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The Woods Will Be Our Way Back Home

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"Lay a trail of breadcrumbs," Gretel says, "and we'll use that as we did the pebbles."

Hansel looks doubtful, but he obeys, pinching off stale crumbs and dropping them on the leaf-littered ground while their stepmother and father walk ahead; the woods grow dark around them, the trees looming above their head as beady-eyed birds watch them from the branches.

There will be no trail back home, but that is all right: Gretel has already dreamed of what lies ahead, and she already knows the secret paths down which the two of them must go.