Blühendes Barock Ludwigsburg EN > Fairytale Garden > The fairy tales to read > Hansel and Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel)

Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel - Nibble, nibble, little mouse, who's nibbling at my little house?

Hansel and Gretel lived in the forest with their parents. Their father was a poor woodcutter so the family only had a little money. One day there was nothing more to eat. They were all facing starvation. In his distress the father led the children deep into the forest and left them there. Hansel and Gretel were hungry and cold. They wandered around in circles but they couldn't find their way back home.

On the third day they discovered a little house. It was built of gingerbread, the roof was tiled with biscuits and the windows were made of sugar. Because they were so hungry, the two children broke off some pieces of the house and ate their fill. Suddenly a voice called from the house. "Nibble, nibble little mouse, who's nibbling at my little house?"
The children were frightened and answered "The wind, the wind, the heavenly child."

An ancient witch hobbled out of the house, supporting herself on a stick. The witch was not fooled by the children's trick – and she locked Hansel up in a cage, so she could bake him later and eat him. Gretel had to cook for her brother good food so he would become lovely and fat. Every day the witch checked to see if the boy was fat enough. As the old woman was half blind, she felt one of Hansel's fingers.  

But Hansel thought of a trick to fool the old woman. Instead of sticking out his finger he stuck a small bone through the bars. Finally, the witch lost patience and decided to eat him straight away. She ordered Gretel to heat up the oven. Now Gretel was very worried about her brother. Then things got serious when the witch told her "look in the oven, to see if it is hot enough".

"But I am much too small for that", said Gretel, full of cunning. So the wicked witch had to look for herself, and she crawled into the oven. Gretel then saw her chance and pushed the old woman right into the oven and locked the door as firmly as she could. While the witch was burning in the oven, Hansel and Gretel found precious stones and gold all over the house. They returned to their parents' house with these treasures. From then on, there was no need for anyone in the woodcutter's house to go hungry.