• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Half Title
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 The Wild Swans
 The Ugly Duckling
 The Fellow-Traveller
 The Little Mermaid
 Thumbkinetta
 The Angel
 The Garden of Paradise
 The Snow Queen
 Advertisement
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Tales.
Title: Fairy tales
CITATION PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE
Full Citation
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026595/00001
 Material Information
Title: Fairy tales
Uniform Title: Tales
Alternate Title: Wild Swans
Ugly duckling
Fellow traveller
Little mermaid
Thumbkinetta
Angel
Garden of paradise
Snow Queen
Physical Description: vi, 94, 2 p., 12 leaves of plates : col. ill. ; 32 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Andersen, H. C ( Hans Christian ), 1805-1875
Ward, Harry Leigh Douglas, 1825-1906 ( Translator )
Plesner, Augusta ( Translator )
E. V. B ( Eleanor Vere Boyle ), 1825-1916 ( ill )
Sampson Low, Marston, Low & Searle ( Publisher )
Leighton Bros ( Lithographer )
James Burn & Company ( Binder )
Publisher: Sampson Low, Marston, Low, and Searle
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1872
 Subjects
Subject: Fairy tales -- Denmark   ( lcsh )
Fairy tales   ( lcshac )
Fairy tales -- 1872   ( rbgenr )
James Burn & Company -- Binders' tickets (Binding) -- 1872   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1872
Genre: Fairy tales   ( rbgenr )
Binders' tickets (Binding)   ( rbbin )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Hans Christian Andersen ; illustrated by 12 large designs in colour after original drawings by E.V.B. ; newly translated by H.L.D. Ward and Augusta Plesner.
General Note: Illustrations color lithographed by Leighton Bros.
General Note: Bound by James Burn & Company.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026595
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002222550
notis - ALG2795
oclc - 05259304
lccn - 53052644

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Half Title
        Page 4
    Frontispiece
        Page 5
    Title Page
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Preface
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Table of Contents
        Page 10
    The Wild Swans
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
    The Ugly Duckling
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
    The Fellow-Traveller
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
    The Little Mermaid
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
    Thumbkinetta
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
    The Angel
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
    The Garden of Paradise
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
    The Snow Queen
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
    Advertisement
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
    Back Cover
        Page 130
        Page 131
    Spine
        Page 132
Full Text
17


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Ii li IL 6 e A371FAIRY TA LES


I LBIHTDN BROSTHE DUMB MAIDEN SHEWN TO THE PDEOPLEn i AI ss


BY HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSENILLUSTRATED BY TWELVE LARGE DESIGNS IN COLOURcAFTER ORIGINAL DRAWINGS BYE V BNEWLY TRANSLATED BY H L D WARD ANDAUGUSTA PLESNERCONTENTSTHE WILD SWANS THUMBKINETTA pTHE UGLY DUCKLING THE ANGELTHE FELLOW TRAVELLER THE GARDEN OF PARADISETHE LITTLE MERMAID THE SNOW QUEENLONDONSAMPSON LOW MARSTON LOW AND SEARLECROWN BUILDINGS FLEET STREET1872All Rights Reserved


CHISWICK PRESS PRINTED BY WHITTINGHAM AND WILKINSTOOKS COURT CHANCERY LANE


A STORY INSTEAD OF A PREFACELUCK MAY LIE IN A STICKI AM going to tell you a story about Luck We all know Luck Somesee it the whole year round others only for a certain season or a singleday nay some there are who only see it once in their life But still wedo see it all of usNow I need hardly tell you for this everybody knows that OurLord sends the little child and lays it in the mother s lap wherever she may be notonly in the rich palace and the comfortable room but also on the bare field where thecold winds blow But not every one knows perhaps and yet it is quite as certainthat Our Lord as he brings the child brings also a gift of Luck for it This isnot laid openly beside the child however but it is laid in some spot in the worldwhere one least thinks of finding it And yet it is always found and a happything that is for us It may be stored up inside an apple as it was indeed for alearned man whose name was Newton The apple fell down and so his luck came tohim If you do not know the story ask somebody who knows it to tell it you I haveanother to tell just now and that is a story of a pearThere was once a poor man who was born in poverty and who grew up in povertyand in poverty he married As to the rest he was a turner by trade and his specialwork was turning umbrella sticks and umbrella rings but he could scarcely manage tolive from hand to mouthI shall never find any luck said he Now this is a true story of real life andone could name the country and the place where the man lived But that is of noconsequenceSome mountain ash trees with their clusters of sour red berries made a fine showround his house and garden In the middle of the garden there was a pear tree alsobut it never bore a single fruit and yet the man s luck was laid in this pear tree laid inthe invisible pears


vi A STORY INSTEAD OF A PREFACEOne night there was a terrible storm of wind The newspapers told how the greatstage coach was whirled off the road and swept along like a rag No wonder then thata large branch was broken off the pear treeThe branch was laid in the workshop and the man amused himself with turningfirst one and then another large pear then a smaller one and several pears at last thatwere very small indeedThe tree was bound to bear some day said the man And he gave his childrenthe pears to play withOne of life s necessities in a wet country is no doubt an umbrella The wholehouse had but one for common use If the wind was high it often turned inside out andmore than once broke down altogether but the man soon set it to rights again It wasprovoking though how often the button that kept it together when folded would fly offor the ring that was used to catch the button would snap asunderBoth these accidents happened one day The man searched the floor in vain for thebutton but picked up one of the smallest of the wooden pears that had been lost by thechildren in their playThe button is nowhere to be found said the man but this little thing will dojust as well So he drilled a hole in it and put a string through and the little pearfitted well in the broken ring It was indeed the best fastening the umbrella hadever hadNext year when the man sent his umbrella sticks up to town to the place hesupplied with them he sent also a couple of small wooden pears each fitting into half aring and he begged they might be given a trial It was soon found that the pear madea better fastening than any button and large orders were received for umbrellasfastened with little pearsWell now there was work to be done Pears by thousands Wooden pears on allthe umbrellas The man had to set to work He turned and turned The whole peartree was turned into little pears the pears into pennies and the pennies into poundsIn that pear tree my luck was laid said the man He set up a large workshopwith workmen and apprentices He was now always in good spirits and Luck maylie in a stick he used to sayAnd so say I who am telling you this storyThere is an old saying Hold a white stick in your mouth and you will beinvisible But then it must be the right stick the one that our Lord has given us asour gift of Luck Such a stick was given to me and by means of it I too can get goldno less than the umbrella man and it is ringing gold glittering gold the finest of allthat which rings from the children s lips and glitters from the children s eyes aye andfrom those of father and mother too They read my stories and I stand among them inthe room but invisible for I have the white stick in my mouth And when I see theyare happy at what I am telling them then aye then I say again Luck may liein a stickH C ANDERSEN


CONTENTS AND ILLUSTRATIONSPageA STORY INSTEAD OF A PREFACE VTHE WILD SWANS 1The Dumb Maiden attired gorgeously and shown to the PeopleThe King riding off with the Dumb MaidenThe Dumb Maiden s funeral PyreTHE UGLY DUCKLING 13The Old Woman with Cuckoo Shortlegs and the Cat who wouldn t associate with the UglyDucklingTHE FELLOW TRAVELLER 21The Old King pointing out to the Student the Wicked Princess s GardenThe Wicked Princess in her GardenTHE LITTLE MERMAID 35Children playing in the water and alarmed by one of the Mermaids approaching the shoreTHUMBKINETTA 51Thumbkinetta very desolate on the water lily leafThumbkinetta borne on the swallow s back to the south where she sees the Fairy flower PrinceTHE ANGEL 59The Child after death in the Angel s arms pities the poor Rose tree with its buds and flowers crusheddown and brokenTHE GARDEN OF PARADISE 1THE SNOW QUEEN 71The Old Witch in the Cherry Garden drawing in Gerda s boat with her crutchThe Old Witch combing Gerda s hair with a Golden Comb to cause her to forget her friend


THE WILD SWANSS AR away from here in the lands that the swallows fly to when winter iscoming there lived a king who had eleven sons and a daughter namedElisa The eleven brothers went to school like princes as they werewith stars on their breasts and sabres by their sides they wrote ongold tablets with diamond pencils and could say by heart as well asread from the book one had only to hear them to know they were princes Theirsister Elisa sat on a little footstool of plate glass and had a picture book that had costhalf the kingdomAh those children had a pleasant time of it but that was not to last for everTheir father who was king of the whole country married a wicked queen whohad no liking at all for the poor children and this they felt on the very first dayThere was feasting and merriment throughout the whole palace and so the childrenplayed at receiving company but instead of their having as many cakes and roastedapples as could be got she only gave them a teacup of sand and said they must tryand make believe with itThe next week she sent little sister Elisa to son e peasants in the country andit was not long before she filled the king s head with so much stuff against the poorprinces that he ceased to care any more about themFly forth into the world and look out for yourselves said the wicked queenfly as great birds without voices But she could not make things quite as badas she wished and they became eleven beautiful wild swans With a strange crythey flew out of the palace windows away over the park and the forestIt was still early in the morning when they passed by the place where Elisalay sleeping in the peasant s cottage Here they hovered over the roof turned theirlong necks and flapped their wings but no one either heard or saw them theymust needs fly further on high up towards the clouds and far out into the wideB


2 THE WILD SWANSworld So on they went to the great dark forest that stretched right down to thesea shorePoor little Elisa used to stand in the peasant s parlour and play with a greenleaf She had no other toys And she pricked holes in it and peeped through themat the sun and she could fancy she saw her Brothers bright eyes and wheneverthe warm sunbeams shone on her cheek she thought of all their kissesOne day passed like another If the wind blew through the sweetbriar hedgesround the house it would whisper to the roses Is there anyone prettier than youBut the roses shook their heads and said Who but Elisa And when the goodwifesat on a Sunday in the cottage door reading her psalm book the wind would turnthe leaves over and say to the book Is there anyone better than you And Whobut Elisa said the psalm book And it was nothing but the simple truth thatwas spoken by the roses and by the psalm bookWhen she was fifteen years old she was sent for home And when the Queensaw her pretty face she felt angry and spiteful and she would gladly have turnedher into another wild swan but she dared not do it at once for the King wantedto see his daughterNext morning the Queen went early into her bath room It was built ofmarble and fitted up with soft cushions and rich carpets And she took threetoads pressed a kiss upon each and said to one Settle thou on Elisa s head whenshe comes in that she may grow dull like thee and to another Settle on herbrow that she may be hideous like thee and her father may not know herNestle on her heart she whispered to the third give her wicked thoughtsthat will end in pain and sorrow Then she put the toads into the clean waterand it straightway took a greenish hue and she called Elisa and undressed her andbade her dip under the water and while she was dipping down squatted one toadon her hair another on her brow and the third clung to her bosom But Elisaseemed not to mark them and when she got out of the bath there were three redpoppies floating in the water If the creatures had not been poisonous by naturtand kissed by the witch they would have been changed into red roses But stillflowers they did become by resting on her head and near her heart she was tooinnocent and good for witchcraft to prevail against herWhen the wicked Queen saw this she rubbed her skin with walnut juice tillshe was quite swarthy smeared her pretty face with a stinking ointment and mattedher silky locks together one would never have thought it was the pretty ElisaSo when her father saw her he was quite dismayed and said that she could not behis daughter There was no one who knew her again except the watch dog and theswallows but they were poor animals and had nothing to say in the matterThen poor Elisa wept and thought of her eleven Brothers who had all disappearedWith a sad heart she stole out of the palace and wandered all day over moss and moor


THE WILD SWANS 3till she reached the forest She knew not where she wished to go she only felt a deepsorrow and a longing for her brothers they like her had been driven out into the worldand now she would seek them and find themBefore she had been long in the forest the night fell she had gone clean astrayfrom road and footpath then she lay down in the soft moss said her evening prayerand propped her head against the stump of a tree There was a perfect stillness andsoftness in the air and all around upon grass and heather gleamed the green lights ofhundreds of glow worms if her head did but lightly touch a branch the bright insectsdropped like falling stars at her feetAll night long she dreamed of her Brothers They were playing again as childrenwriting with diamond pencils upon gold tablets and looking at the pictures in thebeautiful book that had cost half the kingdom But they did not as of old write onlylines and figures on the tablets not at all but the deeds they had dared and all theyhad suffered all they had seen And in the picture book all this was alive The birdswere singing and the people were coming out of the books and talking to Elisa and herbrothers only whenever she turned the leaf they jumped back into their places thatthere might be no confusion among the picturesWhen she awoke the sun stood high in the heavens already Not that she couldsee the sun itself the tall trees spread their boughs too close together but the treetopscaught the beams and looked like a waving golden veil She smelt the fragrance of thegreenwood and the birds thronged around merrily singing on her shoulders Sheheard the splash of water it came from many bubbling springs that all fell into a poolwith a most beautiful floor of sand It was thickly fenced with bushes all round onlyin one place the deer had trodden a great gap and through this Elisa went down to thewater It was so clear that if the wind had not stirred the branches and bushes to andfro she might have fancied they were painted on the bottom so distinctly was everyleaf reflected both that which the sun shone through and that which was deep inshadowWhen she first saw her face in the water she was frightened it looked so brownand hideous but when she dipped her hand and rubbed her eyes and forehead thewhite skin soon gleamed forth again Then she took off all her clothes and stepped outinto the fresh water and a more beautiful king s child than she was could nowhere befound in all the worldWhen she had dressed herself again and braided her long hair she went to thebubbling spring drank from the hollow of her hand and again wandered further inthe forest she knew not whither She thought of her Brothers she thought of the goodGod surely he would not forsake her he made the wild apple tree grow in the forestto feed the hungry and lo even such a tree did he show her now and the branchesbent under the fruit Here she made her dinner set props under the boughs and walkedon into the depths of the forest There was such a dead stillness she could hear her


4 THE WILD SWANSown footsteps and every little sere leaf that was crushed under her foot Not a birdwas to be seen not a sunbeam could pierce the roof of boughs and foliage the tallstems stood so near each other that it seemed when she looked straight before her asif palisade after palisade enclosed her Oh this was a solitude such she had neverknown beforeThe night grew pitch dark Not a single glow worm shone from the moss Shelaid her sadly down to sleep Then it seemed as if the roof of branches parted asunderand Oir Lord looked down with mild eyes upon her and little angels peeped forth abovehis head and under his armsWhen she awoke in the morning she knew not whether it had been a dreamor a realityShe went a few steps onwards then she met an old woman with a basket ofberries who gave her some to eat And Elisa asked her whether she had seeneleven princes riding through the forestNo said the old woman but yesterday I saw eleven swans with gold crownson their heads swimming on the brook down yonderAnd she led Elisa a little further on to a slope at the foof of which wound arivulet The trees on its banks stretched their long leafy boughs towards eachother and where they could not meet by natural growth they had torn their rootsloose from the ground and now they leaned forward across the water and mingledtheir boughs togetherElisa bade the old woman farewell and walked down the brook to where it openedout upon the great sea shoreThe beautiful wide ocean lay before the young girl but not a sail shone uponit not a boat was to be seen Would she ever be able to get further She lookedat the numberless pebbles on the beach the water had rounded and smoothed themall glass iron stone all that had been washed up had been moulded by thewater and yet it was softer than her own soft hand It is never weary of rollingand thus hard things and rough things are worn smooth I will be as unweariedThanks for your lesson ye clear rolling waves some day my heart tells me yewill bear me to my brothersOn the stranded sea weed there lay eleven white swan feathers She gatheredthem into a bunch water drops hung about them whether dew or tears one couldnot tell It was lonely on the shore but she felt it not the sea offered such aconstant change more of it indeed in a few hours than inland waters can displayin a whole year Whenever there passed a large black cloud the sea seemed tosay I can look murky too and the wind blew and the waves showed theirwhite heads But when the clouds had a ruddy glow and the wind slept then thesea lay looking like a rose leaf One moment again it was green and anotherwhite Yet it never lay so calm but what there was always a gentle stir upon thebeach the water just heaved like the bosom of a sleeping child


THE WILD SWANS 5When the sun was near setting Elisa saw eleven wild swans with golden crownsupon their heads flying towards the shore They stretched one behind anotherlike a long white ribbon Then Elisa climbed the beach and hid behind a bushThe swans alighted close to where she stood and flapped their great white wingsThe sun sank below the water and suddenly the swan skins fell off and therestood eleven beautiful princes Elisa gave a loud cry for much as they werealtered she knew who they were She felt they must be her Brothers and she spranginto their arms And they were as happy too when they saw and knew their littleSister who was grown so tall and beautiful They laughed and wept and soon theyknew each other s stories and how wicked their stepmother had been to them allWe brothers said the eldest fly like wild swans as long as the sun is inthe sky when it is down we take the shape of man again So we must alwaystake care to find rest for our feet before sunset for if we were flying then amongthe clouds we should fall plump into the deep as men We do not dwell hereA land as fair as this lies beyond the sea but the way to it is long we have to crossthe ocean and there is no island to pass the night upon save a solitary rock thatrises midway just large enough for us all when standing side by side Whenthere is a heavy sea the foam dashes high above us still we thank God for theresting place There we pass the night in our human shapes Were it not for thatwe could never come and visit our dear native land for two of the longest daysin the year are wanted for our flight Only once a year it is granted us to cometo our forefathers home Eleven days we may remain fly over the great forest andlook down upon the palace where we were born and where our father lives and uponthe tower of the church where our mother lies buried Here the trees and bushes seemto be our kith and kin here the wild horses scour the plains just as they did inour childhood here the charcoal burner sings the old songs that we danced to whenwe were children here is our native land hither we are drawn and here we havefound thee thou dear little Sister Two days more we are allowed to tarry here thenwe must fly away to a glorious land but not our native land How shall we take theewith us We have neither ship nor boatHow shall I be able to release you said the Sister And thus they talkedtogether all the night Only a few hours were spent in slumberElisa was awoke by the rushing sound of wings above her The brothers wereagain transformed and they flew round in large circles and at length clean awayBut one of them the youngest stayed behind and the Swan laid his head in her lapand she stroked his white wings The whole day they were together Towardsevening the others returned and when the sun was down they stood in their naturalshapesTo morrow we must fly quite away said one of them and we dare not returnwithin a year But we cannot leave thee here alone Hast thou courage to go with


6 THE WILD SWANSus My arm is strong enough to carry thee through the forest Must not all our wingstogether be strong enough to carry thee over the seaYes pray take me too said ElisaThey spent the whole night weaving a net of tough rushes and pliant willow barkThey made it large and strong and Elisa laid down on it and at sunrise when thebrothers became wild Swans they seized it with their beaks and flew up high towardsthe clouds bearing their Sister who was still asleep The sunbeams shone full uponher face so one of the Swans flew above her head that his broad wings might giveher shade They were far from land when Elisa awoke she thought she was stilldreaming so strange it seemed to be borne over the water high up through the airBy her side lay a cluster of beautiful ripe berries and a handful of savoury rootsThese her youngest brother had gathered and laid beside her and she smiled him herthanks for she knew it was he who flew above her head and shaded her with his wingsThey were so high aloft that the first ship they saw seemed like a white sea gullskimming the water A large cloud rose behind her piled up like a mountain and onthis Elisa saw the flying shadows of herself and the eleven Swans gigantic in size Itwas the grandest picture she had ever seen but as the sun rose higher and the cloudwas left further behind the shadow picture vanishedAll day they flew along swift as an arrow whizzing through the air and yet theyflew slower than usual for now they had their Sister to carry There was badweather brewing evening drew near anxiously did Elisa mark the sinking sun andstill there was not a glimpse of the lonely rock among the waves It seemed to her asif the Swans made harder efforts with their wings Alas it was her fault if they did notspeed fast enough if they turned into men and fell headlong at sunset and were drownedin the ocean she prayed to God in her inmost heart still there was no rock to be seenThe black shades gathered closer the gusts of wind foretold a tempest the cloudstowered into one vast billow that solid as lead swept onwards with flashes flickeringaround itNow the sun was on the rim of the sea Elisa s heart quaked Then the Swansshot down so swiftly that she thought she must fall but forward they flew againThe sun was half in the water but now she really spied the little rock it looked nobigger than a seal thrusting his head above water The sun was fast disappearing itwas only like a star now her foot touched the hard ground and out went the sun likethe last spark in a burning paper The Brothers stood arm in arm around her but therewas not an inch of ground to spare The waves dashed against the rock flinging overthem showers of foam The sky was all a blaze with lightning and the thunder neverceased rolling But the Brothers and the Sister joined hands and sang a psalm togetherand this gave them comfort and courageAt daybreak the air was pure and calm and as soon as the sun rose the Swansflew away with Elisa from the rock The sea still ran high and looking from their


THE WILD S WANS 7lofty flight they saw the white crests of the dark green waves like millions of swansriding on the waterAs the sun rose higher Elisa saw a mountain land before her half swimming inthe sky with shining peaks and glaciers Midway up there stood a palace that seemedto stretch for miles with one colonnade soaring high above another and forests of wavingpalm trees below them and gorgeous flowers as large as mill wheels She asked if thiswere the land she was bound for but the Swans shook their heads for what she sawwas the wonderful ever changing castle of Fata Morgana and no human being daredthey take within it Elisa gazed at it Mountains forest and palace fell to piecesand twenty grand churches stood there all alike with lofty towers and pointed windowsShe fancied she could hear the organs peal but it was only the sea she heard now shewas close up to the churches and behold they changed into a large fleet that came sailingunder her she looked closer they were sea mists chasing over the waves There wasno end to the changes till at last she saw the real land whither she was bound Aland of beautiful blue mountains with cedar groves and castles and towns Long erethe sun went down she rested on a mountain at the mouth of a large cave that washung with green luxuriant creepers it looked as if they were embroidered tapestriesNow we shall see what thou dreamest here to night said the youngest Brotherand showed her her sleeping placeWould that I could dream she said how to release you all But this thoughtset her mind at work so busily and she prayed to God for help so earnestly that evenin her dreams she went on praying Then it appeared to her that she flew high up to thecloud castle of Fata Morgana And the Fairy came forward to meet her brilliant andbeautiful and yet strangely like the old woman in the forest who had given her berriesand had told her of the Swans with the golden crownsThy Brothers can be released she said Hast thou courage and enduranceTrue the sea is softer than thy soft hands and yet transforms the hard stones butthen it does not feel the pain thy fingers will feel it has no heart it is dead to theterrors and torments which thou must endure Seest thou this stinging nettle in myhand many of the same kind grow around the cave where thou sleepest Only thoseor such as spring up from churchyard graves are of any use mark that Thou mustpluck them though they will brand thy skin with blisters thou must break thenettles with thy feet and they will yield thee flax then thou shalt spin and knit thereofeleven tunics with long sleeves throw them over the eleven wild Swans and the spellis broken But mind this From the moment thou beginnest thy work until it iscompleted even if it lasts for years thou must not speak The first word thouutterest will be a killing dagger in thy Brothers hearts upon thy tongue hangs theirlife mark that wellThe Fairy ceased and touched Elisa s hand with the nettle it burned like fireand Elisa woke It was broad daylight and close to her couch there lay a nettle


8 THE WILD SWANSlike that which she had seen in her dream Then she fell upon her knees and thankedGod and went out of the cave to begin her workHer tender hands she plunged into the horrid nettles and plucked them Theyburned great blisters on her hands and arms but she was glad to suffer this if shecould hope to release her dear brothers She broke each nettle with her nakedfeet and twisted the green fibres into yarnWhen the sun had sunk the Brothers returned and were much alarmed at herremaining speechless This was a new spell of the wicked Stepmother s they thoughtbut when they saw her hands they knew what she was doing for their sake And theyoungest Brother wept and wherever his tears fell she felt no more pain and theburning blisters disappearedThe whole night she spent in her work for she could take no rest till she hadreleased her Brothers And all the following day while the Swans were absent shesat in solitude and yet time had never flown so rapidly One tunic was ready she nowbegan the secondBut hark a bugle horn rang among the mountains She was startled by thesound It came nearer She heard the baying of hounds and frightened she fled deepinto the cave and tied the nettles she had gathered and hackled into a bunch and satdown upon itThe next moment a large hound sprung out from the thicket and another closeafter him and then another they bayed loudly and ran to and fro A few minutesmore and all the hunters stood before the cave and the handsomest among themwas the King of the land He stepped up to Elisa never had he seen a loveliermaidenHow camest thou here thou beautiful child said he Elisa shook her headshe dared not speak her Brothers lives and deliverance were at stake And she hidher hands under her apron that the King might not see what she had to sufferCome with me said he Here thou must not stay if thou art good as thouart beautiful I will clothe thee in silks and satins and set the gold crown on thy headand thou shalt dwell in my richest palace And so saying he lifted her upon his horseShe wept and wrung her hands but the king said I only wish thy happiness someday thou wilt thank me for this And he sped away between the mountains holdingher on his horse in front while the other hunters followed rapidlyWhen the sun was setting the splendid royal city with its towers and domes laybefore them And the King led her into the palace where goodly fountains plashedin the high marble halls and where walls and ceilings glowed with paintings ButElisa had no eyes for it all She wept and wailed and she scarcely knew that thewomen were decking her in royal array braiding her hair with pearls and drawing softgloves upon her blistered fingersAnd as she stood there in all her splendour her beauty was so dazzling that the


THE SING RIDING OFF WITH THEPUMB AAIDEN


RIGBOXt


THE WILD SWANS 9court bowed low before her and the King proclaimed her his bride though the Archbishop shook his head and whispered that the fair girl of the forest was no doubt awitch who blinded their eyes and beguiled the heart of the KingThe King heard but heeded not He bade the music sound the costliest meatsbe served the prettiest girls come and dance before her and she was led throughfragrant gardens into stately halls But not a smile passed over her lips or eyessorrow claimed them to have and to hold for ever The King opened a door close toher sleeping chamber and a little room was there that was decked with costly greenhangings and looked just like the cave in which he had found her On the floor lay thebundle of yarn that she had spun out of the nettles and on the wall hung the tunicshe had already knitted One of the hunters had brought these home with him ascuriositiesHere thou canst dream thyself back into thy former home said the KingHere is the work which busied thee there now it may amuse thee in the midst ofthy new splendour to look back upon that timeWhen Elisa saw the very things that lay nearest her heart a smile played abouther lips and the blood ran back into her cheeks she thought of the deliverance of herBrothers and she kissed the King s hand He pressed her to his heart and set all thechurch bells ringing for their bridal and the fair maid of the forest was Queen of thelandThen the Archbishop whispered evil words in the King s ear but they did notreach his heart No the marriage must hold good and the Archbishop himself mustcrown her and in bitter mood he did so he pressed the narrow golden band so hardupon her brow that it bruised her but a tighter band lay round her heart andyearning for her Brothers she did not feel the pain Her mouth was dumb a wordmight rob her Brothers of their life but her eyes spoke her tenderness for the kindthe handsome King who would do anything to give her joy Every day her heartturned more towards him Oh if she might only unbosom her griefs and tell him allBut no dumb she must remain dumb she must fulfil her task Therefore in the nightshe stole from his side she stole into the room that was dressed up like the cave andshe knitted one tunic after another but just as she began the seventh she found shehad no yarn leftIn the churchyard she knew grew the nettles she had to use but she must gatherthem herself how was she to get thereWhat is the pain in my fingers to the care in my heart she thought I mustventure it our Lord will not forsake me With dread as if she had some evil deed inhand she crept into the garden on a moonlight night passed through the long alleysand out into the deserted streets and reached the churchyard There on one of thebroadest gravestones she saw a pack of witches cowering ghouls they were theythrew off their rags as if for bathing and dug the fresh graves with their long leanc


10 THE WILD SWANSfingers and fed upon the corpses Elisa had to pass them close by and they fixed theirwicked eyes upon her But she thought her prayer and gathered the burning nettlesand brought them home to the palaceOnly one human being had seen her the Archbishop who was awake while othersslept Now his forebodings were fully borne out there was indeed something wrongabout the Queen She was a witch and thus had she beguiled the King and thewhole peopleIn the confessional he told the King what he had feared and all he had seen Andwhen the hard words left his tongue the carven images of the saints shook their headsas if they would say It is not so Elisa is innocent But the Archbishop readthe sign otherwise and maintained that they bore witness against her and shook theirheads at her wickednessThen two heavy tears rolled down the cheeks of the King and he went home withdoubt in his heart All night he pretended to sleep but no sleep came to his eyesHe marked how Elisa rose and this was repeated every night And every night hestole after her silently and saw her disappear in her own little roomDay after day his countenance grew darker Elisa saw this and knew not thecause but it troubled her and she was very sick at heart because of her Brothers Hersalt tears fell on the purple velvets of royalty where they lay like glittering diamondsant1 every woman who saw the splendour wished she herself was Queen But now herwork drew near its close only one tunic was still to be done But she had no yarnleft and not a nettle either Once more only once she must go to the graveyardand gather a few handfuls She shuddered to think of the lonely road and of thehideous ghouls but her will was strong and so was her trust in GodShe went and the King and the Archbishop followed They watched her disappear through the grated churchyard gate and when they drew near it they saw theghouls upon the gravestone And the King turned away for one of them he thoughtwas she whose head this very night had rested on his bosomThe people must judge her said he and the people judged saying Let thered flames burn herShe was led away from the rich royal halls into a dank murky dungeon where thewind whistled through the grated window Instead of silks and velvets they gave herthe bundle of nettles she had gathered this she might rest her head upon The coarsestinging tunics she had knitted might serve her for counterpane and mattress Butthere was nothing they could have given her that she held so dear She set to workafresh and prayed to God while the street boys outside the prison sang ribald songsabout her and no one offered her a word of comfortClose to the grated window as evening fell there came the rushing of a swan swing It was the youngest of the Brothers he had found their Sister And she sobbedaloud for joy though she knew that the very next night was perchance the last she47


THE QUEEN DISENCHANTS THE WILDSWANS AND FAINTS UPON THE 7UNERALPYRE


WqI II NNW


THE WILD SWANS 11would have to live But now her work at least was well nigh done and her Brotherswere near at handThe Archbishop came to spend her last hours with her this he had promised theKing But she shook her head and begged him with looks and gestures to be goneThis night she must complete her work or all would be in vain all her sufferings hertears and her sleepless nights The Archbishop departed with many an evil wordagainst her But poor Elisa knew she was innocent and she went on with her workThe small mice that ran on the floor dragged the nettles to her feet to tryand help her a little and a thrush perched on the sill of the grated window andsang all night as cheerily as it could that Elisa might not lose courageIt was still the early dawn it wanted an hour to sunrise when the elevenBrothers stood at the palace gate and demanded to be led before the King Butit could not be done they were told why it was still night the King slept and mustnot be woke up They begged they threatened the watch came up ay the Kinghimself stepped out and asked what all this meant At that very moment the sunrose and the Brothers were nowhere to be seen but high above the palace flew elevenwild SwansFrom the gates of the city streamed the whole people they wished to see theburning of the witch A wretched horse drew the cart and there she sat clothed in acoarse frock of sackcloth her beautiful long tresses hung loose around her shapelyhead her cheeks were deadly pale her lips moved silently while her fingers knittedthe green yarn Even on her way to death she would not let go her work the tentunics lay by her feet she was knitting now at the eleventh TleAcrowd laughed her toscorn Look at the witch see how she mutters Tis not a prayer book she has got inhand No she is still at her filthy witch work Tear it from her Tear it in athousand piecesAnd they thronged in upon her and would have torn the work away Then therecame eleven white Swans flying they alighted round about her on the cart and flappedwith their great wings and the crowd drew back in fearIt is a sign from heaven She is clearly innocent many whispered but theydared not say it aloudNow the headsman seized her by the hand Then in haste she threw the eleventunics over the Swans and there stood eleven handsome Princes but the youngest hada swan s wing instead of a second arm for a sleeve in his tunic was wanting she had nothad time to finish itNow I dare speak she cried I am innocentAnd the people who saw what had taken place bowed before her as before a saintBut she sank lifeless in her Brothers arms so much had cares and sufferings workedupon herYes she is innocent said the eldest Brother and he now told all that had


12 THE WILD SWANShappened And while he spoke an odour spread abroad as of millions of roses forevery stake in the pile had struck root and put forth branches it stood there a wholethicket of sweetness teeming with red roses But high above all there grew ablossom dazzling white shining like a star And the King plucked it and laid it onElisa s breast then she awoke with peace and gladness in her heartAnd all the church bells rang of themselves and the birds came flying in greatflocks and a wedding procession went back to the palace such as no king had everseen before


THE UGLY DUCKLINGT was beautiful out in the country It was summer time The rye stoodyellow the oats were green the hay was stacked in the green meadowand there the stork walked on his long red legs and chattered Egyptianfor he had learned that language from his mother Round about thefields and meadows were great woods and in the middle of the woodswere deep lakes Ay it was beautiful indeed in the country Basking in full sunshine stood an old manor house with deep moats surrounding it and from the wallsand down to the water s edge were great green dock leaves growing tall enough forsmall children to stand upright under the largest ones it was as bewildering thereas in the thickest wood Under these dock leaves a Duck was sitting on her nest shewas busy hatching her little ducklings but now she was well nigh tired of sitting ithad lasted so long and she so seldom got a visitor for the other ducks were fonder ofswimming about in the moats than of running up and sitting under a dock leaf tohave a quack with herAt last one egg cracked and then another Peep peep they said the yolksof egg had come to life and poked out their headsQuick quick said the Duck and quick they were to look about theminspecting the green leaves on every side and the mother let them look as much asthey pleased for green is good for the eyesHow wide the world is said all the youngsters And now indeed they hada very different amount of room from what they had been used to in the eggDo you think this is the whole world said the mother no no thatstretches far beyond the garden right into the parson s field but there I have neverbeen You are all here I suppose and so saying she got up No not all yetthe biggest egg is still lying there How long is this to last I am really gettingquite sick of it and she crouched down once moreI


14 THE UGLY DUCKLINGWell how are you getting on said an old dame Duck who came up to paya visitThere is one egg that takes such a time said the sitting Duck it won tget a hole chipped in it but now you must see the others they are the sweetestducklings I ever saw They are all like their father the wretch he never comesto visit meLet me see the egg that won t break said the old dame Duck you may besure it s a turkey s egg I have once been cheated in that way myself and I hadplenty of cares and troubles about the youngsters for they are afraid of the water Ican tell you I could never get them on to it I quacked and snapped but it wasall no use Let me look at it ay that is a turkey s egg leave that alone I sayand teach the other children to swimI will sit a little bit longer said the sitting Duck now that I have gone sofar I may as well go on to the endPlease yourself said the old dame Duck and off she wentAt length the big egg broke Peep peep said the young one and rolled outso big and so ugly The Duck looked at him What a frightfully big ducklinghe is she said none of the others looks at all like this Now is it a turkeychick or is it not Well we shall soon find out Into the water shall he go even if Ihave to kick him into itNext day it was lovely weather the sun shone down among all the green docks andmother Duck with her whole family came out along the moat and splash she went intothe water Quick quick she cried and one duckling after another popped in thewater closed over their heads but they all came straight up again and floated famouslytheir legs moved of themselves and they all pushed out even the grey ugly oneswimming among themNo this is not a turkey she said see how cleverly he uses his legs howupright he holds himself he is my own duckling And after all he is rather goodlooking when one sees him better Quick quick come along now and I will take youinto the world and present you in the duck yard but keep close to me that you mayn tget trodden on and mind the catsAnd so they came into the duck yard There was a tremendous uproar going onthere for there were two families fighting about an eel s head and after all thecat got itSee that is the way of the world said mother Duck and she licked her beakfor she too was longing to have the eel s head Now use your legs she said and bequick and make your best bow to the old duck yonder she is the grandest of all thecompany she is of Spanish blood that is why she is so big and you see she has a redrag round her leg that is something wonderfully fine and the highest honour which anyduck can receive and it means that the place cannot do without her and that due regard


THE UGLY DUCKLING 15must be paid her by animals and men Quick now don t turn in your feet a wellbehaved duckling sets its legs wide apart like father and mother That s right Nowbow your head and say quackThey did as they were told but the other ducks in the yard looked at them andsaid out loud What are we going to let all the riff raff in here as if we were notenough already only see that duckling there all by himself him we really can t standAnd a duck flew at him at once and bit him in the nape of the neckLeave him alone said the mother he does nobody any harmBut he is so big and such an oddity rejoined the duck who had bitten himhe wants a good shakingA nice set of children you have got there mother remarked the old Duck withthe rag round her leg all very handsome except that one he has not been a success Icould wish he might be hatched over againThat can hardly be done your ladyship said the Duck mother certainly he isnot handsome but he is thoroughly good natured and he swims as well as any of the lotindeed I might almost say a little better I fancy he will grow handsomer and he mayeven in time perhaps grow smaller He has been lying too long in the shell and that swhy he has got out of the right shape And so saying she pecked him on the back ofhis head and smoothed him down all over Besides she added he is a drake andso it does not matter so much I believe he will get plenty of strength and make hisown way in the worldThe other ducklings are little dears said the old lady Pray make yourselvesat home and if any of you find an eel s head he may bring it to me And so theymade themselves at homeBut as for the poor Duckling that was the last out of the shell and looked sucha scarecrow he was mocked and bitten and buffeted both by ducks and fowls Heis too big they all agreed and the turkey cock who was born with spurs andtherefore thought he was an emperor puffed himself up like a ship in full sail marchedright up to him and gobbled till he was purple in the head The poor Duckling knewnot where to go or stand he was so sorry that he was so ugly and the laughing stockof the whole duck yardSo things went the first day and each day they got worse The poor Ducklingwas hunted by every one and even his brothers and sisters were wicked enough to sayto him Oh if the cat would only take thee thou wretched scarecrow and themother said I do wish you were ever so far away and the ducks bit him thehens pecked him and the maid who was to feed the poultry kicked him off with her footThen he ran away He went running and flying over the hedge The little birdsflew out in a fright that is because I look so hideous thought the Duckling and heclosed his eyes but still ran on And so he came out upon a large moor where the wildducks lived Here he lay the whole night He was so tired and so sorrowful


16 THE UGLY DUCKLINGIn the morning the wild ducks flew up and looked at their new companionPray who are you they asked and the Duckling turned round on all sides andbowed as nicely as he couldYou are intensely ugly said the wild ducks but that is no matter of oursprovided you don t marry into our family Poor fellow he certainly had no thoughtsof marrying but only of lying down in the rushes and drinking a little moor waterHe lay there two whole days then there came two wild geese or rather wildganders for they were males They were not very long out of the shell and that waswhy they were such fast fellowsHark ye said they you are so ugly that we have taken a fancy to you Willyou go out with us on the loose and be a bird of passage In another moor close bythere are some sweet blessed little wild geese all of them young ladies who cansay cackle Who knows but you may make your fortune there with all youruglinessBang bang sounded that very instant and both the wild geese fell downinto the rushes and reddened the water with their blood Bang bang resoundedonce more and whole flocks of geese flew up out of the rushes and again theechoes rangThere was a great shooting party the fowlers lay in ambush on the moors andsome of them were perched on the boughs of trees overhanging the reeds The bluesmoke gathered in clouds between the dark trees and stretched far away over thewater The dogs plunged down into the mud splash splash Reeds and rushessway to and fro What a terror to the poor Duckling he turned round his head tohide it under his wing and lo close to him stood an awfully big dog with his tonguehanging far out of his jaws and a sinister glare in his eyes He grinned in the veryface of the Duckling showed his sharp teeth and splash turned away withouttouching himThank heaven sighed the Duckling I am so ugly that even the dog wontbite meAnd so he lay perfectly still whilst the duck shot pattered in the rushes and gunafter gun kept ringingLate in the afternoon it grew quiet but still the poor youngster waited somehours not daring to lift his head At last he looked around him and then scuddedaway from the moor at full speed though there was such a blast blowing over field andmeadow that it was hard work to get alongTowards nightfall he reached a little hut it was so rickety that it did not knowwhich side to fall upon and so it remained standing The wind whistled round theDuckling till he had to sit oh his tail to hold up against it Still it grew worse andworse But now he noticed that the door had come off one of its hinges and hung somuch askew that he could squeeze through the chink into the room and this he did


THE PLD OMAN WITH 9UCKOOSHORTLEGS AND THE PAT WHO WOULDN TASSOCIATE WITH THE UGLY DUCKLING


Cri


THE UGLY DUCKLING 17An old woman lived here with her cat and her hen The Cat whom she called herladdie could set up his back and spin now and then too he sparkled but that was onlywhen he was stroked the wrong way as for the hen her legs were very short so shewas called Cluckety Short legs she was good at laying eggs and the old woman loved heras her own childNext morning they soon spied the strange Duckling and the Cat began spinningand the Hen cluckingWhat is the matter said the old Woman looking about but she was dull ofsight and fancied that the Duckling was a fat duck that had gone astray A rarefind she said now I can get duck s eggs at least if it is not a drake well thatwe must tryAnd so the Duckling was taken in upon trial but three weeks went by and noeggs came Now the Cat and the Hen were master and mistress of the house and theyused always to say we and the world for they fancied they were half the world andthat the better half The Duckling thought others might have a different opinion butthis the Hen would never allowCan you lay eggs she askedNoWell then hold your tongueAnd the Cat said Can you set up your back and spin and sparkleNoWell then don t have any opinion of your own when people of sense are speakingAnd the Duckling sat in the corner and was all in the dumps He began thinkingof fresh air and sunshine till he felt a strange desire to float on the water and at lasthe could not help it he must needs tell it to the HenWhat ever has come over you she asked you have nothing to do andthat s why such whims come into your head lay eggs or spin and then they willpass awayBut it is so beautiful to float on the water said the Duckling so beautifulto duck in head foremost and dive down to the bottomA mighty pleasure that must be said the Hen why you have gone starkmad I believe Ask the Cat he is the wisest of any that I know how he would liketo go floating on the water or diving down under it I won t mention myself utgo and ask our old Dame there is no one in the world wiser than she is do youthink she would like floating about and getting the water over her headYou don t understand me said the DucklingOh we don t understand you don t we then pray who is to understand youDo you mean that you are wiser than the Cat and the old Dame not to mention1 A Danish phrase meaning to purr like a spinning wheelD


18 THE UGLY DUCKLINGmyself Don t be giving yourself airs but be grateful for the mercies that have beenshown you Have you not been admitted into a warm room and into society thatcan improve your mind But you are a simpleton and there is no pleasure in havinganything to do with you You may trust what I say I mean you well I tell youdisagreeable things and that is the best proof of one s true friends Only try nowto lay eggs and to learn how to spin and sparkleI think I will go out into the wide world said the DucklingGo by all means said the HenAnd so the Duckling went He skimmed along the surface of the water anddived down to the bottom of it but still every creature looked down upon him for hisuglinessNow the autumn came The forest leaves turned brown and yellow and thewind caught hold of them and whirled them in a dance and the sky had a cold lookin it The clouds hung heavy with hail and snowflakes and the raven stood on thehedge and croaked augh augh from sheer cold Ay it was enough to chill oneto think of it and the poor Duckling did not get on well at allOne evening as the sun went down in all its blessed glory a flock of fine largebirds came out from behind the bushes The Duckling had never seen such lovely beingsbefore They were glittering white with long and supple necks They were swansThey uttered a strange cry spread out their long splendid wings and flew away from thecold plains to warmer lands and to open waters They mounted high so high into theair and the ugly Duckling felt strangely moved He whirled round in the water likea wheel stretched his neck after them as if he would follow them and broke into ascream so shrill and strange that he was quite frightened at it himself Oh never couldhe forget those beautiful birds those happy birds and when his eyes could no longerfollow them he dived down to the bottom and was almost out of his mind He didnot know what the birds were called nor whither they had flown yet still he yearnedfor them as he had never yearned for any one before He did not envy them howcould he ever dream of such beauties for himself He would have been glad if only theducks in the yard had borne with him poor ugly creature that he wasThe winter was getting so cold so cold the Duckling had to swim about in thewater to keep it from freezing fast all over But every night the swimming space grewsmaller and smaller It froze till the ice crust crackled again The Duckling had touse his legs well to prevent the waters closing Ai last he got faint and lay stock stilland he was frozen hard to the iceEarly in the morning a peasant passed by He caught sight of the bird and wentout and with his wooden shoe he broke the ice all round it and took it home to hiswife There it came to life againThe children wanted to play with the Duckling but he fancied they were going todo him a mischief and he ran in his terror into a milk dish and splashed the milk all


THE UGLY DUCKLING 19about the room The goodwife screeched and clapped her hands and tossed them inthe air and then he flew into the butter trough and next down into the meal tuband up he got again and there was a figure of fun The goodwife yelled and struckat him with the tongs the children went tumbling over each other to catch himand they laughed and shrieked and laughed again Luckily the door stood openhe bolted out in the new fallen snow fell down among some bushes and there helay in a swoonBut it would be too dismal to relate all the want and misery that he had to sufferthroughout the hard winter He was lying among the rushes of a marsh when the sunbegan to shine warm again the larks were singing it was beautiful springThen suddenly he lifted his wings they sounded fuller than before and they borehim with a mighty swoop away He hardly knew what he was doing till he foundhimself in a large garden where the apple trees stood in bloom and the lilacs shed theirodours and fringed the winding water courses with their long green sprays Oh whatbeauty what freshness of the spring and right before him out of the bushes camethree white swans They ruffled out their plumes and thus glided lightly over thewater The Duckling recognized the glorious creatures and a strange sadness fellupon himI will fly to them those kingly birds and they will hew me to death because Iwho am so ugly venture to draw nigh them But be it so better to be killed by themthan to be pinched by ducks pecked by fowls kicked by the poultry maid and suffer allthe miseries of another winter He said and flew into the water and swam towardsthe glorious swans They saw him come and rushed with rustling plumage to meethim Only kill me said the poor creature bowing his head down to the water andawaiting death but what did he see in the clear water Beneath him he saw his ownimage he was no longer a sooty grey bird hideous and ungainly he was himself aSwanIt matters not being hatched in a duck yard if one has only been laid in aswan s eggHe felt all the happier now for the want and woe he had been suffering now hecould value the whole of his good fortune and all the beauty that greeted him Andthe great swans swam around him and stroked him with their beaksThere were little children come out into the garden They cast bread and corn intothe water and the smallest one cried out There is a new one and the otherschimed in saying Yes there is a new one come and they clapped their handsand danced round and round and ran for father and mother and then therewas casting of bread and of cake into the water and they all said The new oneis the handsomest so young and so beautiful and the old swans bowedbefore himThen he felt quite abashed and drew his head behind his wings he scarce knew


20 THE UGLY DUCKLINGwhat to think he was only too happy but not proud at all for a good heart is neverproud He remembered how he had been hunted and hooted and now he heard themall say that he was the most beautiful of all beautiful birds And the lilacs benttheir branches to him down to the water and the sun shone bright and warm Thenhe ruffled his plumes and arched his slender neck and rejoiced in his heart sayingSuch happiness I never so much as dreamed of when I was the Ugly Duckling


THE FELLOW TRAVELLEROOR Johannes was wretched indeed for his father was very ill and therewas no hope of his recovering They were left alone together in thesmall room the lamp on the table was nearly burnt out and it wasvery late in the eveningThou hast been a good son said the sick father Our Lord willbe sure to help thee on in the world And he gazed with gentle earnest eyes at himdrew a long deep breath and died even as if he had fallen asleep But Johannes weptnow he had no one left in the whole world neither father nor mother neither brother norsister Poor Johannes he leaned kneeling over the bed kissed his dead father s handand wept bitter tears At last his eyes closed and he fell asleep his head resting againstthe hard bedsteadThen he dreamed a strange dream He saw the sun and moon bow before himand he saw his father all safe and sound again and heard him laughing as he used tolaugh when he was thoroughly enjoying himself A lovely girl with a gold crown onher long rich hair gave her hand to Johannes while his father said Dost thou see whata fair bride thou hast won she is the most beautiful maiden in all the worldThen he awoke and all that glory had vanished His father lay dead and cold in thebed and there was no one else near them poor JohannesThe next week the dead man was buried Johannes walked close behind thecoffin never again should he see that kind father who had loved him so well he heardhow they threw the earth on the coffin now he saw the last corner of it one moreshovelful of earth and that was hidden too He felt as if his heart must break to pieceshe was so wretched Those around him sang a psalm it had a fine solemn soundand the tears rose into the eyes of Johannes he wept and that did him good Thesun shone fair on the green trees as if it would say Thou must not be so wretchedJohannes look at the blue sky how beautiful it is up yonder is thy father nowSpraying to God that things may go well with thee


22 THE FELLO W TRA VELLERI will always be good said Johannes then I shall go up some day to myfather And oh what joy it will be when we see each other again I shall have somuch to tell him and then he will show me so many things and t ech me so muchabout all that is beautiful in heaven just as he taught me here on earth Oh what joyit will beJohannes pictured this all to himself so vividly that he smiled even while the tearswere running down his cheeks The small birds sat in the chestnut trees and twitteredand chirruped they were so delighted And yet they took a part in the funeral toobut then they knew so well that the dead man was now in heaven had larger andhandsomer wings than their own and was happy now because he had been good hereon earth and that was what delighted them Johannes watched them flying from thegreen trees far out into the world and a strong desire seized him to fly after themBut first he carved a great wooden cross to plant on his father s grave and when inthe evening he brought it thither he found the grave strewn with sand and flowersThis had been done by some of the neighbours for they all loved the kind father whowas now deadEarly next morning Johannes packed his little knapsack and in his belt he stowedaway his whole inheritance consisting of fifty rix dollars and a few silver skillingsand thus equipped he was ready to wander forth into the world First however hewent into the churchyard to his father s grave and repeated the Lord s Prayer andsaid Farewell dear father I will always be good and then thou canst always praythe good God that things may go well with meIn the open country where Johannes now set off walking all the flowers lookedfresh and beautiful in the warm sunshine and they nodded in the breeze as if they wouldsay Welcome into the green fields is it not charming here But Johannes turnedround once more to see the old church where he had been baptized as a baby whereevery Sunday he had been to church with his old father and sung his psalm Then highup the tower in one of the loopholes he spied the church brownie with his little redpointed cap standing and shading his face with his bent arm to keep the sun fromscorching his eyes Johannes nodded farewell to him and little brownie swung his redcap laid his hand on his heart and kissed his fingers ever so many times to show hewished him ever so many good things and the best of good luck at his journey s endJohannes thought of all the fine sights he was going to see in the great gloriousworld and he went on and on further than he had ever gone before He knew none ofthe towns he was passing through or the people he was meeting He was now far outamong strangersThe first night he had to sleep on a haystack in the open field he had no other bedBut this was delicious he thought the king himself could not be better off The wholemeadow with its brook its haystack and the blue sky above them was a noble bedroomThe green grass dotted with pink and white flowers was the carpet the elder bushes


THE FELLOW TRAVELLER 23and sweet briers were the flower stands and instead of a wash hand basin he had thebrook itself brimming with clear fresh water where the rushes nodded at him biddinghim both good night and good morning The moon made a famous lamp for him hig1up under the blue ceiling and it would not set the curtains on fire Johannes couldto sleep with an easy mind And so he did and he did not awake till the sun rose andall the little birds around him sang Good morning good morning are you not gettingup yetThe bells were ringing for church It was Sunday People were going to hearthe priest Johannes fell in with them sang a psalm and listened to the Word of GodIt seemed as if he were in his own church where he had been baptized and had sungpsalms with his fatherOut in the churchyard there were very many graves and on some of them wererank weeds growing Then Johannes thought of his father s grave that would sooncome to look like them now that he could no longer weed and tend it So he setto work and pulled up the weeds raised the wooden crosses that had fallen and laidthe wreaths which the wind had carried off the graves in their proper places againSome one he thought may perhaps do the same to my father s grave now that Icannot do itJust outside the churchyard gate stood an old beggar leaning on his crutchJohannes gave him the few silver skillings he had and then happy and contentedhe went further out into the wide worldTowards evening there was a terrible storm Johannes hastened forward toget somewhere under shelter But it was quite dark when he reached a small churchthat stood quite by itself upon a hillock Luckily the door was left ajar and Johannesslipped in here he would stay till the storm abatedI will just sit down in the corner he said I am quite tired out andit will do me good to rest a little while So he sat down clasped his hands andsaid his evening prayer and before he knew what he was doing he slept anddreamed while it thundered and lightened outsideWhen he woke again it was about midnight The storm was over and themoon shone in through the window On the middle of the church floor stood anopen coffin with a corpse in it waiting to be buried Johannes was not at allfrightened for he had a good conscience and he knew well enough that the deadhurt nobody it is only the living wicked ones who do us harm and two of thesewicked ones were here standing close to the dead man who had been left in the churchtill the grave was ready for him They were just about to do him an outrage notto let him rest in his coffin but to cast him out of the church door the poordead manWhat are you doing that for asked Johannes It would be a sin andshame to do that let him rest in Jesu s name


24 THE FELLOW TRAVELLEROh rubbish said the two ruffians he has cheated us he s been owingus money that he couldn t pay and now he s gone dead into the bargain and weshall not get a skilling We ve a right to pay him out for that and he shall lielike a dog outside the church doorI have only got fifty rix dollars said Johannes that is alir my inheritanceBut I will give it you and welcome if you sincerely promise me to leave thepoor dead man in peace I shall get on I trust without the money I have gotsound sturdy limbs of my own and our Lord will always be my succourOh well said the filthy fellows if you are willing to pay his debts weare willing enough to leave him alone you may be quite sure of that and sothey took the money Johannes offered them laughed aloud in his face at hissimplicity and went their way But Johannes laid the corpse straight again inthe coffin folded its hands and bade it farewell and then as contented as ever heset out again and entered the great forestAll around him wherever the moonbeams could slip in between the trees hesaw pretty little elves playing merry pranks together They were not in the leastdisturbed at his approach for they knew that he was a kind and innocent youth and itis only bad people who are not allowed to see the elves They were no biggerthan one s finger and they had long yellow locks fastened up with golden combsSome of them stood in couples balancing each other on the heavy dewdrops whichspangled the leaves and the tall grasses Now and then the dewdrop would trickledown and they would both slide down with it into the long stalks of grass andthen there was laughter and hubbub among the other little imps Oh it was greatfun They sang too and Johannes made out quite plainly all the pretty songshe had learned as a little boy Large many coloured spiders with silver crownson their heads were made to spin them long hanging bridges and whole palacesfrom one hedge to another and these when the thick fine dew fell upon themsparkled like glass in the bright moonlight Thus things went on till the sun roseThen the little elves crept into the flower buds the wind took hold of the bridgesand palaces and they floated about in the air in the shape of large cobwebsJohannes had just stepped out of the wood when a deep voice shouted afterhim Halloo comrade whither awayOut into the wide world Johannes replied I am a poor lad and haveneither father nor mother but our Lord will be sure to help meI am going into the wide world too said the Stranger suppose we forma fellowshipWith all my heart said Johannes And so they became fellow travellersThey soon grew fond of one another for they were good fellows both of themBut Johannes quickly discovered that the Stranger was much cleverer than himselfHe had been over most of the world and could talk about almost everything


THE FELLOW TRAVELLER 25The sun was already high when they sat down under a spreading tree to eat theirbreakfast and at the same moment up came an old woman Old she was indeedleaning on a crutch and bent quite double On her back she bore a bundle offaggots which she had gathered in the forest her apron was pinned up and Johannesnoticed three great bunches of fern and willow sprigs sticking out of the cornersJust as she came up to them her foot slipped and she fell over with a shrill screamshe had broken her leg poor old womanJohannes at once proposed they should car i er home to where she lived butthe Stranger opened his knapsack and took out a gallipot saying he had a salve herethat would make her leg whole and sound so that she could walk home and aseasily too as if she had never broken her leg But in payment of this he demandedthe three bunches that she carried in her apronThat will be payment in full said the old crone nodding strangely with herhead She was not well pleased to part with her ferns and willow sprigs but it wasno fun at all to lie down with a broken leg so she gave him the bunches and assoon as he had rubbed her leg with the ointment the old dame arose and walkedbrisker than ever Such was the effect of that salve But it was not by any meansto be had of the apothecaryWhat can you want with those sprigs asked Johannes of his Fellow TravellerThey are three nice nosegays he said just to my taste for I am aqueer fellowAnd so they went on a good bit furtherHeigh what a storm is working up said Johannes pointing straight beforehim there are some terribly thick clouds out yonderThey are not clouds said the Fellow Traveller they are mountains thebeautiful high mountains where one gets right above the clouds up into the fresh airIt is splendid I assure you to be there To morrow we shall be so far out intothe worldThe mountains were further off though than they looked It took the rest ofthe day to reach them And then the dark woods seemed to mount up right againstthe sky together with crags each as big as a whole town It would be a long andhard piece of work to cross over them So Johannes and the Fellow Traveller wentinto an inn to have a good rest and to gather strength for the next day s journeyThey found the large tap room of the inn crowded with people for a man was therewith a puppet show He had just set up his little theatre and the people sat in aring around him to see the play In the front row a fat old butcher had taken a seatand the best one too His bull dog a grim looking fellow sat beside him and madegreat eyes at the show like everybody elseNow the comedy began and it was a genteel comedy with a king and a queen init They sat on a velvet throne and had gold crowns on their heads and long trainsE


26 THE FELLOW TRAVELLERto their robes for these they could afford The most elegant wooden dolls with glasseyes and long moustaches were stationed at all the doors and windows and keptopening and shutting them to change the air in the apartment A very beautifulconedy it was and there was nothing tragic about it but just as the Queen rose up andwas stepping across the floor then goodness knows what came over the big bull dogbut the fat butcher not having hold of him he cleared the stage at a spring andcaught the Queen by her slender waist till it said crick crack It was quiteshockingThe poor showman was very much alarmed antfdistressed about his Queen for shewas the prettiest doll of all and now that beast of a bull dog had bitten her head offBut when the rest of the spectators were gone the Stranger who had come withJohannes said that he could soon set her up again And so he took out his gallipotand smeared the doll with the same salve that had cured the old woman when she hadbroken her leg As soon as the doll was smeared she was whole again Ay andnow she could move all her limbs of herself there was no need of pulling any wiresDolly was like a living human being all except this that she could not talk Theshowman was immensely pleased now he might spare himself the trouble of holdingthe doll she would dance if he left her alone There were none of the others whocould do thatWhen it was late at night and all the people in the inn were gone to bed therewas such a dreadfully deep sighing heard and it went on so long that everybody gotup to see what it could be The showman rushed off to his little theatre for it seemed tobe there that the sighing came from All the wooden dolls lay mixed together the kingand the guardsmen and it was they who were sighing so piteously with their greatglass eyes starting out of them they longed so to be smeared like the Queen that theyalso might stir about a little The Queen kept bending nearly on her knees and liftingher pretty gold crown in the air as if imploring Take this only smear myconsort and my courtiers Then the poor man who owned the puppet show andall the puppets was quite moved to tears he was so sorry for them and he hastenedto offer the Fellow Traveller to give him all the money he might take at the nextnight s performance if he would only smear four or five of his prettiest dolls Butthe Fellow Traveller said that he asked for nothing but the great sabre that hungat the showman s side It was given him and he smeared six dolls and they begandancing at once with so much spirit that all the girls the real human girls whostood looking on caught the infection and danced too And the coachman dancedwith the kitchen maid and the waiter with the parlour maid All the strangersdanced and so did the tongs and shovel though the last couple tumbled down atthe first step they tried In short the whole inn made a merry night of itNext morning Johannes and his Fellow Traveller left the rest of the company andtook their way up the high mountains and through the long pine forests They climbed


THE FELLOW TRAVELLER 27higher and higher till the church towers beneath them looked like small red berrieslying scattered in a breadth of green and they could see far away over many manymiles of country where they had never been Such a grand view of this fair worldJohannes had never had before The sun shone warm from the blue vault of heavenand the hunters blew their horns among the mountains and all was so beautiful andblest that he shed tears of joy and could not help saying Oh thou dear Lord Godif I might only kiss hee because the Art so good to us all and hast given us all thebeauty of this worldThe Fellow Traveller too stood with folded hands and looked over the forestsand the towns that lay in the rich sunshine Presently there came sounds overheadstrangely beautiful They looked up and lo a great white swan was floating inthe air and glorious he looked and he sang as they had never heard any bird singbefore But his voice grew fainter and still fainter he bowed his head and sankslowly down before their feet and there he lay dead that glorious birdTwo such splendid wings as these said the Fellow Traveller so large andso white are worth money I ll take them with me Now you see it was well Igot the sabre And with one stroke he cut both wings off the dead swan andhe carried them awayThey journeyed over the mountains for many miles At last they saw a largecity with more than a hundred towers that shone like silver in the sunshine Inthe centre of the town rose a splendid marble palace roofed with ruddy gold andhere dwelt the KingJohannes and the Fellow Traveller would not enter the city at once buthalted at an inn outside to smarten themselves up for they wished to look decentbefore they appeared in the streets The innkeeper here told them that the Kingwas a good fellow who would never do harm to any mortal soul but his daughterheaven help us ah she was a wicked princess Good looks she had in plentynobody could look prettier and sweeter but what was the good of that when shewas a wicked cruel witch who had caused many a handsome prince to lose his lifeShe had given all men leave to pay court to her whoever turned up whether hewere prince or beggar it was all one and the same he had to guess three thingsthat she asked him If he could do this she would marry him and he should beking of the country when her father died but if he could not guess the threethings rightly she would have him hanged or beheaded so wicked and cruel wasthe beautiful Princess Her father the old King was terribly grieved at this buthe could not hinder her being so cruel for he had once promised he would neverinterfere in the least with her sweethearts she might do with them just what shepleased Every time that a prince had come to try and win the Princess he neverhad managed to guess rightly and so he was either hanged or beheaded Wellthey gave him good warning first to be sure and he might then have left the wooing


28 THE FELLOW TRAVELLERalone The old King was so vexed at all this sorrow and suffering that every yearhe knelt on his knees a whole day with all his soldiers praying that the Princessmight turn good but there was no change in her The old wives who drankdrops of brandy coloured it black before they drank it this was their way ofmourning and they did their best to prove itThat hateful Princess said Johannes she really deserves a sound whippingIt would do her a great deal of good If I were only the old King she shouldsqueal like a whole litter of stuck pigsAt that moment they heard the people outside shouting hurrah It was thePrincess coming and she really was so beautiful that all the people forgot how cruelshe was and kept shouting hurrah Twelve handsome maidens all in whitesilk and each with a golden tulip in her hand rode on coal black horses on eachside of her The Princess herself had a milk white steed with trappings of diamondsand rubies her riding dress was woven of pure gold the whip in her hand resembled asunbeam the gold crown on her head seemed a cluster of the stars of heaven andher mantle was made up of thousands of butterfly wings Yet still she was muchmore beautiful than all her clothesThe moment Johannes saw her he turned as red in the face as running bloodand could hardly utter a word for the Princess was the very image of the beautifulgirl with a gold crown on her head whom he had dreamed of the night his fatherdied He was so struck at the sight he could not help falling in love with herThere could be no truth at all in it he said that she was a wicked witch whohad people hanged or beheaded if they could not guess her riddles any one maypay court to her they say even the poorest beggar Then I will certainly go upto the palace I cannot help itThey all advised him not to go he would only fare like the rest they saidThe Fellow Traveller amongst the others tried to dissuade him But Johannes saidhe thought it would be all right brushed his shoes and his coat washed his faceand hands combed his glossy yellow hair and then walked alone into the city andSstraight up to the palaceCome in said the old King when Johannes knocked at the door Johannesopened it and the old King in his dressing gown and embroidered slippers cameforward to meet him His gold crown was on his head his sceptre in one handand the golden globe in the other Wait a bit said he getting the globe underhis arm in order to shake hands with Johannes But as soon as he heard that thiswas a new suitor he began to weep so violently that both globe and sceptre rolleddown on the floor and he was obliged to wipe his eyes with his dressing gownPoor old KingLeave it alone he said or you ll come to a bad end like the other onesCome and see what that means And he took Johannes into the pleasure grounds


THE PLD KING POINTING OUT TOTHE STUDENT THE WICKED 1RINCESS SPARDEN


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THE FELLOW TRAVELLER 29of the Princess and a horrid sight was there In every tree there hung three orfour princes who had come to woo the Princess but had not been able to guessher riddles The skeletons clattered so in every gust that all the small birds werescared away and never dared enter that garden All the flowers were tied up tohuman bones instead of sticks and grinning skulls served as flower pots This wassomething like a garden for a PrincessNow you can see it yourself said the old King This is the end you willcome to just like those whom you see here Then pray do leave it alone you makeme really quite miserable I take it so much to heartJohannes kissed the hand of the good old King and said he felt sure it must all gowell he was so very much in love with the beautiful PrincessAnd now came the Princess herself and all her ladies riding into the palace yardSo they went out and wished her good morning She looked lovely and she shookhands with Johannes and he fell deeper in love than ever No she could never bethe cruel wicked witch that people called her They went up into the saloon and littlepages handed round preserves and gingerbread nuts But the old King was sodispirited he could not eat anything and the gingerbread nuts besides were toohard for his teethIt was now settled that Johannes should come up to the palace again nextmorning then the judges and the whole council would be assembled and wouldhear whether he guessed right or wrong If he guessed right he would still haveto come up two days more But as yet there had not been one who could guessthe first riddle right and so every one had forfeited his lifeJohannes was not at all anxious about the trial Indeed he was in high spiritsthought of nothing but the beautiful Princess and was firmly persuaded that thegood God would be sure to help him in what manner he did notknow and did notchoose to consider He danced along the road as he went back to the inn wherethe Fellow Traveller awaited himJohannes was never tired of telling how gracious the Princess had been towardshim and how perfect was her beauty Most eagerly did he long for the morrowwhen he might go to the palace again and try his luck at guessingBut the Fellow Traveller shook his head and was quite vexed I am so fondof you he said and we might have kept together a good time longer and now Imust lose you already My poor dear Johannes I feel half inclined to cry but I won tdamp your joy on this perchance the last evening that we are to spend togetherWe will be merry right merry to morrow when you are gone I may weep as muchas I pleaseThe whole of the city soon heard the tidings that a new suitor had come to thePrincess and for this there was a general mourning The theatres were closed thepastry cooks put black crape on their sugar pigs and the King and the priests grovelled


30 THE FELLOW TRAVELLERon their knees in the churches such and so great was the mourning for Johannesthey deemed could never hope to fare better than the rest of the suitorsLater in the evening the Fellow Traveller mixed a large bowl of punch and said toJohannes that now they would be right merry and drink the health of the PrincessBut when Johannes had emptied two glasses he got so drowsy that he could notpossibly hold his eyelids up he fell fast asleep The Fellow Traveller lifted him quietlyfrom the chair and laid him in bed and as soon as the night was dark he took thetwo great wings he had cut off from the swan and fastened them on his own shouldersthen he put in his pocket the largest of the switches he had got from the old womanwho had fallen and broken her leg and he opened the window and flew over the cityright up to the palace where he crouched down in a niche just under the window sill ofthe Princess s bedroomThere was perfect stillness throughout the city It struck the three quarters beforetwelve The window opened and out flew the Princess in a loose white mantle andwith long black wings and she sped over the city towards a huge mountain Butthe Fellow Traveller made himself invisible that she might not see him and flew closebehind and whipped her with his switch drawing blood at every stroke Hugh butthat was a fine flight through the air the wind caught her mantle and it swelled outlike a large sail with the moon shining through itHow it hails how it hails cried the Princess every time she felt the switchand she got what she richly deserved At length she reached the mountain andknocked at it With a rolling like thunder the mountain opened and the Princessentered The Fellow Traveller followed for no one could see him he was still invisibleThey passed through a long wide gallery the walls of which glistened strangely forthousands of red hot spiders were running up and down glowing like fire Now theycame into a large hall built of gold and silver Flowers as large as sunflowers somered and some blue hung brilliant on the walls but no one could pluck them for theirstalks were foul venomous snakes and the blossoms were fire that they breathed outof their mouths The ceiling was thickly set with glow worms and with bright bluebats that never ceased flapping their wings and this had a strange effect In themiddle of the floor there was a throne supported upon four horse skeletons that hadtrappings made of the red fire spiders The throne itself was of milk white glass andthe cushions were small black mice biting each other by the tails Above it was acanopy of rose red cobwebs studded with the prettiest little green flies that sparkledlike precious stones On the throne was seated an old Troll with a crown on his uglyhead and a sceptre in his hand He kissed the Princess on her brow and made her sit onthe throne beside him and then began the music Great black grasshoppers played thejews harp and the owl beat himself on the stomach having no other drum to beat Itwas a funny concert Little will o the wisps each with a goblin fire in his cap dancedround and round the hall No one could see the Fellow Traveller while he on his part


THE WICKED PRINCESS IN HER GARDENI


B IWitI I ripii4


THE FELLOW TRAVELLER 31had stationed himself just behind the throne and could see and hear everything Thecourtiers that now came flocking in were as smart and stately as one could wishbut whoever looked closely soon made out what they really were They were nothingbut broomsticks with cabbage heads stuck a top of them which the Troll had bewitchedinto life and decked out with embroidered clothes But perhaps it was all the samethey were only wanted for state occasionsWhen the dancing had gone on for some time the Princess told the Troll thatshe had a new suitor and asked what she should think of to ask him next morningwhen he came up to the palaceHark ee replied the Troll I will tell thee what choose something slightand simple and he will be all the less likely to hit upon it Think of one of thyshoes Now that he will never guess Then have his head chopped off but don tforget when thou comest out here to morrow night to bring me his eyes I wantthem for supperThe Princess curtsied low and said she would certainly not forget the eyesThen the Troll opened the mountain and she flew home again But the FellowTraveller was close behind and he scourged her so hard with the switch that shegave deep groans at such a hailstorm and made all the haste she could to reachher window and her bedroom Then the Fellow Traveller flew back to the innwhere Johannes was still asleep took off his wings and lay down on the bed himself and surely he might well be tiredIt was quite early in the morning when Johannes awoke and got up TheFellow Traveller got up too and said he had been dreaming all night a wonderfuldream about the Princess and her shoe and he charged Johannes by all means toask the Princess if she had not been thinking of one of her shoes Now this as weknow was what he had heard from the Troll in the mountain yet he did not choose tosay so to Johannes but only charged him to ask whether she had been thinking ofone of her shoesI may as well ask one thing as another said Johannes and perchance whatyou have dreamt may prove true for I always have believed that our Lord is sureto help me Nevertheless I will bid thee now farewell for if I guess wrong I shallnever see thee againSo they kissed each other and Johannes went into the city and up to the palaceThe large state room was crowded with people and the judges sat in their armchairs with eider down cushions to rest their heads upon as they had so much tothink about The old King rose up and dried his eyes with a white pocket handkerchief Now the Princess came in She was much more beautiful than the daybefore and she gave a kind greeting to the whole assembly but to Johannes sheheld out her hand saying Good morrow dear friendWell now Johannes was called upon to guess what she had been thinking of


32 THE FELLOW TRAVELLERHeavens how tenderly she looked at him But as soon as she heard him say Oneof your shoes she turned white as chalk and trembled all over But there wasno help for it he had guessed rightHilliho how glad was the old King He cut a somersault that was longremembered and all the people clapped their hands for him and for Johannes who hadnow guessed right the first timeThe Fellow Traveller beamed with delight when he heard how well things hadturned out But Johannes clasped his hands and thanked the good God who wouldsurely help him again on the two following days Next day the second guesswas to be madeThe evening passed very like the previous one As soon as Johannes slept theFellow Traveller flew after the Princess towards the mountain scourging her evenfiercer than the first time for now he had taken two switches No one could seehim while he heard and saw everything The Princess was now told to think of herglove and this again he told Johannes as if it were a dream Thus Johannesguessed right again and gave redoubled joy to the palace The whole court cutsomersaults just as they had seen the King do on the former occasion Butthe Princess threw herself down upon a sofa and would not speak a single wordNow all hinged upon this whether Johannes could guess right the third time Ifhe succeeded ah then he was to be the husband of the beautiful Princess and heir tothe whole kingdom But if he guessed wrong he would lose his life and theTroll would feed on his fine blue eyesOn that evening Johannes went early to bed repeated his evening prayer andslept soundly But the Fellow Traveller bound the wings on his shoulders buckledthe sabre to his girdle took all the three switches with him and flew to the palaceIt was pitch dark It blew till the tiles flew off the houses and the trees inthe garden where the skeletons hung bent like reeds before the blast It lightenedevery moment and the thunder rolled as if it were one long peal that was lastingall the night The window opened and the Princess flew forth She was pale asdeath but she laughed at the tempest and only thought it scarcely wild enoughHer white mantle blew flapping in the air like a great sail But the Fellow Travellerscourged her with his three switches till the blood dripped down upon the groundand she could hardly keep flying any longer At last she got as far as the mountainIt blows and hails she said never have I been out in such a stormOne may have too much of a good thing replied the Troll And now she toldhim that Johannes had guessed right the second time if he did the same the nextmorning he would win the game and never more could she come out to themountain trolls and never work her witchcrafts any more This vexed her bitterlyHe shall not guess right again said the Troll I will tell thee somethinghe can never have dreamt of or else he must be a greater wizard than myself


THE FELLO W TRAVELLER 33But now let us be merry And he took the Princess by both her hands andwhirled her in the dance among all the imps and hobgoblins that thronged the hallThe red spiders too sprang merrily up and down the walls and the fire flowers threwshowers of sparks The owl beat his drum the crickets piped and the black grasshoppers played their jews harps It was a jolly ballWhen they had danced for some time the Princess had to leave or she would bemissed at the palace The Troll said he would see her home so they might have a littlemore time togetherAway they flew in the storm and the Fellow Traveller used up his three switchesin scourging them Never had the Troll been out in such a hailstorm before Justoutside the palace he said farewell to the Princess whispering as he left her Thinkof my head But the Fellow Traveller caught the words and no sooner did thePrincess slip through her bedroom window and the Troll turn round to fly back againthan he seized him by the long black beard and swung his sabre and whipped off hishideous Troll s head close to his shoulders before the Troll had a notion of what wascoming The trunk he cast into the sea to the fishes but the head he merely doused inthe water then wrapt it in his silk handkerchief took it home with him to the inn andlay down to sleepNext morning he gave the bundle to Johannes but he told him not to untie it tillthe Princess asked what it was she had been thinking ofThere was such a crowd in the state room of the palace that they pressed eachother like radishes in a bunch The councillors sat in their easy chairs with the softpillows the old King had new clothes on and his gold crown and sceptre had beenfreshly polished everything in short made a goodly show except the Princess shewas pale and wore black as if she were going to a funeralWhat have I been thinking of she asked Johannes and straight he untiedthe handkerchief and was horror struck himself when he saw the filthy Troll s headAnd a shudder thrilled through them all for it was a ghastly sight But the Princesssat like a statue and could not utter a word At last she rose and gave her hand toJohannes for indeed he had guessed aright She looked neither at him nor yet at anyone but sighed forth very low Now thou art my lord this evening we will holdour nuptialsWell now that I like said the old King That is just as it should beAll the people shouted hurrah the city band made music in the streets the churchbells were set ringing and the pastry cooks took the crape off their sugar pigs for nowthere was general holiday Three oxen roasted whole and stuffed with ducks andchickens were served up in the market place everyone might cut himself a slice Thefountains flowed with delicious wines and if one bought a penny bun at a baker s onegot six large cakes into the bargain ay and cakes with plums in themIn the evening the whole city was illuminated and the soldiers fired cannons andF


34 THE FELLOW TRAVELLERthe boys fired crackers There was eating and drinking and clinking of glasses in thepalace where all the fine lords and pretty ladies danced together far out in the streetyou might hear how they were singingHere are many bonny lassesWaiting till the fiddles soundJovial fiddlers leave your glassesBonny lass come twirl aroundTrip and skip and stamp the groundTill both thy feet are shoeless ohBut the Princess was still a witch and had no liking at all for Johannes This theFellow Traveller remembered and so he gave Johannes three feathers of the swan swing and a little flask with a few drops in it and he told him that he must have a largevessel of water set close to the bridal bed and then when the Princess was about tostep up into the bed he must push her into the water and dip her down in it thricefirst however the three feathers and the drops must be cast into the water Then thePrincess would be freed from the spell and would love Johannes dearlyJohannes did exactly as the Fellow Traveller had counselled him The Princessscreamed aloud as he dipped her down under the water and struggled up under hishands in the shape of a great coal black swan with fiery eyes The second time shecame up the swan was white all except one black ring which she had around her neckJohannes prayed fervently to our Lord and let the water for the third time rush overthe swan and the next moment she was changed into the most beautiful of all PrincessesShe was even handsomer than before and thanked him with tears in her sweet eyes forhaving broken her enchantmentNext morning came the old King together with all his courtiers and congratulationswent on till late in the day Last of all came the Fellow Traveller with his stick in hishand and his knapsack on his shoulders Johannes kissed him again and again andsaid he must not go away he must remain with them for he was the author of all thishappiness But the Fellow Traveller shook his head and said softly and lovinglyNay my time is up I have but paid my debt Dost thou remember the dead manwhom the two wicked ones were about to disturb Thou gavest all thou hadst that hemight be left in peace I am that dead manAnd when he had said this he vanishedThe bridal feast lasted a whole month Johannes and the Princess loved oneanother truly and dearly and the old King lived many happy days and let his littlegrandchildren ride a cock horse on his knee and play with his sceptre But Johanneswas king over the whole kingdom


THE LITTLE MERMAIDAR out at sea the water is as blue as the petals of the brightest cornflowerand clear as the purest glass but it is very deep deeper than any cablecan sound and many church towers would have to be set one aboveanother to reach from the bottom to the surface of the water Downbelow there dwell the MermenNow you must not imagine that the sea floor there is nothing but bare white sandNo the strangest trees and plants grow there so light and flexible in stalk and bladethat they move with every motion of the water as if they were alive The fishes greatand small flit among the boughs like the birds in the upper world In the deepest spotof all stands the palace of the Sea King The walls are of coral and the long lancetwindows of transparent amber and the roof is of mussel shells that open and shut asthe waters rise and fall and this looks charming for the shells contain glittering pearlseveryone of which would make a fine figure in a queen s crownThe Sea King down here had been now for many years a widower but his oldmother kept home for him She was a wise woman but proud of her high birth and soshe wore twelve oysters on her tail while the other great ladies might only wear sixIn other respects she deserved high praise especially for her devotion to her granddaughters the little Sea Princesses They were six lovely children but the youngestwas the loveliest of all her skin was as clear and fine as a rose leaf her eyes as blue asthe deepest sea but like the rest she had no feet but her body ended in a fish s tailAll the day long they used to play in the palace in the great halls where livingflowers grew out of the walls Then the amber windows were opened and in wouldswim the fish as the birds fly in to us when we open to them But the fish swam rightup to the little Princesses and ate from their hands and let themselves be strokedRound the palace lay a large garden with fiery red and dark blue trees The fruitglittered like gold and the flowers like flickering fire while they kept moving their stalksfor ever The soil was the finest sand but blue like a sulphur flame Everything lay


36 THE LITTLE MERMAIDin a strange blue glimmer one might fancy one stood high up in the air with the skyabove and beneath rather than down on the bottom of the sea When there was a deadcalm one could see the sun it looked like a purple flower with the daylight streamingfrom its chaliceEach of the small Princesses had her own little plot where she could dig and plantto her heart s desire One gave her flower bed the shape of a whale It pleased anotherbetter to shape her s like a little Mermaid But the youngest made her bed as round asthe sun and would have no flowers that did not shine as red as heShe was a strange child quiet and pensive and while the other sisters deckedtheir plots with the quaintest things they had picked out of wrecks she would placenothing among those rose red sun like flowers of hers except one fine marble statueThis was a beautiful boy hewn out of pure white stone that had come down with asinking vessel By his side she planted a rose red weeping willow it grew splendidlyand hung its fresh branches right over him and down upon the blue sands the shadowslay in violet moving for ever like the branches themselves it seemed as if tree top androots were always playing at kiss each otherShe knew no greater pleasure than hearing of the world of man and the oldGrandmother had to tell her of ships and towns of men and animals Especially strangeand beautiful it seemed to her that the flowers on earth smelled sweet which theynever did below the sea and that the woods were green and that the fishes betweentheir branches could sing so loudly and so well that it was a treat to hear them It wasthe little birds that Grandmother called fishes or the children could not have understoodher you see as they had never seen a birdWhen you have once turned your fifteenth year said Grandmother you will begiven leave to spring up from the deep to sit in the moonlight on the rocks and to seethe large ships sailing by ay and woods you shall see besides and cities tooThe next year one of the sisters was fifteen but the others well there was a yearbetween each and so the youngest had full five years more to wait before she coulddare to rise from the depths and have a glimpse of the upper world However eachpromised to tell the other whatever she had seen or found most beautiful on her firstday for Grandmother did not tell them half enough there was so much they wanted toknow more aboutNone of them longed so deeply as the youngest the very one who had the longesttime to wait and who always seemed so quiet and pensive Many a night she stood atthe open window looking up through the dark blue water where the fishes weretwinkling with their fins and tails Moon and stars she could see true they shonevery dim but then they looked much larger through the water than they do to usAnd if a black cloud as it were glided across them she knew it was either a whaleswimming over her or a ship with a crew of men Little did those sailors know that abeautiful little Mermaid stood underneath and stretched up her white hands towardsthe keel


HILDREN PLAYING IN THE WATERAND ALARMED BY ONE OF THE ERMAIDSAPPROACHING THE SHOREI


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THE LITTLE MERMAID 37And now the eldest Princess was fifteen and was allowed to rise up abovethe wavesWhen she came back she had a hundred things to tell but the most beautiful ofall she said was to lie in the moonlight on a sand bank in the calm waters and to seethe large city near the coast with the lights twinkling like hundreds of stars to hear themusic and the rush and roar of men and carriages to see the many church towers andspires and hear their bells ringing Just because she could never go in the middle of itall she longed more after that than anythingOh how greedily did the youngest sister listen And when later in the eveningshe stood by the open window and looked through the dark blue water she thought ofthe great city with all its rush and roar and fancied she could hear the church bellsringing down to herNext year the second sister had leave to rise through the sea and swim where shepleased She sprang up just as the sun was setting and that night she thought thegrandest The whole sky was a sheet of gold she said and the clouds nay theirbeauty she could never describe red and violet they had gone sailing over her butswifter than they a flock of swans had flown like a long white belt towards the sunand she swam towards it too but it sank and the rosy tinge faded on the waters andthe cloudsAnother year and the third sister rose up She was the boldest of all and sheswam up a broad river that flowed into the sea Beautiful green hills and vineyards shesaw and castles and mansions peeping forth between glorious woods She heard the birdscarolling she felt the sun so warm that she often had to dive down to cool her burningface In a little inlet she met a number of human children they were running aboutnaked and splashing in the water She wished to play with them but they ranfrightened away Then there came a little black animal it was a dog but she hadnever seen a dog before and it barked at her so dreadfully that she quite lost heartand made again for the open sea But never could she forget the splendid woods thegreen hills and the pretty children who could swim in the water though they had noneof them got a fish s tailThe fourth sister was not so brave She had kept to the wide open sea and it wasmost beautiful of all she said to be out there One could see all round for manymany miles and the sky arched over one like a vast crystal bell She had seen shipssailing but far away they looked like sea gulls The funny dolphins had cut somersaults before her and the great whales had forced the water out of their nostrils tillshe seemed to be surrounded with waterspoutsNow it was the turn of the fifth sister Her birthday happened to be in the winterand so she saw what none of the others had seen at the first going out The sea wasquite green and large icebergs were floating everywhere they looked like pearls shesaid and yet much larger than the church towers that are built by men They put on


38 THE LITTLE MERMAIDthe strangest shapes and glittered like diamonds She seated herself on one of thelargest blocks and all the ships in terror kept aloof from where she sat with her longhair sporting on the wind But towards evening the sky was overcast it thunderedand lightened while the dark sea heaved the huge iceblocks on high and they shone inthe glare of the lightning On every ship they reefed the sails and there was fear andanguish but the Mermaid sat at ease on her floating iceberg and watched the blueflashes shooting zig zag into the shining seaThe first time any of the sisters rose she was always enraptured at what was newand beautiful but presently when she was allowed as a full grown maiden to gowhere she pleased it lost its charm One after another they all longed for home againand whenever they had been absent a month they declared that the old haunts were theprettiest after all and that nowhere else could one really feel oneself at homeMany an evening did the five sisters link hands and rise in a row from the depthsof ocean Beautiful were their voices finer than those of mankind And when such astorm was driving up that it seemed nothing would live in it they would swim beforethe ships and sing to the seamen how beautiful it was on the sea floor and bid them notto be afraid of going down thither But the men could not understand the words andthey fancied it was only the storm they heard And they were never able to see thebeauties of the depths for when the ship sank they were drowned and came only asdead men to the Sea King s palaceWhen thus at eventide the sisters rose hand in hand above the waters their littlesister left alone would stand gazing after and seeming just about to weep but aMermaid has no tears to shed and that makes her suffer all the moreAh if I were only fifteen she said I know I shall get very fond of the worldup yonder and of the men who make their abode thereAt length she was full fifteenWell now we have got you out of hand said her Grandmother the old dowagerqueen come along and let me adorn you like your sisters And she placed on herhead a wreath of white lilies in which every petal was half a pearl And she madeeight large oysters pinch themselves on to the tail of the Princess to mark her birthThat does hurt one so said the Little MermaidWell one must bear a pinch for the sake of appearances said the old ladyOh how she would have liked to shake off this finery and throw aside that heavywreath her red flowers were far more becoming to her but she dared not make anychange now Farewell she said and she mounted up through the water as lightand brilliant as a bubbleThe sun had just gone down as she lifted her head above the sea but the cloudsstill shone like roses and gold and through the flushed sky the evening star beamedbright and beautiful The air was fresh yet mild and the sea lay like a mirrorA great three masted ship was lying there It had only one topsail that caught the


THE LITTLE MERMAID 39air not a breath was stirring below and the sailors were seated on the yards and inthe rigging There were songs and music and as the evening grew darker hundreds ofgay lanterns were lighted looking as if the flags of all nations were fluttering in the airThe Little Mermaid swam right up to the cabin window and every time the waves heavedher up she could look through the clear window panes and see the many well dressedpeople standing within But there was one handsomer than all a young Prince withlarge dark eyes he could hardly be more than sixteen and it was his birthday thatwas now being kept The crew danced on the deck and when the young Prince steppedup among them more than a hundred rockets leapt into the air They made such abright daylight that the Little Mermaid was quite abashed and ducked under the waterBut she soon put up her head again and then it seemed as if all the stars of heavenwere showering down on her Never had she seen such a thing as these fireworksLarge suns went whirling round fishes of fire hovered in the air and everything wasreflected in the clear calm water On the ship it was so light that the smallest ropewas visible not to mention the men Oh was he not handsome that young Prince ashe shook hands with the seamen and laughed and smiled while the music streamedforth in the beautiful nightIt grew late but the Little Mermaid could not turn her eyes from the ship andfrom the handsome prince The many coloured lights were quenched the rockets ceasedto rise the cannons boomed no more but deep down in the water there was a heavystir and a hollow murmur Still she sat rising and falling with the waves so thatshe could look into the cabin Presently the ship began to make more way one sailopened after another the waves ran higher dark clouds gathered it lightened in thedistance There was a terrible storm drawing near and the crew took in the sailsThe great ship staggered as it flew over the rough sea the water rose into great blackmountains that threatened to roll over the masts but the ship dipped like a swanbetween the high seas and then mounted up again on the towering surges This wasjust a pleasant ride for the Little Mermaid but not so for the sailors The ship creakedand cracked the sea beat against it till the stout planks bent to the heavy shocks themast broke in twain as if it were a reed and the ship lay on her beam ends with thewater pouring in The Little Mermaid saw now that they were in danger She hadmuch ado herself to keep clear of the spars and splinters that drove before the stormAt one moment all was pitch darkness and she could not catch a glimpse of anythingbut then would come a flash of lightning and she could make out every man on deckall staggering or standing as best they could Her eyes sought for the young Princeand she saw him as the ship went to pieces swept away into the deep sea She wasquite charmed at first for now he would go down to her people But straight sherecollected that his race could not live in the water and that only as a dead man wouldhe enter her father s palaceDead no he must not die Forward she swam in the midst of the driving


40 THE LITTLE MERMAIDtimbers forgetting that they might have crushed her now plunging through thebillows and now surmounting them till at last she reached the young Prince Hecould not have held up much longer in the raging sea His limbs began to fail himhis brilliant eyes were closing he must have sunk if the Little Mermaid had not cometo the rescue She kept his head above water and let herself and him be borne alongwherever the billows pleasedAt the dawn of morning the tempest was over Not a splinter of the ship was tobe seen Red and fiery rose the sun out of the sea and seemed to bring life into thePrince s cheeks but still his eyes were closed The Mermaid kissed his fine high forehead and stroked back his wet hair she fancied he looked like the marble statue downin her little garden she kissed him again and hoped that he might liveNow she saw land before her She saw high blue mountains with white snow ontheir summits as if swans were lying there Along the shore stretched beautiful greenwoods and in front of them stood a church or a convent she could not tell which but abuilding it was of some sort Orange and lemon trees grew in the garden and beforethe gates stood lofty palm trees Here the sea formed a small bay it was quitesmooth but very deep right under the cliffs where there was a rim of fine white sandHither she came with the handsome Prince and she laid him on the sands and tookgood care that his head lay high and in the warm sunshineNow the bells began ringing in the great white building and many young girlscame through the garden Then the Little Mermaid swam out again and hid behindsome high stones that stood up out of the sea and sprinkled sea foam on her breastand hair that no one might mark her and thus she watched to see who would come tothe poor PrinceIt was not long before a young girl passed that way She was startled and shrankback but only for a moment then she fetched more people and the Mermaid saw howthe Prince came to life and had a smile for all around except for her for herindeed why he knew nothing of her having saved him She felt very sad and whenhe was borne away into the large house she dived moodily down into the water andturned homewards to her father s palaceShe had always been silent and pensive but now she grew even more so Hersisters asked her what she had seen at her first going up but she told them nothingMany a morning and evening she rose at the spot where she had left the Prince Shesaw how the fruits in the garden ripened and were plucked she saw how the snowmelted on the high mountains but never again did she see the Prince AQ shereturned every time sadder and sadder home It was her only comfort there toin her little garden with her arms round the handsome marble statue which she fanciedlike the Prince But her flowers she tended no longer they straggled over the walksas in a wilderness and they matted their long stalks and leaves among the branches ofthe trees till all was dusky gloom


THE LITTLE MERMAID 41At last she could not keep it all to herself but told it to one of her sisters and sobefore long the others knew it too but only they and two or three other mermaidswho never spoke of it at all except to their most intimate friends One of these knewwho the Prince was and had seen the fine show on board the ship she knew the coursethat he had sailed and where his kingdom layCome little sister said the other princesses and linked together with theirarms round each other s shoulders they rose in front of the shore where they knewstood the palace of the PrinceIt was built of a pale yellow glittering stone with broad marble steps one flight ofthem coming down to the water Fine gilded domes rose above the roof and betweenthe columns which ran round the building stood marble figures that seemed to beliving Through the clear glass of the high windows one could look into splendid hallsdecked with silken curtains and rich carpets and hung with paintings that it was apleasure to gaze at In the centre of the largest hall there splashed a full fountain thejets played high up towards the glass dome that overarched it while the sun shonethrough the glass upon the water and upon the graceful plants that grew in the broadbasinNow she knew where he lived and many an evening and night did she rise tothose waters She swam much nearer the shore than any of the others had ventureday she went right up into the narrow canal under the splendid marble balcony thatcast a long shadow over the water Here would she float and gaze up at the youngPrince when he fancied he was quite alone in the clear moonlightShe saw him many an evening sail with music in his gaily painted galley wherethe flags were waving Then she would peep forth from between the green rushes andif any one chanced to see the wind catch her long silvery veil he fancied it was a swanthat spread his wingsShe listened many a night when the fishermen lay out at sea with lighted torchesand heard how much good they had to tell of the young Prince and it gladdened herthat she had saved his life when he was driving half dead upon the waves and shethought how close his head had rested on her breast how tenderly she had kissed himand yet he knew nothing about it and could never even dream of herMore and more did she cleave unto the race of men More and more did she longto rise and be one of them herself Their world seemed to her far greater than her ownthey could fly across the ocean in their ships and climb the hill tops high above theclouds and the lands which they owned stretched away with forest and field fartherthan her sight could reach There was so much she wanted to know but her sisterscould not answer everything so she asked the old Grandmother who knew a goo dealof the upper world or as she used to call it the above sea landsWhen men are not drowned asked the Little Mermaid do they then live forever do they not die as we do down here in the seaG


42 THE LITTLE MERMAIDAy ay said the old lady they too must die and indeed their life time ismuch shorter even than ours We may live three hundred years but then when ourlife is over we turn into sea foam and have not so much as a grave down here amongstour dear ones We have no immortal souls we never renew our life we are like thegreen reeds that once cut in two can never be green again Man on the other handhas a soul that lives for ever lives when the body is dust and ashes it rises thenthrough the clear air up to all the shining stars Just as we rise up from the deep andsee the lands of men even so they rise up to beautiful unknown places which we cannever hope to seeWhy were immortal souls not given to us asked the Little Mermaid sadly Iwould give all my hundreds of years for one day of human life and a share of theheavenly world beyondNever think of such a thing said the old lady we are much happier and betteroff here than men are up yonderAnd so I must die and float as foam on the sea not hear the music of the wavesnor yet see the beautiful flowers and the ruddy sun Can I do nothing then to gain animmortal soulNo replied the Grandmother not unless a man should hold you so dear thatyou were more to him than father and mother not unless with every thought and desirehe clung to you and let the priest lay his right hand in yours plighting you his faithhere and throughout eternity Then indeed his soul would flow over into your bosomand you would obtain a share in human bliss then he would endow you with soul andyet keep his own But this can never come to pass Why your chief beauty here inthe sea that fish s tail is considered hideous on earth They don t know any better yousee but there one must needs have two clumsy props legs they call them if one wantsto be thought handsomeThen the Little Mermaid sighed and looked down at her fish s tail Let us bemerry said the old lady let us sport and gambol away the three hundred years wehave to live Surely that is long enough and ought to make one die contented Sonow we will have a court ball to nightAnd a splendour there was indeed such as one never sees on earth In the greatball room the walls and ceiling were of crystal thick but clear Many hundreds ofcolossal mussel shells some rosy red and some grass green stood in rows on either sidesending forth jets of bright blue flame that filled the hall with light and shone throughthe walls till the sea outside was lighted too One could see the countless fishes greatand small swimming around the glassy wall some of them glittering with purple scalesand others looking like silver and gold Through the centre of the hall flowed a broadrippling stream and here danced the mermen and mermaids to their own beautiful songsSuch glorious voices are never known on earth The Little Mermaid sang sweetest ofthem all and they clapped hands at her and for one moment her heart beat with joyI


THE LITTLE MERMAID 43for she knew she had the finest voice of all on the earth or in the sea But she soonfell again into thoughts of the world above her She could neither forget the handsomePrince nor her grief that she was not gifted like him with an immortal soul She stoleout of her father s palace and while all within was song and merriment she sat sorrowfulin her little garden Then she heard the notes of a bugle horn piercing down throughthe water and she thought Now he is gliding up yonder in his boat he whom I lovemore than father or mother he whom my thought cleaves to and in whose hand Iwould lay my life s happiness I will risk all to gain him and to gain an immortal soulWhile my sisters are dancing in my father s palace I will go to the Sea witch her ofwhom I have always stood in fear perchance she may counsel and aid meSo the Little Mermaid went out of her garden on her way to the roaring maelstromsthat guarded the dwelling of the Witch Never had she gone that way before Here theregrew neither flowers nor weeds nothing but bare grey sand banks stretched along theroad beyond were the maelstroms whirling things round like mill wheels and draggingwhatever they seized down into the abyss Between these grinding whirlpools she had topass before she gained the Sea witch s domain Still further on she had a long way togo without any road over a hot bubbling bog this the Witch called her turf pitBehind it lay the Witch s house in the midst of a strange sort of wood All the treesand bushes were polypi half plant half animal They looked like hundred headedserpents growing up out of the ground Their branches were long slimy arms withfingers that were wriggling worms and from the root to the uttermost tip every jointkept always moving Whatever in the sea came within their reach they seized twiningclose around it and never letting it go again The Little Mermaid stopped frightenedand stood outside her heart beating fast with terror She was almost turning backagain but then she thought of the Prince and of gaining a human soul and shemustered up courage She tied her long waving hair close round her head that thepolypi might not seize her by it crossed her hands on her breast and flew forward as afish flies through the water between the hideous polypi that stretched out their curlingarms and fingers to clutch her She saw that whatever any one of them had laid holdof it gripped as firmly with a hundred little arms as if with iron bands Men who hadperished on the sea and sunk into the depths now gleamed forth as white skeletonsfrom the arms of the polypi They kept rudders and sea chests in a tight embrace andskeletons of land animals and that of a little Mermaid whom they had caught andstrangled this of all the horrors was perhaps the most horribleNow she came to a broad quagmire in the forest where fat water snakes werewallowing and showing their yellow white bellies In the midst of the mire stood a housebuilt of the bones of shipwrecked men Here sat the Sea witch letting a toad eat outof her mouth as we may let a canary bird eat sugar The nasty fat water snakes shecalled her little chicks and let them roll about on her big leathery breastI know well what you want said the Sea witch tis a stupid thought of yours


44 THE LITTLE MERMAIDbut for all that you shall have your wish for twill bring you to misfortune my sweetprincess you are longing to shake off your fish s tail and to get two stilts instead likethose of men to walk upon that so your young Prince may dote upon you and youmay gain him and an immortal soul And the witch laughed aloud so viciously thatthe toad and the snakes fell down on the ground and lay wallowing thereYou come just at the nick of time said the Witch to morrow at sunriseI could not have helped you before another year had come round again I will preparea drink for you and you must swim ashore with it before the sun rises and sitdown and drink it Then your tail will split in two and gather up into what men callshapely legs and you will feel as if a sharp sword cut through you All who see youwill say you are the loveliest child of man they have ever beheld You will still keepyour swimming gait no dancing girl will move so lightly but with every step you willfeel as if you were treading on a sharp knife and the blood were spirting out of youWill you bear all this if so I will help youYes said the Little Mermaid with a trembling voice and she thought of thePrince and of gaining an immortal soulBut mind said the Witch when once you have got a human shape youcan never become a mermaid again You can never go down through the waterto your sisters and to your father s palace And mind unless you win the Prince slove and make him forget father and mother for you and cleave unto you withhis whole heart and bid the priest join your hands and make you man and wife you cannever gain an immortal soul And the morning after the day that he weds anotheryour heart will break and you will turn into foam on the seaI venture it said the Little Mermaid as pale as deathBut besides you must pay me said the Witch and it s no trifle that I shallask for You have the finest voice of all in the under ocean world and with thisyou think to charm the Prince But this very voice you must give up to me Thebest you have I demand for my costly drink And why not my own blood must Ished into it and so make it sharp as a two edged swordBut when you take away my voice said the Little Mermaid what haveI got leftYour beautiful shape said the Witch your swimming gait and your speakingeyes with these you may still beguile a human heart Come have you lost courageOut with your little tongue and I will cut it off as payment and then you shallhave the powerful drinkBe it so said the Little Mermaid and the Witch put her cauldron on to cookthe witch draught Cleanliness is next to godliness said she scouring the cauldronwith the snakes which she twisted into a wisp And now she scratched herself in herbreast and let her black blood trickle into the cauldron The steam arose in such wildshapes that one could not help feeling fear and horror Every moment the Witch


THE LITTLE MERMAID 45threw new things into the broth and as it bubbled up it sounded like the wailof a crocodile At last the draught was brewed it looked clear as the purest waterThere it is for you said the Witch and she cut out the tongue of the LittleMermaid She was dumb now she could neither sing nor speakIf the polypi seize you as you go back through my wood said the Witch onlysprinkle a single drop of this drink over them and their arms and fingers will breakinto a thousand pieces But the Little Mermaid was not compelled to spill a dropfor the polypi drew back in fear when they saw the bright draught that shonein her hand like a sparkling star So she soon came through the forest the moorand the roaring maelstromsShe could see her father s palace the lights were out in the great ball roomDoubtless they were all asleep within But she could not bear to approach them nowthat she was dumb and was going to leave them for ever Her heart was like to breakwith sorrow she stole into the garden plucked one flower out of each of the sistersflower beds threw a thousand kisses from her fingers towards the palace and went upthrough the dark blue seaThe sun had not yet risen when she came near the palace of the Prince and landedon the splendid marble stairs The moon shone beautifully clear The Little Mermaiddrank the fiery draught and a two edged sword seemed to pass through her tenderbody she swooned away and lay as dead When the sun rose over the sea sheawoke and felt a burning pain but right before her stood the young Prince He gazedat her with his dark eyes so that she cast down her own and then she saw that thefish s tail was gone and that she had the prettiest white legs that any little girlcould have but she was quite naked so she wrapped herself in her long thick hairThe Prince asked who she was and how she had come hither but she gazed athim with her dark blue eyes softly yet very sadly and could not speak a word Thenhe took her by the hand and led her up into the palace At every step she feltas the witch had warned her as if she were treading on sharp blades and pointed awlsbut this she suffered gladly By the side of the Prince she mounted up as light as abubble and all wondered at her graceful swimming gaitCostly robes of silk and muslin were brought her she stood there in the palacefairest of all but she was dumb she could neither sing nor speak Beautifulslaves clad in silk and gold stept forth and sang to the Prince and his royal parentsthere was one that sang sweeter than the rest and the Prince clapped his hands andsmiled at her then the Little Mermaid felt sad for she knew that she herself had oncesung sweeter still And Oh she thought if he did but know that only to be nearhim I gave away my voice for ever And now the slaves danced airy dancesto the sounds of delicious music Then the Little Mermaid lifted up her beautifulwhite arms and rose on tiptoe and floated over the floor dancing as no one yet hadever danced Every movement showed off her beauty more and more and her eyesspoke nearer to the heart than all the songs of the slave girls


46 THE LITTLE MERMAIDAll were enraptured but none so much as the Prince who called her hislittle Foundling And still she went on dancing though every time she footed theground it was like treading on sharp blades The Prince said she should always livenear him and she was allowed to sleep on a velvet cushion outside his doorHe had a page s suit made for her that she might follow him on horseback Theyrode through fragrant woods where the green branches brushed her shoulders andlittle birds sang behind the fresh leaves She clambered with the Prince up thehigh mountains and though her white feet bled so that the others saw it she laughedand followed him till they saw the clouds sail underneath them like birds on theirflight to foreign landsWhen at home in the Prince s palace she would go forth at night while the otherswere asleep on to the broad marble stairs and it freshened her burning feet to stand inthe cold sea water and then she would think of those down below there in the deepOne night she saw her sisters arm in arm they were singing mournfully as theyswam over the water She beckoned them and they knew her and told her howmuch grief she had caused them all From that time they visited her every night andone night she saw far out at sea the old Grandmother who had not for many yearsbeen above water and she saw the Sea King with his crown upon his head and theystretched their hands towards her but did not venture so near land as her sisters didDay by day she grew dearer to the Prince He loved her as one may love a deargood child But to make her his queen such a thought never crossed his mind Andyet his wife she must be or she would never gain an immortal soul but on themorning after his marriage with another she would turn into foam on the seaDost thou love me best of all the eyes of the Little Mermaid seemed to askwhen he took her in his arms and kissed her fair browYes you are my dearest one said the Prince for you have the kindestheart you are the one most devoted to me and you look like a young maid whomonce I saw but can hardly hope to meet again I was on a ship that foundered thewaves washed me on shore near a sacred temple where some young girls were doingservice and the youngest found me on the shore and saved my life I saw her but twiceShe is the only one I could love But you are like her you almost take the place of herimage in my soul She belongs to the sacred temple therefore good fortune has sentme you and never will we partAlas he does not know it was I who saved his life thought the little MermaidThat I bore him over the sea to the wood where stands the temple that I watchedfrom behind the foam to mark if any would come to help I saw her come the prettygirl whom he loves better than me And the Mermaid sighed deeply she could notweep Yet still she thought that girl belongs to the holy temple and cannotenter the world they will never meet again I am with him see him every day Iwill nurse him love him give my whole life to him


THE LITTLE MERMAID 47But now the Prince they say is to be married he is to have the beautifuldaughter of the neighbour king and that is why he is fitting out the ship so splendidlyThe Prince is travelling we are told to see the lands of the neighbour king But hereally goes to see the king s daughter There is a great retinue going with him Yetthe Little Mermaid shook her head and laughed she knew the Prince s mind much betterthan all the others I must travel he had said to her I must see the beautifulPrincess my parents require that But they will not compel me to bring her home asmy bride I cannot love her she is not like the sweet girl in the temple whom you arelike Were I bound to choose a bride it would rather be you my silent foundling withthe speaking eyes And he kissed her red lips played with her long hair and laidhis head on her bosom till her heart dreamed of human joy and of an immortal soulYou are not afraid of the sea are you my dumb child he asked when theystood on the splendid ship which was to bear him to the lands of the neighbour kingAnd then he told her of storms and of dead calms of strange fishes in the depths andof what the divers had seen there And she smiled at his stories she knew so muchbetter than any one about the ocean floorIn the moonlight night when all were asleep save the steersman who stood at thehelm she sat by the gunwale and gazed down through the clear water And then sheseemed to see her father s palace and there in front of it stood her grandmother withthe silver crown on her head staring up through the rough stream towards the keel ofthe vessel Then came her sisters up above water they gazed at her sorrowfullywringing their white hands She beckoned and smiled and wished to tell them bysigns that all went well with her But a cabin boy came near and the sisters sankbelow and she began to fancy that the white she had seen was foam on the wavesThe next morning the ship ran into the harbour of the neighbour king s splendidcity All the church bells rang and from the high towers there was blowing oftrumpets while the soldiers drew up with waving banners and glittering bayonetsEvery day had its own festival Balls and banquets followed one another But thePrincess was not yet there She had been brought up far away in a sacred temple andthere they said she had learnt all queenly virtues At length she cameThe Little Mermaid stood anxiously waiting to see her beauty and she could notbut confess that a more lovely being she had never beheld Her skin was so fine and pureand from behind those long dark lashes there smiled such a loving pair of dark blue eyesIs it thou cried the Prince Thou art she who saved me when I lay like acorpse on the shore And he pressed his blushing bride to his heart Oh I am alltoo happy he said to the Little Mermaid The best what I never dared hope forhas been granted me You will rejoice in my happiness for you love me more than allof them And the Little Mermaid kissed his hand and she seemed to feel her heartburst asunder The morning after his marriage would most surely bring her death andturn her into foam on the sea


48 THE LITTLE MERMAIDAll the church bells rang and heralds rode through the streets to proclaim thebetrothal Fragrant oil burned on the altars in costly silver lamps The priests swungthe censers and bride and bridegroom joined hands and received the bishop s blessingThe Little Mermaid stood in silk and gold and held the train of the bride But her earsdid not hear the festive music her eyes did not see the holy ceremony she thoughtof the coming death night and of all in this world that she had lostWhen evening came the bride and bridegroom went on board the ship the cannonsboomed the flags waved and in the centre of the deck was raised a royal pavilion ofgold and purple fitted up with the richest cushions where the bridal pair might sleep inthe cool calm nightThe sails swelled in the wind and the ship glided over the clear sea with light andeven motionWhen it grew dark many coloured lamps were lighted and the sailors dancedmerrily on the deck The Little Mermaid thought of that eve when first she rose fromthe sea and saw the same brilliance and gaiety She joined in the dance wheeling anddoubling as the swallow may double when pursued and all around her shouted theirapplause Never had she danced so splendidly There was the cutting of sharp knivesin her feet but she felt it not for the cutting was far more cruel in her heart Sheknew this would be the last evening she could see him him for whom she had left herhome and kindred had given away her glorious voice and for whom she daily sufferedunspeakable pains And yet he knew nothing of it all It was the last night shewould breathe the same air as he would behold the deep sea and the starry blue ofthe sky An eternal night without thought and without dream awaited her for shehad no soul she could never gain a soul And all was joy and merriment on the shiptill long after midnight She laughed and danced with the death thought in her heartThe Prince kissed his beautiful bride and she played with his black hair and arm inarm they went to rest in the rich pavilionNow all was hushed and still on board the ship only the steersman stood by therudder The Little Mermaid laid her white arms on the gunwale and turned her eyeseastward looking for the morning red The first sunbeam she knew would kill herThen she saw her sisters rise out of the deep they were pale like her their long hairfluttered in the wind no more it was shorn awayWe have given it to the witch and begged her to help that you should not diethis night She has given us a knife it is here see you not how sharp Before thesun rises you must plunge it into the Prince s heart and then when his warm bloodsprinkles your feet they will grow together into a fish s tail and once again you will bea mermaid and again go down to us and live out your three hundred years ere youturn into salt sea foam Hasten ere the sun rises either he or you must die Our oldgrandmother grieves till her white hair has fallen off even as our hair fell to the seawitch s shears Kill the Prince and come home to us Hasten See you that red


THE LITTLE MERMAID 49streak in the distance Yet a few minutes and the sun will rise and you must dieAnd they uttered a strange deep sighing and sank in the billowsThe Little Mermaid drew aside the curtain from the pavilion and she saw thebeautiful bride sleeping with her head on the Prince s breast She bent down kissedhis handsome brow looked up at the sky where the morning red shone brighterlooked again at the sharp knife and again fixed her eyes upon the Prince He murmured his bride s name she alone was in his thought and the knife quivered in theMermaid s hand But then she cast it away far out in the reddening sea and drops ofblood where it fell seemed to spirt up from the billows She turned her half quenchedeyes for one last look upon the Prince and leaped into the waves and she felt how herbody was melting into foamThe sun rose out of the sea The beams fell soft and warm on the death cold seafoam and the Little Mermaid felt no longer now like dying She still saw the bright sunand up above her swayed hundreds of transparent beautiful creatures Through theirbodies she could see the white sails of the ship and the red clouds of the sky Theirvoice was melody but so spiritual that no earthly ear could hear it even as no earthlyeye could see them They floated without wings buoyed by their own lightnessthrough the air The Little Mermaid saw that she also had a body like theirs and it keptrising more and more out of the foamTo whom am I going she asked and her voice sounded like the other voicesso spiritual that no earthly music could convey itTo the daughters of air the others answered The Mermaid has no immortalsoul and can never gain one except through the love of a child of man on an alienpower depends her eternal life Neither have the daughters of air an immortal soulbut by good deeds they may make one for themselves We are flying to warm landswhere the sultry air of the plague is killing men Thither we are bringing coolnessWe shall waft the fragrance of herbs and blossoms and spread refreshment and healingthrough the air When thus for three hundred years we have striven to do what goodwe can we receive an immortal soul and partake in the eternal bliss of man ThouLittle Mermaid hast striven with all thy heart after the same as we By suffering andby patience thou hast raised thyself to the world of air and now by the good deeds ofthree hundred years thou mayest win thyself an immortal soulAnd the Little Mermaid lifted her clear arms towards God s sun and for the firsttime she felt tears On the ship there was life and bustle again She saw the Princewith his beautiful bride seeking her sadly they gazed down at the bubbling foam asthough they knew she had plunged into the waves Unseen she kissed the bride s browand she smiled to him and rose with the other children of air on the rose red cloud thatsailed in the skyFor three hundred years then we keep soaring thus into the kingdom of GodYea and earlier may we reach it whispered one We float unseen into theH


50 THIE LITTLE MERMAIDdwellings where children are and for every day that we find a child who gives pleasureto his elders and deserves their love God shortens our time of trial The child knowsnot that we are flying through the room and when we smile at it with joy a year istaken away from the full three hundred But if we see the child wicked we must thenweep tears of sorrow and every tear adds a day to our time of trial


THUMBKINETTANCE on a time there was a Good wife who longed to have just a wee bit ofa baby but she could not think where in the world she was to get oneso she went to an old Witch and said to her I do so dearly long tohave a little baby will you not tell me where I can get oneAy ay we shall be able to manage that said the Witch Hereis a barleycorn for you not by any means one of those that grow in the farmer s field orthat the fowls feed upon take this and lay it in a flower pot and then you will seesomethingThank ye kindly said the Good wife and gave the Witch a threepenny pieceThen she went home and planted the barleycorn and all at once there sprang up abeautiful large flower It looked exactly like a tulip but the leaves were folded closetogether as if it were still in the budThat is a comely flower said the Good wife and kissed it on its handsome redand yellow leaves but while she was kissing it the flower gave a loud snap and openedIt was a real tulip one could see that but in the middle of the flower on the greenpistil there was seated a tiny little maid so tender and so charming she was not a bitmore than a thumb long and so she got the name of ThumbkinettaA splendidly polished walnut shell was given her for a cradle blue violet leaves formattresses and a rose leaf for her coverlet here she slept at night but she played aboutall day on the table The Good wife used to set a plate for her and deck it all roundwith a wreath of flowers that dipped their stalks in the water In the middle therefloated a large tulip leaf and upon this Thumbkinetta could row herself from one side ofthe plate to another with two white horse hairs for oars It did look so beautiful Shecould sing too oh so softly and prettily one had never heard anything like itOne night as she lay in her pretty bed a hideous Toad came hobbling in throughthe window where there was a pane broken The Toad was ever so ugly and big andwet and down it flounced on the table where Thumbkinetta lay sleeping under the redrose leaf That s just the sort of wife for my son said the Toad and thereupon


52 THUMBKINE T TAtaking hold of the walnut shell with the sleeping Thumkinetta it scrambled off withthem through the pane and down into the gardenBeyond the garden flowed a stream broad and full but close under the banks therewas mire and swamp and here dwelt Dame Toad with her son and an ugly fellow toowas he the very image of his mother and Crax crax brekki kik kix was all he couldsay when he spied the pretty little maiden in the walnut shellDon t chatter so loud or you will awake her grumbled the old dame shemight run away still for she is as light as a bit of swan s down We will set her out inthe stream on one of the broad water lily leaves to a light little thing like her it willbe quite an island and once there she cannot get away till we have got the mudparlour ready where you and she are to live togetherOut in the stream there grew many water lilies with those broad green leaves thatlook as if they were floating The leaf that was furthest off was also the largest so oldDame Toad swam out there and placed on it the walnut shell with ThumbkinettaThe poor little creature awoke at daybreak and when she saw where she was shebegan to cry bitterly for there was water on every side of the great green leaf and shehad no means at all of getting to landThe old Toad was sitting down in the mud and decking her room with bulrushesand marsh marigolds for it had to be smartened up for the new daughter in law Butnow she swam out with her ugly son to the leaf where Thumbkinetta stood theywanted to fetch her pretty bed that was to be set up in the bridal room before she camethere herself Old Dame Toad curtsied low down in the water and said Here yousee my son he is to be your husband and you and he will live a beautiful life down inthe mudCrax crax brekki kik kix was all that the son had to sayThen they took the pretty little bed and swam away with it But Thumbkinettasat weeping alone on the green leaf for she would not live with the nasty Toad norhave her ugly son for a husband But the little fishes that swim down under thewater had seen Dame Toad and heard what she said so they poked up their heads toget a peep at the little maid But no sooner did they catch sight of her than theythought her so pretty and were so sorry she should live with the nasty Toad no thatshould never be They flocked together in the water round the green stem of the leafshe stood upon and they gnawed the stem asunder and the leaf floated away withThumbkinetta far away down the river where the Toad could not followThumbkinetta sailed past ever so many places and the small birds sat in thebushes and looked at her and sang What a dainty little maiden The leaf floatedaway with her further and further and thus Thumbkinetta went abroadA pretty little white butterfly kept fluttering around her and settled at last on theleaf for it took a great fancy to Thumbkinetta And she how happy she felt Therewas no fear that the Toad could overtake her now and all was beautiful wherever she


TOMMELISE VERY DESOLATE ON THEYATER LILY LEAFiC


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THUMBKINE TTA 53sailed The sun shone on the waters and they looked like shining gold Then she tookoff her sash fastened one end round the butterfly and the other to the leaf and thus itglided on more rapidly and she too for she still stood on the leafPresently a big cockchafer came booming along he caught sight of her clawedhold of her slender waist and flew off with her up into a tall tree but the green leafwent floating down the stream and along with it fluttered the butterfly for he wasbound to the leaf and could not get looseHeavens what a fright it was for poor Thumbkinetta when the cockchafer flew withher up into the tree Yet she was still more troubled about the dear white butterflythat she had left bound to the leaf if he should never get loose why he would bestarved to death But that was no matter to the cockchafer He seated himself withher on the largest green leaf of the tree gave her honeyjuice of flowers to feed upon andtold her she was a beauty though it was true she bore no likeness at all to a cockchaferBy and bye all the other cockchafers who lived in the tree came to pay their visitsThey looked at Thumbkinetta and the Miss Chafers turned up their feelers Why shehas only got two legs said one how poor that looks She has not got a singlefeeler said another And Oh what a stick of a waist said a third She looksjust like a human creature How very plain she is chimed in the rest of the MissChafers Yet for all that Thumbkinetta was very pretty and the cockchafer who hadstolen her thought so himself but as all the others said she was hideous he believedthem at last and would have nothing more to do with her she might go wherever shepleased So they flew down the tree and placed her on a daisy and there she satweeping because she was so ugly that the cockchafers would have nothing to do withher and yet she was the loveliest little being that could be imagined as fine and fairas the most beautiful rose leafThrough the whole summer long poor Thumbkinetta lived quite alone in the greatforest She plaited herself a bed of grass blades and hung it under a large dockleafwhere the rain could not reach her She gathered sweets from the flowers to feedupon and drank the dew that stood on the leaves every morning Thus the summerand autumn passed away but now the winter came the cold dreary winter All thebirds that had sung to her flew away the flowers and the foliage withered the largedockleaf that had given her shelter shrivelled up and became a bare yellow stalk Sheshrank at the nipping air for her clothes were in tatters and she was herself so veryslight and tender Poor Thumbkinetta surely she must be frozen to death And nowit began snowing and every snowflake that fell on her was like a whole shovelful thrownupon us for we are big and she was only a thumb long So now she wrapped herselfup in a withered leaf but it would not warm her and she shivered with coldShe made her way somehow out of the forest and at the outskirts she found a largecornfield The corn had long ago been cut and carried and only dry naked stubblesbristled from the frozen ground To her they were quite a wood to get through and


54 THUMBKINE TTAoh how she did shiver with cold And now she came to the Field mouse s door Itwas a little hole that led right under the corn stubbles and there the Field mouse wassnugly housed and well fed with a full granary and a capital kitchen and larder Poorlittle Thumbkinetta stood up in the doorway like any other beggar girl and begged fora little bit of barley grain for she had gone two whole days without a morsel to eatPoor child said the Field mouse who was indeed a kind old Field mouse comeinto my warm room and have a meal with meAnd soon taking a fancy to Thumbkinetta she added You may stay with meall the winter if you like child only you must keep my room neat and clean and tellme stories for I am dearly fond of stories And Thumbkinetta did as the good olddame requested and got on with her famously wellWe shall be having a visit before long said the Field mouse one day my nextdoor neighbour as a rule comes to see me once a week He is better off even than I amhas fine large rooms and wears such a beautiful black velvet pelisse If you could onlyget him for a husband your fortune would be made But he cannot see you so youmust tell him all your prettiest storiesBut Thumbkinetta had no great fancy for the match indeed she would not havethe neighbour on any account for he was a Mole He came and paid the visit in hisblack velvet pelisse And the Field mouse kept repeating afterwards how rich he wasand how learned His house had twenty times as much accommodation as her ownand there was no doubt at all about his learning True the sun and the pretty flowershe could not endure but abused them roundly for he had never seen them Thumbkinetta had to sing for him and she sang Lady bird Lady bird fly away homeand The monk goes in the meadow the summer day so long Then Mr Mole fell inlove with her for her sweet voice but he did not say anything he was such a cautiousold fellowHe had lately dug a long underground passage from his house to theirs and theField mouse and Thumbkinetta had leave to take a walk in it whenever they pleasedHe warned them however not to get frightened at the dead bird that lay in thepassage it was a whole bird with bill and feathers that must have died but a shorttime before at the beginning of winter and had been buried just where Mr Mole hadmade his passageHe took a piece of touchwood in his mouth for that shines like fire in the darkand went in front to light up the long dark passage for them But when they camewhere the dead bird was lying he thrust his broad nose right against the ceiling andthrew up the earth so as to drill a great hole and let in the daylight And there inthe midst of the floor lay a dead Swallow with the pretty wings pressed closely to itssides and its head and legs drawn up within the ruffled feathers The poor bird haddied no doubt of coldThis made Thumbkinetta feel sick at heart She was very fond indeed of little


THUMBKINETTA 55birds for all the summer they had sung and twittered to her delightfully ButMr Mole kicked at it with his short legs and said Now there is an end to itschirruping It must be miserable indeed to be born a little bird God forbidthat such should be the case with any of my children Why a bird like that hasnothing but its chirrup to call its own and must starve to death when the wintercomesSpoken like a sensible man as you are returned the Field mouse Whatwhen the winter comes has the bird got for his chirrup Nothing but freezing andstarvation But all that I suppose is part and parcel of his grand notionsThumbkinetta was silent but as soon as the two others had turned their backs to thebird she stooped down stroked back the feathers that covered its head and kissed it onthe closed eyes Perhaps it was you who sang so sweetly to me in the summer shethought and gave me so much pleasure you dear pretty birdMr Mole now stopped up the hole through which the daylight had come downand took the ladies home But the whole night long Thumbkinetta could not sleep soshe got out of bed and plaited a pretty coverlet of hay and took it down and wrappedit round the dead bird and soft cotton that she had found in the Field mouse s parlourshe tucked about the sides of the bird so that it might lie warm in the cold earthFarewell thou pretty little bird she said Farewell and thanks for thybeautiful song in the summer when all the trees were green and the sun shone warmupon us Then she laid her head against the bird s breast but started back for thereseemed to be something within it beating It was the bird s heart it was not dead ithad been lying in a trance and now that it grew warm its life returned againIn the autumn the swallows all fly away to warmer lands but if one of themshould happen to lag behind it freezes till it falls quite numb and lies where it fallsand the cold snow gathers over itThumbkinetta trembled with affright the bird was very very big compared withher who was only a thumb long But she took heart again tucked the cotton closerround the poor swallow and fetched a leaf of spear mint that she had used for herselfas a blanket and laid it over the bird s headNext night she stole down to it again and it was now quite alive but still sofeeble it could only cast up its eyes for an instant and look at Thumbkinetta as shestood by with a piece of touchwood in her hand for she had no other lanternThanks thou lovely little child said the sick Swallow to her I have got sobeautifully warm I shall soon recover strength and be able to fly out again in thewarm sunshineAh said Thumbkinetta it is cold out o doors It is all snowing and freezingKeep quiet in your warm bed and I will look after youThen she brought water in a flower s petal to the Swallow and it drank and toldher how it had rent one of its wings in a bramble and so could not fly so well as the


56 TH UMBKINE TTAother swallows who sped far away to foreign lands At last it had sunk to the groundafter this it remembered nothing and it had no notion at all how it came hitherFor the rest of the winter it remained underground and Thumbkinetta nursed itkindly and loved it dearly But neither the Mole nor the Field mouse were told anything about it for they you know would have shown no favour to the poor forlornSwallowAs soon as spring came and the sun sent warmth through the upper crust of earththe Swallow bade farewell to Thumbkinetta and she opened up the hole which the Molehad made before The sun shone right down it and the Swallow asked whether shewould not go with him she might sit on his back and they would fly far away into thegreen forest But Thumbkinetta knew it would grieve the old Field mouse if she lefther thus and so she said No I cannot goFarewell then farewell thou kind and comely one said the Swallow and flewout into the sunshine Thumbkinetta looked after him and her eyes filled she was sofond of the poor SwallowTwitterit twitterit sang the bird and flew away into the green forestIt was now a sad time for Thumbkinetta She was not allowed to go out into thewarm sunshine The corn too that had been sown in the field above the Field mouse shouse grew up high and became quite a dense forest for the poor little maid whowas only the length of your thumbAll the summer you must work away at your wedding dress said the Fieldmouse to her for by this time that tiresome old Mr Mole had really come courting inhis black velvet pelisse You shall have both woollens and cottons child youshall have something to lie in and something to sit on when you are Mrs MoleThumbkinetta had to spin at a distaff and the Field mouse engaged four spidersto weave both night and day Every evening Mr Mole paid a visit and repeated thesame old twaddle how when summer came to an end the sun would not shine so hotjust now it baked the earth as hard as a stone Ay and when summer was over thenwould come his wedding with Thumbkinetta But all this was no amusement for herpoor thing for she did not feel any liking for that tiresome Mr Mole Everymorning when the sun rose and every evening when it set she stole out into the doorway and when the wind blew the ears of corn apart and she could see the blue skyshe thought how bright and beautiful it was out here and longed to see the dearSwallow once more but he never came again and she thought he must be far awayamong the beautiful green woodlandsWhen autumn came Thumbkinetta had her outfit quite readyIn four weeks time the wedding will come off said the Field mouse to herBut she wept and said she would not have that tiresome Mr Mole1 Fiddle diddle child said the Field mouse don t you be obstinate or I shallbite you with my white tooth Why it is a charming man you are going to have


qTOMMELISE BORNE ON THE SWALLOW SBACK TO THE AOUTH WHERE SHE SEESTHE fAIRY 7LOWER PRINCE


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TH UMBKINETTA 57The queen herself has got nothing to compare with his black velvet pelisse He hasplenty too both in kitchen and cellar Thank your kind stars for such a husbandAnd now the day arrived for the wedding Mr Mole had already come to fetchThumbkinetta She was now to live with him deep down underground and nevergo out into the warm sunshine for that he could not endure The poor thing wasdistressed indeed to think she must say good bye to the beautiful sun which even9 at the Fieldmouse s she had got leave to see if only from the doorwayFarewell thou bright sun she cried stretching her arms aloft and sheventured a step or two beyond the door for now the corn had been reaped and only thedry stubble remained behind Farewell farewell she said and threw her tiny armsround a little red flower that grew there greet the Swallow from me if thou should stsee himTwitterit twitterit went a voice overhead she looked up it was the Swallowhimself just wheeling by and delighted he was to see her She told him howshe was being forced to take that ugly Mole for a husband and how she was to livewhere the sun would never shine She could not help crying as she told itWinter is coming on said the Swallow I am flying to the warm lands faraway will you go with me You can sit on my back only fasten yourself on withyour sash and then we will fly away from the ugly Mole and his dark room far awayover the mountains to the warm lands where the sun shines fairer than herewhere there is always summer and there always are beautiful flowers Only fly withme my sweet little Thumbkinetta thou who broughtest me back to life when I layfrozen in the dark earthy pitYes I will fly with thee said Thumbkinetta and seated herself on the bird sback with her feet on his open wings and tied her girdle tight to one of his strongestfeathers And the Swallow flew high aloft over wood and lake high over thehigh mountains where the snow lies for ever And Thumbkinetta shivered in the coldair But then she nestled closer into the bird s warm feathers and only thrust out herlittle head to see all the beautiful things underneath themAnd thus they came to the warm lands There the sun shone much clearer thanhere the sky was twice as high and all along hedges and ditches grew the most splendidgreen and purple grapes In the grove hung oranges and lemons here there was thefragrance of myrtle and of balm and yonder down the highway ran the loveliestSchildren sporting with many coloured butterflies But the Swallow flew still furtheron and everything grew still more beautiful Under stately green trees on theshore of the deep blue sea stood a shining white marble palace of the olden timeVines clung around the lofty columns under the eaves were many nests andone of them was the nest of the Swallow who had carried ThumbkinettaThis is my home said the Swallow but now choose for thyself one of themost glorious flowers down yonder and I will place thee there and thy life shall be ashappy as thou canst wishI


58 TH UMBKINE TTAOh that she cried would be delightful and she clapped er little handsOn the ground lay a large white marble column it had fallen down and brokeninto three pieces and between them grew splendid white flowers The Swallowflew down with Thumbkinetta and placed her on a broad petal of one of themBut think how she was startled when in the flower cup she saw a mannikin seated asclear and transparent as if he were of glass with a dainty golden crown upon his headand beautiful bright wings upon his shoulders And he was not any bigger either thanThumbkinetta He was the angel of the flower In every flower there was suchanother little man or woman but this one was the king of them allOh heavens how handsome whispered Thumbkinetta to the Swallow Thelittle Prince looked rather frightened at the coming of the Swallow a great bird by theside of him who was so small and fine but when he saw Thumbkinetta his fears werechanged to joy for she was the prettiest maiden he had ever seen So he took thegolden crown off his head and placed it upon hers and asked her to tell him her nameand whether she would be his bride for then she should be queen of all the flowersAy that was a husband indeed not at all like Dame Toad s son nor yet Mr Molewith his black velvet pelisse So this time she answered yes and straight out of everyflower there came a lord or a lady so lovely that it was a pleasure to see them Eachbrought her a present and the best of all was a pair of wings from a great white May flyThese they fastened on to her back and then she could fly from flower to flower Greatwas the jubilee now and the Swallow sat up in his nest and sang his very best to thembut in his heart of hearts he was sad for he loved Thumbkinetta dearly and would fainhave never parted from herNo longer shalt thou be named Thumbkinetta said the angel of the flowerThat is an ugly name and thou art so beautiful We will call thee MaiaFarewell farewell sang the Swallow and flew once more away from thewarm lands flew back far away even unto Denmark There he had a little nest overthe window where lives the man who knows how to tell fairy tales To him the Swallowsang his twitterit twitterit and from this we have come to learn the whole story


THE ANGELHENEVER a good child dies an Angel of God comes down to earth takesthe dead child in his arms spreads out his great white wings flies over allthe places that the child was fond of and gathers a handful of flowersand these he bears up to heaven that they may bloom there morebeautiful even than they did on earth The good God presses all theflowers to his heart but the one that finds favour with him most he kisses and thisflower receives a voice and can join in the great Song of BlissSee all this was told by an Angel of God while bearing a dead child up to heavenand the child heard it as in a dream And they flew over the places near the homewhere the little one used to play and they passed through gardens of brilliant flowersNow which shall we take with us and plant in heaven asked the AngelAnd there stood there a slender budding rose tree but an evil hand had brokenthe stem and the sprays full of half blown rosebuds were hanging down withered allaroundThat poor tree said the child take it that it may blossom before GodAnd the Angel took it and hekissed the child for this and the little one halfopened his dreaming eyes Then they chose some of the rich showy flowers but theyalso plucked the despised marigold and the wild heartseaseNow we have got flowers said the child And the Angel nodded assent butstill he did not fly up towards GodIt was night and all was dead stillness They tarried over the great city and benttheir flight down through one of the narrowest lanes where there lay heaps of straw andashes and other rubbish It had just been flitting day rags and tatters lay aboutbroken crockery scraps of plaster crowns of old hats every squalid thing one can thinkof And the Angel pointed out in the middle of the heap some bits of a flower pot anda clod of earth that had fallen out of it and was held together by the roots of a largewithered field flower a worthless thing that had therefore been thrown into the street61


60 THE ANGELThis we will take with us said the Angel I will tell thee all about it as we flyThen their flight began and the Angel told his storyDown yonder in the narrow lane in the low cellar there lived a poor boy Fromhis early childhood he had been bedridden When he was at his strongest he couldtake a turn on his crutches up and down the small room and that was all There werea few days in summer when the sun fell for half an hour into the forepart of the cellarand then when the little boy had sat there awhile and let the sun shine warm upon himand held his fingers up before his face to see the red blood in them his friends wouldsay To day he has been out He only knew the woods in their lovely springtide greenby this that the neighbour s boy used to bring him the first green beechen spray andhe held it over his head and dreamed he was under the beech trees with the sun shiningand the birds singing One day in spring the neighbour s boy brought him some fieldflowers and one among them happened to have come up by the roots so this theyplanted in a flower pot and placed in the window near his bed And the flower wasplanted with a lucky hand It grew put forth new shoots and bore blossoms everyyear It became for the sick boy the most glorious flower garden his little treasurehere on earth He watered it and nursed it and took care that it caught every sunbeamdown to the very last one that glided over the low window And it grew to be a partof his dreamy life for it was for him alone it bloomed and shed fragrance and gladdenedthe eye And he turned towards it in death when our Lord called him One year nowhas he been with God one year has the flower stood neglected in the window It haswithered and so this flitting day it has been cast on to the dust heap in the streetAnd this is the flower the poor withered flower that has been taken with us in ournosegay for this flower has given more joy than the richest one in the Queen s gardenBut how comest thou to know all this said the child whom the Angel wasbearing up to heavenHow do I know it returned the Angel I was myself the sick boy who wentupon crutches Should I not know my own flowerAnd the child opened his eyes wide and looked into the Angel s beautiful beamingface and that very moment they were in God s heaven where there was joy and gladnessAnd God pressed the dead child to his heart and then he got wings like the otherAngel and flew with him hand in handAnd God pressed all the flowers to his heart but the poor withered field flower hekissed and a voice was given it and so it joined in song with all the angels who floataround God some quite near and others ranged around them in large circles stillfurther and further off into endless space but all equally happyAnd they all sang together great and small the good blessed child and the poorwithered fild flower that had lain withered and cast away on the dust heap amid theflitting day rubbish in the narrow murky lane


THE CHILD AFTER DEATH IN THEANGEL S ARMS PITIES THE POOR ROSE TREEWITH ITS BUDS AND FLOWERS CRUSHEDDOWN AND BROKEN


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THE GARDEN OF PARADISEHERE was a king s son no one had so many and such pretty books as heeverything that had ever happened in the world he could read about inthem and see represented in their beautiful pictures About every peopleand every country they gave him information But where the Gardenof Paradise could be found about that there was not one word in themand that was just the very thing he wanted to knowHis grandmother had told him when he was still quite little but was soon going tobegin school that every flower in the Paradise Garden was the sweetest of cakes and itsstamina were the finest of wines On one flower there was history on another geography or arithmetic One only wanted to eat cake and one knew one s lesson themore one ate the more one took in of history geography and arithmeticThis he believed at that time but as he grew a bigger boy learned more andbecame wiser he soon understood that there must be some very different sort of beautyin the Paradise GardenOh why ever did Eve pick from the tree of knowledge Why did Adam eat ofthe forbidden fruit It ought to have been I then it would never have happenedNever would sin have entered the world So he said then and he said so still whenhe was seventeen years old The Paradise Garden filled all his thoughtsOne day he walked out in the forest he walked alone for that was his greatestpleasureThe evening fell the clouds gathered it rained as if the sky was one great floodgate with all the water rushing out It grew as dark as midnight at the bottom of awell Now he slipped on the wet grass now he stumbled over the rough stones thatstuck up from the rocky ground Everything was running with water there was not adry thread on the poor Prince He had to scramble over great crags where the wateroozed out of the deep moss He was nearly exhausted Then he heard a strangeroaring and before him was a large lighted cavern In the middle of it burned a fire


62 THE GARDEN OF PARADISEat which a whole stag might be roasted and that was just being done A most noblestag with high antlers was spitted and being slowly turned round between two trunksof fir trees An elderly woman tall and strong as if she were a man in disguise satby the fire throwing one log after another upon itCome a bit nearer said she sit down and dry yourself at the fireThere is a nasty draught here said the Prince as he sat down on the groundIt will be still worse when my sons come home rejoined the woman Youare in the cavern of the winds here My sons are the four winds of the world Do youunderstand that nowWho are your sons asked the PrinceOh tis no good answering a stupid asker said the woman My sons havegone off for a spree they re playing at hockey with the clouds up in the state roomand she pointed up in the airOh indeed said the Prince You have rather a rough way of speaking bythe bye and are not so gentle as most of the women I meetAy they have nothing else to do I ll be bound I must be rough if I am tokeep my boys in order But that I can manage though they have got stiff necks Doyou see those four sacks hanging on the wall They fear those just as you used tofear the rod behind the looking glass I can bend the boys double and put them in thesacks And I listen to no nonsense I can tell you There they must bide No moregadding about for them till I think fit and proper But here comes one of themIt was the North wind who came tramping in with an icy chill Large hailstoneshopped before him on the floor and snowflakes drifted all round He wore trousersand jacket of bearskin a sealskin cap came down over his ears long icicles hung fromhis beard and one hailstone after another slid down the collar of his jacketDo not go to the fire all at once said the Prince or you are likely to getchilblains on your face and handsChilblains said the North wind laughing loud Chilblains for me thatwould be rare fun But what kind of spindle shanks have we here How came you inthe cavern of the windsHe is my guest said the old woman Take that for an answer and if itdoesn t quiet you there is the sack And now stranger you ve had a taste of myjudgmentsThis settled the matter and the North wind told whence he came and where hehad been for nearly a whole monthI come from the Polar Seas he said I have been on Bear Island with theRussian walrus hunters I sat by the helm and slept when they first sailed from theNorth Cape Whenever I wakened up a bit Mother Carey s chickens flew about mylegs Tis a funny bird that he gives one sharp stroke with his wings then holdsthem straight out and goes full speed without moving them again


THE GARDEN OF PARADISE 63Don t be spinning such a long yarn said the Winds Mother And so youcame to Bear IslandThat is a fine place that s a floor to dance upon flat as a plate Half thawedsnow and moss sharp stones and skeletons of walrusses and polar bears lay mixedtogether They looked like giants arms and legs crusted with green mould onemight suppose the sun had never blinked upon them I puffed the mist aside to get alook at the shed It was a house built of wreck wood and covered with raw walrushides which were turned inside out and spotted with red and green On the roof sat alive polar bear growling I went down to the strand to look at the birds nests at theunfledged young that screeched and gaped and I blew down their thousands of throatsand they learned to hold their jaw Lowest of all rolled the walrusses like livingentrails or giant maggots with wild boar heads and yard long tusksYou tell your story well my lad said the mother it makes my mouthwater to hear youAnd now for the chase The harpoon was driven into the breast of the walrustill the streaming blood spouted up like a fountain over the ice Then I began to thinkof my music I blew my bugle call and let my own ships the mountainous icebergssqueeze the boats between them Heigh how the crew whistled How they shriekedbut I whistled louder Dead whales chests and cordage were shot out pell mellupon the ice I showered snow flakes around them and sent them in their ice boundships booty and all drifting south there to get their fill of salt water They will nevermake for Bear Island againSo you have been doing mischief said the Mother of the WindsWhat good I have done others may tell you he replied But here we havemy brother of the West Him I like best of all He smacks of the sea and brings sucha blessed freshness with himIs that the little Zephyr asked the PrinceZephyr it is sure enough said the old woman but not so very little thoughIn former days he was a handsome boy but that is all over nowHe looked like a savage only he wore a padded hat to guard his head In hishand was a club of mahogany hewn in American woods nothing less could sufficefor himWhere do you come from asked the MotherFrom the forest wilds said he where the thorny lianas weave hedges betweentree and tree where the watersnake lies at ease in the wet grass and Nature gets onwithout any need of manWhat did you find to do thereI watched the deep river how if rushed headlong from the cliffs scattered intodust and flew towards the clouds to bear the rainbow I saw the wild buffalo swimmingthe river the current seized him and he drove along with a flock of wild ducks round


64 THE GARDEN OF PARADISEhim But while the ducks flew up before the waters fell the buffalo went down with itThe sight of this tickled me and I blew a storm till the world old trees were floatingor splitting in piecesAnd that is all you have done asked the old womanI have cut summersaults in the savannahs I have patted the wild horses andshaken down cocoa nuts Ay ay I have got stories to tell but one must not say allthat one knows no need to teach you that old lady And so saying he kissed hisMother till she nearly fell backwards A wild fellow he was no doubt of itNext came the South wind in a turban and flowing Bedouin cloakTis terribly cold here said he throwing wood on the fire one can easily tellthat the North wind has been here before meWhy it s hot enough to roast a Polar bear said the North windYou are a Polar bear yourself returned the South windDo you both want to go into the sack said the old woman Sit down on thestone there and tell us where you have beenIn Africa Mother he answered hunting lions in Caffre land along with theHottentots There are long dales of grass there green as an olive The gnu dancedthere and the ostrich ran races with me but I stretch a quicker leg than he can Iwent off to the desert to the yellow sand it looks like the bottom of the sea I met acaravan they were killing their last camel to get water to drink a mighty little theygot of it The sun above roasted them the sands beneath broiled them There wasno boundary to the far spreading desert Then I burrowed down in the fine loose sandand whirled it aloft in great pillars that was a rare dance You should have seen howthe dromedary stood dismayed and how the merchant shaded his head with his caftanHe threw himself before me as before Allah his God Now they are buried a pyramidof sand stands over them one and all Some day when I puff it away the sun willbleach the white bones and the traveller may see men have been there before him andthat is a hard thing to believe in the desertYou have been doing mischief too then said the Mother March into thesack and before he was aware she had the South wind round his waist and into thesack it rolled about on the floor but she sat down on it and then it was obliged tolie quietThose are lively boys of yours said the PrinceNot so far amiss either she answered and I can manage them Here wehave the fourthIt was the East wind he was dressed as a ChinamanSo you come from that quarter said the Mother I thought you had been inParadise GardenI shall fly there to morrow said the East wind to morrow it is a hundredyears since I was there I have just come from China where I have danced round the


THE GARDEN OF PARADISE 65porcelain tower and made all the bells go tingle ingle In the street below the officialswere being flogged the bamboo was broken on their backs They were of all ranksfrom the first to the ninth And they all kept shouting Many thanks my fatherlybenefactor But that was not what they meant exactly And I clinked the bells andsang tsing tsang tsuThat was rude of you said the Mother It is just as well that you are goingto morrow to the Paradise Garden it always improves your manners Mind you drinkdeep of Wisdom s well and bring a little bottle of it home to meI will Mother said the East wind But why have you been putting mybrother of the South into the sack Out with him now I must make him tell meabout Bird Phonix for the Princess of Paradise Garden always wants to hear of thebird when every hundredth year I pay her my visit Open the sack do and then youare my sweetest Mother and I will give you two pockets full of tea fresh and green aswhen I first picked it in its own bedWell for the tea s sake and because you are my darling I will open the sackAnd so she did and the South wind crawled out but he looked quite down in themouth because the strange Prince had seen it allHere is a palm leaf for the Princess said the South wind this leaf old BirdPhoni the only one in the world has given me He has scratched on it with hisbeak the chronicle of his whole life of all the hundred years he lived Now she mayhave it to read all to herself I saw how Bird Phoenix set his own nest on fire andburned himself like a Hindoo widow How the dry branches did crackle and what asmoke what an odour At last all was sheer flame and old Bird Phoenix turned toashes But his egg lay glowing red hot in the fire it burst with a loud crack and theyoung one flew out and now he reigns over all the birds in the world and is the onlyBird Phoenix He has pecked a hole in the palm leaf I give you that is his greeting tothe PrincessNow let us have something to eat said the Mother of the Winds So they allsat down to eat of the roasted stag and the Prince sat next to the East wind and theysoon became good friendsPray tell me said the Prince what Princess it is you have been talking ofand where may I ask is the Paradise GardenOh ho said the East wind Do you think of going there Well you shallfly with me to morrow morning One thing I must tell you though no human beinghas been there since Adam and Eve s time You know of them I suppose from theBible historyOf course I do said the PrinceWell when they were driven out of the garden it sank under the earth but itstill retains its warm sunshine its balmy air and all its glorious beauty The FairyQueen lives there and there too is the Island of Bliss where death never comes andK


66 THE GARDEN OF PARADISE4where existence is enjoyment Get on to my back to morrow and I will take you withme I think we can manage it but no more gossip just now for I want to sleepSo they all went to sleepEarly next morning the Prince awoke and was not a little amazed at finding himselfabove the clouds already He was seated on the back of the East wind who was keepinga trusty hold upon him They were so high in the air that fields and forests riversand lakes looked like a large coloured mapGood morning said the East wind You might as well have slept a littlelonger for there is not much to be seen on the flat land underneath us unless indeedyou find amusement in counting churches see how they stand like dots of chalk on thegreen board It was the fields and meadows he called the green boardIt was uncivil to leave without my saying good bye to your mother and brotherssaid the PrinceWhen a man sleeps he s held excused said the East wind and flew even fasterthan before one could tell that by listening to the tops of the forests for all the boughsand leaves rattled as they sped above them one could tell it too by the sea and thelakes for wherever they flew the billows rolled higher and the great ships bowed deepin the water like swimming swansIn the evening when it grew dark it was curious to see the large towns how thelights in them gleamed now here now there it was just like watching the sparks in aburnt bit of paper that one used to call children going home from school The Princeclapped his hands but the East wind told him he had better keep quiet and hold fast orhe might chance to fall and be left hanging on a church spireThe Eagle of the black woods flew lightly but the East wind flew lighter stillThe Cossack on his little horse rode at full speed over the plains but the Prince rode ata speed beyond compareNow you can see the Himalayas said the East wind that is the highestmountain range in Asia We shall soon come now to the Paradise Garden Theyturned more towards the south and soon met the odours of flowers and spices Figsand pomegranates grew wild and the wild vine bore blue and red grapes Here theyboth lighted down and stretched themselves on the soft grass where the flowersnodded to the wind as if they would fain say Welcome back againAre we now in the Paradise Garden asked the PrinceNo indeed answered the East wind but we shall soon be there Do you seethe rocky wall yonder and the great cave where the vines are hanging like large greencurtains That we shall have to go through Wrap yourself in your cloak here thesun is scorching but one step further and it is icy cold The bird that skims alongthe mouth of the cave has the wing on this side in warm summer and the wing on theother side in cold winterAnd so that is the way to the Paradise Garden said the Prince


THE GARDEN OF PARADISE 67They went into the cave ugh it was icy cold indeed but not for long TheEast wind spread out his wings and they gave light like the clearest fire and thenwhat a cavern Great stone blocks from which water was trickling hung in thestrangest forms above them Now the cave was so narrow that they had to crawl onhands and feet now so high and wide that it was like the open air It looked likeburial chapels with mute organ pipes and petrified bannersSurely we are taking the path of Death to reach the Paradise Garden said thePrince but the East wind made no reply except by pointing far ahead and lo aglorious blue light was beaming forth to meet them The stone blocks above thembecame more and more a mist that at length cleared away like a white cloud in moonlight And now they breathed the most delicious air fresh as on the mountain top yetfragrant as if with roses of the valleyHere there flowed a river as clear as the air itself and the fishes were likegold and silver Purple eels that shot blue fire sparks at every turn played in thewater The broad lily leaves had the hues of the rainbow and the flower itself was anorange coloured flame to which the water gave nourishment even as oil to a burninglamp A solid bridge of marble as cunningly and finely worked as if it were lace andpearl embroidery led over the water to the Isle of Bliss where the Paradise GardenbloomedThe East wind took the Prince on his arms and carried him over Here theflowers and leaves sang the most beautiful songs of his childhood but in richer strainsof melody than any human voices could utterWere they palm trees or gigantic water plants growing here Such tall and juicytrees the Prince had never seen before Their boughs were festooned with the strangestcreepers such as are found in gold and bright colours on the margins of old missalsor twined about their initial letters fantastic compounds of birds and flowers andscrolls Near them in the grass stood a flock of peacocks with their glittering tailsoutspread Yes surely they were peacocks Yet no when the Prince touched themhe saw they were no birds but plants great dock leaves that glittered here likepeacock s tails The lion and the tiger sported like lissom cats among the green hedgerows that smelt like the blossoms of the olive and the lion and the tiger were tamethe wood pigeon as brilliant as the finest pearl flapped her wings against the lion smane and the antelope stood still and nodded his head as if wishing to join in thegambolAnd now came the Fairy of Paradise Her garments shone like the sun and her facewas gentle as that of a glad mother rejoicing over her child She was so young and sobeautiful and fair young maidens followed her each with a glittering star in her hairThe East wind gave her the written leaf from Bird Phoenix and her eyes sparkledwith joy She took the Prince by the hand and led him into the palace where the wallshad the colours of gorgeous tulip leaves when they are held towards the sun The very


68 THE GARDEN OF PARADISEdome was one vast radiant flower and the more one gazed up into it the deeper seemedits chalice The Prince stepped up to the window and looked through one of the panesand there he saw the Tree of Knowledge with the Serpent and with Adam and Evestanding by Have they not been driven out he asked And the Fairy smiledand explained to him that Time had burned its image into every pane but not as in thepictures that men are wont to see no there was real life in this the leaves of the treemoved and the figures came and went as if reflected in a mirror He looked throughanother pane and there was Jacob s Dream every step of the ladder led straighttowards heaven and the angels with great wings floated up and down Yes everythingthat had happened in this world lived and moved on these panes of glass only Timeitself could have made such clever picturesThe Fairy smiled and led him into a hall large and lofty The walls seemed to betransparent paintings with each face lovelier than the other they were millions of blessedsouls that smiled and sang their voices blending in one sweet melody those that werehighest were so small they seemed less than the smallest rosebud that can only be drawnlike a dot on the paper In the midst of the hall stood a tall tree with luxuriant drobpingbranches golden apples great and small hung like oranges among the green leavesThis was the Tree of Knowledge and this the fruit of which Adam and Eve had eatenFrom every leaf there dropped a shining red dew drop it looked as though the treewept tears of bloodLet us enter the boat now said the Fairy yonder on the swelling waves weshall be refreshed with changing scenes The boat rocks up and down though it nevermoves further on and all the lands of the world will come gliding past our eyes Andit was strange to see how all the coast was moving Here came the snow crowned Alpswith their clouds and dark pine trees a horn sent forth its melancholy tones and theherdsman pealed a long sweet halloo from the valley Now the banana tree bent itslong drooping branches over the boat jet black swans swam on the water and thestrangest looking flowers and animals appeared on the shores it was New Holland thefifth quarter of the world that with a distant glimpse of blue mountains went glidingby Now one heard the song of priests and saw the savages dance to sound of drumsand bone fifes The Pyramids of Egypt reaching up into the clouds sailed pasttogether with fallen columns and Sphinxes half buried in the sand The NorthernLights flickered over the jokuls1 of the north fireworks that no skill could imitate ThePrince indeed saw a hundred times more and was a hundred times happier than wecould ever describeAnd may I always remain here he askedThat depends upon yourself answered the Fairy If you do not yield likeAdam to temptations of doing what is forbidden then you may stay here for ever1 Jocull an Icelandic word meaning ice mountain


THE GARDEN OF PARADISE 69I shall not touch the apples on the Tree of Knowledge said the Prince hereare full a thousand fruits as fine as theyExamine yourself and if you do not feel strong enough go back with the Eastwind who brought you He is just about to fly back and will not return for a hundredyears The time will pass away here as if it were only a hundred hours but that is along time for temptation and sin Every evening when I leave you I must lure youcalling Follow me I must beckon with my hand but mind you stay behindDo not go with me for with every step your longing will grow stronger you will enterthe hall where grows the Tree of Knowledge I sleep under its fragrant droopingbranches you will bend over me and I must smile but if you kiss my lips Paradisewill sink deep into the ground and be lost for you The sharp wind of the desert willwhistle around you the cold rain will drip from your hair and sorrow and care will beyour inheritanceI will stay said the Prince and the East wind kissed him on the brow and saidBe strong and we shall meet here again after a hundred years Farewell farewellAnd the East wind spread out his large wings they shone like the sheet lightning inharvest time or northern lights in the cold winter Farewell farewell resoundedfrom trees and flowers Storks and pelicans flew in rows like streaming ribbons andwent along with him to the limits of the GardenNow we will begin our dances said the Fairy I shall wind up with dancingwith you and when the sun is sinking you will see me beckon you will hear me sayFollow me but mind you do it not I must repeat this every evening for a hundredyears but every time the hour is past you will gain more strength till at last you willnever think of following This evening it is the first time I have warned youAnd the Fairy led him into a vast hall of white transparent lilies and in eachflower the yellow stamens formed a little golden harp that poured forth the music bothof pipes and strings The fairest girls lithe and slender and clad in loose thin robesthat scarcely veiled their limbs hovered in the dance and sang how excellent it was tolive and how they would never die and how the Paradise Garden would bloomfor everThe sun went down The whole sky was a sheet of gold and it tinged the lilieswith a tender rose The Prince drank of the beaded wine which the maidens handedhim and he felt a rapture he had never known before He saw the back of the hall openbefore him and the Tree of Knowledge stood there in a splendour that dazzled his eyesThere was a song that came from it soft and winning as the voice of his mother and itseemed as if she sang My child my beloved childThen the Fairy beckoned and called with a fondling voice Come follow meCome follow me And he rushed towards her and forgot his vow forgot it on thevery first evening and still she beckoned and she smiled The fragrance the spicyfragrance around grew stronger the harps rang sweeter and sweeter and it seemed asSif the millions of smiling heads in the hall where grew the tree nodded and sang Man


70 THE GARDEN OF PARADISEmust know all man is the lord of earth And they were no longer tears of blood thatfell from the Tree of Knowledge they were ruddy sparkling stars he thoughtCome follow me Come follow me he heard again in quivering tones andat every step forward the Prince s cheeks glowed hotter his pulse beat stronger Imust he said It is no sin it cannot be Why not follow after Mirth and BeautyI will look at her sleeping Nothing is lost if only I do not kiss her and that I shallnot do I am strong my will is firmAnd the Fairy threw off her beaming garments bent the branches back and inanother moment was concealed within themI have not sinned yet said the Prince neither will I And he drew asidethe branches She lay asleep already beautiful as only the Fairy of Paradise Gardencould be She smiled in her dreams He bent over her and saw tears trembling inher eye lashes Weepest thou for me he whispered Do not weep thou beautifulwoman now first do I conceive the joy of Paradise it streams through my bloodthrough my soul I feel the power of the cherubim and eternal life in my earthlybody Let an eternal night come one minute like this is plenty of riches And hekissed the tear from her eye his lips touched hersThen a thunder peal rolled forth more deep and terrible than was ever heardbefore and all things fell crashing together The beautiful Fairy the bloomingParadise sank deep deep down The Prince saw it dwindling in the black nightlike a small star it glimmered in the far distance The chill of death passed throughhis limbs he closed his eyes and lay long as deadThe cold rain fell upon his face the sharp wind whistled round his head his mindcame back to him What have I done he sighed I have sinned like Adamsinned so that Paradise has sunk deep down and he opened his eyes He still sawthe star far away the star that glittered like the fallen Paradise it was the morningstar in the skyHe arose he was in the great wood near the cavern of the Winds The Mother ofthe Winds sat by his side She looked angry and lifted her arm in the airThe very first evening she said Ay just as I thought it would be Ifyou were a boy of mine you should go straight into the sackAnd so he will said Death This was a strong old man with a scythe in hishand and with long black wings In the coffin will he be laid but not yet awhileI will only mark him Then he may wander about the world another hour or two makeatonement for his sins grow good and better still I shall come in my due timeWhen he least expects it I shall put him into the black coffin set it on my head andfly upwards to the stars The Paradise Garden blooms there too and if he be goodand holy he may enter in But if his thoughts be wicked and his heart still full of sinhe will sink lower even than Paradise sank and only every thousandth year shall Ifetch him again that he may either sink deeper or else remain for ever upon yonderglittering star


THE SNOW QUEENA TALE IN SEVEN GOSSIPSGOSSIP THE FIRSTWHICH TREATS OF THE MIRROR AND THE FRAGMENTSELL then now we are beginning When we are at the end of our Gossipwe shall know more than we do now For indeed it was a wickedTroll it was one of the very worst it was the great Arch Troll himselfOne day he was in high good humour for he had made a mirror whichhad this gift that whatever was reflected in it if good and beautifulshrank up into next to nothing but if worthless and uncouth stood out viler andcoarser than before The freshest landscapes looked in it like boiled spinach the finestmen and women became quite repulsive or they stood on their heads or had nostomachs or had their features so twisted that one could not know them and if any onehad a freckle it would be sure to spread out over his nose and mouth It was immenselyfunny said the Arch Troll If a good and holy thought touched a man s heart such agrin would come into the mirror that the Arch Troll would burst out laughing at hisown handiwork All his scholars for he kept a school of the Black Art talked aboutit everywhere as a miracle people might now for the first time they boasted see theworld and its inhabitants as they really were They carried the mirror from place toplace and at last there was no country and no man upon earth that had not beendisfigured in it Now they desired to fly up to heaven also and to make a mock of theangels and of our Lord Himself They flew aloft with the mirror and it grinned andshook till they could hardly hold it Higher they flew and higher nearer to our Lordand His angels then the mirror shook so frightfully with grinning that it slipped fromtheir hands and was dashed down on eairth and broke into a hundred million billionpieces and ever so many more But now it did greater mischief than ever For some


72 THE SNOW QUEENof the bits were hardly as big as a grain of sand and these were blown about the worldand whenever they got into one s eyes they would stick there and then one saw everything upside down or else one had only eyes for what was bad in anything For in thesmallest morsel there was the same sort of power as there had been in the whole mirrorSome people got a splinter of it into the heart even and then horrible to tell theheart became a lump of ice Other fragments were large enough to be used as windowpanes but it was just as well not to look at one s friends through any of these Otherswere made into spectacles and a pretty thing it was when a judge put on a pair ofthem to look well into a case before deciding it Then the Evil One would split hissides with laughing it tickled him so prodigiously But there were many other kindsof glass atoms meanwhile that kept floating at random in the air Only listen andyou shall hearGOSSIP THE SECONDA LITTLE BOY AND A LITTLE GIRLN the middle of the great city where there are so many houses and peoplethat there is no room for each to have his own little garden and where mostof them must therefore be contented with flowers in pots there were twopoor children nevertheless who did have a garden somewhat bigger thana flowerpot They were not brother and sister but they loved each other as muchas if they had been Their parents were next door neighbours they lived up in thegarrets of two adjoining roofs with the gutter running between them and there weretwo little windows projecting from the roofs and facing each other so that one onlyhad to step over the gutter to get from one window to the otherThe two families had each a great wooden box outside where they grew such potherbs as they wanted besides a little rosebush There was one bush in each box andboth flourished well Now the parents took a fancy to setting the boxes right acrossthe gutter and they nearly reached from window to window and looked exactly liketwo flowerbeds The peas hung their tendrils over the boxes and the rosebushes sentout long shoots that wound up the windows and bent towards each other it wasalmost a triumphal arch of foliage and flowers The boxes were very high and thechildren knew that they must not clamber up them so they were often allowed to stepout and sit on their small stools under the roses and there they enjoyed themselvesamazinglyWhen winter came there was an end of these pleasures The windows were oftenquite frosted over but they heated coppers on the stove and laid the hot coin on thefrosted pane and this marked each window with a splendid peep hole as round as roundcould be and from each there used to peer a soft loving eye the little boy s on one side


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