Hello, boys and girls. You’re welcome to another episode of Jolly reading with Mr. Namse. Today, I’ll be taking you on a journey with Hansel and Gretel. Hansel and Gretel is a popular folktale that has been written in different forms and rewritten over the years. I have this version to read to you.
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Hansel and his younger sister Gretel, lived with their father and stepmother near a forest. One day, their father, who was a poor woodcutter, said to his wife, “We do not have enough money to buy food for all of us.”
“Let us leave the children in the forest,” said his wife.
The shocked woodcutter cried, “I can do no such thing.”
“Then all of us will die of hunger,” said his wife. The woodcutter still did not agree.
“I would take them to the forest myself,” said his wife.
What sort of mother would take their children to the forest because she can’t feed them? Terrible rights? Let’s find out what happens next.
The next morning, the children’s stepmother woke them up and said, “Come with me to the forest to collect firewood.” While walking, Hansel dropped pebbles along the path. After a while, they reached the middle of the forest. Hansel had eavesdropped on his parent’s conversation and he knew the plan.
“Wait here while I collect the firewood,” their stepmother told them, but she never returned. Soon, Hansel and Gretel fell asleep and I woke up when it was dark, still in the middle of the forest. Let’s find out what happens.
Gretel was scared. “How will we return home?” She cried.
Hold my hand, Hansel told her. Hansel and Gretel followed the white pebbles that shone in the moonlight and found their way home. Their stepmother was shocked to see them, but their father was delighted. So for the next few days, Hansel and Gretel’s stepmother tried to dump them in the forest and escape. But Hansel always had a plan, until, one day, this happened.
Hansel had put breadcrumbs on the path to take them home. But when their stepmother had gone, Hansel tried to find the breadcrumbs that he had dropped earlier, but he could not find any of them, because the birds had eaten them.
The children tried to find their way home, but they were lost. Then they saw a little cottage. It was made of chocolates and cakes. The hungry children broke some chocolates and started eating them. Suddenly the door to the cottage opened. An ugly old woman came out and cried, “Who is nibbling at my house?”
When the woman saw Hansel and Gretel, she cried, “Oh it’s you! Dear children, come in.”
The poor children did not know the old woman was actually a witch, who ate children. They went inside the chocolate cottage. Immediately, the witch locked Hansel in a cage, roast some chicken for Hansel.
“Once he grows fat, I will eat him,” the witch told Gretel. That must have been a very terrible situation to be in.
Being locked in a cage by a witch and being fed, just like a chicken is fed and fattened to be slaughtered during the holiday. What happens? Let’s find out.
The witch had become impatient. She told Gretel, “I will eat Hansel today. Check if the oven is hot.”
“I don’t know how to do it,” said Gretel.
“Watch, miss silly girl,” cried the witch.
When the witch opened the door of the oven, Gretel pushed her inside and shut the door. Then she freed Hansel. The witch’s cottage was filled with jewels. The children decided to take some to their father. Soon, they found their way back home. The woodcutter was overjoyed to see them. Their step mother was gone as she could not bear the poverty any longer. But now, the woodcutter and his children were rich. They lived happily ever after.
Such a beautiful story, and we see the perseverance of Hansel and Gretel and how they were able to creatively think their way out of trouble. They didn’t panic because they creatively found a way out of trouble. Their father loved them and was glad to have them back, at the end of their adventures in the forest. Good resourcefulness there, Hansel and Gretel, and I hope we’ve taken an important lesson from this story.
Farewell for now
This marks the end of season one of Jolly Reading with Mr. Namse. I hope we’ve enjoyed all those stories and folktales told over the last one year. I promise you, I’ll be back and better. You can follow my social media handles Twitter @namse on Facebook, @Namse Peter Udosen. On Instagram, @namselicious for more updates on my activities on literacy and reading. I promise you I’ll be back, stronger and better in season two, with more beautiful stories and lessons to be learnt, with Jolly Reading with Mr. Namse.