Princess Tales

Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and GretelShort tale: Hansel and Gretel

Once upon a time, in a hut near the forest lived a woodcutter with his wife and two children: Hansel and Gretel.

The man was very poor. So poor that even when he earned the most money, he barely had enough to eat. But one fine day they didn’t have a single coin left to buy food or even a little bit of flour to make bread.

– “Our children will die of hunger,” the poor man lamented that night.

– “There is only one remedy,” said the mother in tears. We have to leave them in the forest near the king’s palace. Someone from the court will pick them up and take care of them.”

Hansel and Gretel, who could not sleep for hunger, overheard the conversation. Gretel burst into tears, but Hansel comforted her thus:

– “Fear not. I have a plan to find my way back. I’d rather starve here than live in luxury among strangers.”

The next day their mother woke them up early.

– “We have to go to the forest to look for fruit and eggs,” she told them, “otherwise we won’t have anything to eat.

Hansel, who had found a piece of stale bread in a corner, stayed a little behind to sow small pieces along the way. When they reached a clearing near the palace, the mother asked the children to rest while she and her husband looked for something to eat.

The little boys soon fell asleep, for they had been up early and had walked a long way, and their parents took advantage of this to leave them. The poor children were so tired and weak that they slept on and on until the next day, while the guardian angels watched over their sleep.

When Hansel woke up, the first thing he did was to look for the pieces of bread to walk the way back; but he could not find a single one: the birds had eaten them. They searched and searched so much that they got farther and farther away from the clearing, and at last they realized that they were completely lost.

They walked and walked until they came to another clearing. ¿Don’t you know what they saw there? Well, a little house all made of cookies and candy. The poor kids, who were starving, ran to tear off pieces of fence and shutters, but at that moment an old woman appeared.

With a very kind smile she invited them in and offered them a splendid meal. Hansel and Gretel ate their fill. Then the old woman made up their bed and tucked them in warmly.

But the old woman who seemed so nice was a witch who wanted to make them work. Gretel had to cook and do all the cleaning. For Hansel the witch had other plans: she wanted him to pull her cart!

But the boy was too skinny and weak for such a task, so she decided to lock him in a cage until he put on weight. ¡Gretel couldn’t escape and leave her little brother locked up!

In the meantime, the child received so much food that, although he had always been very hungry, he could not finish everything she brought him. Since the witch could not see beyond her nose, when she approached Hansel’s cage she would ask him to stick out his finger to see if he was getting fat.

Hansel had already realized that the woman was almost blind, so every day she would extend a chicken bone to him.

– “You’re still too skinny,” the old woman would say, “I’ll wait a few more days!”.

Finally, tired of waiting for Hansel to get fat, she decided to tie him to the cart anyway. The children realized that the time had come to escape.

As it was a day for baking bread, the witch had ordered Gretel to heat the oven well. But the girl had heard at home that witches turn to dust when they inhale linden smoke, so she prepared a big fire with that wood.

– “I have never heated a furnace,” she said to the witch, “Why don’t you look at the fire and tell me if it’s all right.

– “Come out of there, you fool! -I’ll keep an eye on it myself!”.

And she opened the iron door to look. At that instant a puff of smoke came out and the witch fell apart. Only a handful of dust and a bunch of keys remained.

Gretel picked up the keys and ran to free her little brother. Before fleeing the house, the two children searched for food for the journey. But, ¡to their surprise, they found lots of chests with gold and precious stones! They gathered as much as they could and quickly fled.

After a long walk they came to a huge lake and sat down sadly by the water, looking at the other shore. It was so far away!

¿Do you want me to cross?, suddenly asked a voice among the reeds.

It was a huge white swan, which in a jiffy dropped them on the other shore. And guess who was chopping wood right there? ¡The boys’ dad!

Yes, the dad who cried with joy to see them safe and sound. After hugs and kisses, Hansel and Gretel showed him the riches they brought, and after thanking the swan for his timely help, they all ran to join their mom.

END

Reflection on the story: The story of “Hansel and Gretel” shows us the importance of cunning, courage and solidarity in difficult situations. Despite the adversities, the brothers do not lose hope and work together to get out of the situation in which they find themselves.

In addition, it also shows us the danger of trusting strangers, as the seemingly kind old woman turns out to be an evil witch. This teaches us to be careful and to exercise caution when interacting with strangers.

Frequently asked questions about the story Hansel and Gretel

¿Who are the main characters in the story?

Hansel and Gretel, two siblings who live with their parents in a hut near the forest.

¿Why do the parents decide to leave the children in the forest?

Due to extreme poverty, the parents have nothing to eat and believe that some person from the king’s court will pick them up and take care of them.

¿How does Hansel find his way back after his parents abandon them?

Hansel goes sowing pieces of stale bread along the road to find his way back, but the birds eat them and the children get lost.

¿What do Hansel and Gretel find in the forest after they are lost?

They find a little house all made of cookies and candy.

¿Who lives in the little house of cookies and candy?

An old woman who turns out to be a witch lives in the little house of cookies and candy.

¿What is the witch doing with Hansel and Gretel?

The witch wants to make them work. Gretel has to cook and do all the cleaning, while the witch wants Hansel to pull her cart.

¿How does the witch fatten Hansel up?

The witch gives Hansel lots of food to fatten him up, but Hansel holds out a chicken bone instead of his finger to trick her.

¿How do Hansel and Gretel escape from the witch?

Hansel and Gretel wait until the witch ties them to the wagon and then they escape.

¿How do Hansel and Gretel defeat the witch?

Gretel prepares a large fire with linden wood, which the witches cannot stand, and the witch is undone.

¿How do Hansel and Gretel return home after escaping from the witch?

Hansel and Gretel find the keys to the witch’s house, use them to open the cage where Hansel was locked up, and escape together. After much walking, they finally reach home.

How much do they know about the story Hansel and Gretel

It's time to test your children's knowledge of the story Hansel and Gretel. We will prepare a questionnaire of questions for your children.

  • What is the name of the story?
  • What characters appeared in the story?
  • Who was the main character in the story?
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  • Where did the story take place?
  • Can you invent another ending for the story?

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