As the play opens, the two rabbits (who are actor-operated puppets) appear to introduce Hansel and Gretel. Hansel is reading from his encyclopedia, while Gretel has just devised a new contraption to make their life in the woodlands easier. The twins are joined by their happy-go-lucky mother and father. Mother teaches Gretel how to make a rabbit pie, while Father instructs Hansel on the art of tree felling and wood chopping. Mother brings out their chickens, Diane and Maureen, to see how many eggs they have produced today, while Father calls Graham, the ferret. Hansel ardently hopes to one day also have a ferret in his trousers. Gretel shows her parents her latest invention, a rotating chicken feeder and the family happily leave the chickens to feeding. Left alone, Diane and Maureen reflect that they are lucky to live with such a lovely family.
Two yodeling musicians, Johann and Wilhelm, arrive from across the valley to celebrate Hansel and Gretel’s birthday. As the twins blow
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