Hansel and Gretel, a Fairy Tale
Hansel and Gretel is a well-known fairy tale of German origin, recorded by the Brothers Grimm and published in 1812. Hansel and Gretel are young children whose father is a woodcutter. When a great famine settles over the land, the woodcutter's abusive second wife decides to take the children into the woods and abandon them there so that she and her husband will not starve to death, because the children eat too much. The woodcutter opposes the plan but finally and reluctantly submits to his wife's scheme. They are unaware that in the children's bedroom, Hansel and Gretel have overheard them. After the parents have gone to bed, Hansel sneaks out of the house and gathers as many white pebbles as he can, then returns to his room, reassuring Gretel that God will not forsake them. The next three days, the family walks deep into the woods and Hansel lays a trail of white pebbles. After their parents leave them, the children wait for the moon to rise before following the pebbles back home. They return home safely, much to their stepmother's horror. Once again provisions become scarce and the stepmother angrily orders her husband to take the children farther into the woods and leave them there to die. Hansel and Gretel attempt to leave the house to gather more pebbles, but find the doors locked and escape impossible...
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