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"No," answered Gretel. That would be too heavy for the duckling. It should take us across one at a time."

That is what the good animal did, and when they were safely on the other side and had walked on a little while, the woods grew more and more familiar to them. Finally, they saw the father's house in the distance. They began to run, rushed inside, and threw their arms around the father's neck.

The man had no had even one happy hour since he had left the children in the woods. But what had happened to the woman?