I knew the Brothers Grimm were grim, but I didn’t know how grim. I recently read in Steve Krug’s book “Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability” that,
In the original story, H & G’s stepmother persuades their father to lose them in the forest during lean times so the whole family won’t have to starve. The suspicious and resourceful H spoils the plot by dropping pebbles on the way in and following them home. But the next time(!) H is forced to use breadcrumbs instead which prove to be a less-than –suitable substitute since birds eat them before H & G can retrace their steps. Eventually the tale devolves into attempted cannibalism, grand larceny, and immolation, but basically it’s a story about how unpleasant it is to be lost.
Wow. those are some heavy topics for a fairy tale. If your interested, many of the Grimm Brother’s collected stories can be found at Project Gutenberg