Hansel and Gretel Author:Brothers Grimm Hansel and Gretel are the children of a poor woodcutter. Fearing starvation, the wood cutter's wife (variously called the children's mother or stepmother), convinces him to lead the children into the forest and abandon them there. Hansel and Gretel hear her plan and gather white pebbles to leave themselves a trail home. After their return, their... more » mother again convinces the wood cutter to abandon them again; this time however, they can only leave a trail of breadcrumbs. Unfortunately, the various animals of the woods eat their trail of breadcrumbs causing Hansel and Gretel to become lost.
Lost in the forest, they find a house made of candies, with sugar windows, unable to resist, they begin to eat it. The inhabitant of the house, who is an old woman, invites them in and prepares a feast for them. The table is covered in a white lace and filled with candy, pancakes and other sweets. The woman, however, is a witch who has built the house to entice children to her, so that she may fatten and eat them. She cages Hansel, and makes Gretel her servant. While she prepares to cook Hansel, she orders Gretel to fetch her candies and fats to force feed Hansel. Unable to do anything Gretel weeps bitterly and does as she's told. Days pass by and Hansel has grown very very fat as she wished. She exclaims, "Hansel is so plump I can taste the juices!" She tells Gretel to climb into an oven to be sure it is ready to bake; but Gretel guesses that the witch intends to bake her, and tricks the witch into climbing into the oven, closing it behind her.
Taking jewels from the witch's house, they set off for home to be reunited with their father, whose wife has since died of evilness. "Then all anxiety was at an end, and they lived together in perfect happiness."« less