Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Hansel and a little girl named Gretel. Hansel was 12, thin and underweight, but still very strong. Gretel was 7, innocent and always trying to please others. While the children were sweet and kind, their parents were monsters. They hit the children, cursed at them, and treated them as slaves. Their father would make them do his woodcutter's work for him without giving them anything more than the food and water needed to keep them alive. The mother and father had nefarious plans for Gretel when she came of age. One night, Hansel heard his parents discussing their plans and knew he had to save his sister. The next time their father took them out into the woods, he kept the small crust of bread that was their dinner in his pocket. Usually, when the father led them into the woods they would leave a trail of pebbles to find their way home. This time though, the boy left crumbs of the bread along the trails knowing the birds would eat it up.
Father: You children had better have this work done by dark and be home in time for bed! You have plenty more work in the morning!
The father slapped Hansel across the face and he fell on the ground. The father then turned and was gone. Hansel knew that he had to keep Gretel as calm as possible. He knew she would never follow him if she knew they were leaving what she perceived as the safety of home. They chopped all the wood as usual and Hansel pretended to be as shocked as his sister when finding that the trail of crumbs he had left was gone.
Gretel: Hansel which way do we go now?
Hansel: Don't worry Gretel.
Gretel: But Hansel I'm cold and tired and hungry!
Hansel: Come on Gretel, we'll just have to search for some means of food and water.
They went in search of food, water, and shelter. Suddenly they saw a strange house that seemed to be made out of vegetables. They ran up to it and started munching on the carrots that framed the windows and the spinach that made up the lawn around the house. Suddenly an old woman opened the door and peered out at them.
Old Woman: Oh....hello children. Come in, come in. You look ever so hungry.
Gretel: Oh, thank you ma'am!
Hansel:(figuring this place could not be any worse than from whence they came) Thank you.
The children went inside and devoured all the nutritious food the old woman offered them. The old woman was so nice to them and taught them so many things. She taught Hansel how to hunt and Gretel how to garden, cook, and clean, so she could make a favorable match and be a good housewife when the time came. Gretel knew then that the life she had lived before was a life of despair.
A month had passed. After an exhaustive search, the father finally discovered the whereabouts of his offspring. He burst in under the guise of rescuing the children but of course his idea of rescuing was to return them to their life of servitude. Gretel was heating up the oven to cook dinner for Hansel and the old woman. When the father came to the door, Gretel opened it.
Father: Hurry and return home children. I'll stall the old woman.
Hansel however, knew it was a trick and threw his father into the heated oven. They left him to cook for several hours while they worked together to prepare a lovely meal. As they feasted on his flesh, Hansel and Gretel reveled in their happiness. They were finally part of a family. They lived with the old woman, HAPPILY EVER AFTER.