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Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel is a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm.

Plot synopsis

Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers

Hansel and Gretel are the children of a poor wood cutter. Fearing starvation, the wood cutters wife convinces him to lead the children into the forest, and abandon them. Hansel and Gretel hear her plan, and gather white pebbles, to leave themselves a trail home. After their return, their step mother again convinces the wood cutter to abandon them; this time however, they can only leave a trail of breadcrumbs, which is eaten.

Lost in the forest, they find a house made of bread (later changed to gingerbread), with sugar windows, which they begin to eat. The inhabitant of the house, an old woman, invites them in and prepares a feast for them. The woman, however, is a witch who has built the house to entice children to her, so that she may fatten them, and eat them. She cages Hansel, and makes Gretel her servant. While she prepares to boil Hansel, she tells Gretel to climb into an oven to be sure it is ready to bake, but Gretel guesses the witch intends to bake her, and tricks the witch into climbing herself into the oven, and closes it behind her.

Taking jewels from the witch's house, they set off for home, to be reunited with their father, whose wife has since died. "Then all anxiety was at an end, and they lived together in perfect happiness."

See also: Hansel und Gretel, an opera written after the fairy tale

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