Once upon a time there was an enchanted woman who lived in an enchanted forest. Except that the people from nearby village thought her something evil and never dared to enter the forest.
But times were hard and the villagers found themselves scrounging through the forests for enough scraps to fill their belly. They made sure to only do it in the daytime, but hunger is vengeful and the forest limited in its edibles and so they soon were foraging all through the night.
Except that one day they realized that several people were missing. Children, as it were. And a few of the elderly people. They looked, with whatever energy they had, but couldn’t find even a hint of where they could be.
But soon hunger started to gnaw at their stomachs, weakness set in, and off they were, not caring about the dangers of the forests and simply caring about what to eat next. They didn’t even have the energy to make stories about the enchanted woman — always a witch to some — and whether she was the one behind these disappearances.
The king of this land was a cruel bastard (you know how it was back then) but he was advised by some intelligent eunuchs who said that his taxes were going down and so he needed to take stock of his subjects, lest he fall victim to a more powerful king.
And so he picked a very wise woman who went off to see what the problem was. When she got to this section of the kingdom, she saw fields lying fallow and vultures picking at bones. However, there was no sign of violence. Finally, she got to the village and saw only an old man there wasting away.