The next morning, after the woodcutter left for work, the stepmother woke the children up.
“Wake up! Wake up you little fools! Today is your father’s birthday. I want to make him an apple pie for his birthday dinner. Go into the forest and pick some apples. This time I will come too. I know where we can find a big apple tree.”
She gave them a loaf of bread for their lunch, and then she hurried them out the house. Hansel did not have time to collect any pebbles.
But clever Hansel had a plan. He did not eat his bread for lunch. Instead, he tore it into tiny crumbs. Every few steps, he dropped a crumb to mark the path.
They followed their stepmother down the path, around a corner, and through the forest. "Further! Further!" said the stepmother.
They went deeper into the forest. They turned left. They turned right. "Further! Further!" said the stepmother.
Finally they stopped, and the stepmother sat down to rest. She pointed to a very dark part of the forest. "The apple tree is over there!"
The children walked deeper into the forest, but they didn't see the apple tree.
"Where?" they called.
"Just a little further!" called the stepmother.
Hansel and Gretel walked deeper and deeper into the forest, but they still didn't see the apple tree.
"Where?" they called a second time.
"Just a little further!" replied the stepmother. Her voice was very faint now.
Hansel and Gretel walked and walked, deeper and deeper. No apple tree.
"Where?" they called a third time.
But there was no reply from their stepmother. She was gone.
“Oh no! We are lost!” said Gretel, crying.
“Don’t worry, I have a plan,” said Hansel.
He turned around to find the crumbs, but they were gone! The hungry birds had stolen every piece of bread!
"I'm scared," wept Gretel. "And I'm cold, and hungry, and I want to go home!"
"Don't worry. Everything will be alright,” Hansel said, trying to be brave. But he was scared, too.
That night, the children slept in some soft bushes to stay warm.
Need help? How to download audio to your device