On the edge of a great forest there once lived a woodcutter with his wife and two children, Hansel and Gretel.
One day all their money had run out. “There’s only one solution,” said the woodcutter’s wife. “We’ll have to take Hansel and Gretel into the forest and leave them there.” The woodcutter protested but his wife got her own way. She was not the children’s real mother but their stepmother. Hansel overheard everything. The following day they set off with only a piece of bread to eat along the way. “Give me your bread, Gretel,” whispered Hansel, “I have a plan.” After a while they came to a clearing. “You rest here for a while,” said the wife, “We’ll be right back.” This was a lie, of course, and after waiting a long time, Hansel and Gretel fell asleep. When they awoke, it was night. “Come on, Gretel, let’s go home,” said Hansel. But birds had eaten all the crumbs they’d sprinkled along the way and they just grew more and more lost.
Then they spotted a house between the trees. The roof was made from sweet pretzels and biscuits, sprinkled with peanut brittle, boiled sweets and other delicious things. Hansel had just broken off a piece of gingerbread wall to eat when he heard a voice. “Nibble, nibble, little mouse, who’s that nibbling at my house? Come inside, children, I have lots more treats for you in here.” They went inside but then heard the door slam behind them. They were trapped inside a wicked witch’s house. “Got you, and now I’m going to eat you,” she said to Hansel. Over the following weeks, the witch kept Hansel in a cage to fatten him up. One day she decided she’d waited long enough. “Light the oven, girl,” she said. Gretel did as she was told but soon came up with her own plan. Would Hansel and Gretel ever make it home?