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A CHRISTMAS EVE DREAM.
i A K f'rr~i~rki'i~
-." -............-.. ... ._^l^- A --
THE SNOW QUEEN ................. .................. ..... .............. ........... I
GREAT CLAUS AND LITTLE CLAUS.............. ........................................... 2
THE PRINCESS ON THE PEA .......................................... .................. 27
LITTLE IDA'S FLOWERS ........ ......................... ..... ......... ............ ..... 29
T HUMBELINA ................................ ..................... ........... ........... 33
THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES ..... .... ................................................. 42
THE GARDEN OF PARADISE ................. ....... .... .......... ........... ..... ....... .. 45
THE LOVELIEST ROSE IN THE WORLD ............................. ....................... 53
HOLGER DANSKE.................. ..................................................... 55
"IT'S QUITE TRUE !"................................................................ 58
THE FLYING TRUNK .......................................................... ...... 60
THE LAST PEARL ..................................................................... 64
THE STORKS ............ ............... ............................................ 66
A PICTURE FROM THE FORTRESS WALL ............... ................................. 69
THE SHEPHERDESS AND THE CHIMNEY-SWEEPER ............................................. 70
THE M ONEY-PIG ....................................... ....... ..................... 73
THE STORY OF A M OTHER ............................... .............................. 75
THE W ICKED PRINCE ..................... ....... ................ ... ............. 78
T HE L OVERS .......................................................................... 8o
THE DARNING-NEEDLE ............... ........... .. ........ .......................... 82
THE SWINEHERD .... .... ... ....... ....................................................... ....... 84
TItE ELDER TREE MOTHER .......... ........... .............. .............. 87
TWO BROTHERS ............. ............... ....... ............................ ...... 92
FIVE OUT OF ONE SHELL .............................................................. 93
THE FLAX ............................................................................ 95
THE OLD HOUSE .................. ........ ............................ .................. 98
THE JUMPERS ..... .................................................................... 102
A ROSE FROM THE GRAVE OF HOMER ........... ..... ..... ......... ..................... 104
THE ANGEL ........................................... ...................... ........ .. 105
THE LITTLE M ATCH GIRL .................. .......................................... 107
THE ROSE ELF............... ...................................... ................. 08
THE LITTLE SEA M AID ........ ....................... ............... .. ...... ........ III
THE TRAVELING COMPANION ........... ................................................. 124
THE NAUGHTY BOY ....... ................................................ ........... 136
THE TINDER-BOX ................................. ........................................ T38
OLE THE TOWER-KEEPER............... .............. ................................... I43
WHAT THE OLD MAN DOES IS ALWAYS RIGHT ..................................... ........ 149
JACK THE DULLARD. ......................... .............. .. ... ........................ 153
[H E D AISY ........................................................................... 156
THE HARDY TIN SOLDIER ........................................... .................... 158
THE W ILD SWANS ..................................................................... 161
A GREAT GRIEF ......... .................................. ........................... 71
THE M ETAL PIG....... ......................................... ........................ 72
GRANDMOTHER ...................................................................................... 178
THE U GLY DUCKLING .................................................................. 180
THE R ED SHOES ...................................................................... 186
CHILDREN'S PRATTLE .................................................................... 189
O LE LUK-O IE .................... ........................ ................... ........ 191
*THE OLD STREET LAMP.................................................................. 97
T HE BELL ............................................................................ 202
BY THE ALMSHOUSE WINDOW ........................... .. .. ............................. 205
LITTLE TUK ............ ........................ ....................... ............... 206
THE FIR TREE ............... .. ................ ... ....... .... ...................... 209
THE N IGHTINGALE ............................. ......... ............................. 214
THE ELF-HILL.. ........... ........... ....... ... ........................... .............. 220
THE DROP OF W ATER ............................... ................................... 224
THE SHIRT COLLAR ...... ............................... ... ............ .............. 226
THE NEIGHBORING FAMILIES ....... .... ......... .... .. .... ....... .. ..................... 227
THE SHADOW ........................................................................ 233
THE HAPPY FAMILY ................ ............ ................................. 240
THE SILVER SHILLING .................................................... .................... 242
TWELVE BY THE MAIL....................... ........................................... 245
T HE R ACERS ....................................... .................................. 248
THE SNAIL AND THE ROSE TREE........................................................... 250
THE OLD CHURCH BELL ...... ,........... .... ........................................... 251
THE GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE .. ............... ......................... .... ........... 254
THE ICE MAIDEN ............... ........................................ .............. 269
THE SWAN'S NEST ................................................................. 299
SOMETHING....................................................... ................. ...... 300
fHE DRYAD............ .. ......... ............ ......................... ... ...... 304
"THE HANDSOMEST PEOPLE BECAME HIDEOUS."
"THE HANDSOMEST PEOPLE BECAME HIDEOUS."
THE SNOW QUEEN.
IN SEVEN STORIES.
Which treats of the Mirror and Fragments.
LOOK you, now we're going to begin. When
we are at the end of the story, we shall'know
more than we do now about a bad goblin. He
was one of the very worst, for he was a demon.
One day he was in very good spirits, for he had
made a mirror which had this peculiarity, that
everything good and beautiful that was reflected
in it shrank together into almost nothing, but
that whatever was worthless and looked ugly
became prominent and looked worse than ever.
The most lovely landscapes seen in this mirror
looked like boiled spinach, and the handsomest
people became hideous, or stood on their heads
and had no bodies; their faces were so distorted
as to be unrecognizable, and a single freckle was
shown spread out over nose and mouth. That
was very amusing, the demon said. When a
good pious thought passed through any per-
son's mind, these were again shown in the mir-
ror, so that the demon chuckled at his artistic
invention. Those who visited the goblin school
-for he kept a goblin school-declared every-
where that a wonder had been wrought. For
now, they asserted, one could see, for the first
time, how the world and the people in it really
looked. Now they wanted to fly up to heaven,
to sneer and scoff at the- angels themselves.
STORIES FOR TiE HOUSEHOLD.
The higher they flew with the mirror, the more
it grinned; they could scarcely hold it fast.
They flew higher and higher, and then the
mirror trembled so terribly amid its grinning
that it fell down out of their hands to the earth,
where it was shattered into a hundred million
million and more fragments. And now this
mirror occasioned much more unhappiness than
before; for some of the fragments were scarcely
so large as a barley corn, and these flew about
in the world, and whenever they flew into any
one's eye they stuck there, and those people
saw everything wrongly, or had only eyes for
the bad side of a thing, for every little fragment
of the mirror had retained the same power
which the whole glass possessed. A few per-
sons even got a fragment of the mirror into
their hearts, and that was terrible indeed, for
such a heart became a block of ice. A few
fragments of the mirror were so large that they
were used as window-panes, but it was a bad
thing to look at one's friends through these
panes; other pieces were made into spectacles,
and then it went badly when people put on
these spectacles to see rightly and to be just;
and then the demon laughed till his paunch
shook, for it tickled him so. But without,
some little fragments of glass still floated about
in the air-and now we shall hear.
A Little Boy and a Little Girl.
IN the great town, where there are many
houses and so many people that there is not
room enough for every one to have a little gar-
den, and where consequently most persons are
compelled to be content with some flowers in
flower-pots, were two poor children who pos-
sessed a garden somewhat larger than a flower-
pot. They were not brother and sister, but
they loved each other quite as much as if they
had been. Their parents lived just opposite
each other in two garrets, there where the roof
of one neighbor's house joined that of another;
and where the water-pipe ran between the two
houses was a little window; one.had only -to
step across the pipe to get from one window to
The parents of each child had a great box, in
which grew kitchen herbs that they used, and
a little rose bush; there was one in each box,
and they grew famously. Now, it occurred to
the parents to place the boxes across the pipe,
so that they reached from one window to
another, and looked quite like two embank-
ments of flowers. Pea plants hung down over
the boxes, and the rose bushes shot forth long
twigs, which clustered round the windows and
bent down towards each other: it was almost
like a triumphal arch of flowers and leaves.
As the boxes were very high, and the children
knew that they might not creep upon them,
they often obtained permission to step out upon
the roof behind the boxes, and to sit upon their
little stools under the roses, and there they
could play capitally.
In the winter there was an end of this amuse-
ment. The windows were sometimes quite
frozen all over. But then they warmed copper
shillings on the stove, and held the warm coins
against the frozen pane; and this made a cap.
ital peep-hole, so round, so round! and behind
it gleamed a pretty mild eye at each window:
and these eyes belonged to the little boy and
the little girl. His name was Kay and the lit.
tle girl's was Gerda.
In the summer they could get to one another
at one bound; but in the winter they had to
go down and up the long staircase, while the
snow was pelting without.
"Those are the white bees swarming," said
the old grandmother.
"Have they a Queen-bee ?" asked the little
boy. For he knew that there is one among the
"Yes, they have one," replied grandmamma.
"She always flies where they swarm thickest.
She is the largest of them all, and never remains
quiet upon the earth; she flies up again into
the black cloud. Many a midnight she is fly-
ing through the streets of the town, and 1ioks
THE SNOW QUEEN.
in at the windows, and then they freeze in such
a strange way, and look like flowers."
"Yes, I've seen that!" cried both the chil-
dren; and now they knew that it was true.
Can the Snow Queen come in here ? asked
the little girl.
"Only let her come," cried the boy; "I'll
set her upon the warm stove, and then she'll
of starry flakes. She was beautiful and deli-
cate, but of ice-of shining, glittering ice. Yet
she was alive; her eyes flashed like two clear
stars, but there was no peace or rest in them.
She nodded towards the window, and beckoned
with her hand. The little boy was frightened,
and sprang down from the chair; then it seemed
as if a great bird flew by outside, in front of the
GERDA AND KAY.
But grandmother smoothed his hair, and told
some other tales.
In the evening, when little Kay was at home
and half undressed, he clambered upon the
chair by the window, and looked through the
little hole. A few flakes of snow were falling
outside, and one of them, the largest of them
all, remained lying on the edge of one of the
flower-boxes. The snow-flake grew larger and
larger, and at last became a maiden clothed in
the finest white gauze, put together of millions
Next day there was a clear frost, and then
the spring came; the sun shone, the green
sprouted forth, the swallows built nests, the
windows were opened, and the little children
again sat in their garden high up in the roof,
over all the floors.
How splendidly the roses bloomed this sum-
mer! The little girl had learned a psalm, in
which mention was made of roses; and, in
speaking of roses, she thought of her own; and
she sang it to the little boy, and he sang, too:
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
"The roses will fade and pass away,
But we the Christ-child shall see one day."
And the little ones held each other by the
hand, kissed the roses, looked at God's bright
sunshine, and spoke to it, as if the Christ-child
were there. What splendid summer days those
were! How beautiful it was without, among
the fresh rose bushes, which seemed as if they
would never leave off blooming!
Kay and Gerda sat and looked at the picture-
book of beasts and birds. Then it was, while
the clock was just striking twelve on the church
tower, that Kay said:
Oh! something struck my heart and pricked
me in the eye."
The little girl fell upon his neck; he blinked.
his eyes. No, there was nothing at all to be
I think it is gone," said he; but it was not
gone. It was just one of those glass fragments
which sprang from the mirror-the magic mirror
that we remember well, the ugly glass that made
everything great and good which was mirrored
in it to seem small and mean, but in which the
mean and the wicked things were brought out
in relief, and every fault was noticeable at once.
Poor little Kay had also received a splinter just
in his heart, and that will now soon become like
a lump of ice. It did not hurt him now, but the
splinter was still there.
"Why do you cry?" he asked. "You look
ugly like that. There's nothing the matter with
me. Oh, fie!" he suddenly exclaimed, "that
rose is worm-eaten, and this one is quite crooked.
After all, they're ugly roses. They're like the
box in which they stand."
And then he kicked the box with his foot,
and tore both the roses off.
Kay, what are you about? cried the little
And when he noticed her fright he tore off
another rose, and then sprang in at his own win-
dow, away from pretty little Gerda.
When she afterwards came with her picture-
book, he said it was only fit for babies in arms;
and when grandmother told stories, he always
came in with a but,- and when he could manage
it, he would get behind her, put on a pair of
spectacles, and talk just as she did; he could
do that very cleverly, and the people laughed
at him. Soon he could mimic the speech and
the gait of everybody in the street. Everything
that was peculiar or ugly about him Kay could
imitate; and people said, "That boy must cer-
tainly have a remarkable head." But it was
the glass that stuck deep in his heart; so it hap-
pened that he even teased little Gerda, who loved
him with all her heart.
His games now became quite different from
what they were before; they became quite sen-
sible. One winter's day when it snowed he came
out with a great burning-glass, held up the
blue tail of his coat, and let the snow-flakes fall
"Now look at the glass, Gerda," said he.
And every flake of snow was magnified, and
looked like a splendid flower, or a star with ten
points: it was beautiful to behold.
See how clever that is," said Kay. That's
much more interesting than real flowers; arid
there is not a single fault in it-they re quite
regular until they begin to melt."
Soon after Kay came in thick gloves, and with
his sledge upon his back. He called up to Gerda,
I've got leave to go into the great square,
where the other boys play," and he was gone.
In the great square the boldest among the
boys often tied their sledges to the country peo-
ple's carts, and thus rode with them a good way.
They went capitally. When they were in the
midst of their playing there came a great sledge.
It was painted quite white, and in it sat some-
body wrapped in a rough white fur, and with a
white rough cap on his head. The sledge drove
twice round the square, and Kay bound his little
sledge to it, and so he drove on with it. It went
faster and faster, straight into the next street.
The man who drove turned round and nodded
in a friendly way to Kay; it was as if they knew
one another: each time when Kay wanted to
cast loose his little sledge, the stranger nodded
again, and then Kay remained where he was,
THE SNOW QUEEN.
and thus they drove out at the town gate. Then
the snow began to fall so rapidly that the boy
could not see a hand's breadth before him, but
still he drove on. Now he hastily dropped the
cord, so as to get loose from the great sledge,
but that was no use, for his sledge was fast bound
to the other, and they went on like the wind.
Then he called but quite loudly, but nobody
heard him; and the snow beat down, and the
sledge flew onward; every now and then it
gave a jump, and they seemed to be flying over
hedges and ditches. The boy was quite fright-
ened. He wanted to say his prayer, but could
remember nothing but the multiplication table.
The snow-flakes became larger and larger;
at last they looked like great white fowls. All
at once they sprang aside and the great sledge
stopped, and the person who had driven it rose
up. The fur and the cap were made altogether
of ice. It was a lady, tall and slender, and brill-
iantly white: it was the Snow Queen.
We have driven well!" said she. But why
do you tremble with cold? Creep into my fur."
And she seated him beside her in her own
sledge, and wrapped the fur round him, and he
felt as if he sank into a snow-drift.
"Are you still cold?" asked she, and then
she kissed him on the forehead.
Oh, that was colder than ice; it went quite
through to his heart, half of which was already
a lump of ice: he felt as if he were going to die;
but only for a moment; for then he seemed
quite well, and he did not notice the cold all
"My sledge! don't forget my sledge."
That was the first thing he thought of; and
it was bound fast to one of the white chickens,
and this chicken flew behind him with the sledge
upon its back. The Snow Queen kissed Kay
again, and then he had forgotten little Gerda,
his grandmother, and all at home.
"Now you shall have no more kisses," said
she, for if you did I should kiss you to death."
Kay looked at her. She was so beautiful, he
could not imagine a more sensible or lovely
face; she did not appear to him to be made of
ice now as before, when she sat at the window
and beckoned to him. In his eyes she was per-
fect; he did not feel at all afraid. He told her
that he could do mental arithmetic as far as frac-
tions, that he knew the number of square miles,
and the number of inhabitants in the country.
And she always smiled, and then it seemed to
him that what he knew was not enough, and he
looked up into the wide sky, and she flew with
him high up upon the black cloud, and the storm
blew and whistled; it seemed as though the
wind sang old songs. They flew over woods
and lakes, over sea and land: below them roared
the cold wind, the wolves howled, the snow
crackled; over them flew the black screaming
crows; but above all the moon shone bright and
clear, and Kay looked at the long, long winter
night; by day he slept at the feet of the Queen.
The Flower-Garden of the Woman who could
BUT how did it fare with little Gerda when
Kay did not return? What could have become
of him? No one knew, no one could give in-
formation. The boys only told that they had
seen him bind his sledge to another very large
one, which had driven along the street and out
at the town gate. Nobody knew what had be-
come of him; many tears were shed, and little
Gerda especially wept long and bitterly: then
she said he-was dead-he had been drowned in
the river which flowed close by their school.
Oh, those were very dark long winter days!
But now spring came, with warmer sunshine.
"Kay is dead and gone," said little Gerda.
I don't believe it," said the Sunshine.
He is dead and gone," said she to the Spar-
"We don't believe it," they replied; and at
last little Gerda did not believe it herself.
"I will put on my new red shoes," she said
one morning, "those that Kay has never seen;
and then I will go down to the river, and ask for
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
It was still very early; she kissed the old
grandmother, who was still asleep, put on her
red shoes, and went quite alone out of the town
gate towards the river.
"Is it true that you have taken away my
little playmate from me? I will give you my
red shoes if you will give him back to me!"
And it seemed to her as if the waves nodded
quite strangely; and then she took her red
shoes, that she liked best of anything she pos-
sessed, and threw them both into the river; but
they fell close to the shore, and the little wave-
lets carried them back to her, to the land. It
seemed as if the river would not take from her
the nearest things she possessed because he had
not her little Kay; but she thought she had not
thrown the shoes far enough out; so she crept
into a boat that lay among the reeds; she went
to the other end of the boat, and threw the shoes
from thence into the water; but the boat was
not bound fast, and at the movement she made
it glided away from the shore. She noticed it,
and hurried to get back, but before she reached
the other end the boat was a yard from the
bank, and it drifted away faster than before.
Then little Gerda was very much frightened,
and began to cry; but no one heard her except
the Sparrows, and they could not carry her to
land; but they flew along by the shore, and
sang, as if to console her, Here we are f here
we are!" The boat drove on with the stream,
and little Gerda sat quite still, with only her
stockings on her feet; her little red shoes floated
along behind her, but they could not come up
to the boat, for that made more way.
It was very pretty on both shores. There were
beautiful flowers, old trees, and slopes with sheep
and cows; but not one person was to be seen.
Perhaps the river will carry me to little
Kay," thought Gerda.
And then she became more cheerful, and rose
up, and for many hours she watched the charm-
ing green banks; then she came to a great
cherry orchard, in which stood a little house
with remarkable blue and red windows; it had
a thatched roof, and without stood two wooden
soldiers, who presented arms to tnose who sailed
Gerda called to them, for she thought they
were alive, but of course they did not answer.
She came quite close to them; the river carried
the boat towards the shore.
Gerda called still louder, and then there came
out of the house an old woman leaning on a
crutch: she had on a great velvet hat, painted
over with the finest flowers.
"You poor little child!" said the old wom-
an, how did you manage to come on the great
rolling river, and to float thus far out into the
And then the old woman went quite into the
water, seized the boat with her crutch-stick,
drew it to land, and lifted little Gerda out. And
Gerda was glad to be on dry land again, though
she felt a little afraid of the strange old woman.
Come and tell me who you are, and how you
came here," said the old lady. And Gerda told
her everything; and the old woman shook her
head, and said, "Hem! hem!" And when
Gerda had told everything, and asked if she
had not seen little Kay, the woman said that
he had not yet come by, but that he probably
would soon come. Gerda was not to be sor-
rowful, but to look at the flowers and taste the
cherries, for they were better than any picture-
book, for each one of them could tell a story.
Then she took Gerda by the hand and led her
into the little house, and the old woman locked
The windows were very high, and the panes
were red, blue, and yellow; the daylight shone
in a remarkable way, with different colors. On
the table stood the finest cherries, and Gerda
ate as many of them as she liked, for she had
leave to do so. While she was eating them, the
old lady combed her hair with a golden comb,
and the hair hung in ringlets of pretty yellow
round the friendly little face, which looked as
blooming as a rose.
I have long wished for such a dear little girl
as you," said the old lady. "Now you shall
see how well we shall live with one another."
THE SNOW QUEEN.
And as the ancient dame combed her hair,
Gerda forgot her adopted brother Kay more and
more; for this old woman could conjure, but she
was not a wicked witch. She only practiced a
they all sank into the earth, and one could not
tell where they had stood. The old woman
was afraid that if the little girl saw roses, she
would think of her own, and remember little
Kay, and run away.
Now Gerda was led out into the flower-gar-
den. What fragrance was there, and what love-
liness! Every conceivable flower was there in
full bloom; there were some for every season:
no picture-book could be gayer and
prettier. Gerda jumped high for joy,
and played till the sun went down
behind the high cherry trees;
'1 then she was put into a lovely
bed with red silk pillows
stuffed with blue violets,
and she slept there, and
dreamed as gloriously
as a Queen on her
f WAS THE SNOW QUEEN." (p. 5.)
little magic for her own amusement, and wanted
to keep little Gerda. Therefore she went into
the garden, stretched out her crutch towards
all the rose bushes, and, beautiful as they were,
One day she played again with the flowers in
the warm sunshine; and thus many days went
by. Gerda knew every flower; but, as many
as there were of them, it still seemed to her as
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
if one were wanting, but which one she did not
know. One day she sat looking at the old lady's
hat with the painted flowers, and the prettiest of
them all was a rose. The old lady had forgotten
to efface it from her hat when she caused the
others to disappear. But so it always is when
one does not keep one's wits about one.
What, are there no roses here ? cried Gerda.
And she went among the beds, and searched
and searched, but there was not one to be found.
Then she sat down and wept: her tears fell just
upon a spot where a rose-bud lay buried, and
when the warm tears moistened the earth, the
tree at once sprouted up as blooming as when
it had sunk; and Gerda embraced it, and kissed
the Roses, and thought of the beautiful roses at
home, and also of little Kay.
"Oh, how I have been detained!" said the
little girl. I wanted to seek for little Kay! Do
you not know where he is?" she asked the
Roses. "Do you think he is dead?"
He is not dead," the Roses answered. "We
have been in the ground. All the dead people
are there, but Kay is not there."
Thank you,"'said little Gerda; and she went
to the other flowers, looked down into their
cups, and asked, Do you not know where little
But every flower stood in the sun thinking
Dnly of her own story or fancy tale: Gerda heard
-nany, many of them; but not one knew any-
thing of Kay.
And what did the Tiger-Lily say?
Do you hear the drum 'Rub-dub'? There
are only two notes, always 'rub-dub!' Hear
the morning song of the women, hear the call of
the priests. The Hindoo widow stands in her
long red mantle on the funeral pile; the flames
rise up around her and her dead husband; but
the Hindoo woman is thinking of the living one
here in the circle, of him whose eyes burn hotter
than flames, whose fiery glances have burned in
her soul more ardently than the flames them-
selves, which are soon to burn her body to ashes.
Can the flame of the heart die in the flame of
the funeral pile ?"
"I don't understand that at all!" said little
"That's my story," said the Lily.
What says the Convolvulus?
Over the narrow road looms an old knightly
castle: thickly the ivy grows over the crumbling
red walls, leaf by leaf up to the balcony, and
there stands a beautiful girl; she bends over
the balustrade and glances up the road. No
rose on its branch is fresher than she; no apple
blossom wafted onward by the wind floats more
lightly along. How her costly silks rustle!
'Comes he not yet?'"
"Is it Kay whom you mean?" asked little
I'm only speaking of a story-mv "
replied the Convolvulus.
What said the little Snowdrop?
"Between the trees long board hangs by
ropes; that is a swing. I pret littlee girls,
with clothes white as snow ai0J long green silk
ribbons on their hats, are sitting upon it, swig-
ing; their brother, who is greater than the
stands in the swing, and has slung his arm round
the rope to hold himself, for in one hand he has
a little saucer, and in the other a clay pipe; he
is blowing bubbles. The swing flies, and the
bubbles rise with beautiful changing colors; the
last still hangs from the pipe-bowl, swaying
the wind. The swing flies on: the little black
dog, light as the bubbles, stands up on his hind
legs and wants to be taken into the swing; it
flies on, and the dog falls, barks, and grows
angry, for he is teased, and the bubble bursts.
A swinging board and a bursting bubble-that
is my song."
It may be very pretty, what you're telling,
but you speak it so mournfully, and you don't
mention little Kay at all."
What do the Hyacinths say?
"There were three beautiful sisters, transpar-
ent and delicate. The dress of one was red,
that of the second blue, and that of the third
quite white; hand in hand they danced by the
calm lake in the bright moonlight. They were
not elves, they were human beings. It was so
THE SNOW QUEEN.
sweet and fragrant there! The girls disappeared
in the forest, and the sweet fragrance became
stronger: three coffins, with the three beautiful
maidens lying in them, glided from the wood-
thicket across the lake; the glow-worms flew
gleaming about them like little hovering lights.
Are the dancing girls sleeping, or are they dead ?
The flower-scent says they are dead and the
evening bell tolls their knell."
"You make me quite sorrowful," said little
Gerda. "You scent so strongly, I cannot help
thinking of the dead maidens. Ah! is little Kay
really dead? The Roses have been down in
the earth, and they say no."
'"ling! klang!" tolled the Hyacinth Bells.
.. not tolling for little Kay-we don't
know him -,re only sing our song, the only one
And Ge-da went the Buttercup, gleaming
forth fror :_, gr '. leaves.
You are a little bright sun," said Gerda.
"Tell'me, if you know, where I may find my
And the Buttercup shone so gaily, and looked
back at Gerda. What song might the Butter-
cup sing? It was not about Kay.
"In a little courtyard the clear sun shone
warm on the first day of spring. The sunbeams
6iled down the white wall of the neighboring
house; close by grew the first yellow flower,
glancing like gold in the bright sun's ray. The
old grandmother sat out-of-doors in her chair;
her granddaughter, a poor handsome maidser-
vant, was coming home for a short visit: she
kissed her grandmother. There was gold, heart's
gold, in that blessed kiss, gold in the mouth,
gold in the south, gold in the morning hour. See,
that's my little story," said the Buttercup.
My poor old grandmother!" sighed Gerda.
" Yes, she is surely longing for me and grieving
for me, just as she did for little Kay. But I
shall soon go home and take Kay with me.
There is no use of my asking the flowers, they
only know their own song, and give me no in-
formation." And then she tied her little frock
round her, that she might run the faster; but
the Jonquil struck against her leg as she sprang
over it, and she stopped to look at the tall yel-
low flower, and asked, Do you, perhaps, know
anything of little Kay?"
And she bent quite down to the flower, and
what did it say?
"I can see myself! I can see myself!" said
the Jonquil. "Oh! oh! how I smell! Up in
the little room in the gable stands a little danc-
ing girl: she stands sometimes on one foot,
sometimes on both; she seems to tread on all
the world. She's nothing but an ocular delu-
sion: she pours water out of a tea-pot on a bit
of stuff-it is her bodice. 'Cleanliness is a fine
thing,' she says; her white frock hangs on a
hook; it has been washed in the tea-pot too,
and dried on the roof: she puts it on and ties
her saffron handkerchief round her neck, and
the dress looks all the whiter. Point your toes!
Look how she seems to stand on a stalk. I can
see myself! I can see myself!"
I don't care at all about that," said Gerda.
"You need not tell me that."
And then she ran to the end of the garden.
The door was locked, but she pressed against
the rusty lock, and it broke off, the door sprang
open, and little Gerda ran with naked feet out
into the wide world. She looked back three
times, but no one was there to pursue her; at
last she could run no longer, and seated herself
on a great stone, and when she looked round
the summer was over-it was late in autumn:
one could not notice that in the beautiful garden
which she had left, where there was always sun-
shine, and the flowers of every season always
"Alas! how I have loitered!" said little Ger-
da. "Autumn has come. I may not rest again."
And she rose up to go on. Oh! how sore
and tired her little feet were. All around it
looked cold and bleak; the long willow leaves
were quite yellow, and the dew fell down like
water; one leaf after another dropped; only the
sloe-thorn still bore fruit, but the sloes were
sour, and set the teeth on edge. Oh! how gray
and gloomy it looked, the wide world!
RDA AND THE CROW.
GERDA AND THE CROW.
The Prince and Princess.
GERDA was compelled to rest again; then
there came hopping across the snow, just oppo-
site the spot where she was sitting, a great Crow.
This Crow stopped a long time to look at her,
nodding its head-now it said, Krah! krah!
Good day! good day!" It could not pronounce
better, but it felt friendly towards the little girl,
and asked where she was going all alone in the
wide world. The word alone Gerda under-
stood very well, and felt how much it expressed;
and she told the Crow the whole story of her
life and fortunes, and asked if it had not seen
And the Crow nodded very gravely, and said:
"That may be! that may be!"
"What, do you think so?" cried the little
girl, and nearly pressed the Crow to death, she
kissed it so.
Gently, gently!" said the Crow. "I think
I know: I believe it may be little Kay, but he
has certainly forgotten you, with the Princess."
Does he live with a Princess ? asked Gerda.
"Yes; listen," said the Crow. But it's so
difficult for me to speak your language. If you
know the crows' language, I can tell it much
"No, I never learned it," said Gerda: "but
my grandmother understood it, and could speak
the language too. I only wish I had learned it."
That doesn't matter," said the Crow. But
it will go badly." And then the Crow told
what it knew.
In the country in which we now are lives
a Princess who is quite wonderfully clever, but
then she has read all the newspapers in the
world, and has forgotten them again, she is so
clever. Lately she was sitting on the throne-
and that's not so pleasant as is generally sup-
posed-and she began to sing a song, and it
was just this, 'Why should I not marry yet?'
You see, there was something in that," said the
THE SNOW QUEEN
Crow. "And so she wanted to marry, but she
wished for a husband who could answer when
he was spoken to, not one who only stood and
looked handsome, for that was wearisome. And
so she had all her maids of honor summoned,
and when they heard her intention they were
very glad. 'I like that,' said they; 'I thought
the very same thing the other day.' You may
be sure that every word I am telling you is
true," added the Crow. I have a tame sweet-
heart who goes about freely in the castle, and
she told me everything."
Of course the sweetheart was a crow, for one
crow always finds out another, and birds of a
feather flock together.
"Newspapers were published directly, with a
border of hearts and the Princess's initials. One
could read in them that every young man who
was good-looking might come to the castle and
speak with the Princess, and him who spoke so
that one could hear he was at home there, and
who spoke best, the Princess would choose for
her husband. Yes, yes," said the Crow, "you
may believe me. It's as true as I sit here. Young
men came flocking in; there was a great crowd-
ing and much running to and fro, but no one
succeeded the first or second day. They could
all speak well when they were out in the streets,
but when they entered at the palace gates, and
saw the guards standing in their silver lace, and
went up the staircase, and saw the lackeys in
their golden liveries, and the great lighted halls,
they became confused. And when they stood
before the throne itself, on which the Princess
sat, they could do nothing but repeat the last
word she had spoken, and she did not care to
hear her own words again. It was just as if the
people in there had taken some narcotic and
fallen asleep, till they got into the street again,
for not till then were they able to speak. There
stood a whole row of them, from the town gate
to the palace gate. I went out myself to see it,"
said the Crow. They were hungry and thirsty,
but in the palace they did not receive so much
as a glass of lukewarm water. A few of the
wisest had brought bread and butter with them,
but they would not share with their neighbors,
for they thought, 'Let him look hungry, and
the Princess won't have him.' "
"But Kay, little Kay ?" asked Gerda. "When
did he come? Was he among the crowd?"
"Wait, wait! We're just coming to him. It
was on the third day that there came a little
personage, without horse or carriage, walking
quite merrily up to the castle; his eyes sparkled
like yours, he had fine long hair, but his clothes
"That was Kay!" cried Gerda, rejoicingly.
"Oh, then I have found him!" And she clapped
He had a little knapsack on his back," ob-
served the Crow.
"No, that must certainly have been his
sledge," said Gerda, "for he went away with a
"That may well be," said the Crow, "for I
did not look to it very closely. But this much
I know from my tame sweetheart, that when he
passed under the palace gate and saw the Life
Guards in silver, and mounted the staircase and
saw the lackeys in gold, he was not in the least
embarrassed. He nodded, and said to them,
'It must be tedious work standing on the stairs
-I'd rather go in.' The halls shone full of
lights; privy councillors and Excellencies walked
about with bare feet, and carried golden vessels;
any one might have become solemn; and his
boots creaked most noisily, but he was not em-
"That is certainly Kay!" cried Gerda. "He
had new boots on; I've heard them creak in
Yes, certainly they creaked," resumed the
Crow. "And he went boldly in to the Princess
herself, who sat on a pearl that was as big as a
spinning-wheel; and all the maids of honor with
their attendants, and the attendants' attendants,
and all the cavaliers with their followers, and
the followers of their followers, who themselves
kept a page apiece, were standing round; and
the nearer they stood to the door, the prouder
they looked. The followers' followers' pages,
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
who always went in slippers, could hardly be
looked at, so proudly did they stand in the door-
"That must be terrible!" faltered little Ger-
da. "And yet Kay won the Princess? "
If I had not been a crow, I would have
married her myself, notwithstanding that I am
engaged. They say he spoke as well as I can
when I speak the crows' language; I heard that
from my tame sweetheart. He was merry and
agreeable; he had not come to marry, but only
to hear the wisdom of the Princess; and he ap-
proved of her, and she of him.",
"Yes, certainly that was Kay !" said Gerda.
" He was so clever, he could do mental afith-
metic up to fractions. Oh! won't you lead me
to the castle too?"
That's easily said," replied the Crow. But
how are we to manage it? I'll talk it over with
my tame sweetheart; she can probably advise
us; for this I must tell you-a little girl like
yourself will never get leave to go completely
Yes, I shall get leave," said Gerda. "When
Kay hears that I'm there, he'll come out di-
rectly, and bring me in."
Waft for me yonder at the grating," said the
Crow; and it wagged its head and flew away.
It was already late in the evening when the
Crow came back.
"Rax! Rax!" it said. "I'm to greet you
kindly from my sweetheart, and here's a little
loaf for you. She took it from the kitchen.
There's plenty of bread there, and you must be
hungry. You can't possibly get into the palace,
for you are barefoot, and the guards in silver
and the lackeys in gold would not allow it. But
don't cry; you shall go up. My sweetheart
knows a little back staircase that leads up to the
bedroom, and she knows where she can get the
And they went into the garden, into the great
avenue, where one leaf was falling down after
another; and when the lights were extinguished
in the palace one after the other, the Crow led
Gerda to a back door, which stood ajar.
Oh, how Gerda's heart beat with fear and
longing! It was just as if she had been going
to do something wicked; and yet she only
wanted to know if it was little Kay. Yes, it
must be he. She thought so deeply of his clear
eyes and his long hair, she could fancy she saw
how he smiled as he had smiled at home when
they sat among the roses. He would certainly
be glad to see her; to hear what a long distance
she had come for his sake; to know how sorry
they had all been at home when he did not
come back. Oh, what a fear and what a joy
Now they were on the staircase. A little
lamp was burning upon a cupboard, and in the
middle of the floor stood the tame Crow turning
her head on every side and looking at Gerda,
who courtesied as her grandmother had taught
her to do.
My betrothed has spoken to me very favor-
ably of you, my little lady," said the tame Crow.
" Your history, as it may be called, is very mov-
ing. Will you take the lamp? then I will pre-
cede you. We will go the straight way, and
then we shall meet nobody."
I feel as if some one were coming after us,"
said Gerda, as something rushed by her: it
seemed like a shadow on the wall; horses with
flying manes and thin legs, hunters, and ladies
and gentlemen on horseback.
"These are only dreams," said the Crow;
"they are coming to carry the high masters'
thoughts out hunting. That's all the better, for
you may look at them the more closely, in bed.
But I hope, when you are taken into favor and
get promotion, you will show a grateful heart."
"Of that we may be sure!" observed the
Crow from the wood.
Now they came into the first hall: it was
hung with rose-colored satin, and artificial flow-
ers were worked on the walls; and here the
dreams already came flitting by them, but they
moved so quickly that Gerda could not see the
high-born lords and ladies. Each hall was more
splendid than the last; yes, one could almost
become bewildered! Now they were in the
THE SNOW QUEEN.
"'THESE ARE ONLY DR
bed-chamber. Here the ceiling was like a great
palm tree with leaves of glass, of costly glass,
and in the middle of the floor two beds hung
on a thick stalk of gold, and each of them looked
like a lily. One of them was white, and in
that lay the Princess; the other was red, and in
that Gerda was to seek little Kay. She bent
one of the red leaves aside, and then she saw a
little brown neck. Oh, that was Kay! She
called out his name quite loud, and held the
lamp towards him. The dreams rushed into the
room again on horseback-he awoke, turned his
head, and-it was not little Kay!
The Prince was only like him in the neck;
but he was young and good-looking, and the
Princess looked up, blinking, from the white
lily, and asked who was there. Then little
Gerda wept, and told her whole history, and all
that the Crows had done for her.
"You poor child!" said the Prince and Prin-
And they praised the Crows, and said that
they were not angry with them at all, but the
EAMS,' SAID THE CROW."
Crows were not to do it again. However, they
should be rewarded.
"Will you fly out free?" asked the Princess,
or will you have fixed positions as court crows,
with the right to everything that is left in the
And the two Crows bowed, and begged for
fixed positions, for they thought of their old age,
and said, It is so good to have some provision
for one's old days," as they called them.
And the Prince got up out of his bed, and let
Gerda sleep in it, and he could not do more
than that. She folded her little hands, and
thought, "How good men and animals are!"
and then she shut her eyes and went quietly to
sleep. All the dreams came flying in again,
looking like angels, and they drew a little sledge,
on which Kay sat nodding; but all this was
only a dream, and therefore it was gone again
as soon as she awoke.
The next day she was clothed from head to
foot in velvet; and an offer was made her that
she should stay in the castle and enjoy pleasant
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
times; but she only begged for a little carriage,
with a horse to draw it, and a pair of little boots;
then she would drive out into the world and
seek for Kay.
And she received not only boots, but a muff
likewise, and was neatly dressed; and when she
was ready to depart a coach made of pure gold
stopped before the door. Upon it shone like a
star the coat of arms of the Prince and Princess;
coachman, footmen, and outriders-for there
were outriders too-sat on horseback with gold
crowns on their heads. The Prince and Princess
themselves helped her into the carriage, and
wished her all good fortufie. The forest Crow,
who was now married, accompanied her the first
three miles; he sat by Gerda's side, for he could
not bear riding backwards: the other Crow
stood in the doorway flapping her wings; she
did not go with them, for she suffered from
headache, that had come on since she had ob-
tained a fixed position and was allowed to eat
too much. The coach was lined with sugar-
biscuits, and in the seat there were gingerbread-
nuts and fruit.
"Farewell, farewell!" cried the Prince and
Princess; and little Gerda wept, and the Crow
wept. So they went on for the first three miles;
and then the Crow said good-by, and that was
the heaviest parting of all. The Crow flew up
on a tree, and beat his black wings as long as
he could see the coach, which glittered like the
The Little Robber Girl.
THEY drove on through the thick forest, but
the coach gleamed like a torch, that dazzled the
robbers' eyes, and they could not bear it.
"That is gold! that is gold!" cried they, and
rushed forward, and seized the horses, killed the
postilions, the coachman, and the footmen, and
then pulled little Gerda out of the carriage.
"She is fat-she is pretty-she is fed with
nut-kernels!" said the old robber woman, who
had a very long matted beard, and shaggy eye-
brows that hung down over her eyes. She's
as good as a little pet lamb; how I shall relish
And she drew out her shining knife, that
gleamed in a horrible way.
Oh!" screamed the old woman at the same
moment; for her own daughter who hung at
her back bit her ear in a very naughty and
spiteful manner. "You ugly brat!" screamed
,the old woman; and she had not time to kill
She shall play with me!" said the little rob-
ber girl. She shall give me her muff and her
pretty dress, and sleep with me in my bed!"
And then the girl gave another bite, so that
the woman jumped high up, and turned right
round, and all the robbers laughed, and said:
Look how she dances with her calf."
"I want to go into the carriage," said the
little robber girl.
And she would have her own way, for she
was spoiled, and very obstinate; and she and
Gerda sat in the carriage, and drove over stock
and stone deep into the forest. The little rob-
ber girl was as big as Gerda, but stronger and
more broad shouldered; and she had a brown
skin; her eyes were quite black, and they looked
almost mournful. She clasped little Gerda round
the waist, and said:
"They shall not kill you as long as I am not
angry with you. I suppose you are a Princess? "
"No," replied Gerda. And she told all that
had happened to her, and how fond she was of
The robber girl looked at her seriously, nodded
slightly, and said:
"They shall not kill you even if I do get
angry with you, for then I will do it myself."
And then she dried Gerda's eyes, and put her
two hands into the beautiful muff that was so
soft and warm.
Now the coach stopped, and they were in the
courtyard of a robber castle. It had burst from
the top to the ground; ravens and crows flew
out of the great holes, and big bulldogs-each
of which looked as if he could devour a man-
THE SNOW QUEEN.
jumped high up, but they did not bark, for that
In the great old smoky hall, a bright fire
burned upon the stone floor; the smoke passed
along under the ceiling, and had to seek an exit
for itself. A great cauldron of soup was boiling
and hares and rabbits were roasting on the spit.
You shall sleep to-night with me and all my
little animals," said the robber girl.
They got something to eat and drink, and
then went to a corner, where straw and carpets
were spread out. Above these sat on laths and
perches more than a hundred pigeons, that all
seemed asleep, but they turned a little when
the two little girls came.
"All these belong to me," said the little rob-
ber girl; and she quickly seized one of the near-
est, held it by the feet, and shook it so that it
flapped its wings. "Kiss it!" she cried, and
beat it in Gerda's face. "There sit the wood
rascals," she continued, pointing to a number of
laths that had been nailed in front of a hole in
the wall. "Those are wood rascals, those two;
they fly away directly if one does not keep them
well locked up. And here's my old sweetheart
'Ba.' And she pulled out by the horn a Rein-
deer, that was tied up, and had a polished cop-
per ring round its neck. "We're obliged to
keep him tight too, or he'd run away from us.
Every evening I tickle his neck with a sharp
knife, and he's very frightened at that."
And the little girl drew a long knife from a
cleft in the wall, and let it glide over the Rein-
deer's neck; the poor creature kicked out its
legs, and the little robber girl laughed, and drew
Gerda into bed with her.
Do you keep the knife while you're asleep?"
asked Gerda, and looked at it in rather a fright-
"I always sleep with my knife," replied the
robber girl. "One does not know what may
happen. But now tell me again what you told
me just now about little Kay, and why you
came out into the wide world."
And Gerda told it again from the beginning;
and the Wood Pigeons cooed above them in
their cage, and the other pigeons slept. The
little robber girl put her arm round Gerda's
neck, held her knife in the other hand, and slept
so that one could hear her; but Gerda could
not close her eyes at all-she did not know
whether she was to live or die.
The robbers sat round the fire, sang and
drank, and the old robber woman tumbled
about. It was quite terrible for a little girl to
Then the Wood Pigeons said, "Coo! coo!
we have seen little Kay. A white owl was
carrying his sledge: he sat in the Snow Queen's
carriage, which drove close by the forest as we
lay in our nests. She blew upon us young
pigeons, and all died except us two. Coo!
"What are you saying there? asked Gerda.
"Whither was the Snow Queen traveling? Do
you know anything about it? "
She was probably journeying to Lapland,
for there they have always ice and snow. Ask
the Reindeer that is tied to the cord."
"There is ice and snow yonder, and it is glo-
rious and fine," said the Reindeer. "There
one may run about free in great glittering
plains. There the Snow Queen has her sum-
mer tent; but her strong castle is up towards
the North Pole, on the island-that's called Spitz-
"Oh, Kay, little Kay!" cried Gerda.
"You must lie still," exclaimed the robber
girl, "or I shall thrust my knife into your
In the morning Gerda told her all that the
Wood Pigeons had said, and the robber girl
looked quite serious, and nodded her head, and
"That's all the same, that's all the same!"
Do you know where Lapland is? she asked
Who should know better than I ? the crea-
ture replied, and its eyes sparkled in its head.
" I was born and bred there; I ran about there
in the snow fields."
"Listen!" said the robber girl to Gerda.
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
"You see all our men have gone away. Only
mother is here still, and she'll stay; but towards
noon she drinks out of the big bottle, and then
she sleeps for a little while; then I'll do some-
thing for you."
Then she sprang out of bed, and clasped her
mother round the neck and pulled her beard,
Good morning, my own old nanny-goat."
And her mother filliped her nose till it was red
and blue; and it was all done for pure love.
When the mother had drunk out of her bottle
and had gone to sleep upon it, the robber girl
went to the Reindeer, and said:
I should like very much to tickle you a few
times more with the knife, for you are very
funny then; but it's all the same. I'll loosen
jour cord and help you out, so that you may
run to Lapland; but you must use your legs
well, and carry /this little girl to the palace
of the Snow Queen, where her playfellow is.
You've heard what she told me, for she spoke
loud enough, and you were listening."
The Reindeer sprang up high for joy. The
robber girl lifted little Gerda on its back, and
had the forethought to tie her fast, and even to
give her own little cushion as a saddle.
"There are your fur boots for you," she said,
"for it's growing cold; but I shall keep the
muff, for that's so very pretty. Still, you shall
not be cold, for all that: here's my mother's
big mittens-they'll just reach up to your elbows.
Now you look just like my ugly mother."
And Gerda wept for joy.
"I can't bear to see you whimper," said the
little robber girl. "No, you just ought to look
very glad. And here are two loaves and a
ham for you, now you won't be hungry."
These were tied on the Reindeer's back. The
little robber girl opened the door, coaxed in all
the big dogs, and then cut the rope with her
sharp knife, and said to the Reindeer:
GERDA BIDS FAREWELL TO THE LITTLE ROBBER GIRL.
THE SNOW QUEEN.
"Now run, but take good care of the little
And Gerda stretched out her hands with the
big mittens towards the little robber girl, and
And the Reindeer ran over stock and stone,
away through the great forest, over marshes and
steppes, as quick as it could go. The wolves
howled and the ravens croaked. Hiss! hiss!"
it went in the air. It seemed as if the sky were
"Those are my old Northern Lights," said
the Reindeer. Look how they glow!" And
then it ran on faster than ever, day and night.
The Lapland Woman and the Finland Woman.
AT a little hut they stopped. It was very
humble; the roof sloped down almost to the
ground, and the door was so low that the fam-
ily had to creep on their stomachs when they
wanted to go in or out. No one was in the
house but an old Lapland woman, cooking fish
by the light of a train-oil lamp; and the Rein-
deer told Gerda's whole history, but it related
its own first, for this seemed to the Reindeer
the more important of the two. Gerda was so
exhausted by the cold that she could not speak.
Oh, you poor things," said the Lapland
woman, you've a long way to run yet! You
must go more than a hundred miles into Fin-
mark, for the Snow Queen is there, staying in
the country, and burning Bengal lights every
evening. I'll write a few words on a dried cod,
for I have no paper, and I'll give you that as a
letter to the Finland woman; she can give you
better information than I."
And when Gerda had been warmed and re-
freshed with food and drink, the Lapland woman
wrote a few words on a dried codfish, and telling
Gerda to take care of these, tied her again on
the Reindeer, and the Reindeer sprang away.
Flash! flash! it went high in the air; the whole
night long the most beautiful blue Northern
Lights were burning.
And then they got to Finmark, and knocked
at the chimney of the Finland woman, for she
had not even a hut.
There was such a heat in the chimney that
the woman herself went about almost naked.
She at once loosened little Gerda's dress and
took off the child's mittens and boots; other-
wise it would have been too hot foi her to bear.
Then she laid a piece of ice on the Reindeer's
head, and read what was written on the codfish;
she read it three times, and when she knew it
by heart, she popped the fish into the soup-
cauldron, for it was eatable, and she never wasted
Now the Reindeer first told its own history,
and then little Gerda's; and the Finland woman
blinked with her clever eyes, but said nothing.
"You are very clever," said the Reindeer:
" I know you can tie all the winds of the world
together with a bit of twine: if the seaman un-
ties one knot, he has a good wind; .if he loosens
the second, it blows hard; but if he unties the
third and the fourth, there comes such a tempest
that the forests are thrown down. Won't you
give the little girl a draught, so that she may
get twelve men's power, and overcome the Snow
Twelve men's power!" repeated the Finland
woman. Great use that would be!"
And she went to a bed, and brought out a
great rolled-up fur, and unrolled it; wonderful
characters were written upon it, and the Finland
woman read until the water ran down over her
But the Reindeer again begged so hard for
little Gerda, and Gerda looked at the Finland
woman with such beseeching eyes full of tears,
that she began to blink again with her own, and
drew the Reindeer into a corner, and whispered
to it, while she laid fresh ice upon its head:
Little Kay is certainly at the Snow Queen's,
and finds everything there to his taste and lik-
ing, and thinks it the best place in the world;
but that is because he has a splinter of glass in
his eye, and a little fragment in his heart; but
these must be got out, or he will never be a
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
human being again, and the Snow Queen will
keep her power over him."
"But cannot you give something to little
Gerda, so as to give her power over all this? "
I can give her no greater power than she
possesses already: don't you see how great that
is? Don't you see how men and animals are
obliged to serve her, and how she gets on so
well in the world, with her naked feet? She
cannot receive her power from us: it consists in
this, that she is a dear innocent child. If she
herself cannot penetrate to the Snow Queen and
get the glass out of
little Kay, we can be
of no use! Two miles
from here the Snow
Queen's garden be-
gins; you can carry
the little girl thither:
set her. down by the
great bush that stands
with its red berries
in the snow. Don't
stand gossiping, but
make haste, and get
And then the Fin-
land woman lifted
little Gerda on the
Reindeer, which ran i/
as fast as it could.
Oh, I haven't my "IT SET GERDA DO
boots! I haven't my mittens!" cried Gerda.
She soon noticed that in the cutting cold;
but the Reindeer dare not stop: it ran till it
came to the bush with the red berries; there it
set Gerda down, and kissed her on the mouth,
and great bright tears ran over the creature's
cheeks; and then it ran back, as fast as it could.
There stood poor Gerda without shoes, without
gloves, in the midst of the terrible cold Fin-
She ran forward as fast as possible; then
came a whole regiment of snow-flakes; but they
did not fall down from the sky, for that was quite
bright, and shone with the Northern Light: the
snow-flakes ran along the ground, and the nearer
they came the larger they grew. Gerda still
remembered how large and beautiful the snow-
flakes had appeared when she looked at them
through the burning-glass. But here they were
certainly far longer and much more terrible-
they were alive. They were the advance posts
of the Snow Queen, and had the strangest
shapes. A few looked like ugly great porcu-
pines; others like knots formed of snakes, which
stretched forth their heads; and others like little
fat bears, whose hair stood on end: all were
brilliantly white, all
S ) were living snow-
Then little Gerda
said her prayer; and
the cold was so great
that she could see her
own breath, which
went forth out of her
mouth like smoke.
The breath became
thicker and thicker,
and formed itself into
little angels, who grew
and grew whenever
they touched the
earth; and all had
helmets on their
heads and shields and
N, AND KISSED HER. "
N, AND KISSED HER." spears in their hands;
their number increased more and more, and
when Gerda had finished her prayer a whole
legion stood round about her, and struck with
their spears at the terrible snow-flakes, so that
these were shattered into a thousand pieces;
and little Gerda could go forward afresh, with
good courage. The angels stroked her hands
and feet, and then she felt less how cold it
was, and hastened on to the Snow Queen's
But now we must see what Kay is doing. He
certainly was not thinking of little Gerda, and
least of all that she was standing in front of the
THE SNOW QUEEN.
Of the Snow Queen's Castle, and what happened
there at last.
THE walls of the palace were formed of the
drifting snow, and the windows and doors of the
cutting winds. There were more than a hundred
halls, all blown together by the snow: the
greatest of these extended for several miles;
the strong Northern Light illumined them all,
and how great and empty, how icily cold and
shining they all were! Never was merriment
there, not even a little bear's ball, at which the
storm could have played the music, while the
bears walked about on their hind legs and
showed off their pretty manners; never any
little sport of mouth-slapping or bars-touch;
never any little coffee gossip among the young
lady white foxes. Empty, vast, and cold were
the halls of the Snow Queen. The Northern
Lights flamed so brightly that one could count
them where they stood highest and lowest. In
the midst of this immense empty snow hall was
a frozen lake, which had burst into a thousand
pieces; but each piece was like the rest, so that
it was a perfect work of art; and in the middle
of the lake sat the Snow Queen when she was
at home, and then she said that she sat in the
mirror of reason, and that this was the only one,
and the best in the world.
Little Kay was quite blue with cold-indeed,
almost black; but he did not notice it, for she
had kissed the cold shudderings away from him,
and his heart was like a lump of ice. He
dragged a few sharp flat pieces of ice to and
fro, joining them together in all kinds of ways,
for he wanted to achieve something with them.
It was just like when we have little tablets of
wood, and lay them together to form figures-
what we call the Chinese game. Kay also went
and laid figures, and, indeed, very artistic ones.
That was the icy game of reason. In his eyes
these figures were very remarkable and of the
highest importance; that was because of the
fragment of glass sticking in his eye. He laid
out the figures so that they formed a word-
but he could never manage to lay down the
word as he wished to have it-the word Eter-
nity." And the Snow Queen had said:
If you can find out this figure, you shall be
your own master, and I will give you the whole
world and a new pair of skates."
But he could not.
"Now I'll hasten away to the warm lands,"
said the Snow Queen. I will go and look into
the black pots:" these were the volcanoes, Etna
and Vesuvius, as they are called. I shall make
them a little white! That's necessary; that
will do the grapes and lemons good."
And the Snow Queen flew away, and Kay
sat quite alone in the great icy hall that was
miles in extent, and looked at his pieces of ice,
and thought so deeply that cracks were heard
inside him: one would have thought that he
Then it happened that little Gerda stepped
through the great gate into the wide hall. Here
reigned cutting winds, but she prayed a prayer,
and the winds lay down as if they would have
gone to sleep; and she stepped into the great
empty cold halls, and beheld Kay: she knew
him, and flew to him and embraced him, and
held him fast, and called out: Kay, dear little
Kay! at last I have found you!"
But he sat quite still, stiff and cold. Then
little Gerda wept hot tears, that fell upon his
breast; they penetrated into his heart, they
thawed the lump of ice, and consumed the piece
of glass in it. He looked at her, and she sang:
"Roses bloom and roses decay,
But we the Christ-child shall see one day."
Then Kay burst into tears; he wept so that
the splinter of glass came out of his eye. Now
he recognized her, and cried rejoicingly:
Gerda, dear Gerda! where have you been
all this time? And where have I been?" And
he looked all around him. "How cold it is
here! how large and void!"
And he clung to Gerda, and she laughed and
wept for joy. It was so glorious that even the
pieces of ice round about danced for joy; and
when they were tired and lay down, they formed
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
themselves just into the letters of which the
Snow Queen had said that if he found them out
he should be his own master, and receive the
whole world and a new pair of skates.
And Gerda kissed his cheeks, and they be-
came blooming; she kissed his eyes, and they
shone like her own; she kissed his hands and
feet, and he became well and merry. The Snow
Queen might now come home; his passport
stood written in shining characters of ice.
And they took one another by the hand, and
wandered forth from the great palace of ice.
They spoke of the grandmother, and of the roses
on the roof; and where they went the winds
rested and the sun burst forth; and when they
came to the bush with the red berries, the Rein-
deer was standing there waiting: it had brought
another young reindeer, which gave the children
warm milk, and kissed them on the mouth. Then
they carried Kay and Gerda, first to the Finnish
woman, where they warmed themselves thor-
oughly in the hot room, and received instruc-
tions for their journey home, and then to the
Lapland woman, who had made their new clothes
and put their sledge in order.
The Reindeer and the young one sprang at
their side, and followed them as far as the
boundary of the country. There the first green
sprouted forth, and there they took leave of the
two reindeer and the Lapland woman. Fare-
well!" said all. And the first little birds began
to twitter, the forest was decked with green
buds, and out of it on a beautiful horse (which
Gerda knew, for it was the same that had drawn
her golden coach) a young girl came riding, with
a shining red cap on her head and a pair of pis-
tols in the holsters. This was the little robber
girl, who had grown tired of staying at home,
and wished to go first to the north, and if that
did not suit her, to some other region. She
knew Gerda at once, and Gerda knew her too;
and it was a right merry meeting.
"You are a fine fellow to gad about!" she
said to little Kay. I should like to know if
you deserve that one should run to the end of
the world after you ?"
But Gerda patted her cheeks, and asked after
the Prince and Princess. "They've gone to
foreign countries," said the robber girl.
"But the Crow ?" said Gerda.
"Why, the Crow is dead," answered the
other. "The tame one has become a widow,
and goes about with an end of black worsted
thread round her leg. She complains most
lamentably, but it's all talk. But now tell me
how you have fared, and how you caught him."
And Gerda and Kay told their story.
the robber girl.
And she took them both by the hand, and
promised that if she ever came through their
town, she would come up and pay them a visit.
And then she rode away into the wide world.
But Gerda and Kay went hand in hand, and as
they went it became beautiful spring, with green
and with flowers. The church bells sounded,
and they recognized the high steeples and the
great town: it was the one in which they lived;
and they went to the grandmother's door, and
up the stairs, and into the room, where every-
thing remained in its usual place. The big clock
was going "Tick! tack!" and the hands were
turning; but as they went through the rooms
they noticed that they had become grown-up
people. The roses out on the roof gutter were
blooming in at the open window, and there stood
the little children's chairs, and Kay and Gerda
sat each upon their own, and held each other by
the hand. They had forgotten the cold empty
splendor at the Snow Queen's like a heavy
dream. The grandmother was sitting in God's
bright sunshine, and read aloud out of the Bible,
"Except ye become as little children, ye shall
in no wise enter into the kingdom of God."
And Kay and Gerda looked into each other's
eyes, and all at once they understood the old
"Roses bloom and roses decay,
But we the Christ-child shall see one day."
There they both sat, grown up, and yet chil-
dren-children in heart-and it was summer,
warm delightful summer.
--id~-a- ---- -
"'OH, NOW I HAVEN'T ANY HORSE AT ALL!' SAID LITTLE CLAUS."
GREAT CLAUS AND LITTLE CLAUS.
THERE lived two men in one village, and they
had the same name-each was called Claus; but
one had four horses, and the other only a single
horse. To distinguish them from each other,
folks called him who had four horses Great
Claus, and the one who had only a single horse
Little Claus. Now we shall hear what happened
to each of them, for this is a true story.
The whole week through Little Claus was
obliged to plow for Great Claus, and to lend
him his one horse; then Great Claus helped him
out with all his four, but only once a week, and
that on a holiday. Hurrah! how Little Claus
smacked his whip over all five horses, for they
were as good as his own on that one day. The
sun shone gayly, and all the bells in the steeples
were ringing; the people were all dressed in
their best, and were going to church, with their
hymn-books under their arms, to hear the clergy-
man preach, and they saw Little Claus plowing
with five horses; but he was so merry that he
smacked his whip again and again, and cried,
" Gee up, all my five!"
"You must not talk so," said Great Claus,
"for only the one horse is yours."
But when no one was passing Little Claus
forgot that he was not to say this, and he cried,
"Gee up, all my horses!"
Now, I must beg of you to let that alone,"
cried Great Claus, "for if you say it again, I
shall hit your horse on the head, so that it will
fall down dead, and there will be an end of it."
"I will certainly not say it any more," said
But when people came by soon afterwards,
and nodded good-day" to him, he became
very glad, and thought it looked very well, after
all, that he had five horses to plow his field;
and so he smacked his whip again, and cried,
"Gee up, all my horses!"
I'll 'gee up' your horses!" said Great Claus.
And he took the hatchet and hit the only horse
of Little Claus on the head, so that it fell down,
and was dead immediately.
"Oh, now I haven't any horse at all!" said
Little Claus, and he began to cry.
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
Then he flayed the horse, and let the hide dry
in the wind, and put it in a sack and hung it
over his shoulder, and went to the town to sell
his horse's skin.
He had a very long way to go, and was
obliged to pass through a great dark wood, and
the weather became dreadfully bad. He went
quite astray, and before he got into the right
way again it was evening, and it was too far
to get home again or even to the town before
Close by the road stood a large farmhouse.
The shutters were closed outside the windows,
but the light could still be seen shining out over
"I may be able to get leave to stop here
through the night," thought Little Claus; and
he went and knocked.
The farmer's wife opened the door; but when
she heard what he wanted she told him to go
away, declaring that her husband was not at
home, and she would not receive strangers.
"Then I shall have to lie outside," said Little
Claus. And the farmer's wife shut the door in
Close by stood a great haystack, and between
this and the farmhouse was a little outhouse
thatched with straw.
Up there I can lie," said Little Claus, when
he looked up at the roof; that is a capital bed.
I suppose the stork won't fly down and bite me
in the legs." For a living stork was standing
on the roof, where he had his nest.
Now Little Claus climbed up to the roof of
the shed, where he lay, and turned round to
settle himself comfortably. The wooden shut-
ters did not cover the windows at the top, and
he could look straight into the room. There
was a great table, with the cloth laid, and wine
and roast meat and a glorious fish upon it. The
farmer's wife and the clerk were seated at table,
and nobody besides. She was filling his glass,
and he was digging his fork into the fish, for
that was his favorite dish.
If one could only get some too!" thought
Little Claus, as he stretched out his head towards
the window. Heavens! what a glorious cake he
saw standing there! Yes, certainly, that was a
Now he heard some one riding along the
high-road. It was the woman's husband, who
was coming home. He was a good man enough,
but he had the strange peculiarity that he could
never bear to see a clerk. If a clerk appeared
before his eyes he became quite wild. And
that was the reason why the clerk had gone to
the wife to wish her good-day, because he knew
that her husband was not at home; and the
good woman therefore put the best fare she had
before him. But when they heard the man
coming they were frightened, and the woman
begged the clerk to creep into a great empty
chest which stood there; and he did so, for he
knew the husband could not bear the sight of a
clerk. The woman quickly hid all the excellent
meat and wine in her baking-oven; for if the
man had seen that, he would have been certain
to ask what it meant.
"Ah yes!" sighed Little Claus, up in his
shed, when he saw all the good fare put away.
"Is there any one up there?" asked the
farmer; and he looked up at Little Claus
"Who are you lying there? Better come with
me into the room."
And Little Claus told him how he had lost
his way, and asked leave to stay for the night.
"Yes, certainly," said the peasant, "but first
we must have something to live on."
The woman received them both in a very
friendly way, spread the cloth on a long table,
and gave them a great dish of porridge. The
farmer was hungry, and ate with a good appe-
tite; but Little Claus could not help thinking
of the capital roast meat, fish, and cake, which
he knew were in the oven. Under the table, at
his feet, he had laid the sack with the horse's
hide in it; for we know that he had come out
to sell it in the town. He could not relish the
porridge, so he trod upon the sack, and the dry
skin inside crackled quite loudly.
"Why, what have you in your sack? asked
GREAT CLAUS AND LITTLE CLAUS.
"Oh, that's a magician," answered Little
Claus. He says we are not to eat porridge,
for he has conjured the oven full of roast meat,
fish, and cake."
"Wonderful! cried the farmer; and he
opened the oven in a hurry, and found all the
dainty provisions which his wife had hidden
there, but which, as he thought, the wizard had
conjured forth. The woman dared not say any-
thing, but put the things at once on the table;
and so they both ate of the meat, the fish, and
the cake. Now Little Claus again trod on his
sack, and made the hide creak.
"What does he say now? said the farmer.
He says," replied Claus, "that he has con-
jured three bottles of wine for us, too, and that
they are standing there in the corner behind the
Now the woman was obliged to bring out the
wine which she had hidden, and the farmer
drank it and became very merry. He would
have been very glad to see such a conjurer as
Little Claus had there in the sack.
"Can he conjure the demon forth?" asked
the farmer. I should like to see him, for now
I am merry."
Oh yes," said Little Claus, my conjurer
can do anything that I ask of him.-Can you
not?" he added, and trod on the hide, so that
it crackled. He says, 'Yes.' But the demon
is very ugly to look at: we had better not see
Oh, I'm not at all afraid. Pray, what will
he look like?"
"Why, he'll look the very image of a clerk."
Ha!" said the farmer, "that is ugly! You
must know, I can't bear the sight of a clerk.
But it doesn't matter now, for I know that he's
a demon, so I shall easily stand it. Now I have
courage, but he must not come too near me."
"Now I will ask my conjurer," said Little-
Claus; and he trod on the sack and held his ear
"What does he say?"
He says you may go and open the chest
that stands in the corner, and you will see the
demon crouching in it; but you must hold the
lid so that he doesn't slip out."
"Will you help me to hold him?" asked the
farmer. And he went to the chest where the
wife had hidden the real clerk, who sat in there
and was very much afraid. The farmer opened
the lid a little way and peeped in underneath it.
Hu!" he cried, and sprang backward. Yes,
now I've seen him, and he looked exactly like
our clerk. Oh, that was dreadful!"
Upon this they must drink. So they sat and
drank until late into the night.
You must sell me that conjurer," said the
farmer. "Ask as much as you like for him:
I'll give you a whole bushel of money directly."
"No, that I can't do," said Little Claus.
"only think how much use I can make of this
"Oh, I should so much like to have him!"
cried the farmer; and he went on begging.
"Well," said Little Claus, at last, "as you
have been so kind as to give me shelter for the
night, I will let it be so. You shall have the
conjurer for a bushel of money; but I must
have the bushel heaped up."
"That you shall have," replied the farmer.
"But you must take the chest yonder away
with you. I will not keep it in my house an
hour. One cannot know,-perhaps he may be
Little Claus gave the farmer his sack with the
dry hide in it, and got in exchange a whole
bushel of money, and that heaped up. The
farmer also gave him a big truck, on which to
carry off his money and chest.
"Farewell!" said Little Claus; and he went
off with his money and the big chest, in which
the clerk was still sitting.
On the other side of the wood was a great
deep river. The water rushed along so rapidly
that one could scarcely swim against the stream.
A fine new bridge had been built over it. Little
Claus stopped on the center of the bridge, and
said quite loud, so that the clerk could hear it:
"Ho, what shall I do with this stupid chest?
It's as heavy as if stones were ;n it. I shall only
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
get tired if I drag it any farther, so I'll throw it
into the river: if it swims home to me, well and
good; and if it does not, it will be no great
And he took the chest with one hand, and
lifted it up a little, as if he intended to throw it
into the river.
"No! let be!" cried the clerk from within
the chest; "let me out first!"
Hu! exclaimed Little Claus, pretending to
be frightened, he's in there still! I must make
haste and throw him into the river, that he may
Oh no, no!" screamed the clerk. I'll give
you a whole bushelful of money if you'll let me
"Why, that's another thing!" said Little
Claus; and he opened the chest.
The clerk crept quickly out, pushed the empty
chest into the water, and went to his house,
where Little Claus received a whole bushelful
of money. He had already received one from
the farmer, and so now he had his truck loaded
"See, I've been well paid for the horse," he
said to himself when he had got home to his
own room, and was emptying all the money into
a heap in the middle of the floor. "That will
vex Great Claus when he hears how rich I have
grown through my one horse; but I won't tell
him about it outright."
So he sent a boy to Great Claus to ask for a
What can he want with it? thought Great
Claus. And he smeared some tar underneath
the measure, so that some part of whatever was
measured should stick to it. And thus it hap-
pened; for when he received the measure back,
there were three new eight-shilling pieces adher-
"What's this?" cried Great Claus; and he
ran off at once to Little Claus. "Where did
you get all that money from? "
Oh, that's for my horse's skin. I sold it
"That's really being well paid," said Great
Claus. And he ran home in a hurry, took an
ax, and killed all his four horses; then he flayed
them, and carried off their skins to the town.
"Hides! hides! who'll buy any hides? he
cried through the streets.
All the shoemakers and tanners came running,
and asked how much he wanted for them.
"A bushel of money for each!" said Great
Are you mad? said they. Do you think
we have money by the bushel?"
Hides! hides!" he cried again; and to all
who asked him what the hides would cost he
replied, "A bushel of money."
He wants to make fools of us," they all ex-
claimed. And the shoemakers took their straps,
and the tanners their aprons, and they began to
beat Great Claus.
Hides! hides!" they called after him, jeer-
ingly. "Yes, we'll tan your hide for you till
the red broth runs down. Out of the town
with him!" And Great Claus made the best
haste he could, for he had never yet been
thrashed as he 'was thrashed now.
"Well," said he when he got home, "Little
Claus shall pay for this. I'll kill him for it."
Now, at Little Claus's the old grandmother
had died. She had been very harsh and unkind
to him, but yet he was very sorry, and took the
dead woman and laid her in his warm bed, to
see if she would not come to life again. There
he intended she should remain all through the
night, and he himself would sit in the corner
and sleep on a chair, as he had often done be-
fore. As he sat there, in the night the door
opened, and Great Claus came in with his ax.
He knew where Little Claus's bed stood; and,
going straight up to it, he hit the old grand-
mother on the head, thinking she was Little
D'ye see," said he, you shall not make a
fool of me again." And then he went home.
"That's a bad fellow, that man," said Little
Claus. "He wanted to kill me. It was a good
thing for my old grandmother that she was dead
already. He would have taken her life."
GREAT CLAUS AND LITTLE CLAUS.
And he dressed his grandmother in her Sun-
day clothes, borrowed a horse of his neighbor,
harnessed it to a car, and put the old lady on
the back seat, so that she could not fall out
when he drove. And so they trundled through
the wood. When the sun rose they were in
front of an inn; there Little Claus pulled up,
and went in to have some refreshment.
The host had very, very much money; he
was also a very good man, but exceedingly hot,
as if he had pepper and tobacco in him.
Good-morning," said he to Little Claus.
"You've put on your Sunday clothes early to-
"Yes," answered Little Claus; "I'm going
to town with my old grandmother: she's sitting
there on the car without. I can't bring her into
the room-will you give her a glass of mead?
But you must speak very loud, for she can't
"Yes, that I'll do," said the host. And he
poured out a great glass of mead, and went out
with it to the dead grandmother, who had been
placed upright in the carriage.
"Here's a glass of mead from your son,"
quoth mine host. But the dead woman replied
not a word, but sat quite still. "Don't you
hear?" cried the host, as loud as he could;
"here is a glass of mead from your son!"
Once more he called out the same thing, but
as she persisted in not hearing him, he became
angry at last, and threw the glass in her face, so
that the mead ran down over her nose, and she
tumbled backwards into the car, for she had only
been put upright, and not bound fast.
"Hallo!" cried Little Claus, running out at
the door, and seizing the host by the breast;
"you've killed my grandmother now! See,
there's a big hole in her forehead."
"Oh, here's a misfortune!" cried the host,
wringing his hands. "That all comes of my
hot temper. Dear Little Claus, I'll give you a
bushel of money, and have your grandmother
buried as if she were my own; only keep quiet,
or I shall have my head cut off, and that would
be so very disagreeable!"
So Little Claus again received a whole bushel
of money, and the host buried the old grand-
mother as if she had been his own. And when
Little Claus came home with all his money, he
at once sent his boy to Great Claus to ask to
borrow a bushel measure.
"What's that?'" said Great Claus. Have I
not killed him? I must go myself and see to
this." And so he went over himself with the
bushel to Little Claus.
"Now, where did you get all that money
from?" he asked; and he opened his eyes wide
when he saw all that had been brought together.
"You killed my grandmother, and not me,"
replied Little Claus; and I've been and sold
her, and got a whole bushel of money for her."
"That's really being well paid," said Great
Claus; and he hastened home, took an ax, and
killed his own grandmother directly. Then he
put her on a carriage, and drove off to the town
with her, to where the apothecary lived, and
asked him if he would buy a dead person.
"Who is it, and where did you get him
from?" asked the apothecary.
"It's my grandmother," answered Great
Claus. "I've killed her to get a bushel of
money for her."
"Heaven save us!" cried the apothecary,
"you're raving! Don't say such things, or you
may lose your head." And he told him ear-
nestly what a bad deed this was that he had
done, and what a bad man he was, and that he
must be punished. And Great Claus was so
frightened that he jumped out of the surgery
straight into his carriage, and whipped the horses,
and drove home. But the apothecary and all
the people thought him mad, and so they let
him drive whither he would.
"You shall pay for this!" said Great Claus,
when he was out upon the high-road; "yes,
you shall pay me for this, Little Claus!" And
directly he got home he took the biggest sack
he could find, and went over to Little Claus, and
said, Now, you've tricked me again! First 1
killed my horses, and then my old grandmother!
That's all your fault; but you shall never trick
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
me any more." And he seized Little Claus
round the body, and thrust him into the sack,
and took him upon his back, and called out
to him, "Now I shall go off with you and
It was a long way that he had to travel before
he came to the river, and Little Claus was not
too light to carry. The road led him close to a
church: the organ was playing, and the people
were singing so beautifully! Then Great Claus
put down his sack, with Little Claus in it, close
to the church door, and thought it would be a
very good thing to go in and hear a psalm be-
fore he went farther; for Little Claus could not
get out, and all the people were in church; and
so he went in.
"Ah yes! yes!" sighed Little Claus in the
sack. And he turned and twisted, but he found
it impossible to loosen the cord. Then there
came by an old drover with snow-white hair,
and a great staff in his hand: he was driving a
whole herd of cows and oxen before him, and
they stumbled against the sack in which Little
Claus was confined, so that it was overthrown.
"Oh dear!" sighed Little Claus, "I'm so
young yet, and am to go to heaven directly!"
"And I, poor fellow," said the drover, "am
so old already, and can't get there yet."
Open the sack," cried Little Claus; creep
into it instead of me, and you will get to heaven
With all my heart," replied the drover; and
he untied the sack, out of which Little Claus
crept forth immediately.
But will you look after the cattle ?"
said the old man; and he crept
into the sack at once, whereupon
Little Claus tied it
up, and went his way
with all the cows -
out of the -^- ---- "-
church. He "HO
took the sack on his shoulders again, although
it seemed to him as if the sack had become
lighter; for the old drover was only half as
heavy as Little Claus.
"How light he is to carry now! Yes, that
is because I have heard a psalm."
So he went to the river, which was deep and
broad, threw the sack with the old drover in it
into the water, and called after him, thinking
that it was Little Claus, "You lie there! Now
you shan't trick me any more."
Then he went home; but when he came to a
place where there was a cross-road, he met Little
Claus driving all his beasts.
"What's this?" cried Great Claus. "Have
I not drowned you?"
"Yes," replied Little Claus, "you threw me
into the river less than half an hour ago."
"But wherever did you get all those fine
beasts from?" asked Great Claus.
These beasts are sea-cattle," replied Little
Claus. I'll tell you the whole story,-and
/ LIGHT HE IS TO CARRY NOW I"
THE PRINCESS ON THE PEA.
thank you for drowning me, for now I'm at
the top of the tree. I am really rich! How
frightened I was when I lay huddled in the sack,
and the wind whistled about my ears when you
threw me down from the bridge into the cold
water! I sank to the bottom immediately; but
I did not knock myself, for the most splendid
soft grass grows down there. Upon that I fell;
and immediately the sack was opened, and the
loveliest maiden, with snow-white garments and
a green wreath upon her wet hair, took me by
the hand, and said, 'Are you come, Little Claus ?
Here you have some cattle to begin with. A
mile farther along the road there is a whole herd
more for you.' And now I saw that the river
formed a gleat highway for the people of the
sea. Down in its bed they walked and drove
directly from the sea to where the river ends.
There it was full of flowers and of the freshest
grass; the fishes, which swam in the water, shot
past my ears, just as here the birds in the air.
What pretty people there were there, and what
fine cattle pasturing on mounds and in ditches!"
"But why did you come up again to us
directly ?" asked Great Claus. "I should not
have done that, if it is so beautiful down there."
Why," replied Little Claus, "in that I just
acted with good policy. You heard me tell you
that the sea-maiden said, 'A mile farther along
the road'-and by the road she meant the river,
for she can't go anywhere else-' there is a
whole herd of cattle for you.' But I know what
bends the stream makes-sometimes this way,
sometimes that; there's a long way to go round:
no, the thing can be managed in a shorter way
by coming -here to the land, and driving across
the fields towards the river again. In this man-
ner I save myself almost half a mile, and get all
the quicker to my sea-cattle!"
"Oh, you are a fortunate mani" said Great
Claus. Do you think I should get some sea-
cattle too if I went down to the bottom of the
Yes, I think so," replied Little Claus. But
I cannot carry you in the sack as far as the
river; you are too heavy for me! But if you
will go there, and creep into the sack yourself, I
will throw you in with a great deal of pleasure."
"Thanks!" said Great Claus; "but if I don't
get any sea-cattle when I am down there, I shall
beat you, you may be sure!"
Oh no; don't be so fierce!"
And so they went together to the river.
When the beasts, which were thirsty, saw the
stream, they ran as fast as they could to get at
"See how they hurry!" cried Little Claus.
"They are longing to get back to the bottom."
"Yes, but help me first!" said Great Claus
"or else you shall be beaten."
And so he crept into the great sack, which
had been laid across the back of one of the oxen.
Put a stone in, for I'm afraid I shan't sink
else," said Great Claus.
"That can be done," replied Little Claus;
and he put a big stone into the sack, tied the
rope tightly, and pushed against it. Plump !
There lay Great Claus in the river, and sank at
once to the bottom.
"I'm afraid he won't find the cattle!" said
Little Claus; and then he drove homeward with
what he had.
THE PRINCESS ON THE PEA.
THERE was once a Prince who wanted to
marry a princess; but she was to be a real prin-
cess. So he traveled about, all through the
world, to find a real one, but everywhere there
was something in the way. There were prin-
cesses enough, but whether they were real prin.
cesses he could not quite make out. there was
always something that did not seem quite right.
So he came home again, and was quite sad;
for he wished so much to have a real princess.
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
One evening a terrible storm came on. It
lightened and thundered, the rain streamed
down; it was quite fearful! Then there was a
knocking at the town gate, and the old King
went out to open it.
It was a Princess who stood outside the gate.
But, mercy! how she looked, from the rain and
the rough weather! The water ran down from
her hair and her clothes; it ran in at the points
of her shoes, and out at the heels; and yet she
declared that she was a real princess.
"Yes, we will soon find that out," thought
the old Queen. But she said nothing, only went
into the bed-chamber, took all the bedding off,
and put a pea on the flooring of the bedstead;
then she took twenty mattresses and laid them
upon the pea, and then twenty eider-down beds
upon the mattresses. On this the Princess had
to lie all night. In the morning she was asked
how she had slept.
Oh, miserably! said the Princess.
I scarcely closed my eyes all night
long. Goodness knows what was in
"IT WAS A PRINCESS WHO STOOD OUTSIDE THE GATE."
LITTLE IDA'S FLOWERS.
my bed. I lay upon something hard, so that I
am black and blue all over. It is really quite
Now they saw that she was a real princess, for
through the twenty mattresses and the twenty
eider-down beds she had felt the pea. No one
but a real princess could be so delicate. So the
Prince took her for his wife, for now he knew
that he had a true princess; and the pea was
put in the museum, and it is there now, unless
somebody has carried it off.
Look you, this is a true story.
LITTLE IDA'S FLOWERS.
MY poor flowers are quite dead!" said little
Ida. They were so pretty yesterday, and now
all the leaves hang withered. Why do they do
that?" she asked the student, who sat on the
sofa; for she liked him very much. He knew
the prettiest stories, and could cut out the most
amusing pictures-hearts, with little ladies in
them who danced, flowers, and great castles in
which one could open the doors: he was a
merry student. "Why do the flowers look so
faded to-day?" she asked again, and showed
him a nosegay, which was quite withered.
Do you know what's the matter with them? "
said the student. The flowers have been at a
ball last night, and that's why they hang their
But flowers cannot dance!" cried little Ida.
Oh yes," said the student, "when it grows
dark, and we are asleep, they jump about merrily.
Almost every night they have a ball."
Can children go to this ball? "
"Yes," said the student, "quite little daisies,
and lilies of the valley."
"Where do the beautiful flowers dance?"
asked little Ida.
Have you not often been outside the town-
gate, by the great castle, where the king lives
in summer, and where the beautiful garden is
with all the flowers ? You have seen the swans,
which swim up to you when you want to give
them bread crumbs? There are capital balls
there, believe me."
"I was out there in the garden yesterday,
with my mother," said Ida; "but all the leaves
were off the trees, and there was not one flower
left. Where are they? In the summer I saw
"They are within, in the castle," replied the
student. You must know, as soon as the king
and all the court go to town, the flowers run
out of the garden into the castle, and are merry.
You should see that. The two most beautiful
roses seat themselves on the throne, and then
they are king and queen; all the red coxcombs
range themselves on either side, and stand and
bow; they are the chamberlains. Then all the
pretty flowers come, and there is a great ball.
The blue violets represent little naval cadets:
they dance with hyacinths and crocuses, which
they call young ladies; the tulips and the great
tiger-lilies are old ladies who keep watch that
the dancing is well done, and that everything
goes on with propriety."
But," asked little Ida, is nobody there who
hurts the flowers, for dancing in the king's
castle ? "
There is nobody who really knows about it,"
answered the student. "Sometimes, certainly,
the old steward of the castle comes at night, and
he has to watch there. He has a great bunch of
keys with him; but as soon as the flowers hear
the keys rattle they are quite quiet, hide behind
the long curtains, and only poke their heads out.
Then the old steward says, 'I smell that there
are flowers here,' but he cannot see them."
"That is famous!" cried little Ida, clapping
her hands. "But should not I be able to see
"Yes," said the student; "only remember,
when you go out again, to peep through the
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
window; then you will see them. That is what
I did to-day. There was a long yellow lily lying
on the sofa and stretching herself. She was a
Can the flowers out of the Botanical Garden
get there? Can they go the long distance?"
"Yes, certainly," replied the student; "if
they like they can fly. Have you not seen the
beautiful butterflies, red, yellow, and white?
They almost look like flowers; and that is what
they have been. They have flown off their
stalks high into the air, and have beaten it with
their leaves, as if these leaves were little wings,
and thus they flew. And because they behaved
themselves well, they got leave to fly about in
the day-time too, and were not obliged to sit
still upon their stalks at home; and thus at last
the leaves became real wings. That you have
seen yourself. It may be, however, that the
flowers in the Botanical Garden have never been
in the king's castle, or that they don't know of
the merry proceedings there at night. There-
fore I will tell you something: he will be very
much surprised, the botanical professor, who
lives close by here. You know him, do you
not? When you come into his garden, you
must tell one of the flowers that there is a great
ball yonder in the castle. Then that flower will
tell it to all the rest, and then they will fly away:
when the professor comes out into the garden,
there will not be a single flower left, and he
won't be able to make out where they are gone."
But how can one flower tell it to another?
For, you know, flowers cannot speak."
"That they cannot, certainly," replied the
student; "but then they make signs. Have
you not noticed that when the wind blows a
little, the flowers nod at one another, and move
all their green leaves? They can understand
that just as well as we when we speak together."
Can the professor understand these signs? "
"Yes, certainly. He came one morning into
his garden, and saw a great stinging-nettle stand-
ing there, and making signs to a beautiful red
carnation with its leaves. It was saying, 'You
are so pretty, and I love you with all my heart.'
But the professor does not like that kind of
thing, and he directly slapped the stinging-
nettle upon its leaves, for those are its fingers;
but he stung himself, and since that time he has
not dared to touch a stinging-nettle."
"That is funny," cried little Ida; and she
"How can any one put such notions into a
child's head ? said the tiresome privy councilor,
who had come to pay a visit, and was sitting
on the sofa. He did not like the student, and
always grumbled when he saw him cutting out
the merry funny pictures-sometimes a man
hanging on a gibbet and holding a heart in his
hand, to show that he stole hearts; sometimes
an old witch riding on a broom, and carrying
her husband on her nose. The councilor could
not bear this, and then he said, just as he did
now, "How can any one put such notions into
a child's head? Those are stupid fancies!"
But to little Ida, what the student told about
her flowers seemed very droll; and she thought
much about it. The flowers hung their heads,
for they were tired because they had danced all
night; they were certainly ill. Then she went
with them to her other toys, which stood on a
pretty little table, and the whole drawer was
full of beautiful things. In the doll's bed lay
her doll Sophy, asleep; but little Ida said to
You must really get up, Sophy, and manage
to lie in the drawer for to-night. The poor
flowers are ill, and they must lie in your bed;
perhaps they will then get well again."
And she at once took the doll out; but the
doll looked cross, and did not say a single word;
for she was cross because she could not keep her
Then Ida laid the flowers in the doll's bed,
pulled the little coverlet quite up over them, and
said they were to lie still and be good, and she
would make them some tea, so that they might
get well again, and be able to get up to-morrow.
And she drew the curtains closely round the
little bed, so that the sun should not shine in
LITTLE IDA'S FLOWERS.
their eyes. The whole evening through she
could not help thinking of what the student had
told her. And when she was going to bed her-
self, she was obliged first to look behind the
curtain which hung before the windows where
her mother's beautiful flowers stood-hyacinths
as well as tulips; then she whispered, I know
you're going to the ball to-night!" But .the
flowers made as if they did not understand a
word, and did not stir a leaf; but still little Ida
knew what she knew.
When she was in bed she lay for a long time
thinking how pretty it must be to see the beauti-
ful flowers dancing out in the king's castle. I
wonder if my flowers have really been there?"
And then she fell asleep. In the night she
awoke again: she had dreamed of the flowers,
and of the student with whom the councilor
found fault. It was quite quiet in the bedroom
where Ida lay; the night-lamp burned on the
table, and father and mother were asleep.
"I wonder if my flowers are still lying in
Sophy's bed? she thought to herself. How
I should like to know it!" She raised herself a
little, and looked at the door, which stood ajar;
within lay the flowers and all her playthings.
She listened, and then it seemed to her as if
she heard some one playing on the piano in the
next room, but quite softly and prettily, as she
had never heard it before.
Now all the flowers are certainly dancing in
there!" thought she. Oh, how glad I should
be to see it!" But she dared not get up, for
she would have disturbed her father and mother.
If they would only come in!" thought she.
But the flowers did not come, and the music
continued to play beautifully; then she could
not bear it any longer, for it was too pretty; she
crept out of her little bed, and went quietly to
the door, and looked into the room. Oh, how
splendid it was, what she saw!
There was no night-lamp burning, but still it
was quite light: the moon shone through the
window into the middle of the floor; it was
almost like day. All the hyacinths and tulips
stood in two long rows in the room; there were
none at all left at the window. There stood the
empty flower-pots. On the floor all the flowers
were dancing very gracefully'round each other,
making perfect turns, and holding each other by
the long green leaves as they swung round,
But at the piano sat a great yellow lily, which
little Ida had certainly seen in summer, for she
remembered how the student had said, How
like that one is to Miss Lina." Then he had
been laughed at by all; but now it seemed really
to little Ida as if the long yellow flower looked
like the young lady; and it had just her man-
ners in playing-sometimes bending its long
yellow face to one side, sometimes to the other,
and nodding in tune to the charming music!
No one noticed little Ida. Then she saw a great
blue crocus hop into the middle of the table,
where the toys stood, and go to the doll's bed
and pull the curtains aside; there lay the sick
flowers, but they got up directly, and nodded
to the others, to say that they wanted to dance
too. The old chimney-sweep doll, whose under-
lip was broken off, stood up and bowed to the
pretty flowers: these did not look at all ill now;
they jumped down to the others, and were very
Then it seemed as if something fell down from
the table. Ida looked that way. It was the
birch rod which was jumping down! it seemed
almost as if it belonged to the flowers. At any
rate it was very neat; and a little wax doll, with
just such a broad hat on its head as the coun-
cilor wore, sat upon it. The birch rod hopped
about among the flowers on its three stilted legs,
and stamped quite loud, for it was dancing the
mazourka ; and the other flowers could not man-
age that dance, because they were too light,
and unable to stamp like that.
The wax doll on the birch rod all at once be-
came quite great and long, turned itself over the
paper flowers, and said, How can one put such
things in a child's head? those are stupid fan-
cies!" and then the wax doll was exactly like
the councilor with the broad hat, and looked
just as yellow and cross as he. But the paper
flowers hit him on his thin legs, and then he
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
"THE FLOWERS WERE DANCING VERY GRACEFULLY ROUND EACH OTHER." (f. 31.)
shrank up again, and became quite a little wax
doll. That was very amusing to see; and little
Ida could not restrain her laughter. The birch
rod went on dancing, and the councilor was
obliged to dance too; it was no use, he might
make himself great and long, or remain the little
yellow wax doll with the big black hat. Then
the other flowers put in a good word for him,
especially those who had lain in the doll's bed,
and then the birch rod gave over. At the same
moment there was a loud knocking at the drawer,
inside which Ida's doll, Sophy, lay with many
other toys. The chimney-sweep ran to the edge
of the table, lay flat down on his stomach, and
began to pull the drawer out a little. Then
Sophy raised herself, and looked round quite
There must be a ball here," said she; why
did nobody tell me?"
"Will you dance with me? asked the chim-
You are a nice sort of fellow to dance!" she
replied, and turned her back upon him.
Then she seated herself upon the drawer, and
thought that one of the flowers would come and
ask her; but not one of them came. Then she
coughed, Hem! hem! hem!" but for all that
not one came. The chimney-sweep now danced
all alone, and that was not at all so bad.
As none of the flowers seemed to notice
Sophy, she let herself fall down from the drawer
straight upon the floor, so that there was a great
noise. The flowers now all came running up,
to ask if she had not hurt herself; and they
were all very polite to her, especially the flowers
that had lain in her bed. But she had not hurt
herself at all; and Ida's flowers all thanked her
for the nice bed, and were kind to her, took her
into the middle of the room, where the moon
shone in, and danced with her; and all the other
flowers formed a circle round her. Now Sophy
was glad, and said they might keep her bed;
she did not at all mind lying in the drawer.
But the flowers said, We thank you heartily,
but in any case we cannot live long. To-mor-
row we shall be quite dead. But tell little Ida
she is to bury us out in the garden, where the
ranary lies; then we shall wake up again in
summer, and be far more beautiful."
"No, you must not die," said Sophy; and
she kissed the flowers.
Then the door opened, and a great number of
splendid flowers came dancing in. Ida could
not imagine whence they had come; these must
certainly all be flowers from the king's castle
yonder. First of all came two glorious roses,
and they had little gold crowns on; they were
a king and a queen. Then came the prettiest
stocks and carnations; and they bowed in all
directions. They had music with them. Great
poppies and peonies blew upon pea pods till
they were quite red in the face.- The blue hya-
cinths and the little white snowdrops rang just
as if they had been bells. That was wonderful
music! Then came many other flowers, and
danced all together; the blue violets and the
pink primroses, daisies and the lilies of the valley.
And all the flowers kissed one another. It was
beautiful to look at!
At last the flowers wished one another good-
night; then little Ida, too, crept to bed, where
she dreamed of all she had seen.
When she rose next morning, she went quickly
to the little table, to see if the little flowers were
still there. She drew aside the curtains of the
little bed; there were they all, but they were
quite faded, far more than yesterday. Sophy
was lying in the drawer where Ida had laid her;
she looked very sleepy.
Do you remember what you were to say to
me? asked little Ida.
But Sophy looked quite stupid, and did not
say a single word.
"You are not good at all!" said Ida. "And
yet they all danced with you."
Then she took a little paper box, on which
were painted beautiful birds, and opened it, and
laid the dead flowers in it.
"That shall be your pretty coffin," said she,
" and when my cousins come to visit me by and
by, they shall help me to bury you outside in the
garden, so that you may grow again in summer,
and become more beautiful than ever."
These cousins were two merry boys. Their
names were Gustave and Adolphe; their father
had given them two new crossbows, and they
had brought these with them to show to Ida.
She told them about the poor flowers which had
died, and as soon as they got leave they went
with her to bury them.
The two boys went first, with their crossbows
on their shoulders, and little Ida followed with
the dead flowers in the pretty box. Out in the
garden a little grave was dug. Ida first kissed
the flowers, and then laid them in the earth in
the box, and Adolphe and Gustave shot with
their crossbows over the grave, for they had
neither guns nor cannons.
THERE was once a woman who wished for a
very little child; but she did not know where
she should procure one. So she went to an old
witch, and said:
I do so very much wish for a little child!
can you not tell me where I can get one? "
"Oh! that could easily be managed," said
the witch. There you have a barleycorn: that
is not of the kind which grows in the country-
man's field, and which the chickens get to eat.
Put that into a flower-pot, and you shall see
what you shall see."
Thank you," said the woman; and she gave
the witch twelve shillings, for that is what it
Then she went home and planted the barley-
corn, and immediately there grew up a great
handsome flower, which looked like a tulip; but
the leaves were tightly closed, as though it were
still a bud.
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
That is a beautiful flower," said the woman;
and she kissed its yellow and red leaves. But
just as she kissed it the flower opened with a
pop. It was a real tulip, as one could now see;
but in the middle of the flower there sat upon
the green velvet stamens a little maiden, delicate
and graceful to behold. She was scarcely half
a thumb's length in height, and therefore she
was called Thumbelina.
A neat polished walnut-shell served Thum-
belina for a cradle, blue violet-leaves were her
mattresses, with a rose-leaf for a coverlet. There
she slept at night; but in the daytime she played
upon the table, where the woman had put a
plate with a wreath of flowers around it, whose
stalks stood in water; on the water swam a
great tulip-leaf, and on this the little maiden
could sit, and row from one side of the plate to
the other, with two white horse-hairs for oars.
That looked pretty indeed! She could also sing,
and, indeed, so delicately and sweetly, that the
like had never been heard.
Once as she lay at night in her pretty bed,
there came an old Toad creeping through the
window, in which one pane was broken. The
Toad was very ugly, big, and damp: it hopped
straight down upon the table, where Thumbelina
lay sleeping under the rose-leaf.
That would be a handsome wife for my son,"
said the Toad; and she took the walnut-shell in
which Thumbelina lay asleep, and hopped with
it through the window down into the garden.
There ran a great broad brook; but the mar-
gin was swampy and soft, and here the Toad
dwelt with her son. Ugh! he was ugly, and
looked just like his mother. Croak! croak!
brek-kek-kex!" that was all he could say when
he saw the graceful little maiden in the walnut-
Don't speak so loud, or she will awake," said
the old Toad. She might run away from us,
for she is as light as a bit of swan's-down. We
will put her out in the brook upon one of the
broad water-lily leaves. That will be just like
an island for her, she is so small and light. Then
she can't get away. while we put the state room
under the marsh in order, where you are to live
and keep house together."
Out in the brook there grew many water-lilies
with broad green leaves, which looked as if they
were floating on the water. The leaf which lay
farthest out was also the greatest of all, and to
that the old Toad swam out and laid the walnut-
shell upon it with Thumbelina. The little tiny
Thumbelina woke early in the morning, and
when she saw where she was, she began to cry
very bitterly; for there was water on every side
of the great green leaf, and she could not get
to land at all. The old Toad sat down in the
marsh, decking out her room with rushes and
yellow weed-it was to be made very pretty for
the new daughter-in-law; then she swam out,
with her ugly son, to the leaf on which Thum-
belina was. They wanted to take her pretty bed,
which was to be put in the bridal chamber be-
fore she went in there herself. The old Toad
bowed low before her in the water, and said:
Here is my son; he will be your husband,
and you will live splendidly together in the
Croak! croak! brek-kek-kex!" was all the
son could say.
Then they took the delicate little bed, and
swam away with it; but Thumbelina sat all alone
upon the green leaf and wept, for she did not
like to live at the nasty Toad's, and have her
ugly son for a husband. The little fishes swim-
ming in the water below had both seen the Toad,
and had also heard what she said; therefore
they stretched forth their heads, for they wanted
to see the little girl. As soon as they saw her
they considered her so pretty that they felt very
sorry she should have to go down to the ugly
Toad. No, that must never be! They as-
sembled together in the water around the green
stalk which held the leaf on which the little
maiden stood, and with their teeth they gnawed
away the stalled, and so the leaf swam down the
stream; and away went Thumbelina far away,
where the Toad could not get at her.
Thumbelina sailed by many cities, and the
little birds which sat in the bushes saw her, and
( A graceful little white butterfly always flut-
tered round her, and at last alighted on the leai
Thumbelina pleased him, and she was very glad
said, "What a lovely little girl!" The leaf of this, for now the Toad could not reach them;
swam away with her, farther and farther; so and it was so beautiful where she was floating
Thumbelina traveled out of the country. along-the sun shone upon the water, and the
STORIES FOR 7HE HOUSEHOLD.
water glistened like the most splendid gold.
She took her girdle and bound one end of it
round the butterfly, fastening the other end of
the ribbon to the leaf. The leaf now glided
onward much faster, and Thumbelina too, for
she stood upon the leaf.
There came a big Cockchafer flying up; and
he saw her, and immediately clasped his claws
round her slender waist, and flew with her up
into a tree. The green leaf went swimming
down the brook, and the butterfly with it; for
he was fastened to the leaf, and could not. get
away from it.
Mercy! how frightened poor little Thumbelina
was when the Cockchafer flew with her up into
the tree! But especially she was sorry for the
fne white butterfly whom she had bound fast
to the leaf, for, if he could not free himself from
it, he would be obliged to starve. The Cock-
chafer, however, did not trouble himself at all
about this. He seated himself with her upon
the biggest green leaf of the tree, gave her the
sweet part of the flowers to eat, and declared
that she was very pretty, though she did not in
the least resemble a cockchafer. Afterwards
came all the other cockchafers who lived in the
tree to pay a visit: they looked at Thumbelina,
"Why, she has not even more than two legs!
-that has a wretched appearance."
She has not any feelers!" cried another.
Her waist is quite slender-fie! she looks
like a human creature-how ugly she is!" said
all the lady cockchafers.
And yet Thumbelina was very pretty. Even
the Cockchafer who had carried her off saw
that; but when all the others declared she was
ugly, he believed it at last, and would not have
her at all-she might go whither she liked.
Then they flew down with her from the tree,
and set her upon a daisy, and she wept, because
she was so ugly that the cockchafers would have
nothing to say to her; and yet she was the
loveliest little being one could imagine, and as
sender and delicate as a rose-leaf.
The whole summer through poor Thumbelina
lived quite alone in the great wood. She wove
herself a bed out of blades of grass, and hung it
up under a shamrock, so that she was protected
from the rain; she plucked the honey out of the
flowers for food, and drank of the dew which
stood every morning upon the leaves. Thus
summer and autumn passed away; but now
came winter, the cold long winter. All the birds
who had sung so sweetly before her flew away;
trees and flowers shed their leaves; the great
shamrock under which she had lived shriveled
up, and there remained nothing of it but a yel-
low withered stalk; and she was dreadfully cold,
for her clothes were torn, and she herself was so
frail and delicate-poor little Thumbelina! she
was nearly frozen. It began to snow, and every
snow-flake that fell upon her was like a whole
shovelful thrown upon one of us, for we are
tall, and she was only an inch long. Then she
wrapped herself in a dry leaf, and that tore in the
middle, and would not warm her-she shivered
Close to the wood into which she had now
come lay a great corn-field, but the corn was
gone long ago; only the naked dry stubble
stood up out of the frozen ground. These were
just like a great forest for her to wander through;
and, oh! how she trembled with cold. Then
she arrived at the door of the Field Mouse.
This mouse had a little hole under the stubble.
There the Field Mouse lived, warm and com-
fortable, and had a whole roomful of corn-a
glorious kitchen and larder. Poor Thumbelina
stood at the door just like a poor beggar girl,
and begged for a little bit of a barleycorn, for
she had not had the smallest morsel to eat for
the last two days.
"You poor little creature," said the Field
Mouse-for after all she was a good old Field
Mouse-" come into my warm room and dine
As she was pleased with Thumbelina, she said,
" If you like you may stay with me through the
winter, but you must keep my room clean and
neat, and tell me little stories, for I am very
fond of those,"
And Thumbelina did as the kind old Field
Mouse bade her, and had a very good time of it.
Now we shall soon have a visitor," said the
Field Mouse. My neighbor is in the habit of
visiting me once a week. He is even better off
than I am, has great rooms, and a beautiful
black velvety fur. If you could only get him
for your husband you would be well provided
"THUMBELINA STOOD AT THE DOO0
for. You must tell him the prettiest stories you
But Thumbelina did not care about this; she
thought nothing of the neighbor, for he was a
Mole. He came and paid his visits in his black
velvet coat. The Field Mouse told how rich
and how learned he was, and how his house was
more than twenty times larger than hers; that
he had learning, but that he did not like the sun
and beautiful flowers, for he had never seen
Thumbelina had to sing, and she sang, Cock-
chafer, fly away," and When the parson goes
afield." Then the Mole fell in love with her,
because of her delicious voice; but he said noth-
ing, for he was a sedate man.
A short time before he had dug a long pas-
R JUST LIKE A POOR BEGGAR GIRL."
sage through the earth from his own house to
theirs; and Thumbelina and the Field Mouse
obtained leave to walk in this passage as much
as they wished. But he begged them not to be
afraid of the dead bird which was lying in the
passage. It was an entire bird, with wings and
a beak. It certainly must have died only a
short time before, and was now buried just where
the Mole had made his passage.
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
The Mole took a bit of decayed wood in his
mouth, and it glimmered like fire in the dark;
and then he went first and lighted them through
the long dark passage. When they came where
the dead bird lay, the Mole thrust up his broad
nose against the ceiling, so that a great hole was
made, through which the daylight could shine
down. In the middle of the floor lay a dead
Swallow, his beautiful wings pressed close against
his sides, and his head and feet drawn back under
his feathers: the poor bird had certainly died of
cold. Thumbelina was very sorry for this; she
was very fond of all the little birds, who had
sung and twittered so prettily before her through
the summer; but the Mole gave him a push
with his crooked legs, and said, Now he doesn't
pipe any more. It must be miserable to be
born a little bird. I'm thankful that none of
my children can be that: such a bird has noth-
ing but his 'tweet-tweet,' and has to starve in
"Yes, you may well say that, as a clever
man," observed the Field Mouse. Of what
use is all this 'tweet-tweet' to a bird when the
winter comes? He must starve and freeze.
But they say that's very aristocratic."
Thumbelina said nothing; but when the two
others turned their backs on the bird, she bent
down, put the feathers aside which covered his
head, and kissed him upon his closed eyes.
Perhaps it was he who sang so prettily be-
fore me in the summer," she thought. How
much pleasure he gave me, the dear beautiful
The Mole now closed up the hole through
which the daylight shone in, and accompanied
the ladies home. But at night Thumbelina could
not sleep at all; so she got up out of her bed,
and wove a large beautiful carpet of hay, and
carried it and spread it over the dead bird, and
laid the thin stamens of flowers, soft as cotton,
and which she had found in the Field Mouse's
room, at the bird's sides, so that he might lie
soft in the ground.
"Farewell, you pretty little bird!" said she.
"Farewell! and thanks to you for your beauti-
ful song in the summer, when all the trees were
green, and the sun shone down warmly upon
us." And then she laid the bird's head upon
her heart. But the bird was not dead; he was
only lying there torpid with cold; and now he
had been warmed, and came to life again.
In autumn all the swallows fly away to warm
countries; but if one happens to be belated, it
becomes so cold that it falls down as if dead,
and lies where it has fallen, and then the cold
snow covers it.
Thumbelina fairly trembled, she was so star-
tled; for the bird was large, very large, com-
pared with her, who was only an inch in height.
But she took courage, laid the cotton closer
round the poor bird, and brought a leaf that she
had used as her own coverlet, and laid it over
the bird's head.
The next night she crept out to him again-
and now he was alive, but quite weak; he could
only open his eyes for a moment, and look at
Thumbelina, who stood before him with a bit
of decayed wood in her hand, for she had not a
I thank you, you pretty little child," said the
sick Swallow; I have been famously warmed.
Soon I shall get my strength back again, and I
shall be able to fly about in the warm sunshine."
Oh," she said, "it is so cold without. It
snows and freezes. Stay in your warm bed, and
I will nurse you."
Then she brought the Swallow water in the
petal of a flower; and the Swallow drank, and
told her how he had torn one of his wings in a
thorn bush, and thus had not been able to fly
so fast as the other swallows, which had sped
away, far away, to the warm countries. So at
last he had fallen to the ground, but he could
remember nothing more, and did not know at
all how he had come where she had found him.
The whole winter the Swallow remained there,
and Thumbelina nursed and tended him heartily.
Neither the Field Mouse nor the Mole heard
anything about it, for they did not like the poor
Swallow. As soon as the spring came, and the
sun warmed the earth, the Swallow bade Thum-
"THE SWALLOW FLEW UP INTO THE AIR." (,'. 40.)
belina farewell, and she opened the hole which
the Mole had made in the ceiling. The sun
shone in upon them gloriously, and the swallow
asked if Thumbelina would go with him; she
could sit upon his back, and they would fly away
far into the green wood. But Thumbelina knew
that the old Field Mouse would be grieved if
she left her, so she said, No, I cannot!"
Farewell, farewell, you good, pretty girl!"
said the Swallow; and he flew out into the sun-
shine. Thumbelina looked after him, and the
tears came into her eyes, for she was heartily
and sincerely fond of the poor Swallow.
"Tweet-weet! tweet-weet!" sang the bird,
and flew into the green forest. Thumbelina felt
very sad. She did not get permission to go out
into the warm sunshine. The corn which was
sown in the field over the house of the Field
Mouse grew up high into the air; it was quite
a thick. wood for the poor girl, who was only an
inch in height.
"You are betrothed now, Thumbelina," said
the Field Mouse. "My neighbor has proposed
for you What great fortune for a poor child
like you! Now you must work at your outfit,
woolen and linen clothes both; for you must
lack nothing when you have become the Mole's
Thumbelina had to turn the spindle, and the
Mole hired four spiders to weave for her day
and night. Every evening'the Mole paid her a
visit; and he was always saying that when the
summer should draw to a close, the sun would
not shine nearly so hot, for that now it burned
the earth almost as hard as a stone. Yes, when
the summer should have gone, then he would
keep his wedding day with Thumbelina. But
she was not glad at all, for she did not like the
tiresome Mole. Every morning when the sun
rose, and every evening when it went down, she
crept out at the door; and when the wind blew
the corn ears apart, so that she could see the
blue sky, she thought how bright and beautiful
it was out here, and wished heartily to see her
dear Swallow again. But the Swallow did not
come back; he had doubtless flown far away, in
the fair green forest. When autumn came on,
Thumbelina had all her outfit ready
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
In four weeks you shall celebrate your wed-
ding." said the Field Mouse to her.
But Thumbelina wept, and declared she would
not have the tiresome Mole.
"Nonsense," said the Field Mouse; "don't
be obstinate, or I will bite you with my white
teeth. He is a very fine man whom you will
marry. The Queen herself has not such a black
velvet fur; and his kitchen and cellar are full.
Be thankful for your good fortune."
Now the wedding was to be held. The Mole
had already come to fetch Thumbelina; she was
to live with him, deep under the earth, and
never to come out into the warm sunshine, for
that he did not like. The poor little thing was
very sorrowful; she was now to say farewell to
the glorious sun, which, after all, she had been
allowed by the Field Mouse to see from the
threshold of the door.
"Farewell, thou bright sun!" she said, and
stretched out her arms towards it, and walked
a little way forth from the house of the Field
Mouse, for now the corn had been reaped, and
only the dry stubble stood in the fields. Fare-
well!" she repeated, twining her arms round
a little red flower which still bloomed there.
Greet the little Swallow from me, if you see
Tweet-weet! tweet-weet!" a voice suddenly
sounded over her head. She looked up; it was
the little Swallow, who was just flying by.
When he saw Thumbelina he was very glad;
and Thumbelina told him how loth she was to
have the ugly Mole for her husband, and that
she was to live deep under the earth, where the
sun never shone. And she could not refrain
"The cold winter is coming now," said the
Swallow; I am going to fly far away into the
warm countries. Will you come with me? You
can sit upon my back, then we shall fly from
the ugly Mole and his dark room-away, far
away, over the mountains, to the warm coun-
tries, where the sun shines warmer than here,
where it is always summer, and there are lovely
flowers. Only fly with me, you dear little
Thumbelina, you who have saved my life when
I lay frozen in the dark earthy passage."
"Yes, I will go with you!" said Thumbelina,
and she seated herself on the bird's back, with
her feet on his outspread wing, and bound her
girdle fast to one of his strongest feathers; then
the Swallow flew up into the air over forest and
over sea, high up over the great mountains,
where the snow always lies; and Thumbelina
felt cold in the bleak air, but then she hid under
the bird's warm feathers, and only put out her
little head to admire all the beauties beneath her.
At last they came to the warm countries.
There the sun shone far brighter than here; the
sky seemed twice as high; in ditches and on
the hedges grew the most beautiful blue and
green grapes; lemons and oranges hung in the
woods; the air was fragrant with myrtles and
balsams, and on the roads the loveliest children
ran about, playing with the gay butterflies. But
the Swallow flew still farther, and it became
more and more beautiful. Under the most
glorious green trees by the blue lake stood a
palace of dazzling white marble, from the olden
time. Vines clustered around the lofty pillars;
at the top were many swallows' nests, and in
one of these the Swallow lived who carried
"That is my house," said the Swallow; "but
it is not right that you should live there. It is
not yet properly arranged by a great deal, and
you will not be content with it. Select for your-
self one of the splendid flowers which grow
down yonder, then I will put you into it, and
you shall have everything as nice as you can
"That is capital," cried she, and clapped her
A great marble pillar lay there, which had
fallen to the ground and had been broken into
three pieces; but between these pieces grew the
most beautiful great white flowers. The Swal-
low flew down with Thumbelina, and set her
upon one of the broad leaves. But what was
the little maid's surprise? There sat a little
man in the midst of the flower, as white and
"THE SWALLOW FLEW DOWN WITH THUMBELINA, AND SET HER UPON ONE OF THE BROAD LEAVES."
transparent as if he had been made of glass: he
wore the neatest of gold crowns on his head,
and the brightest wings on his shoulders; he
himself was not bigger than Thumbelina. He
was the angel of the flower. In each of the
flowers dwelt such a little man or woman, but
this one was king over them all.
"Heavens! how beautiful he is!" whispered
Thumbelina to the Swallow.
The little prince was very much frightened at
the Swallow; for it was quite a gigantic bird
to him, who was so small. But when he saw
Thumbelina, he became very glad; she was the
prettiest maiden he had ever seen. Therefore
he took off his golden crown, and put it upon
her, asked her name, and if she would be his
wife, and then she should be queen of all the
flowers. Now this was truly a different kind of
man to the son of the Toad, ard the Mole with
the black velvet fur. She therefore said, Yes,"
to the charming prince. And out of every flower
came a lady or a lord, so pretty to behold that
it was a delight: each one brought Thumbelina
a present; but the best gift was a pair of beauti-
ful wings which had belonged to a great white
fly; these were fastened to Thumbelina's back,
and now she could fly from flower to flower.
Then there was much rejoicing; and the little
Swallow sat above them in his nest, and was to
sing the marriage song, which he accordingly
did as well as he could; but yet in his heart
he was sad, for he was so fond, oh! so fond
of Thumbelina, and would have liked never to
part from her.
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
"You shall not be called Thumbelina," said the
Flower Angel to her; that is an ugly name, and
you are too fair for it-we will call you Maia."
Farewell, farewell!" said the little Swallow,
with a heavy heart; and he flew away again
from the warm countries, far away back to Den-
mark. There he had a little nest over the win-
dow of the man who can tell fairy tales. Before
him he sang, "Tweet-weet! tweet-weet!" and
from him we have the whole story.
THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES.
MANY years ago there lived an Emperor, who
cared so enormously for new clothes that he
spent all his money upon them, that he might
be very fine. He did not care about his soldiers,
nor about the theater, and only liked to drive
out and show his new clothes. He had a coat
for every hour of the day; and just as they say
of a king, "He is in council," one always said
of him, "The Emperor is in the wardrobe."
In the great city in which he lived it was
always very merry; every day a number of
strangers arrived there. One day two cheats
came: they gave themselves out as weavers, and
declared that they could weave the finest stuff
any one could imagine. Not only were their
colors and patterns, they said, uncommonly beau-
tiful, but the clothes made of the stuff possessed
the wonderful quality that they became invisible
to any one who was unfit for the office he held,
or was incorrigibly stupid.
"Those would be capital clothes!" thought
the Emperor. "If I wore those, I should be
able to find out what men in my empire are not
fit for the places they have; I could distinguish
the clever from the stupid. Yes, the stuff must
be woven for me directly!"
And he gave the two cheats a great deal of
cash in hand, that they might begin their work
As for them, they put up two looms, and pre-
tended to be working; but they had nothing at
all on their looms. They at once demanded the
finest silk and the costliest gold; this they put
into their own pockets, and worked at the empty
looms till late into the night.
I should like to know how far they have got
on with the stuff," thought the Emperor. But
he felt quite uncomfortable when he thought that
those who were not fit for their offices could not
see it. He believed, indeed, that he had noth-
ing to fear for himself, but yet he preferred first
to send some one else to see how matters stood.
All the people in the whole city knew what
peculiar power the stuff possessed, and all were
anxious to see how bad or how stupid their
"I will send my honest old Minister to the
weavers," thought the Emperor. "He can judge
best how the stuff looks, for he has sense, and
no one understands his office better than he."
Now the good old Minister went out into the
hall where the two cheats sat working at the
Mercy preserve us!" thought the old Min-
ister, and he opened his eyes wide. I cannot
see anything at all!" But he did not say this.
Both the cheats begged him to be kind enough
to come nearer, and asked if he did not approve
of the colors and the pattern. Then they pointed
to the empty loom, and the poor old Minister
went on opening his eyes; but he could see
nothing, for there was nothing to see.
Mercy!". thought he, can I indeed be so
stupid? I never thought that, and not a soul
must know it. Am I not fit for my office?-
No, it will never do for me to tell that I could
not see the stuff."
"Do you say nothing to it?" said one of the
"Oh, it is charming,-quite enchanting!"
answered the old Minister, as he peered through
his spectacles. "What a fine pattern, and what
THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES.
colors! Yes, I shall tell the Emperor that I am
very much pleased with it."
"Well, we are glad of that," said both the
weavers; and then they named the colors, and
explained the strange pattern. The old Minister
listened attentively, that he might be able to
repeat it to the Emperor. And he did so.
Now the cheats asked for more money, and
more silk and gold, which they declared they
wanted for weaving. They put all into their
own pockets, and not a thread was put upon the
loom; but they continued to work at the empty
frames as before.
The Emperor soon sent again, dispatching
another honest statesman, to see how the weav-
ing was going on, and if the stuff would soon be
ready. He fared just like the first: he looked
and looked, but, as there was nothing to be seen
but the empty looms, he could see nothing.
Is not that a pretty piece of stuff?" asked
the two cheats; and they displayed and ex-
plained the handsome pattern which was not
there at all.
"I am not stupid!" thought the man,--"it
must be my good office, for which I am not fit.
It is funny enough, but I must not let it be
noticed." And so he praised the stuff which
he did not see, and expressed his pleasure at
the beautiful colors and the charming pattern.
"Yes, it is enchanting," he said to the Emperor.
All the people in the town were talking of
the gorgeous stuff. The Emperor wished to see
it himself while it was still upon the loom. With
a whole crowd of chosen men, among whom
were also the two honest statesmen who had
already been there, he went to the two cunning
cheats, who were now weaving with might and
main without fiber or thread.
"Is that not splendid?" said the two old
statesmen, who had already been there once.
" Does not your Majesty remark the pattern and
the colors? And then they pointed to the
empty loom, for they thought that the others
could see the stuff.
"What's this?" thought the Emperor. "I
can see nothing at all! That is terrible. Am
I stupid? Am I not fit to be Emperor? That
would be the most dreadful thing that could
happen to me.-Oh, it is very pretty!" he said
aloud. It has our exalted approbation." And
he nodded in a contented way, and gazed at
the empty loom, for he would not say that he
saw nothing. The whole suite whom he had
with him looked and looked, and saw nothing,
any more than the rest; but, like the Emperor,
they said, That is pretty!" and counseled him
to wear these splendid new clothes for the first
time at the great procession that was presently
to take place. It is splendid, tasteful, excel-
lent !" went from mouth to mouth. On all sides
there seemed to be general rejoicing, and the
Emperor gave the cheats the title of Imperial
The whole night before the morning on which
the procession was to take place the cheats were
up, and had lighted more than sixteen candles.
The people could see that they were hard at
work, completing the Emperor's new clothes.
They pretended to take the stuff from the loom;
they made cuts in the air with scissors; they
sewed with needles without thread; and at last
they said, Now'the clothes are ready!"
The Emperor came himself with his noblest
cavaliers; and the two cheats lifted up one arm
as if they were holding something, and said,
"See, here are the trousers! here is the coat!
here is the cloak!" and so on. "It is as light
as a spider's web: one would think one ha6
nothing on; but that is just the beauty of it."
"Yes," said all the cavaliers; but they could
not see anything, for nothing was there.
Does your Imperial Majesty please to con-
descend to undress?" said the cheats; "then
we will put you on the new clothes here in front
of the great mirror."
The Emperor took off his clothes, and the
cheats pretended to put on him each new gar-
ment as it was ready; and the Emperor turned
round and round before the mirror.
Oh, how well they look! how capitally they
fit!" said all. "What a pattern! what colors
That is a splendid dress!"
" 'OH, IT IS VERY PRETTY!' HE SAID ALOUD." (p. 43.)
"They are standing outside with the canopy
which is to be borne above your Majesty in the
procession!" announced the head master of the
"Well, I am ready," replied the Emperor.
"Does it not suit me well?" And then he
turned again to the mirror, for he wanted it to
appear as if he contemplated his adornment with
The chamberlains, who were to carry the train,
stooped down with their hands towards the floor,
just as if they were picking up the mantle; then
they pretended to be holding something up in
the air. They did not dare to let it be noticed
that they saw nothing.
So the Emperor went in procession under the
rich canopy, and every one in the streets said,
" How incomparable are the Emperor's new
clothes! what a train he has to his mantle! how
it fits him!" No one would let it be perceived
that he could see nothing, for that would have
shown that he was not fit for his office, or was
very stupid. No clothes of the Emperor's had
ever had such a success as these.
"But he has nothing on!" a little child cried
out at last.
"Just hear what that innocent says!" said
the father; and one whispered to another what
the child had said.
"But he has nothing on!" said the whole
people at length. That touched the Emperor,
for it seemed to him that they were right; but
he thought within himself, I must go through
with the procession." And the chamberlains
held on tighter than ever, and carried the train
which did not exist at all.
THE GARDEN OF PARADISE.
ONCE there was a King's son. No one had
so many beautiful books as he: everything that
had happened in this world he could read there,
and could see pictures of it all in lovely copper-
plates. Of every people and of every land he
could get intelligence; but there was not a word
to tell where the Garden of Paradise could be
found, and it was just that of which he thought
His grandmother had told him, when he was
quite little but was to begin to go to school,
that every flower in this Paradise Garden was
a delicate cake, and the pistils contained the
choicest wine; on one of the flowers history was
written, and on another geography or tables, so
that one had only to eat cake, and one knew a
lesson; and the more one ate, the more history,
geography, or tables did one learn.
At that time he believed this. But when he
became a bigger boy, and learned more and be-
came wiser, he understood well that the splendor
in the Garden of Paradise must be of quite a
Oh, why did Eve pluck from the Tree of
Knowledge? Why did Adam eat the forbidden
fruit? If I had been he it would never have
happened-then sin would never have come into
That he said then, and he still said it when
he was seventeen years old. The Garden of
Paradise filled all his thoughts.
One day he walked in the wood. He was
walking quite alone, for that was his greatest
pleasure. The evening came, and the clouds
gathered together; rain streamed down as if the
sky were one single river from which the water
was pouring; it was as dark as it usually is at
night in the deepest well. Often he slipped on
the smooth grass, often he fell over the smooth
stones which peered up out of the wet rocky
ground. Everything was soaked with water,
and there was not a dry thread on the poor
Prince. He was obliged to climb over great
blocks of stone, where the water spurted from
the thick moss. He was nearly fainting. Then
he heard a strange rushing, and saw before him
a great illuminated cave. In the midst of it
burned a fire, so large that a stag might have
been roasted at it. And this was in fact being
done. A glorious deer had been stuck, horns
and all, upon a spit, and was turning slowly
between two felled pine trunks. An elderly
woman, large and strongly built, looking like a
disguised man, sat by the fire, into which she
threw one piece of wood after another.
"Come nearer!" said she. "Sit down by
the fire and dry your clothes."
"There's a great draught here!" said the
Prince; and he sat down on the ground.
"That will be worse when my sons come
home," replied the woman. "You are here in
the Cavern of the Winds, and my sons are the
four winds of the world: can you understand
"Where are your sons ? asked the Prince.
It is difficult to answer when stupid questions
are asked," said the woman. My sons do
business on their own account. They play at
shuttlecock with the clouds up yonder in the
And she pointed upwards.
"Oh, indeed!" said the Prince. "But you
speak rather gruffly, by the way, and are not so
mild as the women I generally see about me."
Yes, they have most likely nothing else to
do! I must be hard, if I want to keep my
sons in order; but I can do it, though they are
obstinate fellows. Do you see the four sacks
hanging there by the wall? They are just as
frightened of those as you used to be of the rod
stuck behind the glass. I can bend the lads
together, I tell you, and then I pop them into
the bag: we don't make any ceremony. There
they sit, and may not wander about again until
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
I think fit to allow them. But here comes one
It was the North Wind, who rushed in with
piercing cold; great hailstones skipped about
on the floor, and snow-flakes fluttered about.
He was dressed in a jacket and trousers of bear-
skin; a cap of seal-skin was drawn down over
his ears; long icicles hung on his beard, and one
hailstone after another rolled from the collar of
"Do not go so near the fire directly," said
the Prince, "you might get your hands and face
"Frost-bitten?" repeated the North Wind,
and he laughed aloud. Cold is exactly what
rejoices me most! But what kind of little tailor
art thou ? How did you find your way into the
Cavern of the Winds?"
"He is my guest," interposed the old woman,
" and if you're not satisfied with this explana-
tion you may go into the sack: do you under-
You see, that was the right way; and now
the North Wind told whence he came and where
he had been for almost a month.
"I came from the Polar Sea," said he; "J
have been in the bear's icy land with the walrus
hunters. I sat and slept on the helm when they
went away from the North Cape, and when I
awoke now and then, the storm-bird flew round
my legs. That's a comical bird! He gives a
sharp clap with his wings, and then holds them
quite still and shoots along in full career."
Don't be too long-winded," said the mother
of the Winds. "And so you came to the Bear's
It is very beautiful there! There's a floor
for dancing on as flat as a plate. Half-thawed
snow, with a little moss, sharp stones, and skele-
tons of walruses and polar bears lay around, and
likewise gigantic arms and legs of a rusty green
color. One would have thought the sun had
never shone there. I blew a little upon the
mist. so that one could see the hut: it was a
house built of wreck-wood and covered with
walrus-skins-the fleshy side turned outwards.
It was full of green and red, and on the roof sat
a live polar bear who was growling. I went to
the shore to look after birds' nests, and saw the
unfledged nestlings screaming and opening their
beaks; then I blew down into their thousand
throats, and taught them to shut their mouths.
Farther on the huge walruses were splashing like
great maggots with pigs' heads and teeth an ell
"You tell your story well, my son," said the
old lady. "My mouth waters when I hear
"Then the hunting began! The harpoon
was hurled into the walrus's breast, so that a
smoking stream of blood spurted like a fountain
over the ice. When I thought of my sport, I
blew, and let my sailing ships, the big icebergs,
crush the boats between them. Oh, how the
people whistled and how they cried! but I
whistled louder than they. They were obliged
to throw the dead walruses and their chests and
tackle out upon the ice. I shook the snow-flakes
over them, and let them drive south in their
crushed boats with their booty to taste salt water.
They'll never come to Bear's Island again!"
"Then you have done a wicked thing!" said
the mother of the Winds.
"What good I have done others may tell,"
replied he. "But here comes a brother from
the west. I like him best of all: he tastes of
the sea and brings a delicious coolness with him."
Is that little Zephyr? asked the Prince.
"Yes, certainly, that is Zephyr," replied the
old woman. But he is not little. Years ago
he was a pretty boy, but that's past now."
He looked like a wild man, but he had a
broad-brimmed hat on, to save his face. In his
hand he held a club of mahogany, hewn in the
American mahogany forests. It was no trifle.
Where do you come from ? said his mother.
"Out of the forest wilderness," said he,
"where the water snake lies in the wet grass,
and people don't seem to be wanted."
"What were you doing there?"
I looked into the deepest river, and watched
how it rushed down from the rocks, and turned
THE GARDEN OF PARADISE.
to spray, and shot up towards the clouds to
carry the rainbow. I saw the wild buffalo swim-
ming in the stream, but the stream carried him
away. He drifted with the flock of wild ducks
that flew up where the water fell down in a cata-
ract. The buffalo had to go down it! That
pleased me, and I blew a storm, so that ancient
trees were split up into splinters!"
"And have you done nothing else?" asked
the old dame.
"I have thrown somersaults in the savannas:
I have stroked the wild horses and shaken the
cocoanut palms. Yes, yes, I have stories to
tell! But one must not tell all one knows. You
know that, old lady."
And he kissed his mother so roughly that she
almost tumbled over. He was a terribly wild
Now came the South Wind, with a turban on
and a flying Bedouin's cloak.
"It's terribly cold out here!" cried he, and
threw some more wood on the fire. One can
feel that the North Wind came first."
"It's so hot that one could roast a Polar bear
here," said the North Wind.
You're a Polar bear yourself," retorted the
"Do you want to be put in the sack?" asked
the old dame. Sit upon the stone yonder and
tell me where you have been."
"In Africa, mother," he answered. "I was
out hunting the lion with the Hottentots in the
land of the Kaffirs. Grass grows there in the
plains, green as an olive. There the ostrich ran
"IT WAS THE NORTH WIND, WHO RUSHED IN WITH PIERCING COLD."
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
races with me, but I am swifter than he. I
came into the desert where the yellow sand lies:
it looks there like the bottom of the sea. I met
a caravan. The people were killing their last
camel to get water to drink, but it was very little
they got. The sun burned above and the sand
below. The outspread deserts had no bounds.
Then I rolled in the fine loose sand, and whirled
it up in great pillars. That was a dance! You
should have seen how the dromedary stood there
terrified, and the merchant drew the caftan over
his head. He threw himself down before me,
as before Allah, his God. Now they are buried
-a pyramid of sand covers them all. When I
some day blow that away, the sun will bleach
the white bones; then travelers may see that
men have been there before them. Otherwise,
one would not believe that, in the desert!"
"So you have done nothing but evil!" ex-
claimed the mother. March into the sack!"
And before he was aware, she had seized the
South Wind round the body, and popped him
into the bag. He rolled about on the floor; but
she sat down on the sack, and then he had to
"Those are lively boys of yours," said the
"Yes," she replied, "and I know how to
punish them! Here comes the fourth!"
That was the East Wind, who came dressed
like a Chinaman.
Oh! do you come from that region?" said
his mother. "I thought you had been in the
Garden of Paradise."
"I don't fly there till to-morrow," said the
East Wind. "It will be a hundred years to-
morrow since I was there. I come from China
now, where I danced around the porcelain tower
till all the bells jingled again! In the streets
the officials were being thrashed: the bamboos
were broken upon their shoulders, yet they were
high people, from the first to the ninth grade.
They cried, 'Many thanks, my paternal bene-
factor!' but it didn't come from their hearts.
And I rang the bells and sang 'Tsing, tsang,
You are foolish," said the old dame. It is
a good thing that you are going into the Garden
of Paradise to-morrow: that always helps on
your education. Drink bravely out of the spring
of Wisdom, and bring home a bottleful for me."
That I will do," said the East Wind. But
why have you clapped my brother South in the
bag? Out with him! He shall tell me about
the Phoenix bird, for about that bird the Princess
in the Garden of Paradise always wants to hear,
when I pay my visit every hundredth year.
Open the sack, then you shall be my sweetest
of mothers, and I will give you two pocketfuls
of tea, green and fresh as I plucked it at the
place where it grew!"
"Well, for the sake of the tea, and because
you are my darling boy, I will open the sack."
She did so, and the South Wind crept out;
but he looked quite downcast, because the
strange Prince had seen his disgrace.
"There you have a palm-leaf for the Prin-
cess," said the South Wind. "This palm-leaf
was given me by the Phoenix bird, the only one
who is in the world. With his beak he has
scratched upon it a description of all the hundred
years he has lived. Now she may read herself
how the Phoenix bird set fire to her nest, and sat
upon it, and was burned to death like a Hindoo's
widow. How the dry branches crackled! What
a smoke and a steam there was! At last every-
thing burst into flame, and the old Phoenix turned
to ashes, but her egg lay red-hot in the fire; it
burst with a great bang, and the young one flew
out. Now this young one is ruler over all the
birds, and the only Phoenix in the world. It
has bitten a hole in the palm-leaf I have given
you: that is a greeting to the Princess."
"Let us have something to eat," said the
mother of the Winds.
And now they all sat down to eat of the
roasted deer. The Prince sat beside the East
Wind, and they soon became good friends.
"Just tell me," said the Prince, "what Prin-
cess is that about whom there is so much talk
here? and where does the Garden of Paradise
THE GARDEN OF PARADISE.
Ho, ho!" said the East Wind, do you want
to go there? Well, then, fly to-morrow with
me! But I must tell you, however, that no man
has been there since the time of Adam and Eve.
You have read of them in your Bible histories? "
Yes," said the Prince.
"When they were driven away, the Garden
of Paradise sank into the earth; but it kept its
warm sunshine, its mild air, and all its splendor.
The Queen of the Fairies lives there, and there
lies the Island of Happiness, where death never
comes, and where it is beautiful. Sit upon my
back to-morrow, and I will take you with me: I
think it can very well be done. But now leave
off talking, for I want to sleep."
And then they all went to rest.
In the early morning the Prince awoke, and
was not a little astonished to find himself high
above the clouds. He was sitting on the back
of the East Wind, who was faithfully holding
him: they were so high in the air, that the
woods and fields, rivers and lakes, looked as if
they were painted on a map below them.
"Good-morning!" said the East Wind. "You
might very well sleep a little longer, for there is
not much to be seen on the flat country under
us, unless you care to count the churches. They
stand like dots of chalk on the green carpet."
What he called green carpet was field and
"It was rude of me not to say good-by to
your mother and your brothers," said the Prince.
"When one is asleep one must be excused,"
replied the East Wind.
And then they flew on faster than ever. One
could hear it in the tops of the trees, for when
they passed over them the leaves and twigs
rustled; one could hear it on the sea and on the
lakes, for when they flew by the water rose
higher, and the great ships bowed themselves
towards the water like swimming swans.
Towards evening, when it became dark, the
great towns looked charming, for lights were
burning below, here and there; it was just as
when one has lighted a piece of paper, and sees
all the little sparks which vanish one after an-
other. And the Prince clapped his hands; but
the East Wind begged him to let that be, and
rather to hold fast, otherwise he might easily
fall down and get caught on a church spire.
The eagle in the dark woods flew lightly, but
the East Wind flew more lightly still. The
Cossack on his little horse skimmed swiftly over
the surface of the earth, but the Prince skimmed
more swiftly still.
Now you can see the Himalayas," said the
East Wind. "That is the highest mountain
range in Asia. Now we shall soon get to the
Garden of Paradise."
Then they turned more to the south, and soon
the air was fragrant with flowers and spices, figs
and pomegranates grew wild, and the wild vine
bore clusters of red and purple grapes. Here
both alighted and stretched themselves on the
soft grass, where the flowers nodded to the wind,
Ls though they would have said, "Welcome!"
"Are we now in the Garden of Paradise?"
asked the Prince.
Not at all," replied the East Wind. "But
we shall soon get there. Do you see the rocky
wall yonder, and the great cave, where the vines
cluster like a broad green curtain? Through
that we shall pass. Wrap yourself in your cloak.
Here the sun scorches you, but a step farther it
will be icy cold. The bird which hovers past
the cave has one wing in the region of summer
and the other in the wintry cold."
So this is the way to the Garden of Para-
dise? observed the Prince.
They went into the cave. Ugh! but it was
icy cold there, but this did not last long. The
East Wind spread out his wings, and they
gleamed like the brightest fire. What a cave
was that! Great blocks of stone, from which
the water dripped down, hung over them in the
strangest shapes; sometimes it was so narrow
that they had to creep on their hands and knees,
sometimes as lofty and broad as in the open air.
The place looked like a number of mortuary
chapels, with dumb organ-pipes, the organs them-
selves being petrified.
"We are going through the way of death to
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
the Garden of Paradise, are we not? inquired
The East Wind answered not a syllable, but
he pointed forward to where a lovely blue light
gleamed upon them. The stone blocks over
their heads became more and more like a mist,
and at last looked like a white cloud in the moon-
light. Now they were in a deliciously mild air,
fresh as on the hills, fragrant as among the roses
of the valley. There ran a river, clear as the air
itself, and the fishes were like silver and gold;
purple eels, flashing out blue sparks at every
moment, played in the water below; and the
broad water-plant leaves shone in the colors of
the rainbow; the flower itself was an orange-
colored burning flame, to which the water gave
nourishment, as the oil to the burning lamp a
bridge of marble, strong, indeed, but so lightly
built that it looked as if made of lace and glass
beads, led them across the water to the Island
of Happiness, where the Garden of Paradise
Were they palm trees that grew here, or
gigantic water-plants? Such verdant mighty
trees the Prince had never beheld; the most
wonderful climbing plants hung there in long
festoons, as one only sees them illuminated in
gold and colors on the margins of gold missal-
books or twined among the initial letters. Here
were the strangest groupings of birds, flowers,
and twining lines. Close by, in the grass, stood
a flock of peacocks with their shining starry
Yes, it was really so! But when the Prince
touched these, he found they were not birds,
but plants; they were great burdocks, which
shone like the peacock's gorgeous train. The
lion and the tiger sprang to and fro like agile
cats among the green bushes, which were fra-
grant as the blossom of the olive tree; and the
lion and the tiger were tame. The wild wood-
pigeon shone like the most beautiful pearl, and
beat her wings against the lion's mane; and the
antelope, usually so timid, stood by nodding its
hRa-d, as if it wished to play too.
Now came the Fairy of Paradise. Her garb
shone like the sun, and her countenance was
cheerful like that of a happy mother when she
is well pleased with her child. She was young
and beautiful, and was followed by a number of
pretty maidens, each with a gleaming star in her
hair. The East Wind gave her the written leaf
from the Phoenix bird, and her eyes shone with
She took the Prince by the hand and led him
into her palace, where the walls had the color of
a splendid tulip leaf when it is held up in the
sunlight. The ceiling was a great sparkling
flower, and the more one looked up at it, the
deeper did its cup appear. The Prince stepped
to the window and looked through one of the
panes. Here he saw the Tree of Knowledge,
with the serpent, and Adam and Eve were stand-
ing close by.
"Were they not driven out?" he asked.
And the Fairy smiled, and explained to him
that Time had burned in the picture upon that
pane, but not as people are accustomed to see
pictures. No,-there was life in it: the leaves of
the trees moved; men came and went as in a
dissolving view. And he looked through another
pane, and there was Jacob's dream, with the
ladder reaching up into heaven, and the angels
with great wings were ascending and descend-
ing. Yes, everything that had happened in the
world lived and moved in the glass panes; such
cunning pictures only Time could burn in.
The Fairy smiled, and led him into a great
lofty hall, whose walls appeared transparent.
Here were portraits, and each face looked fairer
than the last. There were to be seen millions
of happy ones who smiled and sang, so that it
flowed together into a melody; the uppermost
were so small that they looked like the smallest
rosebud, when it is drawn as a point upon paper.
And in the midst of the hall stood a great tree
with rich pendent boughs; golden apples, great
and small, hung like oranges among the leaves;
That was the Tree of Knowledge, of whose fruit
Adam and Eve had eaten. From each leaf fell
a shining red dew-drop; it was as though the
tree wept tears of blood.
THE GARDEN OF PARADISE.
"Let us now get into the boat," said the
Fairy, "then we will enjoy some refreshment
on the heaving waters. The boat rocks, yet
does not quit its station; but all the lands of the
earth will glide past in our sight."
And it was wonderful to behold how the
whole coast moved. There came the lofty snow-
covered Alps, with clouds and black pine trees;
the horn sounded with its melancholy note, and
the shepherd trolled his merry song in the valley.
Then the banana trees bent their long hanging
branches over the boat; coal-black swans swam
on the water, and the strangest animals and
flowers showed themselves upon the shore.
That was New Holland, the fifth great division
of the world, which glided past with a back-
ground of blue hills. They heard the song of
the priests, and saw the savages dancing to the
sound of drums and of bone trumpets. Egypt's
pyramids, towering aloft to the clouds, over-
turned .pillars and sphinxes, half buried in the
sand, sailed past likewise. The Northern Lights
shone over the extinct volcanoes of the Pole-it
was a firework that no one could imitate. The
Prince was quite happy, and he saw a hundred
times more than we can relate here.
"And can I always stay here? asked he.
"That depends upon yourself," answered the
Fairy. If you do not, like Adam, yield to the
temptation to do what is forbidden, you may
always remain here."
I shall not touch the apples on the Tree of
Knowledge !" said the Prince. Here are thou-
sands of fruits just as beautiful as those."
Search your own heart, and if you are not
strong enough, go away with the East Wind
that brought you hither. He is going to fly
back, and will not show himself here again for
a hundred years: the time will pass for you in
this place as if it were a hundred hours, but it is
a long time for the temptation of sin. Every
evening, when I leave you, I shall have to call
to you, 'Come with me!' and I shall have to
beckon to you with my hand; but stay where
you are: do not go with me, or your longing
will become greater with every step. You will
then come into the hali where the Tree of Knowl-
edge grows; I sleep under its fragrant pendent
boughs; you will bend over me, and I must
smile; but if you press a kiss upon my mouth,
the Paradise will sink deep into the earth and
be lost to you. The keen wind of the desert
will rush around you, the cold rain drop upon
your head, and sorrow and woe will be your
I shall stay here!" said the Prince.
And the East Wind kissed him on the fore-
head, and said:
"Be strong, and we shall meet here again in
a hundred years. Farewell! farewell!"
And the East Wind spread out his broad
wings, and they flashed like sheet lightning in
harvest-time, or like the Northern Light in the
"Farewell! farewell!" sounded from among
the flowers and the trees. Storks and pelicans
flew away in rows like fluttering ribbons, and
bore him company to the boundary of the gar-
"Now we will begin our dances!" cried the
Fairy. "At the end, when I dance with you,
when the sun goes down, you will see me beck-
on to you; you will hear me call to you, Come
with me;' but do not obey. For a hundred
years I must repeat this every evening; every
time, when the trial is past, you will gain more
strength.; at last, you will not think of it at all.
This evening is the first time. Now I have
And the Fairy led him into a great hall of
white transparent lilies; the yellow stamens in
each flower formed a little golden harp, which
sounded like stringed instrument and flute. The
most beautiful maidens, floating and slender,
clad in gauzy mist, glided by in the dance, and
sang of the happiness of living, and declared
that they would never die, and that the Garden
of Paradise would bloom forever.
And the sun went down. The whole sky
shone like gold, which gave to the lilies the hu<
of the most glorious roses; and the Prince drank
of the foaming wine which the maidens poured'
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
out for him, and felt a happiness he had never
before known. He saw how the background of
the hall opened, and the Tree of Knowledge
stood in a glory which blinded his eyes; the
singing there was soft and lovely as the voice of
his dear mother, and it was as though she sang,
"My child! my beloved child!"
Then the Fairy beckoned to him, and called
Come with me! come with me!"
And he rushed towards her, forgetting his
promise, forgetting it the very first evening; and
Still she beckoned and smiled. The fragrance,
the delicious fragrance around became stronger,
the harps sounded far more lovely, and it seemed
Sas though the millions of smiling heads in the
hall, where the tree grew, nodded and sang,
"One must know everything-man is the lord
of the earth." And they were no longer drops
of blood that the Tree of Knowledge wept; they
were red shining stars which he seemed to see.
Come! come!" the quivering voice still
cried, and at every step the Prince's cheeks
burned more hotly and his blood flowed more
I must!" said he. It is no sin, it cannot
be one. Why not follow beauty and joy? I
only want to see her asleep; there will be noth-
ing lost if I only refrain from kissing her; and
I will not kiss her: I am strong and have a
And the Fairy threw off her shining cloak and
bent back the branches, and in another moment
she was hidden among them.
"I have not yet sinned," said the Prince,
"and I will not."
And he pushed the boughs aside. There she
slept already, beautiful as only a fairy in the
Garden of Paradise can be. She smiled in her
dreams, and he bent over her, and saw tears
quivering beneath her eyelids!
"Do you weep for me?" he whispered.
"Weep not, thou glorious woman! Now only
I understand the bliss of Paradise! It streams
through my blood, through my thoughts; the
power of the angel and of increasing life I feel
"HE KISSED THE TEARS FROM HER EYES."
THE LOVELIEST ROSE IN THE WORLD.
in my mortal body! Let what will happen to me
now; one moment like this is wealth enough!"
And he kissed the tears from her eyes-his
mouth touched hers.
Then there resounded a clap of thunder so
loud and dreadful that no one had ever heard
the like, and everything fell down; and the
beautiful Fairy and the charming Paradise sank
down, deeper and deeper. The Prince saw it
vanish into the black night; like a little bright
star it gleamed out of the far distance. A deadly
chill ran through his frame, and he closed his
eyes and lay for a long time as one dead.
The cold rain fell upon his face, the keen wind
roared round his head, and then his senses re-
turned to him.
"What have I done?" he sighed. "I have
sinned like Adam-sinned so that Paradise has
sunk deep down!"
And he opened his eyes, and the star in the
distance-the star that gleamed like the Paradise
that had sunk down, was the morning star in
the sky. He stood up, and found himself in the
great forest, close by the Cave of the Winds,
and the mother of the Winds sat by his side:
she looked angry, and raised her arm in the air.
"The very first evening!" said she. "I
thought it would be so! Yes, if you were my
son, you would have to go into the sack!"
Yes, he shall go in there!" said Death. He
was a strong old man, with a scythe in his hand,
and with great black wings. "Yes, he shall be
laid in his coffin, but not yet: I only register
him, and let him wander awhile in the world to
expiate his sins and to grow better. But one
day I shall come. When he least expects it, I
shall clap him in the black coffin, put him on
my head, and fly up towards the star. There,
too, blooms the garden of Paradise; and if he is
good and pious he will go in there; but if his
thoughts are evil, and his heart still full of sin,
he will sink with his coffin deeper than Paradise
has sunk, and only every thousandth year I shall
fetch him, that he may sink deeper, or that he
may attain to the star-the shining star up
THE LOVELIEST ROSE IN THE WORLD.
ONCE there reigned a Queen, in whose gar-
den were found the most glorious flowers at all
seasons and from all the lands in the world; but
especially she loved roses, and therefore she
possessed the most various kinds of this flower,
from the wild dog-rose, with the apple-scented
green leaves, to the most splendid Provence rose.
They grew against the earth walls, wound them-
selves round pillars and window-frames, into the
passages, and all along the ceiling in all the halls.
And the roses were various in fragrance, form,
But care and sorrow dwelt in these halls: the
Queen lay upon a sick-bed, and the doctors
declared that she must die.
"There is still one thing that can serve her,"
said the wisest of them. Bring her the love-
liest rose in the world, the one which is the ex-
pression of the brightest and purest love; for if
that is brought before her eyes ere they close,
she will not die."
And young and old came from every side
with roses, the loveliest that bloomed in each
garden; but they were not the right sort. The
flower was to be brought out of the garden of
Love; but what rose was it there that expressed
the highest and purest love?
And the poets sang of the loveliest rose in
the world, and each one named his own; and
intelligence was sent far round the land to every
heart that beat with love, to every class and
condition, and to every age.
'MOTHER CRIED THE LITTLE BOY,
No one has till now named the flower," said
the wise man. "No one has pointed out the
place where it bloomed in its splendor. They
are not the roses from the coffin of Romeo and
Juliet, or from the Walburg's grave, though
these roses will be ever fragrant in song. They
are not the roses that sprouted forth from Wink-
elried's blood-stained lances, from the blood that
flows in a sacred cause from the breast of the
hero who dies for his country; though no death
is sweeter than this, and no rose redder than the
blood that flows then. Nor is it that wondrous
flower, to cherish which man devotes, in a quiet
chamber, many a sleepless night, and much of
his fresh life-the magic flower of science."
"I know where it blooms," said a happy
mother, who came with her pretty child to the
bedside of the Queen. I know where the love-
liest rose of the world is found! The rose that
is the expression of the highest and purest love
springs from the blooming cheeks of my sweet
'ONLY HEAR WHAT I HAVE READ.'
child when, strengthened by sleep, it opens its
eyes and smiles at me with all its affection!"
"Lovely is this rose; but there is still a love-
lier," said the wise man.
"Yes, a far lovelier one,", said one of the
women. "I have seen it, and a loftier, purer
rose does not bloom. I saw it on the cheeks of
the Queen. She had taken off her golden crown,
and in the long dreary night she was carrying
her sick child in her arms: she wept, kissed it,
and prayed for her child as a mother prays in
the hour of her anguish."
Holy and wonderful in its might is the white
rose of grief; but it is not the one we seek."
"No, the loveliest rose of the world I saw at
the altar of the Lord," said the good old Bishop.
" I saw it shine as if an angel's face had appeared.
The young maidens went to the Lord's Table,
and renewed the promise made at their baptism,
and roses were blushing, and pale roses shining
on their fresh cheeks. A young girl stood there:
she looked with all the purity and love of her
young spirit up to heaven: that was the expres-
sion of the highest and the purest love."
"May she be blessed!" said the wise man;
"but not one of you has yet named to me the
loveliest rose of the world."
Then there came into the room a child, the
Queen's little son. Tears stood in his eyes and
glistened on his cheeks: he carried a great open
book, and the binding was of velvet, with great
"Mother!" cried the little boy, "only hear
what I have read." And the child sat by the
bedside, and read from the book of Him who
suffered death on the Cross to save men, and
even those who were not yet born.
"Greater love there is not- "
And a roseate hue spread over the cheeks of
the Queen, and her eyes gleamed, for she saw
that from the leaves of the book there bloomed
the loveliest rose, that sprang from the blood of
CHRIST shed on the Cross.
"I see it!" she said: "he who beholds this,
the loveliest rose on earth, shall never die."
IN Denmark there lies a castle named Kron-
enburg. It lies close by the Oer Sound, where
the ships pass through by hundreds every day
-English, Russian, and likewise Prussian ships.
And they salute the old castle with cannons-
'Boom!' And the castle answers with a'Boom!'
for that's what the cannons say instead of Good-
day' and 'Thank you!' In winter no ships sail
there, for the whole sea is covered with ice quite
across to the Swedish coast; but it has quite
the look of a high-road. There wave the Danish
flag and the Swedish flag, and Danes and Swedes
say 'Good-day' and 'Thank you!' to each
other, not with cannons, but with a friendly
grasp of the hand; and one gets white bread
and biscuits from the other-for strange fare
tastes best. But the most beautiful of all is the
old Kronenburg; and here it is that Holger
Danske sits in the deep dark cellar, where no-
body goes. He is clad in iron and steel, and
leans his head on his strong arm; his long beard
hangs down over the marble table, and has
grown into it. He sleeps and dreams, but in
his dreams he sees everything that happens up
here in Denmark. Every Christmas-eve comes
an angel, and tells him that what he has dreamed
is right, and that he may go to sleep in quiet,
for that Denmark is not yet in any real danger;
but when once such a danger comes, then old
Holger Danske will rouse himself, so that the
table shall burst when he draws out his beard!
Then he will come forth and strike, so that it
shall be heard in all the countries in the world."
An old grandfather sat and told his little
grandson all this about Holger Danske; and the
little boy knew that what his grandfather told
him was true. And while the old man sat and
told his story, he carved an image which was to
represent Holger Danske, and to be fastened to
the prow of a ship; for the old grandfather was
a carver of figure-heads, that is, one who cuts
out the figures fastened to the front of ships, and
from which every ship is named. And here he
had cut out Holger Danske, who stood there
proudly with his long beard, and held the broad
battle-sword in one hand, while with the other
he leaned upon the Danish arms.
And the old grandfather told so much about
distinguished men and women that it appeared
at last to the little grandson as if he knew as
much as Holger Danske himself, who, after all,
could only dream; and when the little fellow
was in his bed, he thought so much of it, that
he actually pressed his chin against the coverlet,
and fancied he had a long beard that had grown
fast to it.
But the old grandfather remained sitting at
his work, and carved away at the last part of it;
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
and this was the
Danish coat of
arms. When he
had done, he
looked at the
thought of all he
had read and
heard, and that
he had told this
evening to the
little boy; and
he nodded, and
wiped his spec-
tacles, and put
them on again,
"Yes, in my
Danske will prob-----
ably not come;
but the boy in
the bed yonder
may get to see him, and be
there when the push really
And the old grandfather nodded again: and
the more he looked at Holger Danske the more
plain did it become to him that it was a good
image he had carved. It seemed really to gain
color, and the armor appeared to gleam like iron
and steel; the hearts in the Danish arms became
redder and redder, and the lions with the golden
crowns on their heads leaped up.*
"That's the most beautiful coat of arms there
is in the world!" said the old man. "The lions
are strength, and the heart is gentleness and
And he looked at the uppermost lion, and
thought of King Canute, who bound great Eng-
land to the throne of Denmark; and he looked
at the second lion, and thought of Waldemar,
who united Denmark and conquered the Wendish
lands; and he glanced at the third lion, and
remembered Margaret, who united Denmark,
The Danish arms consist of three lions between nine hearts.
"EVERY CHRISTMAS-EVE COMES AN ANGEL." (P. 55.)
Sweden, and Norway. But while he looked at
the red hearts, they gleamed more brightly than
before; they became flames, and his heart fol-
lowed each of them.
The first heart led him into a dark narrow
prison: there sat a prisoner, a beautiful woman,
the daughter of King Christian IV., Eleanor
Ulfeld;t and the flame, which was shaped like a
$ This highly gifted Princess was the wife of Corfitz Ulfeld,
who was accused of high treason. Her only crime was the
most faithful love to her unhappy consort; but she was com-
pelled to pass twenty-two years in a horrible dungeon, until
her persecutor, Queen Sophia Amelia, was dead.
rose, attached itself to her bosom and blossomed,
so that it became one with the heart of her, the
noblest and best of all Danish women.
And his spirit followed the second flame,
which led him out upon the sea, where the can-
nons thundered and the ships lay shrouded in
smoke; and the flame fastened itself in the shape
of a ribbon of honor on the breast of Hvitfeld,
as he blew himself and his ship into the air, that
he might save the fleet.*
And the third flame led him to the wretched
huts of Greenland, where the preacher Hans
Egede t wrought, with love in every word and
deed: the flame was a star on his breast, another
heart in the Danish arms.
And the spirit of the old grandfather flew on
before the waving flames, for his spirit knew
whither the flames desired to go. In the humble
room of the peasant woman stood Frederick VI.,
writing his name with chalk on the beam.T The
flame trembled on his breast, and trembled in
his heart; in the peasant's lowly room his heart
too became a heart in the Danish arms. And
the old grandfather dried his eyes, for he had
known King Frederick with the silvery locks
and the honest blue eyes, and had lived for him:
he folded his hands, and looked in silence straight
before him. Then came the daughter-in-law
of the old grandfather, and said it was late, he
ought now to rest; and the supper table was
"But it is beautiful, what you have done,
In the naval battle in Kjoge Bay between the Danes and
the Swedes, in 171o, Hvitfeld's ship, the Danebrog, took fire.
To save the town of Kjoge, and the Danish fleet which was
being driven by the wind towards his vessel, he blew himself
and his whole crew into the air.
t Hans Egede went to Greenland in 1721, and toiled there
during fifteen years among incredible hardships and privations.
Not only did he spread Christianity, but exhibited in himself a
remarkable example of a Christian man.
t On a journey on the west coast of Jutland, the King visited
an old woman. When he had already quitted her house, the
woman ran after him, and begged him, as a remembrance, to
write his name upon a beam; the King turned back, and com-
plied. During his whole lifetime he felt and worked for the
peasant class; therefore the Danish peasants begged to be
allowed to carry his coffin to the royal vault at Roeskilde, four
Danish miles from Copenhagen.
grandfather!" said she. Holger Danske, and
all our old coat of arms! It seems to me just
as if I had seen that face before!"
"No, that can scarcely be," replied the old
grandfather; "but I have seen it, and I have
tried to carve it in wood as I have kept it in
my memory. It was when the English lay in
front of the wharf, on the Danish 2d of April,
when we showed that we were old Danes. In
the Denmark, on board which I was, in Steen
Bille's squadron, I had a man at my side-it
seemed as if the bullets were afraid of him!
Merrily he sang old songs, and shot and fought
as if he were something more than a man. I
remember his face yet; but whence he came, and
whither he went, I know not-nobody knows.
I have often thought he might have been old
Holger Danske himself, who had swum down
from the Kronenburg, and aided us in the hour
of danger: that was my idea, and there stands
And the statue threw its great shadow up
against the wall, and even over part of the ceil-
ing; it looked as though the real Holger Danske
were standing behind it, for the shadow moved;
but this might have been because the flame of the
candle did not burn steadily. And the daughter-
in-law kissed the old grandfather, and led him
to the great arm-chair by the table; and she
and her husband, who was the son of the old
man, and father of the little boy in the bed, sat
and ate their supper; and the grandfather spoke
of the Danish lions and of the Danish hearts, of
strength and of gentleness; and quite clearly
did he explain that there was another strength
besides the power that lies in the sword; and
he pointed to the shelf on which were the old
books, where stood the plays of Holberg, which
had been read so often, for they were very amus-
ing; one could almost fancy one recognized the
people of bygone days in them.
"See, he knew how to strike too," said the
grandfather: "he scourged the foolishness and
On the 2d of April, 18o1, occurred the sanguinary naval
battle between the Danes and the English, under Sir Hyde
Parker and Nelson.
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
prejudice of the people so long as he could "-
and the grandfather nodded at the mirror, above
which stood the calendar, with the Round
Tower" on it, and said, Tycho Brahe was also
one who used the sword, not to cut into flesh
and bone, but to build up a plainer way among
all the stars of heaven. And then he whose father
belonged to my calling, the son of the old figure-
head carver, he whom we have ourselves seen
with his silver hairs and his broad shoulders, he
whose name is spoken of in all 'lands! Yes, he
was a sculptor; Iam only a carver. Yes, Holger
Danske may come in many forms, so that one
hears in every country in the world of Denmark's
strength. Shall we now drink the health of
But the little lad in the bed saw plainly the
old Kronenburg with the Oer Sound, the real
Holger Danske; who sat deep below, with his
beard grown through the marble table, dream-
ing of all that happens up here. Holger Danske
also dreamed of the little humble room where
the carver sat; he heard all that passed, and
nodded in his sleep, and said:
"Yes, remember me, ye Danish folk; re-
member me. I shall not fail to come in the hour
And without by the Kronenburg shone the
bright day, and the wind carried the notes of the
hunting-horn over from the neighboring land;
the ships sailed past, and saluted-" Boom!
boom!" and from the Kronenburg came the
reply, "Boom! boom!" But Holger Danske
did not awake, however loudly they shot, for
it was only "Good-day" and "Thank you!"
There must be another kind of shooting before
he awakes; but he will awake, for there is faith
in Holger Danske.
"IT'S QUITE TRUE"
"THAT is a terrible affair!" said a 'en; and
she said it in a quarter of the town where the
occurrence had not happened. "That is a ter-
rible affair in the poultry-house. I cannot sleep
alone to-night! It is quite fortunate that there
are many of us on the roost together!" And
she told a tale, at which the feathers of the other
birds stood on end, and the cock's comb fell
down flat. It's quite true!
But we will begin at the beginning; and the
beginning begins in a poultry-house in another
part of the town. The sun went down, and the
fowls jumped up on their perch to roost. There
was a hen, with white feathers and short legs,
who laid her right number of eggs, and was a
respectable hen in every way; as she flew up
on to the roost she pecked herself with her beak,
and a little feather fell out.
"There it goes!" said she; "the more I peck
myself the handsomer I grow!" And she said
it quite merrily, for she was a joker among the
hens, though, as I have said, she was very re-
spectable; and then she went to sleep.
It was dark all around; hen sat by hen, but
the one that sat next to the merry hen did not
sleep: she heard and she didn't hear, as one
should do in this world if one wishes to live in
quiet; but she could not refrain from telling it
to her next neighbor.
." Did you hear what was said here just now?
I name no names; but here is a hen who wants
to peck her feathers out to look well. If I were
a cock I should despise her."
And just above the hens sat the owl, with
her husband and her little owlets; the family
had sharp ears, and they all heard every word
that the neighboring hen had spoken, and they
rolled their eyes, and the mother-owl clapped
her wings and said:
Don't listen to it! But I suppose you heard
what was said there? I heard it with my own
ears, and one must hear much before one's ears
* The astronomical observatory at Copenhagen,
t Bertel Thorwaldsen.
"IT'S QUITE TRUE!"
iah off. There is one among the fowls who has
so completely forgotten what is becoming con-
duct in a hen that she pulls out all her feathers,
and then lets the cock see her."
"Prenez garde aux enfants," said the father-
owl. "That's not fit for the children to hear."
"I'll tell it to the neighbor owl; she's a very
proper owl to associate with." And she flew
Hoo! hoo! to-whoo!" they both screeched
in front of the neighbor's dovecot to the doves
within. Have you heard it? Have you heard
it? Hoo! hoo! there's a hen who has pulled
out all her feathers for the sake of the cock.
She'll die with cold, if she's not dead already."
"Coo! coo! Where, where?" cried the
"In the neighbor's poultry-yard. I've as
good as seen it myself. It's hardly proper to
repeat the story, but it's quite true!"
Believe it! believe every single word of it!"
cooed the pigeons, and they cooed down into
their own poultry-yard. "There's a hen, and
some say that there are two of them that have
plucked out all their feathers, that they may not
look like the rest, and that they may attract the
cock's attention. That's a bold game, for one
may catch cold and die of a fever, and they are
"Wake up! wake up!" crowed the cock,
and he flew up on to the plank; his eyes were
still very heavy with sleep, but yet he crowed.
" Three hens have died of an unfortunate attach-
ment to a cock. They have plucked out all
their feathers. That's a terrible story. I won't
keep it to myself; let it travel farther."
Let it travel farther!" piped the bats; and
the fowls clucked and the cocks crowed, "Let
it go farther! let it go farther!" And so the
story traveled from poultry-yard to poultry.
yard, and at last came back to the place from
which it had gone forth.
"Five fowls," it was told, have plucked out
all their feathers to show which of them had be-
come thinnest out of love to the cock; and then
they have pecked each other, and fallen down
dead, to the shame and disgrace of their families,
and to the great loss of the proprietor."
And the hen who had lost the little loose
feather, of course did not know her own story
again; and as she was a very respectable hen, she
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
"I despise those fowls; but there are many
of that sort. One ought not to hush up such a
thing, and I shall do what I can that the story
may get into the papers, and then it will be
spread over all the country, and that will serve
those fowls right-and their families too, they
deserve no sympathy."
It was put into the newspaper; it was printed;
and it's quite true-that one little feather may
swell till it becomes five fowls.
THE FLYING TRUNK.
THERE was once a merchant, who was so rich
that he could pave the whole street with gold,
and almost have enough left for a little lane.
But he did not do that; he knew how to em-
ploy his money differently. When he spent a
shilling he got back a crown, such a clever mer-
chant was he; and this continued till he died.
His son now got all this money; and he lived
merrily, going to the masquerade every evening,
making kites out of dollar notes, and playing at
ducks and drakes on the seacoast with gold
pieces instead of pebbles. In this way the
money might soon be spent, and indeed it was
so. At last he had no more than four shillings
left, and no clothes to wear but a pair of slippers
and an old dressing-gown. Now his friends did
not trouble themselves any more about him, as
they could not walk with him in the street, but
one of them, who was good-natured, sent him an
old trunk, with the remark, Pack up!" Yes,
that was all very well, but he had nothing to
pack, therefore he seated himself in the trunk.
That was a wonderful trunk. As soon as any
one pressed the lock, the trunk could fly. He
pressed it, and, whirr! away flew the trunk
with him through the chimney and over the
clouds, farther and farther away. But as often
as the bottom of the trunk cracked a little he
was in great fear lest it might go to pieces, and
then he would have flung a fine somersault! In
that way he came to the land of the Turks. He
hid the trunk in a wood under some dry leaves,
and then went into the town. He could do that
very well, for among the Turks all the people
went dressed like himself in dressing-gown and
slippers. Then he met a nurse with a little child.
Here, you Turkish nurse," he began, "what
kind of a great castle is that close by the town,
in which the windows are so high up? "
"There dwells the Sultan's daughter," replied
she. "It is prophesied that she will be very
unhappy respecting a lover; and therefore no-
body may go to her, unless the Sultan and Sul-
tana are there too."
"Thank you!" said the merchant's son; and
he went out into the forest, seated himself in
his trunk, flew on the roof, and crept through
the window into the Princess's room.
She was lying asleep on the sofa, and she was
so beautiful that the merchant's son was com-
pelled to kiss her. Then she awoke, and was
very much startled; but he said he was a Turk-
ish angel who had come down to her through
the air, and that pleased her.
They sat down side by side, and he told her
stories about her eyes; he told her they were
the most glorious dark lakes, and that thoughts
were swimming about in them like mermaids.
And he told her about her forehead; that it
was a snowy mountain with the most splendid
halls and pictures. And he told her about the
stork who brings the lovely little children.
Yes, those were fine histories! Then he asked
the Princess if she would marry him, and she
said, "Yes," directly.
But you must come here on Saturday," said
she. "Then the Sultan and the Sultana will
be here to tea. They will be very proud that I
am to marry a Turkish angel. But take care
that you know a very pretty story, for both my
parents are very fond indeed of stories. My
mother likes them high-flown and moral, but
THE FLYING TRUANK.
my father likes them merry, so that one can
"Yes, I shall bring no marriage gift but a
story," said he; and so they parted. But the
Princess gave him a saber, the sheath embroidered
with gold pieces, and that was very useful to
Now he flew away, bought a new dressing-
gown, and sat in the forest and made up a story;
it was to be ready by Saturday, and that was
not an easy thing.
By the time he had finished it Saturday had
come. The Sultan and his wife and all the court
were at the Princess's to tea. He was received
"Will you relate us a story?" said the Sul-
t tana; one that is deep and edifying."
Yes, but one that we can laugh at," said the
"Certainly," he replied; and began. And
now listen well.
"There was once a bundle of Matches, and
these Matches were particularly proud of their
high descent. Their genealogical tree, that is
to say, the great fir tree of which each of them
was a little splinter, had been a great old tree
out in the forest. The Matches now lay between
a Tinder-box and an old iron Pot; and they
were telling about the days of their youth.
'Yes, when we were upon the green boughs,'
they said, 'then we really were upon the green
boughs! Every morning and evening there was
diamond tea for us, I mean dew; we had sun-
shine all day long whenever the sun shone, and
all the little birds had to tell stories. We could
see very well that we were rich, for the other
trees were only dressed out in summer, while
our family had the means to wear green dresses
in the winter as well. But then the woodcutter
came, like a great revolution, and our family was
broken up. The head of the family got an ap-
pointment as mainmast in a first-rate ship, which
could sail round the world if necessary; the
"AWAY FLEW THE TRUNK WITH HIM."
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
other branches went to other places, and now
we have tho office of kindling a light for the
vulgar herd. That's how we grand people came
to be in the kitchen.'
"'My fate was of a different kind,' said the
iron Pot which stood next to the Matches.
'From the beginning, ever since I came into the
world, there has been a great deal of scouring
and cooking done in me. I look after the prac-
tical part, and am the first here in the house.
My only pleasure is to sit in my place after
dinner, very clean and neat, and to carry on a
sensible conversation with my comrades. But
except the Water-Pot, which sometimes is taken
down into the courtyard, we always live within
our four walls. Our only newsmonger is the
Market Basket; but he speaks very uneasily
about the government and the people. Yes,
the other day there was an old pot that fell down
from fright, and burst. He's liberal, I can tell
you!' 'Now you're talking too much,' the
Tinder-Box interrupted, and the steel struck
against the flint, so that sparks flew out. 'Shall
we not have a merry evening?'
Yes, let us talk about who is the grandest,'
said the Matches.
"'No, I don't like to talk about myself,' re-
torted the Pot. 'Let us get up an evening
entertainment. I will begin. I will tell a story
from real life, something that every one has
experienced, so that we can easily imagine the
situation, and take pleasure in it. On the Baltic,
by the Danish shore-'
"'That's a pretty beginning!' cried all the
Plates. 'That will be a story we shall like.'
"' Yes, it happened to me in my youth, when
I lived in a quiet family where the furniture was
polished, and the floors scoured, and new cur-
tains were put up every fortnight.'
"' What an interesting way you have of tell-
ing a story!' said the Carpet Broom. 'One can
tell directly that a man is speaking who has been
in woman's society. There's something pure
runs through it.'
"And the Pot went on telling his story, and
the end was as good as the beginning.
All the Plates rattled with joy, and the Car-
pet Broom brought some green parsley out of
the dust-hole, and put it like a wreath on the
Pot, for he knew that it would vex the others.
'If I crown him to-day,' it thought, 'he will
crown me to-morrow.'
"'Now I'll dance,' said the Fire Tongs, and
they danced. Preserve us! how that implement
could caper! The old Chair-Cushion burst to
see it. 'Shall I be crowned too?' thought the
Tongs; and indeed a wreath was awarded.
"'They're only common people, after all!'
thought the Matches.
"Now the Tea-Urn was to sing; but she said
she had taken cold, and could not sing unless she
felt boiling within. But that was only affecta-
tion; she did not want to sing, except when she
was in the parlor with the grand people.
In the window sat an old Quill Pen, with
which the maid generally wrote: there was noth-
ing remarkable about this pen, .except that it
had been dipped too deep into the ink, but she
was proud of that. If the Tea-Urn won't sing,'
she said,' she may leave it alone. Outside hangs
a nightingale in a cage, and he can sing. He
hasn't had any education, but this evening we'll
say nothing about that.'
"' I think it very wrong,' said the Tea-Kettle
-he was the kitchen singer, and half-brother to
the Tea-Urn-' that that rich and foreign bird
should be listened to! Is that patriotic? Let
the Market Basket decide.'
"'I am vexed,' said the Market Basket. 'No
one can imagine how much I am secretly vexed.
Is that a proper way of spending the evening?
Would it not be more sensible to put the house
in order? Let each one go to his own place,
and I would arrange the whole game. That
would be quite another thing.'
"' Yes, let us make a disturbance,' cried they
all. Then the door opened and the maid came
in, and they all stood still; not one stirred. But
there was not one pot among them who did not
know what he could do, and how grand he was.
'Yes, if I had liked,' each one thought, it might
have been a very merry evening.'
THE FL YING TRUNK
"'NOW I'LL DANCE,' SAID THE FIRE TONGS."
"' heservant-girl took the Matches and lighted
the fire with them. Mercy! how they sputtered
and burst out into flame! 'Now every one can
see,' thought they, 'that we are the first. How
we shine! what a light!'-and they burned
"That was a capital story," said the Sultana.
"I feel myself quite carried away to the kitch-
en, to the Matches. Yes, now thou shalt marry
"Yes, certainly," said the Sultan, thou shalt
marry our daughter on Monday."
And they called him thou, because he was to
belong to the family.
The wedding was decided on, and on the even-
ing before it the whole city was illuminated.
Biscuits and cakes were thrown among the peo-
ple, the street boys stood on their toes, called
out "Hurrah!" and whistled on their fingers.
It was uncommonly splendid.
"Yes, I shall have to give something as a
treat," thought the merchant's son. So he
bought rockets and crackers, and every imagin-
able sort of firework, put them all into his trunk,
and flew up into the air.
Crack!" how they went, and how they went
off! All the Turks hopped up with such a start
that their slippers flew about their ears; such
a meteor they had never yet seen. Now they
could understand that it must be a Turkish angel
who was going to marry the Princess.
What stories people tell! Every one whom
he asked about it had seen it in a separate way;
but one and all thought it fine.
"I saw the Turkish angel himself," said one.
" He had eyes like glowing stars, and a beard
like foaming water."
"He flew in a fiery mantle," said another;
"the most lovely little cherub peeped forth from
among the folds."
Yes, they were wonderful things that he
heard; and on the following day he was to be
Now he went back to the forest to rest him-
self in his trunk. But what had become of that?
A spark from the fireworks had set fire to it,
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
and the trunk was burned to ashes. He could most likely she is waiting still. But he wanders
not fly any more, and could not get to his through the world telling fairy tales; but they
bride, are not so merry as that one he told about the
She stood all day on the roof waiting; and Matches.
THE LAST PEARL.
WE are in a rich, a happy house; all are
cheerful and full of joy, master, servants, and
friends of the family; for on this day an heir, a
son, had been born, and mother and child were
doing exceedingly well.
The burning lamp in the bed-chamber had
been partly shaded, and the windows were
guarded by heavy curtains of some costly silken
fabric. The carpet was thick and soft as a mossy
lawn, and everything invited to slumber-was
charmingly suggestive of repose; and the nurse
found that, for she slept; and here she might
sleep, for everything was good and blessed. The
guardian spirit of the house leaned against the
head of the bed; over the child at the mother's
breast there spread as it were a net of shining
stars in endless number, and each star was a
pearl of happiness. All the good stars of life
had brought their gifts to the new-born one;
here sparkled health, wealth, fortune, and love
-in short, everything that man can wish for on
"Everything has been presented here," said
the guardian spirit.
"No, not everything," said a voice near him,
the voice of the child's good angel. One fairy
has not yet brought her gift; but she will do so
some day; even if years should elapse first,
she will bring her gift. The last pearl is yet
"Wanting! here nothing may be wanting;
and if it should be the case, let me go and seek
the powerful fairy; let us betake ourselves to
"She comes! she will come some day un-
sought! Her pearl may not be wanting; it must
be there, so that the complete crown may be
Where is she to be found? Where does she
dwell? Tell it me, and I will procure the pearl."
"You will do that?" said the good angel of
the child. "I will lead you to her directly,
wherever she may be. She has no abiding-
place-sometimes she rules in the Emperor's
palace, sometimes you will find her in the peas-
ant's humble cot; she goes by no person without
leaving a trace: she brings two gifts to all, be
it a world or a trifle! To this child also she
must come. You think the time is equally long,
but not equally profitable. Come, let us go for
this pearl, the last pearl in all this wealth."
And hand in hand they floated towards the
spot where the fairy was now lingering.
It was a great house, with dark windows and
empty rooms, and a peculiar stillness reigned
therein; a whole row of windows had been
opened, so that the rough air could penetrate at
its pleasure: the long white hanging curtains
moved to and fro in the current of wind.
In the middle of the room was placed an open
coffin, and in this coffin lay the corpse of a
woman, still in the bloom of youth, and very
beautiful. Fresh roses were scattered over her,
so that only the delicate folded hands and the
noble face, glorified in death by the solemn look
of consecration and entrance to the better world,
Around the coffin stood the husband and the
children, a whole troop: the youngest child rested
on the father's arm, and all bade their mother
the last farewell; the husband kissed her hand,
the hand which now was as a withered leaf, but
7HE LAST PEARL
"THERE SAT A STRANGE WOMAN, CLAD IN LONG GARMENTS."
which a short time ago had been working and
striving in diligent love for them all. Tears of
sorrow rolled over their cheeks, and fell in heavy
drops to the floor; but not a word was spoken.
With silent footsteps ahd with many a sob they
quitted the room.
A burning light stands in the room, and the
long red wick peers out high above the flame
that flickers in the current of air. Strange men
come in, and lay the lid on the coffin over the
dead one, and drive the nails firmly-in, and the
blows of the hammer resound through the house,
and echo in the hearts that are bleeding.
"Whither art thou leading me?" asked the
guardian spirit. Here dwells no fairy whose
pearl might be counted amongst the best gifts
Here she lingers; here in this sacred hour,"
said the angel, and pointed to a corner of the
room; and there, where in her lifetime the mother
had taken her seat amid flowers and pictures;
there from whence, like the beneficent fairy of
the house, she had greeted husband, children,
and friends; from whence, like the sunbeams,
she had spread joy and cheerfulness, and had
been the center and heart of all-there sat a
strange woman, clad in long garments. It was
" the Chastened Heart," now mistress and mother
here in the dead lady's place. A hot tear rolled
down into her lap, and formed itself into a pearl
glowing with all the colors of the rainbow. The
angel seized it, and the pearl shone like a star of
The pearl of Chastening, the last, which must
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
not be wanting! it heightens the luster and the
meaning of the other pearls. Do you see the
sheen of the rainbow-of the bow that unites
heaven and earth? A bridge has been built
between this world and the heaven beyond.
Through the earthly night we gaze upwards to
the stars, looking for perfection. Contemplate
it, the pearl of Chastening, for it hides within
itself the wings that shall carry us to the better
ON the last house in a little village stood a
Stork's nest. The Mother-Stork sat in it with
her four young ones, who stretched out their
heads with the pointed black beaks, for their
beaks had not yet turned red. A little way off'
stood the Father-Stork, all alone on the ridge of
the roof, quite upright and stiff; he had drawn
up one of his legs, so as not to be quite idle
while he stood sentry. One would have thought
he had been carved out of wood, so still did he
stand. He thought, "It must look very grand,
that my wife has a sentry standing by her nest.
They can't tell that it is her husband. They
certainly think I have been commanded to stand
here. That looks so aristocratic!" And he
went on standing on one leg.
Below in the street a whole crowd of children
were playing; and when they caught sight of
the Storks, one of the boldest of the boys, and
afterwards all of them, sang the old verse about
the Storks. But they only sang it just as he
could remember it:
Stork, stork, fly away;
Stand not on one leg to-day.
Thy dear wife is in the nest,
Where she rocks her young to rest.
The first he will be hanged,
The second will be hit,
The third he will be shot,
And the fourth put on the spit."
"Just hear what those boys are saying!" said
the little Stork-children. "They say we're to
be hanged and killed."
"You're not to care for that!" said the Mother-
Stork. "Don't listen to it, and then it won't
But the boys went on singing, and pointed at
the Storks mockingly with their fingers; only
one boy, whose name was Peter, declared that
it was a sin to make a jest of animals, and he
would not join in it at all.
The Mother-Stork comforted her children.
"Don't you mind it at all," she said; see how
quiet your father stands, though it's only on one
"We are very much afraid," said the young
Storks: and they drew their heads far back into
Now to-day, when the children came out
again to play, and saw the Storks, they sang
"The first he will be hanged,
The second will be hit- "
"Shall we be hanged and beaten? asked the
'No, certainly not," replied the mother.
' You shall learn to fly; I'll exercise you; then
we shall fly out into the meadows and pay a visit
to the frogs; they will bow before us in the
water, and sing, 'Co-ax! co-ax!' and then we
shall eat them up. That will be a real pleasure."
"And what then?" asked the young Storks.
"Then all the Storks will assemble, all that
are here in the whole country, and the autumn
exercises begin: then one must fly well, for
that is highly important, for whoever cannot fly
properly will be thrust dead by the general's
beak; so take care and learn well when the ex
But then we shall be killed, as the boys say:
-and only listen, now they're singing again."
"Listen to me, and not to them," said the
Mother-Stork. "After the great review we shall
fly away to the warm countries, far away from
here, over mountains and forests. We shall fly
to Egypt, where there are three covered houses
of stone, which curl in a point and tower above
the clouds; they are called pyramids, and are
older than a stork can imagine. There is a river
in that country which runs out of its bed, and
then all the land is turned to mud. One walks
about in the mud, and eats frogs."
Oh!" cried all the young ones.
Yes, it is glorious there! One does nothing
all day long but eat; and while we are so com-
fortable over there, here there is not a green leaf
on the trees; here it is so cold that the clouds
freeze to pieces, and fall down in little white
It was the snow that she meant, but she could
not explain it in any other way.
And do the naughty boys freeze to pieces? "
asked the young Storks.
"No, they do not freeze to pieces; but they
are not far from it, and must sit in the dark room
and cower. You, on the other hand, can fly
about in foreign lands, where there are flowers,
and the sun shines warm."
Now some time had elapsed, and the nestlings
had grown so large that they could stand upright
in the nest and look far around; and the Father-
Stork came every day with delicious frogs, little
snakes, and all kinds of stork-dainties as he found
them. Oh! it looked funny when he performed
feats before them! He laid his head quite back
upon his tail, and clapped with his beak as if he
had been a little clapper; and then he told them
stories, all about the marshes.
Listen! now you must learn to fly," said the
Mother-Stork one day; and all the four young
ones had to go out on the ridge of the roof. Oh,
how they tottered! how they balanced them-
selves with their wings, and yet they were nearly
Only look at me," said the mother. Thus
you must hold your heads! Thus you must
pitch your feet! One, two! one, two! That's
what will help you on in the world."
Then she flew a little way, and the young ones
made a little clumsy leap. Bump! -there they
"ONE FOR EACH OF THE CHILDREN WHO HAVE NOT SUNG THE NAUGHTY SONG." (f. 68.)
STORIES FOR TIHA HOUSEHOLD.
lay, for their bodies were too heavy. I will net
fly! said one of the young Storks, and crept back
into the nest; I don't care about getting to the
"Do you want to freeze to death here, when
the winter comes? Are the boys to come and
hang you, and singe you, and roast you? Now
I'll call them."
Oh no!" cried the young Stork, and hopped
out on to the roof again like the rest.
On the third day they could actually fly a
little, and then they thought they could also
soar and hover in the air. They tried it, but-
bump!-down they tumbled, and they had to
shoot their wings again quickly enough. Now
the boys came into the street again, and sang
Stork, stork, fly away! "
"Shall we fly down and pick their eyes out? "
asked the young Storks.
"No," replied the mother, "let them alone.
Only listen to me, that's far more important.
One, two, three! -now we fly round to the right.
One, two, three!-now to the left round the
chimney! See, that was very good! the last
kick with the feet was so neat and correct that
you shall have permission to-morrow to fly with
me to the marsh! Several nice stork families
go there with their young: show them that mine
are the nicest, and that you can start proudly;
that looks well, and will get you consideration."
But are we not to take revenge on the rude
boys?" asked the young Storks.
Let them scream as much as they like. You
will fly up to the clouds, and get to the land
of the pyramids, when they will have to shiver,
and not have a green leaf or a sweet apple."
"Yes, we will revenge ourselves!" they
whispered to one another; and then the exercis-
ing went on.
Among all the boys down in the street, the
one most bent upon singing the teasing song
was he who had begun it, and he was quite a
little boy. He could hardly be more than six
years old. The young Storks certainly thought
he was a hundred, for he was much bigger than
their mother and father; and how should they
know how old children and grown-up people
can be? Their revenge was to come upon this
boy, for it was he who had begun, and he always
kept on. The young Storks were very angry;
and as they grew bigger they were less inclined
to bear it: at last their mother had to promise
them that they should be revenged, but not till
the last day of their stay.
"We must first see how you behave at the
grand review. If you get through badly, so
that the general stabs you through the chest
with his beak, the boys will be right, at least in
one way. Let us see."
Yes, you shall see!" cried the young Storks;
and then they took all imaginable pains. They
practiced every day, and flew so neatly and so
lightly that it was a pleasure to see them.
Now the autumn came on; all the Storks be-
gan to assemble, to fly away to the warm coun-
tries while it is winter here. That was a review.
They had to fly over forests and villages, to show
how well they could soar, for it was a long jour-
ney they had before them. The young Storks
did their part so well that they got as a mark,
"Remarkably well, with frogs and snakes." That
was the highest mark; and they might eat the
frogs and snakes; and that is what they did.
"Now we will be revenged they said.
"Yes, certainly!" said the Mother-Stork.
"What I have thought of will be the best. I
know the pond in which all the little mortals lie
till the stork comes and brings them to their
parents. The pretty little babies lie there and
dream so sweetly as they never dream afterwards.
All parents are glad to have such a child, and all
children want to have a sister or a brother. Now
we will fly to the pond, and bring one for each
of the children who have not sung the naughty
song and laughed at the storks."
"But he who began to sing-that naughty,
ugly boy!" screamed the young Storks; what
shall we do with him?"
"There is a little dead child in the pond, one
that has dreamed itself to death; we will bring
A PICTURE FROM THE FORTRESS WALL.
that for him. Then he will cry because we have
brought him a little dead brother. But that
good boy-you have not forgotten him, the one
who said, 'It is wrong to laugh at animals!' for
him we will bring a brother and a sister too.
And as his name is Peter, all of you shall be
called Peter too."
And it was done as she said; all the storks
were named Peter, and so they are all called
A PICTURE FROM THE FORTRESS WALL.
IT is autumn: we stand on the fortress wall,
and look out over the sea; we look at the numer-
ous ships, and at the Swedish coast on the other
side of the Sound, which rises far above the
mirror of waters in the evening glow; behind
us the wood stands sharply out; mighty trees
surround us, the yellow leaves flutter down from
the branches. Below, at the foot of the wall,
stands a gloomy building fenced in with pali-
sades; the space between is very narrow and
dismal, but still more dismal must it be behind
the grated loopholes in the wall, for there are
confined the prisoners, the worst criminals. A
ray of the sinking sun shoots into the bare cell
of one of the captives. The sun shines upon the
good and the evil. The dark stubborn crim-
inal throws an impatient look at the cold ray.
A little bird flies towards the grating. The bird
twitters to the wicked as to the just. He only
utters his short tweet! tweet!" but he perches
upon the grating, claps his wings, pecks a feather
from one of them, puffs himself out, and sets his
feathers on end on his neck and breast; and the
bad chained man looks at him: a milder expres-
"THE BAD CHAINED MAN LOOKS AT HIM."
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
sion comes into the criminal's hard face; in his
breast there swells up a thought-a thought he
himself cannot rightly analyze; but the thought
has to do with the sunbeam, with the scent of
violets which grow luxuriantly in spring at the
foot of the wall. Now the horns of the chasseur
soldiers sound merry and full. The little bird
starts, and flies away; the sunbeam gradually
vanishes, and again it is dark in the room, and
dark in the heart of the bad man; but still the
sun has shone into that heart, and the twittering
of the bird has touched it!
Sound on, ye glorious strains of the hunting-
horns! Continue to sound, for the evening is
mild, and the surface of the sea, smooth as a
mirror, heaves slowly and gently.
THE SHEPHERDESS AND THE CHIMNEY-SWEEPER.
HAVE you ever seen a very old wooden cup-
board, quite black with age, and ornamented
with carved foliage and arabesques? Just such a
cupboard stood in a parlor: it had been a legacy
from the great-grandmother, and was covered
from top to bottom with carved roses and tulips.
There were the quaintest flourishes upon it, and
from among these peered forth little stags' heads
with antlers. In the middle of the cupboard
door an entire figure of a man had been cut out:
he was certainly ridiculous to look at, and he
grinned, for you could not call it laughing: he
had goats' legs, little horns on his head, and a
long beard. The children in the room always
called him the Billygoat-legs-Major-and-Lieu-
was a difficult name to pronounce, and there are
not many who obtain this title; but it was some-
thing to have cut him out. And there he was!
He was always looking at the table under the
nirror, for on this table stood a lovely little
shepherdess made of china. Her shoes were
gilt, her dress was adorned with a red rose, and
besides this she had a golden hat and a shep-
herd's crook: she was very lovely. Close by
ner stood a little Chimney-Sweeper, black as a
coal, and also made of porcelain: he was as clean
and neat as any other man, for it was only make-
believe that he was a sweep; the china-workers
might just as well have made a prince of him, if
they had been so minded.
There he stood very nattily with his ladder,
and with a face as white and pink as a girl's;
and that was really a fault, for it ought to have
been a little black. He stood quite close to the
Shepherdess: they had both been placed where
they stood; but as they had been placed there
they had become engaged to each other. They
suited each other well. Both were young people,
both made of the same kind of china, and both
Close to them stood another figure, three times
greater than they. This was an old Chinaman,
who could nod. He was also of porcelain, and
declared himself to be the grandfather of the
little Shepherdess; but he could not prove his
relationship. He declared he had authority
over her, and that therefore he had nodded to
Mr. Billygoat-legs-Lieutenant-and-Major- Gen-
eral-War-Commander-Sergeant, who was woo-
ing her for his wife.
"Then you will get a husband!" said the
old Chinaman, "a man who I verily believe is
made of mahogany. He can make you Billy-
Commander-Sergeant's lady: he has the whole
cupboard full of silver plate, which he hoards up
in secret drawers."
"I won't go into the dark cupboard!" said
the little Shepherdess. I have heard tell that
he has eleven porcelain wives in there."
"Then you may become the twelfth," cried
the Chinaman. This night, so soon as it rattles
in the old cupboard, you shall be married, as
true as I am an old Chinaman!"
And with that he nodded his head and fell
THE SHEPHERDESS AND THE CHIMNEY-SWEEPER.
"'I'LL DO WHATEVER YOU LIKE,' REPLIED THE LITTLE CHIMNEY-SWEEPER."
asleep. But the little Shepherdess wept and
looked at her heart's beloved, the porcelain
I should like to beg of you," said she, to
go out with me into the wide world, for we can-
not remain here."
I'll do whatever you like," replied the little
Chimney-Sweeper. Let us start directly! I
think I can keep you by exercising my profes-
"If we were only safely down from the table!"
said she. "I shall not be happy until we are
out in the wide world."
And he comforted her, and showed her how
she must place her little foot upon the carved
corners and the gilded foliage at the foot of the
table; he brought his ladder, too, to help her,
and they were soon together upon the floor.
But when they looked up at the old cupboard
there was great commotion within: all the carved
stags were stretching out their heads, rearing
up their antlers, and turning their necks; and
eral-War-Commander-Sergeant sprang high in
the air, and called across to the old Chinaman:
"Now they're running away! now they're
Then they were a little frightened, and jumped
quickly into the drawer of the window-seat.
Here were three or four packs of cards which
were not complete, and a little puppet-show,
which had been built up as well as it could be
done. There plays were acted, and all the ladies,
diamonds, clubs, hearts, and spades, sat in the
first row, fanning themselves; and behind them
stood all the knaves, showing that they had a
head above and below, as is usual in playing-
cards. The play was about two people who
were not to be married to each other, and the
Shepherdess wept, because it was just like her
own history. I cannot bear this!" said she.
" I must go out of the drawer."
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
But when they arrived on the floor, and looked
up at the drawer, the old Chinaman was awake
and was shaking over his whole body-for below
he was all one lump.
-' Now the old Chinaman's coming!" cried the
little Shepherdess; and she fell down upon her
porcelain knee, so startled was she.
I have an idea," said the Chimney-Sweeper.
"Shall we creep into the great pot-pourri vase,
which stands in the corner? Then we can lie
on roses and lavender, and throw salt in his eyes
if he comes."
"That will be of no use," she replied. Be-
sides, I know that the old Chinaman and the
pot-pourri vase were once engaged to each other,
and a kind of liking always remains when people
have stood in such a relation to each other. No,
there's nothing left for us but to go out into the
Have you really courage to go into the wide
world with me?" asked the Chimney-Sweeper.
"Have you considered hlow wide the world is,
and that we can never come back here again ?"
I have," replied she.
And the Chimney-Sweeper looked fondly at
her, and said:
"My way is through the chimney. If you
have really courage to creep with me through
the stove-through the iron fire-box as well as
up the pipe, then we can get out into the chim-
ney, and I know how to find my way through
there. We'll mount so high that they can't
catch us, and quite at the top there's a hole that
leads out into the wide world."
And he led her to the door of the stove.
It looks very black there," said she; but still
she went with him, through the box and through
the pipe, where it was pitch-dark night.
Now we are in the chimney," said he; and
look, look! up yonder a beautiful star is shining,"
And it was a real star in the sky, which shone
straight down upon them, as if it would show
them the way. And they clambered and crept:
it was a frightful way, and terribly steep; but
he supported her and helped her up; he held
her, and showed her the best places where she
could place her little porcelain feet; and thus
they reached the edge of the chimney, and upon
that they sat down, for they were desperately
tired, as they well might be.
The sky with all its stars was high above, and
all the roofs of the town deep below them. They
looked far around-far, far out into the world.
The poor Shepherdess had never thought of it
as it really was: she leaned her little head against
the Chimney-Sweeper, then she wept so bitterly
that the gold ran down off her girdle.
"That is too much," she said. "I cannot
bear that. The world is too large! If I were
only back upon the table below the mirror! I
shall never be happy until I am there again.
Now I have followed you out into the wide
world, you may accompany me back again if you
really love me."
And the Chimney-Sweeper spoke sensibly to
her-spoke of the old Chinaman and of the Billy-
goat- legs -Lieutenant-and-Major-General -War-
Commander-Sergeant; but she sobbed bitterly
and kissed her little Chimney-Sweeper, so that
he could not help giving way to her, though it
And so with much labor they climbed down
the chimney again. And they crept through
the pipe and the fire-box. That was not pleas-
ant at all. And there they stood in the dark
stove; there they listened behind the door, to
find out what was going on in the room. Then
it was quite quiet: they looked in-ah! there
lay the old Chinaman in the middle of the floor!
He had fallen down from the table as he was
pursuing them, and now he lay broken into three
pieces; his back had come off all in one piece,
and his head had rolled into a corner. The
Billygoat -legs -Lieutenant- and-Major General-
War-Commander-Sergeant stood where he had
always stood, considering.
That is terrible!" said the little Shepherdess.
"The old grandfather has fallen to pieces, and
it is our fault. I shall never survive it!" And
then she wrung her little hands.
"He can be mended! he can be mended!"
said the Chimney-Sweeper. Don't be so vio-
lent. If they glue his back together and give
him a good rivet in his neck he will be as good
as new, and may say many a disagreeable thing
to 'as yet."
"Do you think so?" cried she.
So they climbed back upon the table where
they used to stand.
"You see, we have come to this," said the
Chimney-Sweeper: we might have saved our-
selves all the trouble we have had."
"If the old grandfather was only riveted!"
said the Shepherdess. "I wonder if that is
And he was really riveted. The family had
his back cemented, and a great rivet was passed
through his neck: he was as good as new, only
he could no longer nod.
It seems you have become proud since you
fell to pieces," said the Billygoat-legs-Lieuten-
ant- and -Major- General -War- Commander-Ser-
geant. "You have no reason to give yourself
such airs. Am I to have her, or am I not?"
And the Chimney-Sweeper and the little
Shepherdess looked at the old Chinaman most
piteously, for they were afraid he might nod.
But he could not do that, and it was irksome
to him to tell a stranger that he always had a
rivet in his neck. And so the porcelain people
remained together, and loved one another until
IN the nursery a number of toys lay strewn
about: high up, on the wardrobe, stood the
money-box, made of clay and purchased of the
potter, and it was in the shape of a little pig; of
course the pig had a slit in its back, and this slit
had been so enlarged with a knife that whole
dollar pieces could slip through; and, indeed,
two such had slipped into the box, besides a
number of pence. The Money-pig was stuffed
so full that it could no longer rattle, and that is
the highest point of perfection a Money-pig can
attain. There it stood upon the cupboard, high
and lofty, looking down upon everything else in
the room. It knew very well that what it had
in its stomach would have bought all the toys,
and that's what we call having self-respect.
The others thought of that too, even if they
did not exactly express it, for there were many
other things to speak of. One of the drawers
was half pulled out, and there lay a great hand-
some Doll, though she was somewhat old, and
her neck had been mended. She looked out
Now we'll play at men and women, for that
is always something!"
And now there was general uproar, and
even the framed prints on the walls turned round
and showed that there was a wrong side to
them; but they did not do it to protest against
It was late at night; the moon shone through
the window-frames and afforded the cheapest
light. The game was now to begin, and all,
even the children's Go-cart, which certainly be-
longed to the coarser playthings, were invited
to take part in the sport.
Each one has his own peculiar value," said
the Go-cart: "we cannot all be noblemen.
There must be some who do the work, as the
The Money-pig was the only one who received
a written invitation, for he was of high standing,
and they were afraid he would not accept a ver-
bal message. Indeed, he did not answer to say
whether he would come, nor did he come: if he
was to take a part, he must enjoy the sport from
his own home; they were to arrange accord-
ingly, and so they did.
The little toy theater was now put up in such
a way that the Money-pig could look directly
in. They wanted to begin with a comedy, and
afterwards there was to be a tea-party and a
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
discussion for mental improvement, and with this
latter part they began immediately. The Rock-
ing-horse spoke of training and race, the Go-
cart of railways and steam power, for all this be-
longed to their profession, and it was quite right
they should talk of it. The Clock talked politics
-ticks-ticks-and knew what was the time of
day, though it was whispered he did not go cor-
rectly; the Bamboo Cane stood there, stiff and
proud, for he was conceited about his brass fer-
rule and his silver top; and on the sofa lay two
Worked Cushions, pretty and stupid. And now
the play began.
wonderfully well, coming out quite beyond the
lamps, because the wires were a little too long,
but that only made them come out the more.
The darned Doll was quite exhausted with ex-
citement-so thoroughly exhausted that she
burst at the darned place in.her neck; and the
Money-pig was so enchanted in his way that he
formed the resolution to do something for one
of the players, and to remember him in his will
as the one who should be buried with him in the
family vault, when matters were so far advanced.
It was true enjoyment, such true enjoyment
that they quite gave up the thoughts of tea, and
"HIGH UP, ON THE WARDROBE, STOOD THE MONEY-BOX."' Ip. 73.)
All sat and looked on, and it was requested
that the audience should applaud and crack and
stamp according as they were gratified. But
the Riding-whip said he never cracked for old
people, only for young ones who were not yet
I crack for everything," said the Cracker.
And these were the thoughts'they had while
the play went on. The piece was worthless,
but it was well played; all the characters turned
their painted side to the audience, for they were
so made that they should only be looked at from
that side, and not from the other; and all played
only carried out the idea of mental recreation.
That's what they called playing at men and
women; and there was nothing wrong in it, for
they were only playing; and each one thought
of himself and of what the Money-pig might
think; and the Money-pig thought farthest of
all, for he thought of making his will and of his
burial. And when might this come to pass?
Certainly far sooner than was expected. Crack!
it fell down from the cupboard-fell on the
ground, and was broken to pieces; and the pen-
nies hopped and danced in comical style: the
little ones turned round like tops, and the bigger
THE STORY OF A MOTHER.
ones rolled away, particularly the one great silver
dollar who wanted to go ofit into the world.
And he came out into the world, and they all
succeeded in doing so. And the pieces of the
Money-pig were put into the dust-bin; but the
next day a new money-pig was standing on
the cupboard: it had not yet a farthing in its
stomach, and therefore could not rattle, and in
this it was like the other. And that was a be-
ginning-and with that we will make an end.
THE STORY OF A MOTHER.
A MOTHER sat by her little child: she was
very sorrowful, and feared that it would die.
Its little face was pale, and its eyes were closed.
The child drew its breath with difficulty, and
sometimes so deeply as if it were sighing; and
then the mother looked more sorrowfully than
before on the little creature.
Then there was a knock at the door, and a
poor old man came in, wrapped up in something
that looked like a great horse-cloth, for that
keeps warm; and he required it, for it was cold
winter. Without, everything was covered with
ice and snow, and the wind blew so sharply that
it cut one's face.
And as the old man trembled with cold, and
the child was quiet for a moment, the mother
went and put some beer on the stove in a little
pot, to warm it for him. The old man sat down
and rocked the cradle, and the mother seated
herself on an old chair by him, looked at her
sick child that drew its breath so painfully, and
seized the little hand.
You think I shall keep it, do you not ?" she
asked. "The good God will not take it from
And the old man-he was Death-nodded in
such a strange way, that it might just as well
mean yes as no. And the mother cast down her
eyes, and tears rolled down her cheeks. Her
head became heavy: for three days and three
nights she had not closed her eyes; and now
she slept, but only for a minute; then she started
up and shivered with cold.
What is that? she asked, and looked round
on all sides; but the old man was gone, and her
little child was gone; he had taken it with him.
And there in the corner the old clock was hum-
ming and whirring; the heavy leaden weight
ran down to the floor-plump!-and the clock
But the poor mother rushed out of the house
crying for her child.
Out in the snow sat a woman in long black
garments, and she said, Death has been with
you in your room; I saw him hasten away with
your child: he strides faster than the wind, and
never brings back what he has taken away."
Only tell me which way he has gone," said
the mother. "Tell me the way, and I will find
"I know him," said the woman in the black
garments; "but before I tell you, you must sing
me all the songs that you have sung to your
child. I love those songs; I have heard them
before. I am Night, and I saw your tears when
you sang them."
I will sing them all, all!" said the mother.
"But do not detain me, that I may overtake
him, and find my child."
But Night sat dumb and still. Then the
mother wrung her hands, and sang and wept.
And there were many songs, but yet more tears,
and then Night said, Go to the right into the
dark fir wood; for I saw Death take that path
with your little child."
Deep in the forest there was a cross-road, and
she did not know which way to take. There
stood a Blackthorn Bush, with not a leaf nor a
blossom upon it; for it was in the cold winter-
time, and icicles hung from the twigs.
Have you not seen Death go by, with my
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
Yes," replied the Bush, but I shall not tell
you which way he went unless you warm me on
your bosom. I'm freezing to death here, I'm
turning to ice."
And she pressed the Blackthorn Bush to her
bosom, quite close, that it might be well warmed.
And the thorns pierced into her flesh, and her
blood oozed out in great drops. But the Black-
thorn shot out fresh green leaves, and blossomed
in the dark winter night: so warm is the heart
of a sorrowing mother! And the Blackthorn
Bush told her the way that she should go.
Then she came to a great Lake, on which there
were neither ships nor boat. The Lake was
not frozen enough to carry her, nor sufficiently
open to allow her to wade through, and yet she
must cross it if she was to find her child. Then
she laid herself down to drink the Lake; and
that was impossible for any one to do. But the
sorrowing mother thought that perhaps a miracle
might be wrought.
No, that can never succeed," said the Lake.
"Let us rather see how we can agree. I'm
fond of collecting pearls, and your eyes are
the two clearest I have ever seen: if you will
weep them out into me I will carry you over
into the great green-house, where Death lives
and cultivates flowers and trees; each of these
is a human life."
"Oh, what would I not give to get my
OU THIN I SHALL KEEP IT,DO YOU NOT' SHE ASKED." (
"'YOU THINK I SHALL KEEP IT, DO YOU NOT?' SHE ASKED." (j. 75.)
THE STORY OF A MOTHER.
child!" said the afflicted mother; and she wept
yet more, and her eyes fell into the depths of
the Lake, and became two costly pearls. But
the Lake lifted her up, as if she sat in a swing,
and she was wafted to the opposite shore,
where stood a wonderful house, miles in length.
One could not tell if it was a mountain con-
taining forests and caves, or a place that had
been built. But the poor mother could not see
it, for she had wept her eyes out.
Where shall I find Death, who went away
with my little child?" she asked.
He has not arrived here yet," said an old
gray-haired woman, who was going about and
watching the hothouse of Death. "How have
you found your way here, and who helped
"The good God has helped me," she replied.
He is merciful, and you will be merciful too.
Where shall I find my little child?"
"I do not know it," said the old woman,
"and you cannot see. Many flowers and trees
have faded this night, and Death will soon come
and transplant them. You know very well that
every human being has his tree of life, or his
flower of life, just as each is arranged. They
look like other plants, but their hearts beat.
Children's hearts can beat too. Think of this.
Perhaps you may recognize the beating of your
child's heart. But what will you give me if I
tell you what more you must do?"
"I have nothing more to give," said the af-
flicted mother. But I will go for you to the
ends of the earth."
"I have nothing for you to do there," said
the old woman, "but you can give me your
long black hair. You must know yourself that
it is beautiful, and it pleases me. You can
take my white hair for it, and that is always
"Do you ask for nothing more?" asked she.
" I will give you that gladly." And she gave
her beautiful hair, and received in exchange the
old woman's white hair.
And then they went into the great hothouse
of Death, where flowers and trees were growing
marvelously intertwined. There stood the fine
hyacinths under glass bells, some quite fresh,
others somewhat sickly; water snakes were
twining about them, and black crabs clung
tightly to the stalks. There stood gallant palm
trees, oaks, and plantains, and parsley and
blooming thyme. Each tree and flower had its
name; each was a human life: the people were
still alive, one in China, another in Greenland,
scattered about in the world. There were great
trees thrust into little pots, so that they stood
quite crowded, and were nearly bursting the
pots; there was also many a little weakly
flower in rich earth, with moss round about it,
cared for and tended. But the sorrowful mother
bent down over all the smallest plants, and
heard the human heart beating in each, and out
of millions she recognized that of her child.
"That is it!" she cried, and stretched out
her hands over a little crocus flower, which
hung down quite sick and pale.
"Do not touch the flower," said the old
dame; "but place yourself here; and when
Death comes-I expect him every minute-
then don't let him pull up the plant, but
threaten him that you will do the same to the
other plants; then he'll be frightened. He has
to account for them all; not one may be pulled
up till he receives commission from Heaven."
And all at once there was an icy cold rush
through the hall, and the blind mother felt that
Death was arriving.
How did you find your way hither?" said
he. How have you been able to come quicker
I am a mother," she answered.
And Death stretched out his long hands to-
wards the little delicate flower; but she kept
her hands tight about it, and held it fast; and
yet she was full of anxious care lest he should
touch one of the leaves. Then Death breathed
upon her hands, and she felt that his breath
was colder than the icy wind; and her hands
sank down powerless.
You can do nothing against me," said Death.
"But the merciful God can," she replied.
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
I only do what He commands," said Death.
"I am His gardener. I take all His trees and
flowers, and transplant them into the great
Paradise gardens, in the unknown land. But
how they will flourish there, and how it is
there, I may not tell you."
Give me back my child," said the mother;
and she implored and wept. All at once she
grasped two pretty flowers with her two hands,
and called to Death, "I'll tear off all your
flowers, for I am in despair."
"Do not touch them," said Death. "You
say you are so unhappy, and now you would
make another mother just as unhappy!"
"Another mother?" said the poor woman;
and she let the flowers go.
"There are your eyes for you," said Death.
"I have fished them up out of the lake;
they gleamed up quite brightly. I did not
know that they were yours. Take them back
-they are clearer now than before-and then
look down into the deep well close by. I will
tell you the names of the two flowers you
wanted to pull up, and you will see what you
were about to frustrate and destroy."
And she looked down into the well, and it
was a happiness to see how one of them became
a blessing to the world, how much joy and
gladness she diffused around her. And the
woman looked at the life of the other, and it
was made up of care and poverty, misery and
Both are the will of God," said Death.
"Which of them is the flower of misfortune,
and which the blessed one?" she asked.
That I may not tell you," answered Death;
"but this much you shall hear, that one of
these two flowers is that of your child. It was
the fate of your child that you saw-the future
of your own child."
Then the mother screamed aloud for terror.
"Which of them belongs to my child ? Tell
me that! Release the innocent child! Let my
child free from all that misery! Rather carry
it away! Carry it into God's kingdom! For-
get my tears, forget my entreaties, and all that
I have done!"
"I do not understand you," said Death.
"Will you have your child back, or shall I
carry it to that place that you know not? "
Then the mother wrung her hands, and fell
on her knees, and prayed to the good God.
Hear me not when I pray against Thy will,
which is at all times the best! Hear me not!
hear me not!" And she let her head sink
down on her bosom.
And Death went away with her child into
the unknown land.
THE WICKED PRINCE.
THERE was once a wicked Prince. His aim
and object was to conquer all the countries in
the world, and to inspire all men with fear. He
went about with fire and sword, and his soldiers
trampled down the corn in the fields, and set fire
to the peasants' houses, so that the red flames
licked the leaves from the trees, and the fruit
hung burned on the black charred branches.
With her naked baby in her arms, many a poor
mother took refuge behind the still smoking
walls of her burned house; but even here the
soldiers sought for their victims, and if they
found them, it was new food for their demoniac
fury: evil spirits could not have raged worse
than did these soldiers; but the Prince thought
their deeds were right, and that it must be so.
Every day his power increased; his name was
feared by all, and fortune accompanied him in
all his actions. From conquered countries he
brought vast treasures home, and in his capital
was heaped an amount of wealth unequaled in any
other place. And he caused gorgeous palaces,
churches, and halls to be built, and every one
who saw those great buildings and these vast
THE WICKED PRINCE.
treasures cried out -
respectfully, What -
a great Prince!"
They thought not of the
misery he had brought
upon other lands and cities; they
heard not all the sighs and all the
meanings that arose from among the ruins
of demolished towns.
The Prince looked upon his gold, and upon
his mighty buildings, and his thoughts were
those of the crowd.
"What a great Prince am I! But," so
thought ran on, I must have more, far me
No power may be equal to mine, much less
And he made war upon all his neighbors,
overcame them all. The conquered Kings
caused to be bound with fetters of gold to
chariot, and thus he drove through the str
of his capital; when he banqueted, those Ki
were compelled to kneel at his feet, and at
feet of his courtiers, and receive the bro
pieces which were thrown to them from the ta
At last the Prince caused his own statue
be set up in the open squares and in the r(
palaces, and he even wished to place it in
churches before the altars; but here the pri
stood up against him, and said:
"Prince, thou art mighty, but Heaver
mightier, and we dare not fulfill thy cc
"THE PRINCE LOOKED UPON HIS GOLD."
Good: then," said the Prince, "I will van-
quish Heaven likewise."
And in his pride and impious haughtiness he
caused a costly ship to be built, in which he
could sail through the air: it was gay and glar-
ing to behold, like the tail of a peacock, and
studded and covered with thousands of eyes;
but each eye was the muzzle of a gun. The
Prince sat in the midst of the ship, and needed
only to press on a spring, and a thousand bullets
flew out on all sides, while the gun-barrels were
re-loaded immediately. Hundreds of eagles were
harnessed in front of the ship, and with the speed
of an arrow they flew upwards towards the sun.
How deep the earth lay below them! With
its mountains and forests, it seemed but a field
through which the plow had drawn its furrows,
and along which the green bank rose covered
with turf; soon it appeared only like a flat map
with indistinct lines; and at last it lay completely
hidden in mist and cloud. Ever higher flew the
eagles, up into the air; then one of the innumer-
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
able angels appeared. The wicked Prince hurled
thousands of bullets against him; but the bullets
sprang back from the angel's shining pinions,
and fell down like common hail-stones; but a
drop of blood, one single drop, fell from one of
the white wing-feathers, and this drop fell upon
the ship in which the Prince sat, and burned its
way deep into the ship, and weighing like a
thousand hundredweight of lead, dragged down
the ship in headlong fall towards the earth; the
strongest pinions of the eagles broke; the wind
roared round the Prince's head, and the aroused
clouds-formed from the smoke of burned cities
-drew themselves together in threatening
shapes, like huge sea-crabs stretching forth their
claws and nippers towards him, and piled them-
selves up in great overshadowing rocks, with
crushing fragments rolling down them, and then
to fiery dragons, till the Prince lay half dead in
the ship, which at last was caught with a terrible
shock in the thick branches of a forest.
"I will conquer Heaven!" said the Prince.
" I have sworn it, and my will must be done!"
And for seven years he caused his men to
work at making ships for sailing through the air,
and had thunderbolts madeof the hardest steel,
for he wished to storm the fortress of Heaven;
out of all his dominions he gathered armies to-
gether, so that when they were drawn up in rank
and file they covered a space of several miles.
The armies went on board the ships, and the
Prince approached his own vessel. Then there
was sent out against him a swarm of gnats, a
single swarm of little gnats. The swarm buzzed
round the Prince, and stung his face and hands:
raging with anger, he drew his sword and struck
all round him; but he only struck the empty
air, for he could not hit the gnats. Then he
commanded his people to bring costly hangings,
and to wrap them around him, so that no gnat
might further sting him; and the servants did
as he commanded them. But a single gnat had
attached itself to the inner side of the hangings,
and crept into the ear of the Prince, and stung
him. It burned like fire, and the poison pene-
trated to his brain: like a madman he tore the
hangings from his body and hurled them far
away, tore his clothes and danced about naked
before the eyes of his rude, savage soldiers, who
now jeered at the mad Prince who wanted to
overcome Heaven, and who himself was con-
quered by one single little gnat.
A WHIP-TOP and a little Ball were together
in a drawer among some other toys; and the
Top said to the Ball:
"Shall we not be bridegroom and bride, as
we live together in the same box? "
But the Ball, which had a coat of morocco
leather, and was just as conceited as any fine
lady, would make no answer to such a proposal.
Next day the little boy came to whom the
toys belonged: he painted the Top red and yel-
low, and hammered a brass nail into it; and it
looked splendid when the Top turned round!
"Look at me!" he cried to the little Ball.
"What do you say now? Shall we not be en-
gaged to each other? We suit one another so
well You jump and I dance No one could
be happier than we two should be."
"Indeed? Do you think so?" replied the
little Ball. Perhaps you do not know that my
papa and my mamma were morocco slippers,
and that I have a Spanish cork inside me?"
"Yes, but I am made of mahogany," said
the Top; and the mayor himself turned me.
He has a turning-lathe of his own, and it amuses
Can I depend upon that?" asked the little
May I never be whipped again if it is not
true!" replied the Top.
"You can speak well for yourself," observed
the Ball, but I cannot grant your
request. I am as good as engaged
to a swallow: every time I leap up
into the air he puts his head out of
his nest and says, 'Will you?' And
now I have silently said, 'Yes,' and
that is as good as half engaged; but
I promise I will never forget you."
"Yes, that will be much good!"
said the Top.
And they spoke no more to each
Next day the Ball was taken out
by the boy. The Top saw how it
flew high into the air, like a bird; at .
last one could no longer see it. Each
time it came back again, but gave a high leap
when it touched the earth, and that was done
either from its longing to mount up again, or
because it had a Spanish cork in its body. But
the ninth time the little Ball remained absent,
and did not come back again; and the boy
sought and sought, but it was gone.
I know very well where it is!" sighed the
Top. "It is in the swallow's nest, and has
married the swallow!"
The more the Top thought of this, the more
it longed for the Ball. Just because it could
not get the Ball, its love increased; and the
fact that the Ball had chosen another, formed
a peculiar feature in the case. So the Top
danced round and hummed, but always thought
of the little Ball, which became more and more
beautiful in his fancy. Thus several years went
by, and now it was an old love.
And the Top was no longer young! But
one day he was gilt all over; never had he
looked so handsome; he was now a golden Top,
and sprang till he hummed again. Yes, that
was something worth seeing! But all at once
he sprang too high, and-he was gone!
They looked and looked, even in the cellar,
but he was not to be found. Where could he
He had jumped into the dust-box, where all
kinds of things were lying: cabbage stalks,
/,/, /. r
"'AHA, THERE'S A GILT TOP!' SHE CRIED." (f. 82.)
sweepings, and dust that had fallen down from
"Here's a nice place to lie in!" said he.
"The gilding will soon be washed off of me
here. And, oh dear, among what a rabble
have I alighted!"
And then he looked sideways at a long leaf-
less cabbage stump, and at a curious round thing
that looked like an old apple; but it was not an
apple-it was an old Ball, which had lain for
years in the gutter on the roof, and was quite
saturated with water.
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
Thank goodness, here comes one of us, with
whom one can talk!" said the little Ball, and
looked at the gilt Top. I am really morocco,
worked by maidens' hands, and have a Spanish
cork within me; but no one would think it, to
look at me. I was very nearly marrying a
swallow, but I fell into the gutter on the roof,
and have lain there full five years, and become
quite wet through. You may believe me, that's
a long time for a young girl."
But the Top said nothing. He thought of
his old love; and the more he heard her say, the
clearer it became to him that this was the very
Then came the servant-girl, and wanted to
turn out the dust-box.
"Aha! there's a gilt top!" she cried.
And so the Top was brought again to notice
and honor, but nothing was heard of the little
Ball. And the Top spoke no more of his old
love; for that dies away when the beloved ob-
ject has lain for five years in a roof-gutter and
got wet through; yes, one does not know her
again when one meets her in the dust-box.
THERE was once a Darning-Needle who
thought herself so fine that she imagined she
was an embroidering-needle; Take care, and
mind you hold me tight!" she said to the Fingers
which took her out. Don't let me fall! If I
fall on the ground I shall certainly never be found
again, for I am so fine!"
"That's as it may be," said the Fingers; and
they grasped her round the body.
"See, I'm coming with a train!" said the
Darning-Needle, and she drew a long thread
after her, but there was no knot in the thread.
The Fingers pointed the needle just at the
cook's slipper, in which the upper leather had
burst, and was to be sewn together.
"That's vulgar work," said the Darning-
Needle. "I shall never get through. I'm
breaking! I'm breaking!" And she really
broke. Did I not say so ?" said the Darning-
Needle; "I'm too fine!"
"Now it's quite useless," said the Fingers;
but they were obliged to hold her fast, all the
same; for the cook dropped some sealing-wax
upon the needle, and pinned her handkerchief
together with it in front.
So, now I'm a breast-pin!" said the Darn-
ing-Needle. "I knew very well that I should
come to honor: when one is something, one
comes to something!"
And she laughed quietly to herself-and one
can never see when a darning-needle laughs.
There she sat, as proud as if she was in a state
coach, and looked all about her.
"May I be permitted to ask if you are of
gold?" she inquired of the pin, her neighbor.
"You have a very pretty appearance, and a
peculiar head, but it is only little. You must
take pains to grow, for it's not every one that
has sealing-wax dropped upon him."
And the Darning-Needle drew herself up so
proudly that she fell out of the handkerchief
right into the sink, which the cook was rinsing
Now we're going on a journey," said the
Darning-Needle.-" If I only don't get lost!"
But she really was lost.
I'm too fine for this world," she observed,
as she lay in the gutter. "But I know who I
am, and there's always something in that!"
So the Darning-Needle kept her proud be-
havior, and did not lose her good-humor. And
things of many kinds swam over her, chips and
straws and pieces of old newspapers.
"Only look how they sail!" said the. Darn-
ing-Needle. "They don't know what is under
them! I'm here, I remain firmly here. See,
there goes a chip thinking of nothing in the
world but of himself-of a chipt There's a
straw going by now. How he turns! how he
twirls about! Don't think only of yourself,
you might easily run up against a stone. There
swims a bit of newspaper. What's written upon
it has long been forgotten, and yet it gives itself
airs. I sit quietly and patiently here. I know
who I am, and I shall remain what I am."
One day something lay close beside her that
glittered splendidly; then the Darning-Needle
believed that it was a diamond; but it was a Bit
of broken Bottle; and because it shone, the
Darning-Needle spoke to it, introducing herself
as a breast-pin.
"I suppose you are a diamond?" she ob-
"Why, yes, something of that kind."
And then each believed the other to be a
very valuable thing; and they began speaking
about the world, and how very conceited it
I have been in a lady's box," said the Darn-
ing-Needle, "and this lady was a cook. She
had five Fingers on each hand, and I never saw
anything so conceited as those five Fingers. And
yet they were only there that they might take
me out of the box and put me back into it."
"Were they of good birth?" asked the Bit
"No, indeed," replied the Darning-Needle,
"but very haughty. There were five brothers,
all of the Finger family. They kept very proudly
together, though they were of different lengths:
the outermost, the Thumbling, was short and
fat; he walked out in front of the ranks, and only
had one joint in his back, and could only make
a single bow; but he said that if he were hacked
off from a man, that man was useless for service
in war. Dainty-mouth, the second finger, thrust
himself into sweet and sour, pointed to sun and
moon, and gave the impression when they wrote.
Longman, the third, looked at all the others
over his shoulder. Goldborder, the fourth, went
about with a golden belt round his waist; and
little Playman did nothing at all, and was proud
of it. There was nothing but bragging among
them, and therefore I went away."
"THE FINGERS POINTED THE NEEDLE JUST AT THE
"And now we sit here and glitter!" said the
Bit of Bottle.
At that moment more water came into the
gutter, so that it overflowed, and the Bit of
Bottle was carried away.
So, he is disposed of," observed- the Darn-
ing-Needle. "I remain here, I am too fine.
But that's my pride, and my pride is honorable."
And proudly she sat there, and had many great
thoughts. I could almost believe I had been
born of a sunbeam, I'm so fine! It really ap-
pears to me as if the sunbeams were always
seeking for me under the water. Ah! I'm so
fine that my mother cannot find me. If I had
my old eye, which broke off, I think I should
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
cry; but, no, I should not do that: it's not
genteel to cry."
One day a couple of street boys lay grubbing
m the gutter, where they sometimes found old
nails, farthings, and similar treasures. It was
dirty work, but they took great delight in it.
"Oh!" cried one,who had pricked himself with
the Darning-Needle, there's a fellow for you!"
"I'm not a fellow, I'm a young lady!" said
But nobody listened to her. The sealing-
wax had come off, and she had turned black;
but black makes one look slender, and she
thought herself finer even than before.
"Here comes an egg-shell sailing along!"
said the boys; and they stuck the Darning-
Needle fast in the egg-shell.
"White walls, and black myself! that looks
well," remarked the Darning-Needle. "Now
one can see me. I only hope I shall not be sea-
sick But she was not sea-sick at all. "It
is good against sea-sickness, if one has a steel
stomach, and does not forget that one is a little
more than an ordinary person! Now my sea-
sickness is over. The finer one is, the more one
"Crack!" went the egg-shell, for a hand-
barrow went over her.
"Good heavens, how it crushes one!" said
the Darning-Needle. "I'm getting sea-sick
now,-I'm quite sick."
But she was not really sick, though the hand-
barrow went over her; she lay there at full
length, and there she may lie.
THERE was once a poor Prince, who had a
kingdom which was quite small, but still it was
large enough that he could marry upon it, and
that is what he wanted to do.
Now, it was certainly somewhat bold of him
to say to the Emperor's daughter, "Will you
have me? But he did venture it, for his name
was famous far and wide: there were hundreds
of Princesses who would have been glad to say
yes; but did she say so? Well, we shall see.
On the grave of the Prince's father there grew
a rose bush, a very beautiful rose bush. It
bloomed only every fifth year, and even then
it bore only a single rose, but what a rose that
was! It was so sweet that whoever smelt at it
forgot all sorrow and trouble. And then he had
a nightingale, which could sing as if all possible
melodies were collected in its little throat. This
rose and this nightingale the Princess was to
have, and therefore they were put into great
silver vessels and sent to her.
The Emperor caused the presents to be carried
before him into the great hall where the Princess
was playing at "visiting" with her maids of
honor, and when she saw the great silver vessels
with the presents in them, she clapped her hands
If it were only a little pussy-cat!" said she.
But then came out the rose bush with the
"Oh, how pretty it is made!" said all the
It is more than pretty," said the Emperor,
"it is charming."
But the Princess felt it, and then she almost
began to cry.
Fie, papa!" she said, it is not artificial, it's
a natural rose!"
Fie," said all the court ladies, it's a natural
Let us first see what is in the other vessel
before we get angry," said the Emperor. And
then the nightingale came out; it sang so beau-
tifully that they did not at once know what to
say against it.
Superbe / charmant! said the maids of
honor, for they all spoke French as badly as
"How that bird reminds me of the late
Emperor's musical snuff-box," said an old cava-
lier. "Yes, it is the same tone, the same ex-
Yes," said the Emperor; and then he wept
like a little child at the remembrance of his dead
"I really hope it is not a natural bird," said
Yes, it is a natural bird," said they who had
"Then let the bird fly away," said the Prin-
cess; and she would by no means allow the
Prince to come.
But the Prince was not to be frightened. He
stained his face brown and black, drew his hat
down over his brows, and knocked at the door.
Good day, Emperor," he said: could I not
be employed here in the castle?"
Yes," replied the Emperor, "but there are
so many who ask for an appointment, that I do
not know if it can be managed; but I'll bear
you in mind. But it just occurs to me that I
want some one who can keep the pigs, for we
have many pigs here, very many."
So the Prince was appointed the Emperor's
swineherd. He received a miserable small room
down by the pig-sty, and here he was obliged
to stay; but all day long he sat and worked,
and when it was evening he had finished a neat
little pot, with bells all round it, and when the
pot boiled these bells rang out prettily and
played the old melody:
"Oh, my darling Augustine,
All is lost, all is lost."
But the cleverest thing about the whole ar-
rangement was, that by holding one's finger in
the smoke, one could at once smell what provi-
sions were being cooked at every hearth in the
town. That was quite a different thing from
Now the Princess came with all her maids of
honor, and when she heard the melody she stood
still and looked quite pleased; for she, too, could
play Oh, my darling Augustine," on the piano.
It was the only thing she could play, but then
she played it with one finger.
"Why, that is what I play!" she cried.
" He must be an educated swineherd! Harkye:
go down and ask the price of the instrument."
So one of the maids of honor had to go down;
but first she put on a pair of pattens.
"What do you want for the pot?" inquired.
I want ten kisses from the Princess," replied
"Heaven preserve us!" exclaimed the maid
"Well, I won't sell it for less," said the
And what did he say ? asked the Princess.
I don't like to repeat it," replied the lady.
"Well, you can whisper it in my ear." And
the lady whispered it to her. He is very rude,"
declared the Princess; and she went away. But
when she had gone a little way, the bells sounded
"Oh, my darling Augustine,
All is lost, all is lost."
"Harkye," said the Princess: ask him if he
will take ten kisses from my maids of honor."
"I'm much obliged," replied the swineherd:
"ten kisses from the Princess, or I shall keep
How tiresome that is!" cried the Princess.
" But at least you must stand before me, so that
nobody sees it."
And the maids of honor stood before her, and
spread out their dresses, and then the swineherd
received ten kisses, and she received the pot.
Then there was rejoicing! All the evening
and all the day long the pot was kept boiling;
there was not a kitchen hearth in the whole town
of which they did not know what it had cooked,
at the shoemaker's as well as the chamberlain's.
The ladies danced with pleasure, and clapped
"We know who will have sweet soup and
pancakes for dinner, and who has hasty pudding
and cutlets; how interesting that is I"
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
"Very interesting!" said the head lady-
Yes, but keep counsel, for I'm the Er peror's
Yes, certainly," said all.
The swineherd, that is to say, the Prince-but
of course they did not know but that he was a
regular swineherd-let no day pass by without
doing something, and so he made a rattle; when
any person swung this rattle, he could play all
the waltzes, hops, and polkas that have been
known since the creation of the world.
But that is superb cried the Princess, as
she went past. "I have never heard a finer
composition. Harkye: go down and ask what
the instrument costs; but I give no more kisses."
"He demands a hundred kisses from the
Princess," said the maid of honor who had gone
down to make the inquiry.
"I think he must be mad!" exclaimed the
Princess; and she went away; but when she
had gone a little distance she stood still. One
must encourage art," she observed. I am the
Emperor's daughter! Tell him he shall receive
ten kisses, like last time, and he may take the
rest from my maids of honor."
Ah, but we don't like to do it!" said the
maids of honor.
"'WHAT'S THAT?' SAID HE."
"That's all nonsense!" retorted the-Princess,
"and if I can allow myself to be kissed, you can
too; remember, I give you board and wages."
And so the maids of honor had to go down
to him again.
"A hundred kisses from the Princess," said
he, "or each shall keep his own."
"Stand before me," said she then; and all
the maids of honor stood before her while he
kissed the Princess.
"What is that crowd down by the pig-sty? "
asked the Emperor, who had stepped out to the
balcony. He rubbed his eyes, and put on his
THE ELDER TREE MOTHER.
spectacles. Why, those are the maids of honor,
at their tricks, yonder; I shall have to go down
And he pulled up his slippers behind, for they
were shoes that he had trodden down at heel.
Gracious mercy, how he hurried! So soon as
he came down in the courtyard, he went quite
softly, and the maids of honor were too busy
counting the kisses, and seeing fair play, to notice
the Emperor. Then he stood on tiptoe.
"What's that?" said he, when he saw that
there was kissing going on; and he hit them on
the head with his slipper, just as the swineherd
was taking the eighty-sixth kiss. Be off!" said
the Emperor, for he was angry.
And the Princess and the swineherd were both
expelled from his dominions. So there she stood
and cried, the rain streamed down, and the
Oh, miserable wretch that I am!" said the
Princess; "if I had only taken the handsome
Prince! Oh, how unhappy I am!"
Then the swineherd went behind a tree,
washed the stains from his face, threw away the
shabby clothes, and stepped forth in his princely
attire, so handsome that the Princess was fain to
bow before him.
"I have come to this, that I despise you,"
said he. You would not have an honest Prince;
you did not value the rose and the nightingale,
but for a plaything you kissed the swineherd,
and now you have your reward."
And then he went into his kingdom and shut
the door in her face. So now she might stand
outside and sing:
Oh, my darling Augustine,
All is lost, all is lost."
THE ELDER TREE MOTHER.
THERE was once a little boy who had caught
cold; he had gone out and got wet feet; no one
could imagine how it had happened, for it was
quite dry weather. Now his mother undressed
him, put him to bed, and had the tea-urn brought
in to make him a good cup of elder tea, for that
warms well. At the same time there also came
in at the door the friendly old man who lived
all alone at the top of the house, and was very
solitary. He had neither wife nor children, but
he was very fond of little children, and knew so
many stories that it was quite delightful.
Now you are to drink your tea," said the
mother, "and then perhaps you will hear a
Ah! if one only could tell a new one!" said
the old man, with a friendly nod. But where
did the little man get his feet wet? he asked.
Yes," replied the mother, "no one can tell
how that came about."
Shall I have a story?" asked the boy.
"Yes, if you can tell me at all accurately-
for I must know that first-how deep the gutter
is in the little street through which you go to
Just half-way up to my knee," answered the
boy, that is, if I put my feet in the deep hole."
You see, that's how we get our feet wet,"
said the old gentleman. Now I ought certainly
to tell you a story; but I don't know any more."
You can make up one directly," answered
the little boy. Mother says that everything
you look at can be turned into a story, and that
you can make a tale of everything you touch."
"Yes, but those stories and tales are worth
nothing! No, the real ones come of themselves.
They knock at my forehead and say, 'Here
Will there soon be a knock? asked the little
boy, and the mother laughed, and put elder tea
in the pot, and poured hot water upon it.
"Yes, if a story would come of itself; but
that kind- of thing is very grand; it only comes
when it's in the humor.-Wait!" he cried all at
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
once; "here we have it. Look you; there's
one in the tea-pot now."
And the little boy looked across at the tea-
pot. The lid raised itself more and more, and
the elder flowers came forth from it, white and
fresh; they shot forth long fresh branches even
out of the spout, they spread abroad in all direc-
tions, and became larger and larger; there was
the most glorious elder bush-in fact, quite a
great tree. It penetrated even to the bed, and
thrust the curtains aside; how fragrant it was,
and how it bloomed! And in the midst of the
tree sat an old, pleasant-looking woman in a
strange dress. It was quite green, like the leaves
of the elder tree, and bordered with great white
elder blossoms; one could not at once discern
whether this border was of stuff or of living
green and real flowers.
What is the woman's name? the little boy
"The Romans and Greeks," replied the old
man, used to call her a Dryad; but we don't
understand that: out in the sailor's suburb we
have a better name for her;
there she's called Elder Tree
Sy"t Mother, and it is to her you
must pay attention: only listen, and look at that
glorious elder tree.
"Just such a great blooming tree stands out-
side; it grew there in the corner of a poor little
yard, and under this tree two old people sat one
afternoon in the brightest sunshine. It was an
old, old sailor, and his old, old wife; they had
great-grandchildren, and were soon to celebrate
their golden wedding; but they could not quite
make out the date, and the Elder Tree Mother
sat in the tree and looked pleased, just as she
does here. 'I know very well when the golden
wedding is to be,' said she; but they did not
hear it-they were talking of old times.
"'Yes, do you remember,' said the old sea-
man, 'when we were quite little, and ran about
and played together! it was in the very same
yard where we are sitting now, and we planted
little twigs in the yard, and made a garden.'
"' Yes,' replied the old woman, 'I remember
it very well: we watered the twigs, and one of
them was an elder twig; that struck root, shot
out other green twigs, and has become a great
tree, under which we old people sit.'
"' Surely,' said he; 'and yonder in the corner
stood a butt of water; there I swam my boat;
"IN THE MIDST OF THE TREE SAT AN OLD, PLEASANT-LOOKING WOMAN."
THE ELDER TREE MOTHER.
I had cut it out myself. How it could sail!
But I certainly soon had to sail elsewhere myself.'
"'But first we went to school and learned
something,' said she, 'and then we were con-
firmed; we both cried, but in the afternoon we
went hand in hand to the round tower, and
looked out into the wide world, over Copenhagen
and across the water; then we went out to
Fredericksberg, where the King and Queen were
sailing in their splendid boats upon the canals.'
"'But I was obliged to sail elsewhere, and
that for many years, far away on long voyages.'
"'Yes, I often cried about you,' she said. 'I
thought you were dead and gone, and lying
down in the deep waters, rocked by the waves.
Many a night I got up to look if the weather-
cock was turning. Yes, it turned indeed; but
you did not come. I remember so clearly how
the rain streamed down from the sky. The man
with the cart who fetched away the dust came
to the place where I was in service. I went
down with him to the dust-bin, and remained
standing in the doorway. What wretched
weather it was! And just as I stood there the
postman came up and gave me a letter. It was
from you! How that letter had traveled about!
I tore it open and read; I laughed and wept
at once, I was so glad. There it stood written
that you were in the warm countries where the
coffee-beans grow. You told me so much, and
I read it all while the rain was streaming down,
and I stood by the dust-bin. Then somebody
came and clasped me round the waist.'
"'And you gave him a terrible box on the
ear-one that sounded?'
"' I did not know that it was you. You had
arrived just as quickly as your letter. And you
were so handsome; but that you are still. You
had a large yellow silk handkerchief in your
pocket, and a hat on your head. You were so
handsome! And, gracious! what weather it
was, and how the street looked!'
"'Then we were married,' said he; 'do you
remember? And then when our first little boy
came, and then Marie, and Neils, and Peter, and
Jack, and Christian?'
'Yes; and how all of these have grown up
to be respectable' people, and every one likes
"' And their children have had little ones in
their turn,' said the old sailor. 'Yes, those are
children's children! They're of the right sort.
It was, if I don't mistake, at this very season of
the year that we were married?'
'Yes;. this is the day of your golden wed-
ding,' said the Elder Tree Mother, putting out
her head just between the two old people; and
they thought it was a neighbor nodding to them,
and they looked at each other, and took hold of
each other's hands.
"Soon afterwards came their children and
grandchildren; these knew very well that it was
the golden wedding-day; they had already
brought their congratulations in the morning,
but the old people had forgotten it, while they
remembered everything right well that had
happened years and years ago.
"And the elder tree smelt so sweet, and the
sun that was just setting shone just in the faces
of the old couple, so that their cheeks looked
quite red; and the youngest of their grand-
children danced about them, and cried out quite
gleefully that there was to be a feast this even-
ing, for they were to have hot potatoes; and
the Elder Mother nodded in the tree, and called
out 'hurrah!' with all the rest."
But that was not a story," said the little boy
who had heard it told.
"Yes, so you understand it," replied the old
man; "but let us ask the Elder Mother about
"That was not a story," said the Elder
Mother; "but now it comes; for of truth the
strangest stories are formed, just as my beauti-
ful elder tree sprouted out of the tea-pot."
And then she took the little boy out of bed,
and laid him upon her bosom, and the blossom-
ing elder branches wound round them, so that
they sat as it were in the thickest arbor, and
this arbor flew with them through the air. It
was indescribably beautiful. Elder Mother all
at once became a pretty young girl; but her
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
dress was still of the green stuff with the white
blossoms that Elder Mother had worn; in her
'bosom she had a real elder blossom, and on her
head a wreath of elder flowers; her eyes were
so large and blue, they were beautiful to look
at! She and the boy were of the same age,
and they kissed each other and felt similar joys.
Hand in hand they went forth out of the arbor,
and now they stood in the beauteous flower
garden of home. The father's staff was tied up
near the fresh grass-plot, and for the little boy
there was life in that staff. As soon as they
seated themselves upon it, the polished head
turned into a noble neighing horse's head, with
a flowing mane, and four slender legs shot forth;
the creature was strong and spirited, and they
rode at a gallop round the grass-plot-hurrah!
Now we're going to ride many miles away,"
said the boy; "we'll ride to the nobleman's
estate, where we went last year!"
And they rode round and round the grass-
plot, and the little girl, who, as we know, was
no one else but Elder Mother, kept crying out:
Now we're in the country! Do you see the
farmhouse, with the great baking-oven standing
out of the wall like an enormous egg by the
wayside? The elder tree spreads its branches
over it, and the cock walks about, scratching for
his hens; look how he struts! Now we are near
the church; it lies high up on the hill, under the
great oak trees, one of which is half dead. Now
we are at the forge, where the fire burns and the
half-clad men beat with their hammers, so that
the sparks fly far around. Away, away to the
splendid nobleman's seat!"
And everything that the little maiden men-
tioned, as she sat on the stick behind him, flew
past them, and the little boy saw it all, though
they were only riding round and round the
grass-plot. Then they played in the side walk,
and scratched up the earth to make a little
garden; and she took elder flowers out of her
hair and planted them, and they grew just like
those that the old people had planted when they
were little, as has been already told. They went
hand in hand just as the old people had done in
their childhood; but not to the high tower, or
to the Fredericksberg Garden. No, the little
girl took hold of the boy round the body, and
then they flew far away out into the country.
And it was spring, and summer came, and
autumn, and winter, and thousands of pictures
were mirrored in the boy's eyes and heart, and
the little maiden was always singing to him.
He will never forget that; and throughout
their whole journey the elder tree smelt so sweet,
so fragrant: he noticed the roses and the fresh
beech trees; but the elder tree smelt stronger
than all, for its flowers hung round the little
girl's heart, and he often leaned against them as
they flew onward.
Here it is beautiful in spring!" said the little
And they stood in the green beech wood,
where the thyme lay spread in fragrance at their
feet, and the pale pink anemones looked glorious
among the vivid green.
Oh, that it were always spring in the merry
Here it is beautiful in summer!" said she.
And they passed by old castles of knightly
days, castles whose high walls and pointed turrets
were mirrored in the canals, where swans swam
about, and looked down the old shady avenues.
In the fields the corn waved like a sea, in the
ditches yellow and red flowers were growing,
and in the hedges wild hops and blooming con-
volvulus. In the evening the moon rose round
and large, and the haystacks in the meadows
"Here it is beautiful in autumn!" said the
And the sky seemed twice as lofty and twice
as blue as before, and the forest was decked
in the most gorgeous tints of red, yellow, and
green. The hunting dogs raced about; whole
flocks of wild ducks flew screaming over the
Huns' Graves, on which bramble bushes twined
over the old stones. The sea was dark blue,
and covered with ships with white sails; and in
the barns sat old women, girls, and children,
picking hops into a large tub: the young people
THE ELDER TREE MOTHER.
sang songs, and the older ones told tales of
magicians and goblins. It could not be finer
"Here it is beautiful in winter!" said the
And all the trees were covered with hoar-
frost, so that they looked like white trees of
coral. The snow crumbled beneath one's feet,
as if every one had new boots on; and one
shooting star after another fell from the sky.
In the room the Christmas tree was lighted up,
and there were presents, and there was happi-
ness. In the country people's farmhouses the
violin sounded, and there were merry games for
apples; and even the poorest child said, It is
beautiful in winter!"
Yes, it was beautiful; and the little girl
showed the boy everything; and still the blos-
soming tree smelt sweet, and still waved the
red flag with the white cross, the flag under
which the old seaman had sailed. The boy be-
came a youth, and was to go out into the wide
world, far away to the hot countries where the
coffee grows. But when they were to part the
little girl took an elder blossom from her breast,
and gave it to him to keep. It was laid in his
hymn-book, and in the foreign land, when he
opened the book, it was always at the place
where the flower of remembrance lay; and the
more he looked at the flower the fresher it be-
came, so that he seemed, as it were, to breathe
the forest air of home; then he plainly saw the
little girl looking out with her clear blue eyes
from between the petals of the flower, and then
she whispered, Here it is beautiful in spring,
summer, autumn, and winter!" and hundreds of
pictures glided through his thoughts.
Thus many years went by, and now he was
an old man, and sat with his old wife under the
blossoming elder tree: they were holding each
other by the hand, just as the great-grand-
mother and great-grandfather had done outside;
and, like these, they spoke of old times and of
the golden wedding. The little maiden with
the blue eyes and with the elder blossoms in
her hair sat up in the tree, and nodded to both
of them, and said, To-day is our golden wed-
ding-day!" and then she took two flowers out
of her hair and kissed them, and tney gleamed
first like silver and then like gold, and when she
laid them on the heads of the old people each
changed into a golden crown. There they both
sat, like a King and a Queen, under the fragrant
tree which looked quite like an elder bush, and
he told his old wife of the story of the Elder
Tree Mother, as it had been told to him when
he was quite a little boy, and they both thought
that the story in many points resembled their
own, and those parts they liked the best.
Yes, thus it is!" said the little girl in the
tree. Some call me Elder Tree Mother, others
the Dryad, but my real name is Remembrance:
it is I who sit in the tree that grows on and on,
and I can think back and tell stories. Let me
see if you have still your flower."
And the old man opened his hymn-book;
there lay the elder blossom as fresh as if it had
only just been placed there; and Remembrance
nodded, and the two old people with the golden
crowns on their heads sat in the red evening
sunlight, and they closed their eyes, and-and
-the story was finished.
The little boy lay in his bed and did not know
whether he had been dreaming or had heard a
tale told; the tea-pot stood on the table, but
no elder bush was growing out of it, and the old
man who had told about it was just going out
of the door, and indeed he went.
"How beautiful that was!" said the little
boy. Mother, I have been in the hot coun-
"Yes, I can imagine that!" replied his mother.
"When one drinks two cups of hot elder tea one
very often gets into the hot countries!" And
she covered him up well, that he might not take
cold. "You have slept well while I disputed
with him as to whether it was a story or a fairy
"And where is the Elder Tree Mother?"
asked the little lad.
"She's in the tea-pot," replied his mother;
"and there she may stay,"
STORIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
THE YOUNGER BROTHER'S DREAM.
ON one of the Danish islands where the old
Thingstones, the seats of justice of our fore-
fathers, are found in the fields, and great trees
tower in the beech woods, there lies a little
town, whose low houses are covered with red
tiles. In one of these houses wondrous things
were brewed over glowing coals on the open
hearth; there was a boiling in glasses, a mix-
ing and a distilling, and herbs were cut up and
bruised in mortars, and an elderly man attended
to all this. One must only do the right thing,"
said he; yes, the right thing. One must learn
the truth about every created particle, and keep
close to this truth."
In the room with the good housewife sat her
two sons, still small, but with grown-up thoughts.
The mother had always spoken to them of right
and justice, and had exhorted them to hold truth
fast, declaring that it was as the countenance of
the Almighty in this world.
The elder of the boys looked roguish and
enterprising. It was his delight to read of the
forces of nature, of the sun and of the stars; no
fairy tale pleased him so much as these. Oh!
how glorious it must be," he thought, to go
out on voyages of discovery, or to find out how
the wings of birds could be imitated, and then
to fly through the air! yes, to find that out
would be the right thing: father was right, and
mother was right-truth keeps the world to-
The younger brother was quieter, and quite
FIVE OUT OF ONE SHELL.
lost himself in books. When he read of Jacob
clothing himself in sheep-skins, to be like Esau
and to cheat his brother of his birthright, his
little fist would clench in anger against the
deceiver: when he read of tyrants, and of all
the wickedness and wrong that is in the world,
the tears stood in his eyes, and he was quite
filled with the thoughts of the right and truth
which must and will at last be triumphant. One
evening he already lay in bed, but the curtains
were not yet drawn close, and the light streamed
in upon him: he had taken the book with him
to bed, because he wanted to finish reading the
story of Solon.
And his thoughts lifted and carried him away
marvelously, and it seemed to him that his bed
became a ship, careering onward with swelling
sails. Did he dream? or what was happening
to him? It glided onward over the rolling
waters and the great ocean of time, and he
heard the voice of Solon. In a strange tongue,
and yet intelligible to him, he heard the Danish
motto, "With law the land is ruled."
And the Genius of the human race stood in
the humble room, and bent down over the bed,
and printed a kiss on the boy's forehead.
Be thou strong in fame, and strong in the
battle of life! With the truth in thy breast, fly
thou towards the land of truth!"
The elder brother was not yet in bed; he
stood at the window gazing out at the mists
that rose from the meadows. They were not
elves dancing there, as the old nurse had told
him; he knew better: they were vapors, warmer
than the air, and consequently they mounted.
A shooting star gleamed athwart the sky, and
the thoughts of the boy were roused from the
mists of the earth to the shining meteor. The
stars of heaven twinkled, and golden threads
seemed to be suspended from them down upon
"Fly with me!" it sang and sounded in the
boy's heart; and the mighty genius, swifter
than the bird, than the arrow, than anything
that flies with earthly means, carried him aloft
to the region where rays stretching from star to
star bind the heavenly bodies to each other;
our earth revolved in the thin air; the cities on
its surface seemed quite close together; and
through the sphere it sounded, "What is near,
what is far to men, when the mighty genius of
mind lifts them up?"
And again the boy stood at the window and
gazed forth, and the younger brother lay in
his bed, and their mother called them by their
names, "Anders Sandoe and Hans Christian."
Denmark knows them, and the world knows
them-the two brothers OERSTED.
FIVE OUT OF ONE SHELL.
THERE were five peas in one shell: they
were green, and the pod was green, and so they
thought all the world was green; and that was
just as it should be! The shell grew, and the
peas grew; they accommodated themselves to
circumstances, sitting all in a row. The sun
shone without, and warmed the husk, and the
rain made it clear and transparent; it was mild
and agreeable in the bright day and in the dark
night, just as it should be, and the peas sitting
there became bigger and bigger, and more and
more thoughtful, for something they must do.
"Are we to sit here everlastingly?" asked one.
" I'm afraid we shall become hard by long sit-
ting. It seems to me there must be something
outside-I have a kind of inkling of it."
And weeks went by. The peas became yel-
low, and the pod also.
"All the world's turning yellow," said they;
and they had a right to say it.
Suddenly they felt a tug at the shell. The
shell was torn off, passed through human hands,
and glided down into the pocket of a jacket, in
company with other full pods.