Liza Lou is a little girl who lives in a dangerous swamp, but she faces threats with courage and manages to outwit all the monsters.
At first I wondered why Liza's apparently loving mother kept sending her out to face these dangers alone. But if one ignores the supernatural element suddenly the story becomes quite realistic. Liza and her mother live in a dangerous environment and appear to possess few resources. Their clothes are patched and they are happy when they get enough to eat. Put that way, it sounds like a situation that is all too common. Of course, most children face weirdos rather than witches, but is that any better?
My elementary school was a couple of miles from our apartment. I got myself there on my own, usually taking public transportation in the morning and walking home in the afternoon to save the fare. Walking adds the danger of cars, but otherwise is about the same as the bus, which is likewise full of perverts, addicts, and crazy people (literally, people formerly in mental institutions who were let loose when the hospitals switched from in- to out-patient). My mother warned me as best should could and told me to be careful. In retrospect it was really quite unsafe, but what else could my parents have done? They could afford a car, or to take the bus with me, and they had to work and take care of my younger siblings. I'm sure, although they never said so at the time, that they were not happy about exposing me to these dangers and worried while I was out. But world-wide the majority of parents don't have the resources to protect their children from a dangerous world. All they can do is teach them well and hope they come though as well as Liza Lou.