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The Old German Woman

Updated on April 30, 2016

The Knife On The Table


The Old German Woman

The woman who lived in the house was old. She had white grayish hair which she wore in a bun on top of her head. The day I met her she had a dress on; In those days women wore house dresses. The dress had a matching belt made out of material that matched her plaid pink dress. Her shoes were those old fashion leather black ones with black shoestrings and the shoe had a thick black heel. The shoes were overly plain. The kind of shoes elderly women would wear. A small part of the leg could be seen and the legs were covered with thick black knit stockings. She had a black apron on that tied around her waist. The top part of the apron went over her head. She has a maroon flannel scarf on her head. She had been outside getting wood for the wood stove. Her wood stove was used to cook and heat the room. On top of the stove she had a pot of soup cooking. I didn't know what kind of soup it was but it sure smelled good. She was a short chubby lady and later I could see why.

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The Old House

She lived in a very modest house, really closer to a shack. It was made with a tin roof that was silver with a little rust on the edges. The outside walls had green shingles. The house sits far from the road. The whole house was probably 500 to 600 square feet. In the house were neuromus black and white photos of Germany. It showed the beauty of her flower garden and her old farm. She had a very large garden with photos of her family in the garden.

The old woman was probably about 65 years old or older. I told the kids she was in the 40's or 50's that was real old for me. All the kids that road my bus told me she was an old witch and real mean. No one was ever there to visit so I really do not think anyone knew her.

It was Saturday morning and three of my friends walked down the road pass the old witch's house. When we saw her we all ran fast. One of the kids wanted one of us to go to the witches house and knock at the door. We drew a line in the dirt with a stick and found some stones. Whoever got the stone pass the line didn't have to go. Barbara threw her stone and got past the line. Kathy got hers past the line. I had to get mine past the line. I knew I didn't want to go.

My stone didn't make it across the line. All I could hear was the word chicken. I just wanted to go home, but knew it was not possible. I would have to save face and go to the witch's house and knock on the door. They all kept calling me a chicken. I told them I would do it.

The Old House

This was more like one room with curtains for doors.
This was more like one room with curtains for doors. | Source


Hiding In The Ditch

The kids laid down in the ditch so no one could see them. I was scared I was going to die. My heart was pounding so hard though my ears. I tried to knock at the door, but when I did the witch opened the door. She sort of spoke English, but it was broken. She gestured for me to sit at the table. I sat in the chair and in front of me on the table was an old butcher knife with a loaf of homemade bread. The knife was real old and had a dirty look. I guess after years of cutting the blade turns black. The blade was about 7 inches long. I am sure as a 9 year old I made the knife much bigger. I didn't like the knife next to me. My big imagination thought all kinds of terrible things.

She asked me if I wanted tea. I told the old woman no thank you. She asked if I wanted blueberry ice cream. I told the old woman I wanted ice cream. She went to the old small ice box, then opened the cabinet and got out 2 melmac bowls and put ice cream in each bowl and told me to eat. It was very good, and if this was poison this was certainly the way to die.This was the best blueberry ice cream I had ever eaten. Actually,this was the only blueberry ice cream I had ever had in my life.

Old German Women

I Could Hear The Kids

The kids outside were yelling something. I could not make out what the kids were hollering. The old woman opened the door and we could hear the kids hollering. The kids wanted to know if I was dead. The old lady looked like she was letting out a little laugh, but quickly covered her mouth.

I finished the ice cream and told her I needed to go home. I really did need to go home and use the bathroom after being so afraid. She told me goodbye and to come back. I only remember running down the driveway and meeting my friends. It was like my feet just flew. I just told them all I got away from the witch. They asked me if she was a real witch, and I told them you bet.

This was the day I found out she was a German. She was a German lady and there was no reason to be afraid of her. In those day people seamed to really care about what other people thought. I had no idea what a German lady was, I just knew the other kids missed some fine homemade ice cream.

Don't Judge People

Over the years I continued to visit the old German lady until she died in 1964.We didn't do a lot of talking but did do a lot of smiling and eating. She was a fantastic baker and made cinnamon rolls that weighted about a half pound. If you never ate one of her pretzels you have never had the best.

What did the old German woman teach me? She taught me never to judge people because they are different. She brought me peace and safety in my childhood, a good place to visit. A lesson never to be forgotten by me. It was not till I grew up and heard about WWII, I figured out why the neighbors did not visit. They sure missed a good woman.

German Bakery Goods


Submit a Comment

  • Paul Kuehn profile image

    Paul Richard Kuehn 

    2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

    LadyGuitarPicker, I absolutely loved reading your story about the old German woman. This old German woman reminds me so much of my great-grandmother who I used to call "little grandma" when I was about 8 or 9 years old. There is definitely a good lesson to be learned from this story. I am sharing this hub with my Hubpage followers.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    AussieAdventure, It was all true. The old woman taught me a lot about people. Thanks for reading, Stella

  • AussieAdventure profile image


    2 years ago from Geelong VIC Australia

    I loved this tale. Was it true or was it from a book? I couldn't tell. I loved it anyway.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    peachpurple, thanks for reading and stopping by. Stella

  • peachpurple profile image


    3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    good story, never judge others over their looks

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    dahoglund, thanks for stopping by and your comments. People were kind of odd back then, now we do not care.

  • dahoglund profile image

    Don A. Hoglund 

    3 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

    Stella, my wifes people are German, or Hungarian. Her grandmother came to this country in the 1930's because they couldn't get married in the old country due to differences in social status. She was a lot like the woman you describe.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Jackie, thanks for reading and sharing this story. I admire all the articles you write.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Jodah, thanks for stopping by and reading my story. Some people remain in our hearts forever. I am the one who was grateful to that all woman for teaching me, not to judge others.

  • Jodah profile image

    John Hansen 

    3 years ago from Queensland Australia

    This was a beautiful story Ladyguitarpicker. Your writing was very descriptive and I could imagine it all. It is a good lesson that we should not judge people from rumours and innuendo. We need to find out for ourselves. If you had not lost the dare you would never have found out that she wasn't a witch, or how good her blueberry icecream and other cooking was. Voted up.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 

    3 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Stopping by to share this again; hope you have more like it.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Peggy glad you stopped by to read this hub. The old woman comes to mind every time I think I should judge someone. Thanks for the comments.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    3 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Just think! Had you thrown that stone a bit further you would have missed out on meeting this nice lady possibly forever. It was nice for you and undoubtedly nice for her also to have you visit and continue to visit her for as many years as she lived. I got a kick out of your definition of an old lady. Since I have passed that 65 definition has certainly changed. Ha! When I was a child, people in their 30's looked old to me. :) Up votes and sharing.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Suzettenaples, Thanks for stopping by and reading my hub. The old woman really was unlike any other person I have met.

  • suzettenaples profile image

    Suzette Walker 

    3 years ago from Taos, NM

    What a wonderful story! Good lesson here about not judging people you don't know or understand. I love the part that said "if she had poisoned the blueberry ice cream this was the way to die." LOL! It was so good of you to continue to visit the old lady and the treats were I am sure a plus. Thanks for sharing this delightful story with us.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Nell Rose, thanks for the comments. I remember the old woman and all the nice things she did for me. She also taught me an important lesson that I try to never forget. Have a great day, Stella

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 

    3 years ago from England

    Amazing story! I think we have all heard of an old 'witch' woman who children were scared of, and like you found a loving warm kind woman underneath. its so sad when people ignore someone because they are different, you were so lucky to have had such a good friend in this lady, nell

  • Mel Carriere profile image

    Mel Carriere 

    3 years ago from San Diego California

    Probably a lot of your neighbors complaining about the lady were Americans of German blood, like me, who forgot their roots. I really enjoyed this delightful story. Good thing your friends thought she was a witch, more cinnamon rolls and ice cream for you. Great hub!

  • Charito1962 profile image

    Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

    3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

    What a heartwarming hub! It was most nice of you to reach out to the old lady. She sounds like a kind soul, and you were probably her only friend. Good you kept her company till she died.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    RTalloni, thanks for reading and stopping by to visit, love the last line , it tells all. Stella

  • RTalloni profile image


    3 years ago from the short journey

    In a society that does not value the wisdom that comes from experience gained over time memories like this one are priceless. Love that closing line.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Anne, thank you for reading my story. We had so many nice people in those days.

  • Anne Harrison profile image

    Anne Harrison 

    3 years ago from Australia

    A great tale - imagine if you had never gone into the house? What an opportunity missed!

    Voted up

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Thanks for stopping by to read my story Jackie. She turned out to be a wonderful person. I have many good memories of her. Stella

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 

    3 years ago from The Beautiful South

    What a great little story lady. How many great friends have we missed misjudging? Up and sharing.

  • handymanbill profile image


    3 years ago from western pennsylvania

    Great story. You can never tell a book by its cover. To many people still judge how some one looks instead of how they really are.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Thank you Mary and I am so glad you like my story. She was a different but good person. Stella

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 

    3 years ago from Florida

    I love your story! No, we should never judge a person prematurely. I would have enjoyed the company of this old German woman, I'm sure. She sounds like a delightful person!

    Voted this Hub UP, and shared.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Thanks for reading and commenting on my hub. I never forgot that old kind woman. Bless you, Stella

  • pstraubie48 profile image

    Patricia Scott 

    3 years ago from sunny Florida

    That is so true, Ladyguitarpicker Judging someone by some superficial measure rather than by getting to know them . How lucky for you that you were the one who got to go into her home made a new friend that day.

    Angels are on the way to you today ps


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