Early in the morning, before the children were awake, she got up to look at them and as they lay sleeping so peacefully with round rosy cheeks, she said to herself, »What a fine feast I shall have!« Then she grasped Hänsel with her withered hand, and led him into a little stable, and locked him up behind a grated door. Call and scream as he might, it was no good.
Then she went back to Gretel and shook her, crying, »Get up, lazy bones; fetch water and cook something nice for your brother; he is outside in the stable and must be fattened up. And when he is fat enough I will eat him.« Gretel began to weep bitterly, but it was of no use, she had to do what the wicked witch commanded.
And so the best food was cooked for poor Hänsel, while Gretel got nothing but crab-shells. Each morning the old woman visited the little stable and cried, »Hänsel, stretch out your finger that I may tell if you will soon be fat enough.« Hänsel, however, used to hold out a little bone, and the old woman, who had weak eyes, could not see what it was, and supposing it to be Hänsel's finger, wondered very much that it was not getting fatter.