Hard by a great forest dwelt a poor wood-cutter with his
wife and his two children. The boy was called Hansel and the
girl Gretel. He had little to bite and to break, and once,
when great dearth fell on the land, he could no longer procure even daily bread.
"I'll tell you what, husband," answered the woman, "early tomorrow morning we will take the children out into the forest to where it is the thickest. There we will light a fire for them, and give each of them one more piece of bread, and then we will go to our work and leave them alone. They will not find the way home again, and we shall be rid of them."