There once lived an evil witch who lived in the mountains hundreds of years ago. She loved eating children and would kidnap them for her supper every night. They were the tastiest morsels in the world, soft and chewy. However, the town surrounding her noticed that their children were disappearing and sought out the old witch.
They found her in a secluded hut in the middle of the forest. She was just finished eating dinner and welcomed them into her home. The townsfolk couldn’t see anything out of place in her hut. There was no blood, no sign of struggle, and no child. Some even looked at the bones in her stew trying to see whether they had arrived too late, but she had finished eating before they came and had left nothing but broken and unidentifiable bones.
Unable to catch her in the act and unwilling to convict an innocent old lady, they decided to leave. However, one person whose son had been one of the first to be taken, couldn’t leave without at least trying to prevent the witch, if it was her, from doing it again. So the townsfolk, knowing this was the best way to both appease the townsfolk and protect their children, blinded the old lady.
The old lady moved away from the town soon after and the townsfolk were safe. She moved a few towns over and set up a hut away from everyone else. In the privacy of the forest, she starved. Unable to see, hunt, or eat, she began to wither.
One night, she heard a spoiled child crying, an unbearably loud and obnoxious screaming combined with it. The boy’s tantrum could be heard all around the town, many a parent would have loved to smack the boy until he shut his mouth, but his parents never did. His family lived on the forest edge and he was the young son of a wealthy merchant, one who was never around long enough to discipline his son. The mother was too busy trying on all the new clothes and jewelry that her money could buy to pay any attention to the boy. The little boy was throwing a tantrum at home -- again. He didn’t want peas in his soup, he had too many carrots, it was too hot, he didn’t want to sit. The crying would start and stop with every ten minutes. Eventually, the boy decided to storm out of his house. He was crying and stomping his way into the forest, where he often played. His parents, knowing that this was a normal occurrence, didn’t make a move to stop him. They let him throw a tantrum until he came back home, worn out.
The boy never learned, he just kept crying, waiting for someone would follow him out to comfort him or give in to his spoiled demands. The witch crept out of her house, following the sounds of the crying. Every time the crying started up again, she got a better pinpoint of his location and moved even closer to the boy. After starting and stopping for the better part of half an hour, he was tired out. Not a peep came out from him.
After waiting a few minutes with her ears pricked like a dog, she gave up. She could not sense where he anymore. Determined to make it back to her home before the sun went down and real animals started hunting, she began to work her way back up the trail she had taken from her home.
That’s when the crying began again. He had stubbed his toe on a tree root and was cursing and crying. He expected someone to come running to comfort him. She smiled wickedly. He was close, she could hear his sniffling and his tromping around on leaves.
“Boy,” she called out, hoping she was right about his location.
“Who are you,” he demanded. He was to her right about a few yards away. She made her way towards him carefully.
“Just a blind old lady. Could you help me find my house?” She used her sugary sweet tone, the one she used when she was playing innocent.
“No, go away.” He began wailing again, a high pitched wail that she would have killed to shut up -- and she would kill tonight, she thought.
“Why are you crying? Are you hurt?” She pretended she didn’t hear his shouting and crying for the past few minutes.
“Yes. I hurt my foot. It really hurts!”
“Is it broken?”
“No! But it feels like it.” He began pouting, making Hmmph! noises.
“Is it bleeding?”
“No! But it hurts!”
“Can you walk?”
“I don’t want to!”
“Well you should at least come with me back to my house. I can help you with your foot. It must hurt very very much.”
“It does! Fine, I’ll go.” She took his arm as he lead her back up the path. He had no trouble walking, but he sniffled and whined just the same. With her arms around his, she could tell he was a child about eight who was a little tall for his age. He would do nicely, lots of meat.
As soon as they arrived at her home, the boy made himself welcome. He sat in her only chair and took off his shoes.
“I’m thirsty, get me some tea.” He demanded from the blind lady.
“Of course, but you’ll have to help me build the fire in the hearth. I’m blind afterall.”
“Ugh, what use are you?” He began filling the hearth with logs she handed him.
When the fire began to blaze, she could feel the heat warming her body, making her blood pulse.
“Ah!” He sat too close to the fire and burned his finger. Before he could begin to cry again, she hit him over the head with a log. That felt good.
She had supper that night and every night after that, going after children so naughty, not even their parents would miss them. There would always be naughty children who cry at every turn, not knowing that they’re bringing her closer to them with every teary sob. To this day, she lives on a full belly, waiting for her next victim.