‘I am looking back at my little pigeon which is sitting on the roof, and wants to say goodbye to me,’ answered Hansel.
‘Fool!’ said the woman, ‘that is not your little pigeon, that is the morning sun that is shining on the chimney.’
Hansel, however little by little, threw all the crumbs on the path.
When the moon came they set out, but they found no crumbs, for the many thousands of birds which fly about in the woods and fields had picked them all up. 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.
In a land of such plenty, Hansel might throw an entire loaf of cheap bread to the ground to guide him and Gretel back home, enough to share with many more thousands of birds.
Then, at the freeway overpass, a man holds a battered sign the color of crusts: “Homeless and Hungry Please Help God Bless”.
Hansel and Gretel from the Brothers Grimm on Project Gutenberg.