An excerpt from The Good Wiccan Guide – Part One: Introduction and Popular Mythology.
Hansel and Gretel
It is suspected that this story dates from the Great Famine (1315-1321) when people were abandoning their families and resorting to cannibalism. It was published in 1812 by the Brothers Grimm. Everyone is starving, so an evil mother decides to abandon her children so there’s more to eat for the adults. The kids hear the plan and leave on their own and get lost in the woods. They run across a witch’s house made of gingerbread. The two little brats don’t knock and ask if it’s okay to eat, they just start eating away the witch’s roof. She’s pretty pissed off, so she locks them up and decides to eat them. Because she is a bad witch she gets thrown in her own oven.
Moral of the story is if you ever find a house with a tree with lots of ripe fruit on it, don’t just take it, always knock on the door first and ask if it’s okay. Otherwise, it’s stealing, and you might get eaten by a witch.