Sunday Observer Online
http://www.liyathabara.com/   Ad Space Available Here  

Home

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Untitled-1

observer
 ONLINE


OTHER PUBLICATIONS


OTHER LINKS

Marriage Proposals
Classified
Government Gazette

Fairy tales:

Hansel and Gretel

By a great forest dwelt a poor wood-cutter with his wife and two children. The boy was Hansel and the girl Gretel and they were really poor. “I’11 tell you what, husband,” answered the step mother “early to-morrow 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.” The two children had not been able to sleep because of hunger, and had heard what their step mother had said. Gretel wept bitter tears, and said to Hansel: “Do not distress yourself, I will soon find a way.” And when the old folks had fallen asleep, he got up, put on his little coat, opened the door below, and crept outside. The moon shone brightly, and the white pebbles which lay in front of the house glittered like real silver pennies. Hansel stooped and stuffed the little pocket of his coat with as many as he could get in. Then he went back and said to Gretel: “Be comforted, dear little sister, and sleep in peace, God will not forsake us,” and he lay down again in his bed.

When day dawned, the woman came and woke the two children, saying: “Get up, you sluggards! We are going into the forest to fetch wood.” She gave each a little piece of bread, and said:

“There is something for your dinner, but do not eat it up before then, for you will get nothing else.” Gretel took the bread under her apron, as Hansel had the pebbles in his pocket. Then they all set out together on the way to the forest. When they had walked a short time, Hansel stood still and peeped back at the house, and did so again and again. Hansel had been constantly throwing one of the white pebble-stones out of his pocket on the road.

When they had reached the middle of the forest, the father said: “Now, children, pile up some wood, and I will light a fire that you may not be cold.” Hansel and Gretel sat by the fire, and when noon came, each ate a little piece of bread, and as they heard the strokes of the axe they believed that their father was near.

It was not the axe, but a branch which he had fastened to a withered tree which the wind was blowing backwards and forwards.

They walked the whole night long, and by break of day came once more to their father’s house.

They knocked at the door, and when the woman opened it and saw that it was Hansel and Gretel, she said: “You naughty children, why have you slept so long in the forest--we thought you were never coming back at all!” The father, however, rejoiced.

“The children must go, we will take them farther into the wood, so that they will not find their way out again; there is no other means of saving ourselves!”, the stepmother said. The man’s heart was heavy, and he thought: “It would be better for you to share the last mouthful with your children.” The children, however, were still awake and had heard the conversation. When the old folks were asleep, Hansel again got up, and wanted to go out and pick up pebbles as he had done before, but the woman had locked the door, and Hansel could not get out. Nevertheless he comforted his little sister, and said: “Do not cry, Gretel, go to sleep quietly, the good God will help us.” Early in the morning came the woman, and took the children out of their beds. Their piece of bread was given to them, but it was still smaller than the time before.

On the way into the forest Hansel crumbled in his pocket, and often stood still and threw a morsel on the ground. Hansel threw all the crumbs on the path. Hansel said to Gretel: “We shall soon find the way,” but they did not find it.

They walked the whole night and all the next day too from morning till evening, but they did not get out of the forest, and were very hungry, for they had nothing to eat but two or three berries, which grew on the ground. And as they were so weary that their legs would carry them no longer, they lay down beneath a tree and fell asleep. When it was mid-day, they saw a beautiful snow-white bird sitting on a bough, it spread its wings and flew away before them, and they followed it until they reached a little house, on the roof of which it alighted; and when they approached the little house they saw that it was built of bread and covered with cakes, but that the windows were of clear sugar. “I will eat a bit of the roof, and you Gretel, can eat some of the window, it will taste sweet.”

Hansel reached up above, and broke off a little of the roof to try how it tasted, and Gretel leant against the window and nibbled at the panes. Then a soft voice cried from the parlour:

“Nibble, nibble, gnaw,
Who is nibbling at my little house?”
The children answered:
“The wind, the wind,

The heaven-born wind,” and went on eating without disturbing themselves. Hansel, who liked the taste of the roof, tore down a great piece of it, and Gretel pushed out the whole of one round window-pane, sat down, and enjoyed herself with it. Suddenly the door opened, and a woman as old as the hills, who supported herself on crutches, came creeping out. Hansel and Gretel were so terribly frightened that they let fall what they had in their hands. The old woman, however, nodded her head, and said: “Oh, you dear children, who has brought you here? Do come in, and stay with me. No harm shall happen to you.” She took them both by the hand, and led them into her little house.

Then good food was set before them. The old woman was in reality a wicked witch . The best food was cooked for poor Hansel, but Gretel got nothing but crab-shells. Every morning the woman crept to the little stable, and cried: “Hansel, stretch out your finger that I may feel if you will soon be fat..” Hansel, however, stretched out a little bone to her, and the old woman, who had dim eyes, could not see it, and thought it was Hansel’s finger, and was astonished that there was no way of fattening him. When four weeks had gone by, and Hansel still remained thin, she was seized with impatience and would not wait any longer. “Now, then, Gretel,” she cried to the girl, “stir yourself, and bring some water. Let Hansel be fat or lean, tomorrow I will kill him, and cook him.” Gretel had to go out and hang up the cauldron with the water and light the fire.

“We will bake first,” said the old woman, “I have already heated the oven, and kneaded the dough.” She pushed poor Gretel out to the oven, from which flames of fire were already darting. “Creep in,” said the witch, “and see if it is properly heated, so that we can put the bread in.” And once Gretel was inside, she intended to shut the oven and let her bake in it, and then she would eat her, too. But Gretel saw what she had in mind, and said: “I do not know how I am to do it; how do I get in?” “Silly goose,” said the old woman. “The door is big enough; just look, I can get in myself!” and she crept up and thrust her head into the oven. Then Gretel gave her a push that drove her far into it, and shut the iron door, and fastened the bolt. Oh then she began to howl quite horribly, but Gretel ran away, and the witch was miserably burnt to death.

Gretel, however, ran like lightning to Hansel, opened his little stable, and cried: “Hansel, we are saved! The old witch is dead!” They went into the witch’s house, and in every corner there stood chests full of pearls and jewels. “These are far better than pebbles!” said Hansel, and thrust into his pockets whatever could be got in, and Gretel said: “I, too, will take something home with me,” and filled her pinafore full. “But now we must be off,” said Hansel, “that we may get out of the witch’s forest.” When they had walked for two hours, they saw from afar their father’s house. Then they rushed into the parlour, and threw themselves round their father’s neck. The man had not known one happy hour since he had left the children in the forest; the woman, however, was dead. . They lived together in perfect happiness.

- Internet

EMAIL |   PRINTABLE VIEW | FEEDBACK

KAPRUKA - Valentine's Day Gift Delivery in Sri Lanka
www.apiwenuwenapi.co.uk
LANKAPUVATH - National News Agency of Sri Lanka
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL)
www.army.lk
www.news.lk
www.defence.lk
Donate Now | defence.lk
 

| News | Editorial | Finance | Features | Political | Security | Sports | Spectrum | Montage | Impact | World | Obituaries | Junior |

 
 

Produced by Lake House Copyright © 2013 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor