In Terry Pratchett’s, Witches Abroad, the witches in this story are not like our everyday fairytale witches. The witches aren’t the typical kinds of witches although the one thing they do resemble to the all the other witches is that sometimes they can be pretty rude and they seem to speak out of turn a lot. Although as witches, I suppose it makes sense for them to do that considering they expect everyone to respect them regardless of anything. It’s interesting how Terry Pratchett makes a lot of references to a few other fairytales, although when he does make references to them, it is in an ironic way.
The first fairytale that Terry Pratchett makes reference to is Cinderella. When Margrat receives a package delivered by Hurker sent from Desiderata, the package turns out to be a wand that makes her a fairy godmother (Witches Abroad 33-34) Earlier in the text it is mentioned that Desiderata wanted to be a fairy godmother and as we know, for a witch that is not common at all. The interesting thing is that after Desiderata dies, everyone else is looking for it. But since Magrat receives the wand that makes her a fairy godmother. Magrat’s task was to go to Genua so that “Ella Saturday must NOTTE marry the prins.” (Witches Abroad 34) What’s really ironic about this is that fairy godmothers are supposed to help young ladies find there prince, but instead, this fairy godmother has to break p this marriage. By doing so, this makes one think back at all the fairy tales that we’ve read that involve fairy godmothers and think of how the characters are portrayed and if marrying a prince will really solve all of your problems.
The next fairy tale that Terry Pratchett makes a reference to is Little Red Riding Hood. This happens when “Nanny raised the hem of her skirt. She was wearing red boots” (Witches Abroad 47). The red boots makes reference to Little Red Riding Hood’s red cloak. When Granny see’s this, she does not approve of it and she says, “You know what they say about women who wear red boots” (Witches Abroad 47). For those who have read the original Little Red Riding Hood story, and then we know that Little Red Riding Hood was portrayed as a hoe because of how she basically performs a strip tease and she dies in one of the many versions of the story. And because she was wearing a red cloak, the color red is perceived as a seductive color and it is also means blood.
By making references to other fairy tales, this helps add humor to the story and it also helps see the witches in another light. The reference to the other stories goes along with what Terry Pratchett begins the tale with by saying that “Stories don’t care who takes part in them. All that matters is that the story gets told, that the story repeats” (Witches Abroad 9).