HANSEL AND GRETELHansel and Gretels parents are poor. One night, having been sent to bed with empty stomachs yet again, they overhear their step-mother telling their father that things cannot possibly go on the way they are and that if they do, the children will surely eat them out of house and home. The best thing to do, she argues, is to send the children into the woods. For good. The news terrifies Gretel, but Hansel has an idea. He gets up very early in the morning and collects pebbles. When their parents lead the children in the woods, Hansel leaves a trail of pebbles that helps them find their way home again. During the second attempt to abandon the children, Hansel leaves a trail of breadcrumbs. But this time, hungry birds eat up the trail and so Hansel and Gretel are left to wander the dark forest, lost and alone. Their hunger reaches its peak when, all at once, they come across a mysterious house made entirely of gingerbread. Carefully, the children begin to break off and eat, first small, then ever bigger pieces of the tasty cottage. However, the house is inhabited by an old lady who, when she appears, is not at all happy with the children. The house belongs to an almost blind witch who immediately locks Hansel into a cage and forces Gretel to clean and cook for her. The lives of both children are at risk. But then Gretel hatches a plot.