Once upon a time, there lived a woodcutter with his two children. His wife had passed away and so in order to look after the children, he married another woman and she became the stepmother of the two children. But however, she had no intention of taking care of them and had only selfish interests. The two children were a boy named Hansel and his sister named Gretel.
One day during dinner, there was very little food to eat and so everyone had to eat less and go to bed. After Hansel and Gretel left the table and went to their room, the stepmother told the woodcutter that their money was not enough and thereafter, they would have less food to eat. The woodcutter despaired and did not know what to do. The wicked stepmother then suggested to him that they should abandon the children in the forest, so that at least they both would have enough food to eat. The woodcutter cursed her for thinking of something as evil as this and started to cry. But the wicked stepmother then somehow convinced him that it was for the best and made him agree.
Meanwhile, Hansel and Gretel were listening to this conversation as they had not yet closed the door of the room. Gretel started to cry, but Hansel consoled her and said that he would find a way for them to survive. After all of them had slept, Hansel then went outside the house and found some pebbles shining in the moonlight. He collected many of them in his pocket and then went home and slept.
The next day, the stepmother woke them up and gave them a piece of bread each for lunch. After that, all 4 of them left for the forest to get food. Some time later, they all sat in a circle and made a fire for warmth. The woodcutter and the stepmother then said that they would go for cutting wood and then they would come back. Hansel and Gretel knew that they would not come back, but nevertheless, they agreed. Many hours passed and soon it was night time, but their parents did not return. Hansel then took Gretel along with him and started walking. Gretel then noticed that the path they were walking on was lined with pebbles that were shining in the moonlight. She then understood that Hansel had dropped this pebble after every few feet while they were coming in the morning. They both then returned home happily.
At home, the father was very happy to see them both again but the stepmother was very angry and so that night she decided and told her husband that they will abandon them deeper in the forest the next day. The woodcutter slept sadly with no other choice. The next morning, the stepmother once again gave Hansel and Gretel each a piece of bread. After that, all 4 of them set out to gather food. But this time, Hansel did not have any glowing pebbles to drop along the way and so instead, he tore his bread into pieces and dropped them along the way. The stepmother and the woodcutter did the same trick as the previous day and abandoned them in the forest. They went home, but at night when Hansel and Gretel tried to follow the breadcrumbs, it was in vain as it had been eaten away by birds and animals. So, they lost their way and roamed through the unknown part of the woods. There, they stumbled upon a house made of gingerbread. Its windows were made of sugar and the gardens had various chocolate and creamy plants and flowers. In their hunger, they started to eat from the garden and the house.
Suddenly, an old lady emerged from the gingerbread house with an owl on her shoulder. She asked them to come inside and eat whatever they wanted. The children agreed and went inside. Once inside, the old lady gave them various delicious food to eat and soon Hansel and Gretel fell asleep. This old lady was actually a witch and she wanted to eat them, so she took both of them as they were asleep and tossed them into a room and locked the door.
When Hansel and Gretel woke up, they found themselves locked inside a room and they shouted for help. The witch came and beat them up and threw Hansel into a separate room. She then made Gretel work as her servant, threatening to kill Hansel if she escaped. So, Gretel cooked, cleaned and did all the work in the house daily. The witch fed the boy lots of food in order to make him fat and eat him up. Every few days, the witch would check upon the buy and see if he was becoming fat or not and she would do this by pressing his finger. But the witch had weak eyesight and Hansel exploited this. He stuck out a piece of thin bone everytime and fooled the witch into thinking that he had not grown at all. This way, Hansel postponed his death for many days and weeks.
Finally, the witch got fed up and knew that Gretel and Hansel were playing a trick on her and so she decided that she would eat Hansel that day. She told Gretel to adjust the pot on the furnace and make the broth hot enough for cooking. Gretel knew that she had to come up with a plan in order to save her brother. As she went near the furnace, she thought of a plan and called for the witch to help. Gretel said that the pot was too tall for her to check whether the broth was hot enough or not and so she needed her help. The witch came and went near the pot and then peeped into it to check, when suddenly Gretel took hold of the witch’s legs and overturned her into the hot boiling broth. The witch screamed and cursed, but with her weak eyesight, she was unable to do anything and she scorched to death.
Gretel then went to free Hansel and after that they explored all rooms to see if anyone else was held in captivity. But instead, they found a room filled with gold and lots of treasure and they took as much they could carry. After that, they left the gingerbread house and roamed the forest to find their way back home. Luckily, they came across their father and they had a happy reunion. They returned home and the father told them that their stepmother had left in order to join other witches. All 3 of them rejoiced once again on hearing this happy news and with their newfound treasure, they were able to eat all the delicious food which they could get and they lived happily ever after.