There was no way to tell how long they had been walking, only that his sister could not go on much further.

Her small smile meant she had caught his worried look and was trying to reassure him, but it did little to lessen his guilt, he was the older brother after all.

The crack of branches and sad whimper, which punctuated her fall, sent him running to her aid, but as he broke free of the forest his thoughts shifted.  Looking at all that chocolate he never even heard the small protest of caution, that raced through his mind, just Gretel’s exclamation of joy.

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