Hansel and Gretel (Incompleted)
< Hansel and Gretel >
Once upon a time, near a deep, dark forest, there lived a poor woodcutter with his wife and two children. The boy was named Hansel, and the girl was named Gretel. The family never had very much to eat, and now, when times were hard and people around the land were starving, the poor woodcutter could not get enough food to feed even his family. As he lay in bed one night, tossing and turning with worry, he turned to his wife and said, “What is going to happen to us? How can we feed our poor children when we haven’t got enough for ourselves?”
“Listen to me,” said his wife, who was not the children’s real mother. She was their stepmother, and she did not care for the children. “Early tomorrow morning,” the cold hearted woman said, “we’ll take the children deep into the woods. We’ll make a fire and give each of them a piece of break. Then we’ll leave them and go about our work. They will never find the way home, and we will be rid of them.”
“No!” said the man. “I cannot do that. I cannot leave my children alone in the woods, where the wild animals would swallow them up.”
“Then you are a fool,” snapped the woman. “You might as well get four coffins ready, for we shall all starve.” Then she nagged the poor man, and scolded him, and kept at him until at last he agreed. “But I feel so sorry for the poor children,” he said quietly.
The two children were so hungry that they had not been able to sleep, and so they heard everything their stepmother said to their father. Gretel cried, but Hansel whispered, “Don’t worry, I will think of something.” And when the parents had gone to sleep, Hansel got up, put on his little coat, and sneaked outside. The moon was shining brightly, and the white pebbles that lay in front of the house glittered like silver coins. Hansel stooped and gathered as many pebbles as he could find. Then he tiptoed back to bed and said to Gretel, “Go to sleep, little sister.”
At daybreak the woman came and woke the two children. “Get up, you lazybones! We’re going to the forest to get some wood.” She gave them each a piece of bread and said, “That’s for dinner, and you must not eat it before then, because it’s all you’re going to get.”