear them to pieces.’ ’O, you fool!’ said she, ’then we must all four die of hunger, you may as well plane the planks for our coffins,’ and she left him no peace until he consented. ’But I feel very sorry for the poor children, all the same,’ said the man.

The two children had also not been able to sleep for hunger, and had heard what their stepmother had said to their father. Gretel wept bitter tears, and said to Hansel: ’Now all is over with us.’ ’Be quiet, Gretel,’ said Hansel, ’do not distress yourself, I will soon find a way to help us.’ And when the old folks had fallen asleep, he got up, put on his little coat, opened the door below, and crept outside. The moon shone brightly, and the white pebbles which lay in front of the house glittered like real silver pennies. Hansel stooped and stuffed the little pocket of his coat with as many as he could get in. Then he went back and said to Gretel: ’Be comforted, dear little sister, and sleep in peace, God will not forsake us,’ and he lay down again in his bed. When day dawned, but before the sun had risen, the woman came and awoke the two children, saying: ’Get up, you sluggards! we are going into the forest to fetch wood.’ She gave each a little piece of bread, and said: ’There is something for your dinner, but do not eat it up before then, for you will get nothing else.’ Gretel took the bread under her apron, as Hansel had the pebbles in his pocket. Then they all set out together on the way to the forest. When they had walked a short time, Hansel stood still and peeped back at the house, and did so again and again. His father said: ’Hansel, what are you looking at there and staying behind for? Pay attention, and do not forget how to use your legs.’ ’Ah, father,’ said Hansel, ’I am looking at my little white cat, which is sitting up on the roof, and wants to say goodbye to me.’ The wife said: ’Fool, that is not your little cat, that is the morning sun which is shining on the chimneys.’ Hansel, however, had not been looking back at the cat, but had been constantly throwing one of the white pebble-stones out of his pocket on the road.

When they had reached the middle of the forest, the father said: ’Now, children, pile up some wood, and I will light a fire that you may not be cold.’ Hansel and Gretel gathered brushwood together, as high as a little hill. The brushwood was lighted, and when the flames were burning very high, the woman said: ’Now, children, lay yourselves down by the fire and rest, we will go into the forest and cut some wood. When we have done, we will come back and fetch you away.’

Hansel and Gretel sat by the fire, and when noon came, each ate a little piece of bread, and as they heard the strokes of the wood-axe they believed that their father was near. It was not the axe, however, but a branch which he had fastened to a withered tree which the wind was blowing backwards and forwards. And as they had been sitting such a long time, their eyes closed with fatigue, and they fell fast asleep. When at last they awoke, it was already dark night. Gretel began to cry and said: ’How are we to get out of the forest now?’ But Hansel comforted her and said: ’Just wait a little, until the moon has risen, and then we will soon find the way.’ And when the full moon had risen, Hansel took his little sister by the hand, and followed the pebbles which shone like newly-coined silver pieces, and showed them the way.

They walked the whole night long, and by break of day came once more to their father’s house. They knocked at the door, and when the woman opened it and saw that it was Hansel and Gretel, she said: ’You naughty children, why have you slept so long in the forest?–we thought you were never coming back at all!’ The father, however, rejoiced, for it had cut him to the heart to leave them behind alone.

Not long afterwards, there was once more great dearth throughout the land, and the children heard their mother saying at night to their father: ’Everything is eaten again, we have one half loaf left, and that is the end. The children must go, we will take them farther into the wood, so that they will not find their way out again; there is no other means of saving ourselves!’ The man’s heart was heavy, and he thought: ’It would be better for you to share the last mouthful with your children.’ The woman, however, would listen to nothing that he had to say, but scolded and reproached him. He who says A must say B, likewise, and as he had yielded the first time, he had to do so a second time also.

The children, however, were still awake and had heard the conversation. When the old folks were asleep, Hansel again got up, and wanted to go out and pick up pebbles as he had done before, but the woman had locked the door, and Hansel could not get out. Nevertheless he comforted his little sister, and said: ’Do not cry, Gretel, go to sleep quietly, the good God will help us.’

Early in the morning came the woman, and took the children out of their beds. Their piece of bread was given to them, but it was still smaller than the time before. On the way into the forest Hansel crumbled his in his pocket, and often stood still and threw a morsel on the ground. ’Hansel, why do you stop and look round?’ said the father, ’go on.’ ’I am looking back at my little pigeon which is sitting on the roof, and wants to say goodbye to me,’ answered Hansel. ’Fool!’ said the woman, ’that is not your little pigeon, that is the morning sun that is shining on the chimney.’ Hansel, however little by little, threw all the crumbs on the path.

The woman led the children still deeper into the forest, where they had never in their lives been before. Then a great fire was again made, and the mother said: ’Just sit there, you children, and when you are tired you may sleep a little; we are going into the forest to cut wood, and in the evening when we are done, we will come and fetch you away.’ When it was noon, Gretel shared her piece of bread with Hansel, who had scattered his by the way. Then they fell asleep and evening passed, but no one came to the poor children. They did not awake until it was dark night, and Hansel comforted his little sister and said: ’Just wait, Gretel, until the moon rises, and then we shall see the crumbs of bread which I have strewn about, they will show us our way home again.’ When the moon came they set out, but they found no crumbs, for the many thousands of birds which fly about in the woods and fields had picked them all up. Hansel said to Gretel: ’We shall soon find the way,’ but they did not find it. They walked the whole night and all the next day too from morning till evening, but they did not get out of the forest, and were very hungry, for they had nothing to eat but two or three berries, which grew on the ground. And as they were so weary that their legs would carry them no longer, they lay down beneath a tree and fell asleep.

It was now three mornings since they had left their father’s house. They began to walk again, but they always came deeper into the forest, and if help did not come soon, they must die of hunger and weariness. When it was mid-day, they saw a beautiful snow-white bird sitting on a bough, which sang so delightfully that they stood still and listened to it. And when its song was over, it spread its wings and flew away before them, and they followed it until they reached a little house, on the roof of which it alighted; and when they approached the little house they saw that it was built of bread and covered with cakes, but that the windows were of clear sugar. ’We will set to work on that,’ said Hansel, ’and have a good meal. I will eat a bit of the roof, and you Gretel, can eat some of the window, it will taste sweet.’ Hansel reached up above, and broke off a little of the roof to try how it tasted, and Gretel leant against the window and nibbled at the panes. Then a soft voice cried from the parlour:

’Nibble, nibble, gnaw,
Who is nibbling at my little house?’

The children answered:

’The wind, the wind,
The heaven-born wind,’

and went on eating without disturbing themselves. Hansel, who liked the taste of the roof, tore down a great piece of it, and Gretel pushed out the whole of one round window-pane, sat down, and enjoyed herself with it. Suddenly the door opened, and a woman as old as the hills, who supported herself on crutches, came creeping out. Hansel and Gretel were so terribly frightened that they let fall what they had in their hands. The old woman, however, nodded her head, and said: ’Oh, you dear children, who has brought you here? do come in, and stay with me. No harm shall happen to you.’ She took them both by the hand, and led them into her little house. Then good food was set before them, milk and pancakes, with sugar, apples, and nuts. Afterwards two pretty little beds were covered with clean white linen, and Hansel and Gretel lay down in them, and thought they were in heaven.

The old woman had only pretended to be so kind; she was in reality a wicked witch, who lay in wait for children, and had only built the little house of bread in order to entice them there. When a child fell into her power, she killed it, cooked and ate it, and that was a feast day with her. Witches have red eyes, and cannot see far, but they have a keen scent like the beasts, and are aware when human beings draw near. When Hansel and Gretel came into her neighbourhood, she laughed with malice, and said mockingly: ’I have them, they shall not escape me again!’ Early in the morning before the children were awake, she was already up, and when she saw both of them sleeping and looking so pretty, with their plump and rosy cheeks she muttered to herself: ’That will be a dainty mouthful!’ Then she seized Hansel with her shrivelled hand, carried him into a little stable, and locked him in behind a grated door. Scream as he might, it would not help him. Then she went to Gretel, shook her till she awoke, and cried: ’Get up, lazy thing, fetch some water, and cook something good for your brother, he is in the stable outside, and is to be made fat. When he is fat, I will eat him.’ Gretel began to weep bitterly, but it was all in vain, for she was forced to do what the wicked witch commanded.

And now the best food was cooked for poor Hansel, but Gretel got nothing but crab-shells. Every morning the woman crept to the little stable, and cried: ’Hansel, stretch out your finger that I may feel if you will soon be fat.’ Hansel, however, stretched out a little bone to her, and the old woman, who had dim eyes, could not see it, and thought it was Hansel’s finger, and was astonished that there was no way of fattening him. When four weeks had gone by, and Hansel still remained thin, she was seized with impatience and would not wait any longer. ’Now, then, Gretel,’ she cried to the girl, ’stir yourself, and bring some water. Let Hansel be fat or lean, tomorrow I will kill him, and cook him.’ Ah, how the poor little sister did lament when she had to fetch the water, and how her tears did flow down her cheeks! ’Dear God, do help us,’ she cried. ’If the wild beasts in the forest had but devoured us, we should at any rate have died together.’ ’Just keep your noise to yourself,’ said the old woman, ’it won’t help you at all.’

Early in the morning, Gretel had to go out and hang up the cauldron with the water, and light the fire. ’We will bake first,’ said the old woman, ’I have already heated the oven, and kneaded the dough.’ She pushed poor Gretel out to the oven, from which flames of fire were already darting. ’Creep in,’ said the witch, ’and see if it is properly heated, so that we can put the bread in.’ And once Gretel was inside, she intended to shut the oven and let her bake in it, and then she would eat her, too. But Gretel saw what she had in mind, and said: ’I do not know how I am to do it; how do I get in?’ ’Silly goose,’ said the old woman. ’The door is big enough; just look, I can get in myself!’ and she crept up and thrust her head into the oven. Then Gretel gave her a push that drove her far into it, and shut the iron door, and fastened the bolt. Oh! then she began to howl quite horribly, but Gretel ran away and the godless witch was miserably burnt to death.

Gretel, however, ran like lightning to Hansel, opened his little stable, and cried: ’Hansel, we are saved! The old witch is dead!’ Then Hansel sprang like a bird from its cage when the door is opened. How they did rejoice and embrace each other, and dance about and kiss each other! And as they had no longer any need to fear her, they went into the witch’s house, and in every corner there stood chests full of pearls and jewels. ’These are far better than pebbles!’ said Hansel, and thrust into his pockets whatever could be got in, and Gretel said: ’I, too, will take something home with me,’ and filled her pinafore full. ’But now we must be off,’ said Hansel, ’that we may get out of the witch’s forest.’

When they had walked for two hours, they came to a great stretch of water. ’We cannot cross,’ said Hansel, ’I see no foot-plank, and no bridge.’ ’And there is also no ferry,’ answered Gretel, ’but a white duck is swimming there: if I ask her, she will help us over.’ Then she cried:

’Little duck, little duck, dost thou see,
Hansel and Gretel are waiting for thee?
There’s never a plank, or bridge in sight,
Take us across on thy back so white.’

The duck came to them, and Hansel seated himself on its back, and told his sister to sit by him. ’No,’ replied Gretel, ’that will be too heavy for the little duck; she shall take us across, one after the other.’ The good little duck did so, and when they were once safely across and had walked for a short time, the forest seemed to be more and more familiar to them, and at length they saw from afar their father’s house. Then they began to run, rushed into the parlour, and threw themselves round their father’s neck. The man had not known one happy hour since he had left the children in the forest; the woman, however, was dead. Gretel emptied her pinafore until pearls and precious stones ran about the room, and Hansel threw one handful after another out of his pocket to add to them. Then all anxiety was at an end, and they lived together in perfect happiness. My tale is done, there runs a mouse; whosoever catches it, may make himself a big fur cap out of it.

 

 

This eBook of “Fairy Tales” by the Grimm Brothers (based on translations from the Grimms’ Kinder und Hausmärchen by Edgar Taylor and Edgar Taylor and Marian Edwardes) belongs to the public domain. Complete book.
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