Sunday, 12 February 2012

Developing Thoughts 5 - Hansel and Gretel

Extract from Story

"But the old woman had only pretended to be so friendly, really she was a wicked witch who lay in wait for children, and had built the house of bread and sugar just to lure them inside. Witches have red eyes and can't see far, but they have a keen sense of smell, like animals, so that they can tell whenever human beings are near. When a child came into her power she would kill it, cook it, and eat it. She took both of them by the hand and led them into her little house. Then she set nice food before them--milk and pancakes with sugar, apples, and nuts. After that she made up two beautiful white beds for them, and Hansel and Gretel lay down in them and thought they were in heaven.would be a real feast for her.

Early in the morning, before the children were awake, she was already up, and when she saw both of them fast asleep and looking so darling, with their rosy fat cheeks, she muttered to herself: "That will be a nice bite!" Then she seized Hansel with her shriveled hands and shut him up in a little cage with a grating in the lid, and locked it; and scream as he would, it didn't help him any. then she went to Gretel, shook her till she woke up, and cried, "Get up, you lazy creature, fetch some water and cook your brother something good. He has to stay in the cage and get fat. As soon as he's fat I'll eat him." Gretel began to cry as if her heart would break, but it was all no use. She had to do what the wicked witch told her to do.

Now the finest food was cooked for poor Hansel, but Gretel got nothing but crab shells. Every morning the old woman would creep out to the cage and cry, "Hansel put your finger out so I can feel whether you are getting fat." But Hansel would put out a bone, and the old woman's eyes were so bad that she couldn't tell that, but thought it was Hansel's finger, and she just couldn't understand why he didn't get fat.

When four weeks had gone by and Hansel still was as thin as ever, she completely lost patience, and was willing to wait no longer. "Come on Gretel, hurry up and get some water! Whether he's fat or think, tomorrow I'll kill Hansel and cook him."

Oh, how the poor little sister did grieve as she had to get the water, and how the tears ran down her cheeks.

"Light the oven," she told Gretel. "We're going to have a tasty roasted boy today!" A little later, hungry and impatient, she went on: "Run and see if the oven is hot enough. First we'll bake," said the old woman. "I've already heated the oven and kneaded the dough." She pushed poor Gretel up to the oven, out of which the flames were already shooting up fiercely. "Crawl in," said the witch, "and see whether it's got hot enough for us to put the bread in. And when Gretel was in, she'd close the oven and Gretel would be baked, and then she'd eat her too. But Gretel saw what she was up to, and said: "I don't know how to. How do I get inside?"

"Goose, Goose!" cried the witch angrily, "the oven is big enough--why, look, I can even get in myself," and she scrambled up and stuck her head in the oven. Then Gretel gave her a tremendous push, so that she fell right in, and Gretel shut the door and fastened the bolt. Oh, then she began to howl in the most dreadful way imaginable, but Gretel ran away, and the wicked witch burned to death miserably.

Gretel ran to set her brother free as fast as she could, opened the cage, and creid, "Hansel, we are saved!" The old witch is dead!" Hansel sprang out like a bird from its cage when the door is opened. How they did rejoice, and trow their arms around each other's necks, and dance around and kiss each other! Since there wasn't anything to fear, they went inside the witch's house. They ate some more of the house, until they discovered amongst the witch's belongings, a huge chocolate egg. Inside lay a casket of gold coins and precious stones. "These are better than pebbles" said Hansel, and stuck as many in his pocket as he could."The witch is now burnt to a cinder," said Hansel, "so we'll take this treasure with us."

They filled a large basket with food, stuffed the precious stones and coins in their pockets, and set off into the forest to search for the way home. This time, luck was with them. A little white duck came to their aid as they tried to cross a wide lake. The little white duck carried them, one by one, safely, to the other side. Pretty soon they came to a wood that kept looking more and more familiar, and at last in the distance they saw their father's house. Then they started to run, burst into the living room, and threw themselves on their father's neck. Since he had left the children in the forest, he had not had a single happy hour. Their father said, weeping, "Your stepmother is dead. You are with me now, my dear children!" The two children hugged the woodcutter. Gretel shook out her apron, and pearls and precious stones rolled all over the room, and Hansel threw down out of his pocket one handful after another.
"Look, Father! We're rich now . . . You'll never have to chop wood again and we'll never be hungry again." And they all lived happily together ever after.


  • The Witch could kidnap one of the children which forces the other to go on a quest to look for him/her
  • Encounters magical creatures conjured from witches power
  • Could face different tasks/ challenges along the way

  • As in tale the child could follow the breadcrumbs but maybe also the witch has laid traps waiting at different points

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