“Why does she have to leave, husband? We have the money to support her for the rest of her life. She doesn’t need to go off into the wild forest! How well will she fare, with no hands? You brought this evil upon her, you must fix it!”

My husband sits at the table, staring at his locked hands. “What would you have me do, wife? I’ve already taken her hands. What would you have me take now? Her own heart and mind?”

I’ve never been the sort for praying, but my daughter, going off into the forest with her arms tied behind her back…has brought me to my knees.

The Handless Maiden’s Mother in The Girl Without Hands, Grimms. Painting by Quentin Metsys.

handless mother