Once upon a time, in a small cottage near a great forest, lived a poor woodcutter with his wife and two children, Hansel and Gretel.
One night, the family’s food was almost gone. The stepmother said to the woodcutter, “We cannot feed the children anymore. Take them into the forest and leave them there.”
The woodcutter was heartbroken. “I can’t leave my children alone in the forest,” he cried.
Hansel overheard their conversation and came up with a plan. He collected shiny pebbles and filled his pockets.
The next day, as they walked into the forest, Hansel dropped the pebbles along the path. “Don’t worry, Gretel,” he whispered. “We’ll find our way back.”
When night fell, they followed the pebbles back home. The stepmother was furious to see them.
Not long after, she took them deeper into the forest. This time, Hansel used breadcrumbs to mark the path, but the birds ate them.
Lost and alone, they wandered until they found a house made of candy and gingerbread. “Look, Hansel! A house made of sweets!” exclaimed Gretel.
They started to eat the house when suddenly, an old witch appeared. “Nibbling on my house, are you?” she cackled.
The witch locked Hansel in a cage to fatten him up and made Gretel do chores. Every day, she asked Hansel to stick out his finger to check if he was fat enough to eat. But clever Hansel held out a small bone instead.
One day, the witch grew impatient. “We will cook Hansel today!” she declared.
She ordered Gretel to check the oven. Pretending not to understand, Gretel said, “I don’t know how. Can you show me?”
As the witch leaned in, Gretel pushed her into the oven and locked the door. The children found treasure in the witch’s house and set off to find their way home.
After days of walking, they finally saw their father’s cottage. “Father!” they cried as they ran into his arms.
The woodcutter wept with joy. “I have been so worried!” he said. “Your stepmother has gone, and we will never be hungry again.”
And so, Hansel and Gretel lived happily ever after with their father, never to be hungry or alone again.
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Follow Up Questions
Why do you think Hansel and Gretel’s parents left them in the forest?
How did Hansel and Gretel find their way back home the first time they were left in the forest?
What would you have done if you found a house made of candy like Hansel and Gretel did?
Also Read: The Golden Bird Story
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