Once upon a time there lived a widowed woman with her two young children, a boy and a girl named Hansel and Gretel. They live a quiet life in small cottage of simple means nestled at the edge of a beautiful yet mysterious magical forest so very far away. This is their story.
Every morning the mother would rise early, open the shutters to let the warmth of the sunlight beam into their lovely little home. She would then reach for wood at the side of the table and start the fire in the stove that is in the middle of the room to prepare their daily breakfast of porridge and berries. As the big brass pot begins to boil she would spoon in the porridge grains. Once the mixture thickens, Mother would then sprinkle the berries into the mixture. Mother would then go outside to get the berries that are in a box near the door. On this particular day, she notices something strange.
“Oh my, what do we have here?” Mother says in amazement, hands clutched at her hips. Mother calls for her children.
“Hansel, Gretel! May I see you both here this instant!” she calls from the threshold. The two jump from their beds, which are side by side and quickly scurry to their mother. Mother’s towering presence in the light of the doorway draws a surprise moment for the two.
“What is the matter, mother?” The two youngster’s voices mesh in unison.
“What’s wrong? Come here my darling children and I will show you!” says mother, displeasure in her voice. The two children creep slowly to the sun drenched door.
“Who left the berry box open?”
“Not I!” said Hansel.
“Not I!” said Gretel.
“Well, certainly not I.” said mother sternly. “It seems our little four legged friends of the forest have helped themselves to a very nice treat. Now we have not but one berry for our porridge.”
Mother stood there looking serious, her left foot, tapping nervously on the clapboard floor. The two children look at each other and shrug their shoulders. Hansel leaned forward and whispers into Gretel’s ear. Gretel looks at him and nods in agreement.
“Mother,” Gretel said, “Both Hansel and I will dress and we will go to the forest with our baskets. We will bring back the biggest the best berries you’ve ever tasted.”
“Yes, Mother.” Hansel said. “Just leave it to us.”
“Very well, then.” Mother agrees. “You must eat your porridge without the berries. I will prepare some bread and jam for your lunch. Please be home in time for supper. Now get along.”
Gretel turns and grabs Hansel’s hand. Gretel leans towards Hansel and she now whispers in Hansel’s right ear.
“You forgot to close the box last night.” Gretel says grinding her voice into his ear. “…you and your late night cravings, Hansel!”
Hansel just looked at her with a puzzled look and shrugged his shoulders.
Mother prepared their woven baskets each with bread and a jar of jam. She placed them on the wooden table for the children to fetch before they set out on their berry hunt. Hansel appeared first followed by Gretel skipping along the shiny floor board.
“Remember children, fill your baskets nice and full with just berries that are bright red in color.” Mother instructed pointing her finger to each child.
“Yes, mother.” said Hansel
“Yes, we will remember, mother.” said Gretel. Off they went as mother waved good-bye.
Not soon after they arrived into the forest, they came to the crossroads. They usually take the road to the right to pick the berries, but at the split of the path they noticed a sign that read: The path to the right there are no red berries this is true, take the path to the left for an abundance of blue!
“Hansel, what will we do?” Gretel asks.
“Well, this sign was put there from someone who knows, so I guess we’ll go to the left and pick the blue ones.” Hansel said.
“Okay, but what if we get lost?” Gretel asks in a timid voice.
“Well….oh, I know, from my basket I’ll leave a...