Hansel and Gretel – Full fairy with pics


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Next to a great forest there lived a poor woodcutter with his wife and his two children. The boy’s name was Hansel and the girl’s name was Gretel. He had but little to eat, and once, when a great famine came to the land, he could no longer provide even their daily bread.
One evening, he sighed and said to his wife, “What is to become of us? How can we feed our children when we have nothing for ourselves?”
“Man, do you know what?” answered the woman. “Early tomorrow morning you will take the two children out into the thickest part of the woods, make a fire for them, and give each of them a little piece of bread, then leave them by themselves and go off to your work. They will not find their way back home, and we will be rid of them.”
“No, woman,” said the man. “I will not do that. How could I bring myself to abandon my own children alone in the woods?
“Oh, you fool,” she said, “then all four of us will starve. All you can do is to plane the boards for our coffins.” And she gave him no peace until he agreed.
The two children had not been able to fall asleep because of their hunger, and they heard what the stepmother had said to the father.

 

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At daybreak, even before sunrise, the woman came and woke the two children. “Get up, you lazybones. You are going into the woods to fetch wood.” Then she gave each one a little piece of bread, saying, “Here is something for midday. Don’t eat it any sooner, for you’ll not get any more.”
On the way to the woods, Hansel crumbled his piece in his pocket, then often stood still, and threw crumbs onto the ground.
When they were deep into the woods, a large fire was made, and the father said, “Sit here, children. If you get tired you can sleep a little. I am going into the woods to cut wood. I will come and get you in the evening when I am finished.”
When it was midday Gretel shared her bread with Hansel, who had scattered his piece along the path.

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Then they fell asleep, and evening passed, but no one came to get the poor children.
When the moon appeared they got up, but they could not find any crumbs, for the many thousands of birds that fly about in the woods and in the fields had pecked them up. They walked through the entire night and the next day from morning until evening, but they did not find their way out of the woods.

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They went on, until they came to a little house. When they came closer, they saw that the little house was built entirely from bread with a roof made of cake, and the windows were made of clear sugar.
“Let’s help ourselves to a good meal,” said Hansel very happy.

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Suddenly the door opened, and a woman, as old as the hills and leaning on a crutch, came creeping out. Hansel and Gretel were so frightened that they dropped what they were holding in their hands.
But the old woman shook her head and said, “Oh, you dear children, who brought you here? Just come in and stay with me. No harm will come to you.”
She took them by the hand and led them into her house.
Then she served them a good meal: milk and pancakes with sugar, apples, and nuts. Afterward she made two nice beds for them, decked in white. Hansel and Gretel went to bed, thinking they were in heaven.
But the old woman had only pretended to be friendly. She was a wicked witch who was lying in wait there for children. She had built her house of bread only in order to lure them to her, and if she captured one, she would kill him, cook him, and eat him; and for her that was a day to celebrate.

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Early the next morning, before they awoke, she got up, went to their beds, and looked at the two of them lying there so peacefully, with their full red cheeks.
Then she grabbed Hansel with her withered hand and carried him to a little stall, where she locked him behind a cage door. Cry as he might, there was no help for him.
Then she shook Gretel and cried, “Get up, lazybones! Fetch water and cook something good for your brother. He is locked outside in the stall and is to be fattened up. When he is fat I am going to eat him.”
Gretel began to cry, but it was all for nothing. She had to do what the witch demanded.
Now Hansel was given the best things to eat every day, but Gretel received nothing but crayfish shells.
After 4 weeks, she shouted to the girl:”Hey, Gretel! Hurry up and fetch some water. Whether Hansel is fat or thin, tomorrow I am going to slaughter him and boil him.”

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The next morning Gretel had to get up early, hang up the kettle with water, and make a fire.
Then the old woman called, “Gretel, come here right now to the oven.”
And when Gretel came, she said, “Look inside and see if the bread is nicely brown and done, for my eyes are weak, and I can’t see that far. If you can’t see that far either, then sit on the board, and I’ll push you inside, then you can walk around inside and take a look.”
But Gretel said, “I don’t know how to do that. How can I get inside?”
“The opening is big enough. See, I myself could get in.” And she crawled up stuck her head into the oven. Then Gretel gave her a shove, causing her to fall in. Then she closed the iron door and secured it with a bar.
The old woman began to howl frightfully. But Gretel ran away, and the godless witch burned up miserably.
Gretel ran straight to Hansel, unlocked his stall, and cried, “Hansel, we are saved. The old witch is dead.”
Then Hansel jumped out, like a bird from its cage when someone opens its door. How happy they were! They threw their arms around each other’s necks, jumped with joy, and kissed one another.
Because they now had nothing to fear, they went into the witch’s house. In every corner were chests of pearls and precious stones.

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They filled their pockets, then ran away and found their way back home.
When they saw the father’s house in the distance, they began to run, rushed inside, and threw their arms around the father’s neck.
The man had not had even one happy hour since he had left the children in the woods. However, the woman had died. Gretel shook out her basket, scattering pearls and precious stones around the room, and Hansel added to them by throwing one handful after the other from his pockets.
“Look, Father! We’re rich now . . . You’ll never have to chop wood again.”

And they all lived happily together ever after.

 

The End

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