Once upon a time…on National Tell a Fairy Tale Day…
In the story of Hansel and Gretel, the two siblings survive their temporary enslavement and attempted cannibalism by a sugar-wielding witch and return home to their father, who had much regretted his decision to leave them in the woods to die (twice).
“Just because I abandoned you in a forest in the hopes of liberation from your voracious resource consumption, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you,” he assured them.
“It’s okay,” said Gretel. “We know you were doing your best as a dad. Let’s just move on. Can we get takeout?”
And they all lived happily ever after.
But how did those happy lives unfold? Did Hansel and Gretel go through a gawky pre-adolescent phase? Did Hansel ever eat gingerbread again? Most importantly, did they emerge as competent young adults ready to embark on challenging, rewarding, value-driven careers?
Yes, no, and yes. There is simply no avoiding the awkward phase, no matter how happy your life is; Hansel adopted a progressive gluten-free diet that later became popularized as “The Bonefinger” for its weight-loss benefits; and Gretel decided to go to law school. It happened like this:
Once Hansel and Gretel left the parental roof to commence their fledgling adult years, certain dormant feelings of resentment began to resurface. They became aware of the need to resolve the deeper untapped issues of their early backwoods abandonment.
Hansel went to live in a co-op that baked its own gluten-free strudel and taught the virtues of meditation. “The only true reality is love,” he told Gretel one day. “Let’s just forgive dad and the witch, and live in harmony with the world. Here, try my strudel. Also, pull my finger.”
But Gretel could not live by amaranth bread alone, nor could a hilarious fart joke suffocate the anger she felt for her damaged childhood. She had always harbored a more aggressive side to her personality. In fact, she had secretly enjoyed pushing the witch into the oven all those years ago. She longed to become a warrior for justice, hunting down and punishing every adult/witch who ever neglected or hurt an innocent child.
Since Gretel couldn’t throw every wrongdoer into an oven, she decided to harness the burning flames of the criminal justice system. Thus began her law school admissions process, and the second major battle of her lifetime: the LSAT.
It was a nasty fight. When other girls were putting on their lederhosen to go throw back a few hefeweissbiers, Gretel was diagramming contrapositives and tiered ordering games. At times, the exhaustion and tedium of her study was comparable only to her stint as the witch’s chore slave. But in these times, she became more determined than ever to protect other children from like fates.
In the end, Gretel was victorious. She scored a 179, went on to graduate from the top law school in the land, and became a famed prosecutor of child abuse cases. She built her law office out of gluten-free gingerbread, courtesy of Hansel’s co-op, and children were allowed to nibble at it freely with no risk to their safety or dietary regimen.
And that is how they all lived happily ever after.