Hänsel and Gretel

Story in 12 pictures
by Heinz Mellmann

Tale by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, after the translation of Lucy Crane



Near a great forest there lived a poor woodcutter and his wife, and his two children; the boy's name was Hänsel and the girl's Gretel.  They had very little to bite or to sup, and once, when there was great dearth in the land, the man could not even gain the daily bread.

As he sat one night thinking of this, he sighed heavily, and said to his wife,  »What will become of us? we cannot even feed our children; there is nothing left for ourselves.«—»I will tell you what, husband,«  answered the wife,  »we will take the children early in the morning into the forest, where it is thickest; we will make them a fire, and we will give each of them a piece of bread, then we will go to our work and leave them alone;  they will never find the way home again, and we shall be quit of them.«—»No, wife,«  said the man,  »I cannot do that; I cannot find in my heart to take my children into the forest and to leave them there alone;  the wild animals would soon come and devour them.«—»O you fool,«  said she,  »then we will all four starve,«—and she left him no peace until he consented.

The two children had not been able to sleep for hunger, and had heard what their mother had said to their father.  Gretel wept bitterly, and said to Hänsel,  »It is all over with us.«—»Do be quiet, Gretel,«  said Hänsel,  »and do not fret;  I will manage something.«