Hansel and Gretel (Brothers Grimm)Once upon a time a very poor woodcutter lived in a tiny cottage in the forest with his two children, Hansel and Gretel. His second wife often ill-treated the children and was forever nagging the woodcutter. "There is not enough food in the house for us all. There are too many mouths to feed! We must get rid ofthe two brats," she declared. And she kept on trying to persuade her husband to abandon his children in the forest. "Take them miles from home, so far that they can never find their way back! Maybe someone will find them and give them a home." The downcast woodcutter didn't know what to do. Hansel who, one evening, had overheard his parents' conversation, comforted Gretel. "Don't worry! If they do leave us in the forest, we'll find the way home," he said. And slipping out of the house he filled his pockets with little white pebbles, then went back to bed. All night long, the woodcutter's wife harped on and on at her husband till, at dawn, he led Hansel and Gretel away into the forest. But as they went into the depths of the trees, Hansel dropped a little white pebble here and there on the mossy green ground. At a certain point, the two children found they really were alone: the woodcutter had plucked up enough courage to desertthem, had mumbled an excuse and was gone. Night fell but the woodcutter did not return. Gretel began to sob bitterly. Hansel too felt scared but he triedto hide his feelings and comfort his sister. "Don't cry, trust me! I swear I'll take you home even ifFather doesn't come back for us!" Luckily the moon was full that night and Hansel waited till its cold light filtered through the trees. "Now give me your hand!" he said. "We'll get home safely, you'll see!" The tiny white pebbles gleamed in the moonlight, and the children found their way home.