Hansel and Gretel

~ Summary ~

Hansel and Gretel is a folk tale collected by Grimm Brothers from their friends, relatives and villagers. They published it in the 19th century to encourage the Romantic Movement and the German nationalist movement. After publishing this story, the people got encourages in their national movement.

There was a poor woodcutter living near a forest with his wife and two children. Hansel was a boy and Gretel was a girl. Once when the famine stroke the whole country, there was scarcity of food. The step mother decided to leave the children in the forest to get rid from the problem. Though her husband wasn’t willing to drop his children, he couldn’t say that in front of his wicked wife’s continuous pressure. As the children couldn’t sleep due to their hunger, they overheard their parent’s plan. When Gretel cried, Hansel consoled her saying that he would find the way. After their parents slept, he went out, collected the shiny pebbles, filled his pocket and came back. Net morning, their step mother woke them up and giving them pieces of bread, she led them to the forest.

On the way to the forest, Hansel dropped a shiny pebble to mark the path at every pause. When they came to the forest, their parents made a big fire and went away making them wait there. The children ate their bread and waited the whole day but their parents didn’t come back. Gretel cried, Hansel said to wait for the moon. When the moon rose, he led her on the way showing the shiny pebbles. Next morning they reached their home. Their father was happy to see them but their mother wasn’t.

After sometime, the whole country was again struck with famine again. Once again, their parents planned to them in the forest. This time, as the door was locked, Hansel couldn’t find the pebbles. Next morning, they started to walk to the forest. Hansel dropped the bread crumbs on the way and reached to the deep of the forest. Like before, they were left near the fire. Their parents didn’t get them back. The children waited for two days. On the third day, they walked looking a beautiful dove flying. The bird sat on the roof of the house that was made of bread, cake and sugar. As the children were very hungry, they began to eat it. Then a witch came out. She welcomed them, fed them good food and laid beds for them. Next morning, she locked Hansel into the shed and made Gretel work hard. She gave more food to Hansel to fatten him and eat him. But every time she checked, she found him same as before. She lost her patience. She made Gretel prepare an oven for cooking Hansel. Gretel with her trick made the witch look at the oven and pushed her into it. The witch was burnt to death. Gretel released Hansel and collecting the jewels and pearls, they went away from the house. On the way, there was a pool but without a boat. But they asked an only duck to help them cross over it. The duck one after another carried them across and after sometimes, they reached their house. Their step mother had died and sharing the jewels and ornaments with their father, they lived happily ever after.

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