In the fairy tale, the child admits to being frightened by her visit to Frau Trude. The scales fall from her eyes so-to-speak and she might also have said “I finally understand what I've gotten myself into and I’m terrified.” The three men she describes might really personify three aspects of the girl's encounter with Frau Trude. The black man could represent evil, one's worst nightmare. The huntsman, a popular figure in German folk and fairy tales, often represented the god Woton and by extension old pagan beliefs and practices that are forbidden in a Christian world. The bloody-red butcher might suggest violence and sexual transgression. A possible interpretation of Frau Trude's speech is that her intense yearning for the child has ignited like fire, a metaphor perhaps for an illicit passion. “Ich habe schon lange auf dich gewartet und nach dir verlangt, du sollst mir leuchten“.
Another more literal translation is “you shall light the way for me.” However you read it, the end is the same. The girl burns like a hot, glowing ember and is thus consumed.
There is a lot to like about this tale. For one thing, justice comes swiftly to the sinner and a sort of balance has been restored to the social order. We are left with the image of a glowing fire that will soon turn to ash: proof of the importance of knowing the proper way to behave. In the end a certain amount of boring wholesomeness will win the day.