DLTK's Crafts for Kids
Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel is a fairytale about two siblings discovering a candy house and meeting an evil witch. Will they escape the witch's house and find their way home?

Image of the storyteller telling the story of Hansel and Gretel.

Hansel and Gretel

Once upon a time there lived a woodcutter, his wife and their two children, Hansel and Gretel. A great famine struck the country.

Their mother went to their father one night in despair and said; “ We must survive the winter… We must…We have too many mouths to feed!”

“Well, what are we to do?” the woodcutter answered.

“We must leave Hansel and Gretel alone in the forest.  We just can’t feed them for the winter,” she replied.

Little did they know, Hansel and Gretel could hear their entire conversation from their bedroom and they hatched a plan. The next day, their mother came to their room and ordered them into their hiking clothes. Hansel was sure to grab his sack of skipping stones and hold it tight.

As they walked, Hansel dropped a stone every few feet. His mother began to notice he was lagging behind and said; “Hansel, what do you think you are doing? Hurry up!”

Gretel decided to distract her mother and she said; “Look, mother, over there.  Look at those squirrels, they’re dancing. They are dancing as though they are fit for a ball!” Their mother looked; “I don’t see any squirrels!  I don’t see any dancing! Hurry along.” The distraction gave Hansel just enough time to catch up.

“Where are we going, Mother?” The children asked.  When they got no response, their greatest nightmares were confirmed:  They were going to be left alone in the forest.

After they walked for a great long time, they finally stopped at a clearing and their mother ordered them to sit on a dead log. “Now you two stay here, I am going to find some wood to cut. Stay here.”

Hansel and Gretel waited and waited AND waited, but their mother never returned for them.

Hansel began to worry about their safety. He imagined all the beasts in the forest that could kill them and eat them. Gretel decided to calm her brother down by taking his hand and they followed the stones all night long back to their home.

They reached the little cottage just as the sun was rising. They were so tired, they fell asleep on the porch.

When they awoke, they were tucked in their beds and they could hear their father and their mother arguing.

“How could you leave them in the forest?” Their father asked.

“I had too. We must, it’s either them or all of us.” Their mother said.

Now Hansel and Gretel knew their luck was surely up. And sure enough, the next morning their mother ordered them back into their hiking clothes.  Hansel had no skipping stone sot grab this time, so they sadly followed their mother towards the door. Before they left, the woodcutter passed Hansel secretly a loaf of bread.  Hansel ground it up and placed it into his pockets. This way as they walked, he could leave bread crumbs, just the same as the stones the day before.

They travelled for miles and miles and finally came to a smaller clearing than they had the night before. Their mother lead them down a different path. “Now you kids stay here. I will be back for you,” their mother lied.  

Hansel and Gretel waited and waited AND waited, but their mother never came back for them. Hansel offered Gretel what little bread was left.

Gretel remembered Hansel’s fear of all the beasts the night before and the two of them started to get scared. They began to follow the bread crumbs home, but the bread crumbs had mostly disappeared. Some birds, or other animals must have eaten them. They were lost, lost in the forrest!

Suddenly, they smelled the sweetest aroma they had ever smelled and they followed it through the forrest.

Mouths dripping with drool, Hansel and Gretel came upon a house made of candy. There was a marshmallow roof; with syrup dripping down the sides of the chocolate walls.  There were gum drops that lined the door frame and the door was made of gingerbread.

Hansel and Gretel stood stunned, they couldn’t believe their eyes.  But as they're tummies rumbled, they ran towards the house and began to eat pieces of it.

"What little pretties have come to my house?" A strange voice screeched.

Hansel and Gretel stopped, looked at each other and then they saw a small, strange looking woman.

"Two, two little ones to enjoy!” She screeched again. “Why don’t you come into my house, I have more candy inside, delicious, fresh candy inside.”

Hansel, despite Gretel’s protests, went running into the house as fast as he could.  Gretel wasn’t so sure and she stayed outside. The door shut behind the little woman and Hansel.

After a while of standing outside and waiting, the old woman came back out of her house and beckoned for Gretel to come in, “Come on in my pretty. Your brother is enjoying so much candy. Come in. Come in.”

Gretel entered the house. When she did, she heard the gingerbread door shut and lock behind her.  She looked to the left and saw several bags of gold. And when she looked up to the right she saw her brother inside a cage, hanging from the ceiling, above a large boiling pot over a fire.

“Well, my pretty, you are going to help me chop up lots of meat to eaten both of you up.”

Gretel turned. The old woman, wasn’t a woman at all, she was an evil witch and Gretel in that instant understood her plan: she was going to eat Hansel and Gretel for dinner!

The old witch had Gretel chop up lots and lots of meat. While Gretel chopped, she was thinking of a way to escape. “Oh” she sighed as she got a great idea. “Did I just hear a dragon? A dragon outside?”

The witch stood up; “a dragon you say???” And she unlocked the gingerbread door and ran outside to look for  the dragon.

Gretel had no time to waste. She quickly found the smallest, sharpest bone in the pile of meat and quickly tossed it to Hansel. Just as she sat back down, the old witch came back into the gingerbread house. “There was no dragon, not even a puff of smoke or a tip of a tail. Get back to work Pretty!”

Hansel was quietly maneuvering the bone within the lock: CLINK!  CLICK!!  DING!!! He unlocked the lock and waited for his moment.

Gretel had finished chopping all of the meat that the witch had given her. The witch walked over to the pot to inspect it. Gretel said; “I don’t think the pot is hot enough.”

The witch bent over to look into the pot to test it. Just then, Gretel pushed the witch. Hansel pope the door open of his cage and jumped out, landing on the witch and saving himself from the boiling hot water. The witch dissolved into a sweet, sticky syrup.Hansel and Gretel grabbed the bags of gold and they ran from the house. 

What were they to do? They were lost on the forrest. They wandered for a while and all of a sudden, they saw the skipping stones. They had been replaced where the breadcrumbs had been by a helpful bird, who was hungry and thankful to get the crumbs.  Hansel and Gretel followed the stones all the way home. When they made it home, they were embraced by their father, who was now a widower.  You see their mother had died from food poisoning unfortunately.  And with all the gold they had taken from the witch’s house, they never had to worry about money again and they lived happily ever after.



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