Heritage of Words | Class 12 Notes
The Little Brother and the Little Sister
Writer: Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
It is a transformation fairy tale written by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s. “The Little Brother and the Little Sister” are all about the account of “Hansel and Gretel” in a different way. The children are not identified by their names but by their relation. So, the title is not “Hansel and Gretel” but “The Little Brother and The Little Sister”. In this fairy tale, a poor woodcutter lives by a great forest. He lives a very difficult life with his second wife and two children. Once, there is a famine (food shortage) and the family has no bread to eat. The step-mother is very cruel who forces her husband to leave the children in the forest. The children know the plan of their parents. The brother goes out of the house at night in the moonlight and fills his pocket with the shining pebbles. The next morning, the little brother and his sister are taken to the forest. On the way, the brother keeps on dropping the shining stones one by one. In the forest, the parents make a great fire and ask the children to wait until they come back. However, the parents don’t come back. The children are worried and they wait for the moon. When the moon shines at night, they came back home following the shining pebbles. The father who loves them very much becomes happy but the cruel stepmother becomes angry.
In the meantime, there is the scarcity of food. The stepmother again compels the father to get rid of the children. They again take the children to the forest. This time the little brother drops the pieces of bread on the ways. The parents again make a great fire and come back home leaving the children in the forest. The little sister and her brother wait until the moon shines at night. However, they don’t find the pieces of bread as they are eaten up by the birds. Then they are lost in the dense forest. They walk on and on for three days and finally they reach a house made of bread. The Window is made of sugar. When they begin to eat, an old witch comes and takes them inside the house she provides them with good food and a nice bed. The next day, she imprisons the boy in the stable and makes the little sister work hard.
After making Hansel fat, she wants to kill the brother and roast the little sister. One day the witch asks the sister to go into the oven to see if it is hot or not for the cakes. The clever sister says that she doesn’t know how to go into the oven. When the witch shows how to go in, the little girl pushes the witch inside the oven and closes the door of the oven. The witch burns to death. The little sister frees her little brother and they return home with a lot of jewels. The stepmother is already dead. The father becomes happy and rich.