I tried to be good. I was quiet and only wanted to live in peace, but my stepmother would never allow peace. She beat and cuffed to me from morning till night, and, since she had the approval of my father, there was no remedy. I suffered her abuse for two years, and one day I went out with the other village children to pluck strawberries in the forest.
We wandered until we reached the edge of a wood where nobody went. It was known as the Tontlawald. Fairies and others strange people had been seen in there.
I had become so absorbed in picking strawberries that I didn’t realize I had crossed into the enchanted area. Then I heard one of the boys cry, “Run, run as fast as you can! We are in the Tontlawald!”
I thought to myself, What does it matter? The strange people who live here cannot be worse than my stepmother. I kept on going.
Abused Girl Who Ventures Who Enters the Enchanted Wood in A Tale of the Tontlawald, Violet Fairy Book. Painting by Heinrich Hirt.