When four weeks had passed and Hänsel seemed to remain so thin, she lost patience and could wait no longer. »Now then, Gretel,« cried she to the little girl; »be quick and draw water; be Hänsel fat or be he lean, tomorrow I must kill and cook him.« Oh what a grief for the poor little sister to have to fetch water, and how the tears flowed down over her cheeks! »Dear God, pray help us!« cried she; »if only we had been devoured by wild beasts in the woods, at least we should have died together.«—»Spare me your lamentations,« said the old woman; »they are of no avail.«
Early the next morning Gretel had to get up, make the fire, and fill the kettle. »First we will do the baking,« said the old woman; »I have heated the oven already, and kneaded the dough.« She pushed poor Gretel towards the oven, out of which the flames were already shining. »Creep in,« said the witch, »and see if it is properly hot so that the bread may be baked.« And once Gretel was inside, she intended to shut the door and let her be baked, and then she would have eaten her. But Gretel perceived her intention, behaved as if she did not understand, and said, »I don't know how to do it: how shall I get in?«—»Stupid goose,« said the old woman, »the opening is big enough, do you see? I could get in myself!« and she stooped down and put her head in the oven's mouth. Then Gretel gave her a push so that she went in farther, and she shut the iron door upon her, and put up the bar. Oh how frightfully she howled, but Gretel ran away and left the wicked witch to burn miserably.