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ALL people in the world tell nursery tales to their
children. The Japanese tell them, the Chinese, the
Red Indians by their camp fires, the Eskimo in their
dark dirty winter huts. The Kaffirs of South Africa
tell them, and the modern Greeks, just as the old
Egyptians did, when Moses had not been many
years rescued out of the bulrushes. The Germans,
French, Spanish, Italians, Danes, Highlanders tell
them also, and the stories are apt to be like each
other everywhere. A child who has read the Blue
and Red and Yellow Fairy Books will find some old
friends with new faces in the Pink Fairy Book, if
he examines and compares. But the Japanese tales
will probably be new to the young student; the
Tanuki is a creature whose acquaintance he may not
have made before. He may remark that Andersen
wants to 'point a moral,' as well as to 'adorn a
tale; that he is trying to make fun of the follies of
mankind, as they exist in civilised countries. The
Danish story of The Princess in the Chest' need
not be read to a very nervous child, as it rather
borders on a ghost story. It has been altered, and
is really much more horrid in the language of the
Danes, who, as history tells us, were not a nervous
or timid people. I am quite sure that this story
is not true. The other Danish and Swedish stories
are not alarming. They are translated by Mr. W.
A. Craigie. Those from the Sicilian (through the
German) are translated, like the African tales (through
the French) and the Catalan tales, and the Japanese
stories (the latter through the German), and an old
French story, by Mrs. Lang. Miss Alma Alleyne did
the stories from Andersen, out of the German. Mr.
Ford, as usual, has drawn the monsters and mermaids,
the princes and giants, and the beautiful princesses,
who, the Editor thinks, are, if possible, prettier
than ever. Here, then, are fancies brought from all
quarters: we see that black, white, and yellow
peoples are fond of just the same kinds of adventures.
Courage, youth, beauty, kindness, have many trials,
but they always win the battle; while witches,
giants, unfriendly cruel people, are on the losing
hand. So it,ought to be, and so, on the whole, it is
and will be; and that is all the moral of fairy tales.
We cannot all be young, alas! and pretty, and
strong; but nothing prevents us from being kind,
and no kind man, woman, or beast or bird, ever
comes to anything but good in these oldest fables of
the world. So far all the tales are true, and no further.
The Cat's Elopement.
How the Dragon was
The Goblin and the Grocer
The House in the Wood
Uraschimataro and the
The Slaying of the Tanuki
The Flying Trunk
The Snow Man.
The Princess in the Chest
The Three Brothers
Hans, the Mermaid's Son
The Bird Grip'
I know what I have learned
The Cunning Shoemaker .
The King who would have
a Beautiful Wife .
Catherine and her Destiny
How the Hermit helped to
win the King's Daughter 174
The Water of Life. 184
The Wounded Lion 191
The Man without a Heart. 200
The Two Brothers 209
Master and Pupil. 220
The Golden Lion 223
The Sprig of Rosemary. 230
The White Dove 238
The Troll's Daughter 247
Esben and the Witch 258
Princess Minon-Minette 274
Maiden Bright-eye 289
The Merry Wives .. 297
King Lindonr 301
The Jackal, the Dove, and
the Panther 315
The Little Hare 321
The Sparrow with the Slit
Tongue .. 334
The Story of Ciccu 339
Don Giovanni de la For-
tuna . 356
THE CAT'S ELOPEMENT'
ONCE upon a time there lived a cat of marvellous beauty,
with a skin as soft and shining as silk, and wise green
eyes, that could see even in the dark. His name was
Gon, and he belonged to a music teacher, who was so
fond and proud of him that he would not have parted
with him for anything in the world.
Now not far from the music master's house there
dwelt a lady who possessed a most lovely little pussy cat
called Koma. She was such a little dear altogether, and
blinked her eyes so daintily, and ate her supper so tidily,
and when she had finished she licked her pink nose so
delicately with her little tongue, that her mistress was
never tired of saying, 'Koma, Koma, what should I do
without you ?'
Well, it happened one day that these two, when out
for an evening stroll, met under a cherry tree, and in one
moment fell madly in love with each other. Gon had
long felt that it was time for him to find a wife, for all
the ladies in the neighbourhood paid him so much
attention that it made him quite shy; but he was not
easy to please, and did not care about any of them.
Now, before he had time to think, Cupid had entangled
him in his net, and he was filled with love towards
Koma. She fully returned his passion, but, like a woman,
she saw the difficulties in the way, and consulted sadly
SFrom the Japanische Mtirchen und Sagen, von David Brauns
(Leipzig: Wilhelm Friedrich).
THE CAT'S ELOPEMENT
with Gon as to the means of overcoming them. Gon
entreated his master to set matters right by buying
Koma, but her mistress would not part from her. Then
the music master was asked to sell Gon to the lady, but
he declined to listen to any such suggestion, so everything
remained as before.
At length the love of the couple grew to such a pitch
that they determined to please themselves, and to seek
their fortunes together. So one moonlight night they
stole away, and ventured out into an unknown world.
All day long they marched bravely on through the
sunshine, till they had left their homes far behind them,
and towards evening they found themselves in a large
park. The wanderers by this time were very hot and tired,
and the grass looked very soft and inviting, and the trees
cast cool deep shadows, when suddenly an ogre appeared
in this Paradise, in the shape of a big, big dog He
came springing towards them showing all his teeth, and
Koma shrieked, and rushed up a cherry tree. Gon,
however, stood his ground boldly, and prepared to give
battle, for he felt that Koma's eyes were upon him, and
that he must not run away. But, alas! his courage
would have availed him nothing had his enemy once
touched him, for he was large and powerful, and very
fierce. From her perch in the tree Koma saw it all, and
screamed with all her might, hoping that some one would
hear, and come to help. Luckily a servant of the
princess to whom the park belonged was walking by,
and he drove off the dog, and picking up the trembling
Gon in his arms, carried him to his mistress.
So poor little Koma was left alone, while Gon was
borne away full of trouble, not in the least knowing what
to do. Even the attention paid him by the princess, who
was delighted with his beauty and pretty ways, did not
console him, but there was no use in fighting against fate,
and he could only wait and see what would turn up.
The princess, Gon's new mistress, was so good and
THE CAT'S ELOPEMENT
kind that everybody loved her, and she would have led a
happy life, had it not been for a serpent who had fallen
in love with her, and was constantly annoying her by his
presence. Her servants had orders to drive him away as
often as he appeared; but as they were careless, and the
serpent very sly, it sometimes happened that he was
able to slip past them, and to frighten the princess by
appearing before her. One day she was seated in her
room, playing on her favourite musical instrument, when
she felt something gliding up her sash, and saw her
enemy making his way to kiss her cheek. She shrieked
and threw herself backwards, and Gon, who had been
curled up on a stool at her feet, understood her terror,
and with one bound seized the snake by his neck. He
I': P, -5
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~1wT~iiig~.s ~ees fo~yip~t
THE CAT'S ELOPEMENTT
gave him one bite and one shake, and flung him on the
ground, where he lay, never to vorry the princess any
more. Then she took Gon in her arms, and praised and
caressed him, and saw that he had the nicest bits to eat,
and the softest mats to lie on; and he would have had
nothing in the world to wish for if only he could have
seen Koma again.
Time passed on, and one morning Gon lay before the
house door, basking in the sun. He looked lazily at the
world stretched out before him, and saw in the distance
a big ruffian of a cat teasing and ill-treating quite a little
one. He jumped up, full of rage, and chased away the
big cat, and then he turned to comfort the little one,
when his heart nearly burst with joy to find that it was
Koma. At first Koma did not know him again, he had
grown so large. and stately; but when it dawned upon
her who it was, her happiness knew no bounds. And
they rubbed their heads and their noses again and again,
while their purring might have been heard a mile off.
Paw in paw they appeared before the princess, and
told her the story of their life and its sorrows. The
princess wept for sympathy, and promised that they
should never more be parted, but should live with her to
the end of their days. By-and-bye the princess herself
got married, and brought a prince to dwell in the palace
in the park. And she told him all about her two cats,
and how brave Gon had been, and how he had delivered
her from her enemy the serpent.
And when the prince heard, he swore they should
never leave them, but should go with the princess
wherever she went. So it all fell out as the princess
wished; and Gon and Koma had many children, and so
had the princess, and they all played together, and were
friends to the end of their lives.,
HOW THE DRAGON WAS TRICKED1
ONCE upon a time there lived a man who had two sons,
but they did not get on at all well together, for the
younger was much handsomer than his elder brother,
who was very jealous of him. When they grew older,
things became worse and worse, and at last one day as
they were walking through a wood the elder youth seized
hold of the other, tied him to a tree, and went on his way,
hoping that the boy might starve to death.
However, it happened that an old and humpbacked
shepherd passed the tree with his flock, and seeing the
prisoner, he stopped and said to him, 'Tell me, my son,
why are you tied to that tree?'
'Because I was so crooked,' answered the young
man; 'but it has quite cured me, and now my back is as
straight as can be.'
'I wish you would bind me to a tree,' exclaimed the
shepherd, so that my back would get straight.'
'With all the pleasure in life,' replied the youth. 'If
you will loosen these cords I will tie you up with them
as firmly as I can.
This was soon done, and then the young man drove
off the sheep, leaving their real shepherd to repent of his
folly; and before he had gone very far he met with a
horse boy and a driver of oxen, and he persuaded them
to turn with him and to seek for adventures.
SFrom Griechische und ilbanesische MJirchen, von J. G. von
Hahn. (Leipzig: Engelmann. 1864.)
HOW THE DRAGON WAS TRICKED
By these and many other tricks he soon became so
celebrated that his fame reached the king's ears, and his
majesty was filled with curiosity to see the man who had
managed to outwit everybody. So he commanded his
guards to capture the young man and bring him before
And when the young man stood before the king, the
king spoke to him and said, 'By your tricks and the
pranks that you have played on other people, you have,
in the eye of the law, forfeited your life. But on one
condition I will spare you, and that is, if you will bring
me the flying horse that belongs to the great dragon.
Fail in this, and you shall be hewn in a thousand pieces.'
'If that is all,' said the youth, you shall soon have it.'
So he went out and made his way straight to the
stable where the flying horse was tethered. He stretched
his hand cautiously out to seize the bridle, when the
horse suddenly began to neigh as loud as he could. Now
the room in which the dragon slept was just above the
stable, and at the sound of the neighing he woke and
cried to the horse, What is the matter, my treasure ? is
anything hurting you ? After waiting a little while the
young man tried again to loose the horse, but a second
time it neighed so loudly that the dragon woke up in a
hurry and called out to know why the horse was making
such a noise. But when the same thing happened the
third time, the dragon lost his temper, and went down
into the stable and took a whip and gave the horse a good
beating. This offended the horse and made him angry,
and when the young man stretched out his hand to untie
his head, he made no further fuss, but suffered himself to
be led quietly away. Once clear of the stable the young
man sprang on his back and galloped off, calling over
his shoulder, 'Hi! dragon! dragon! if anyone asks you
what has become of your horse, you can say that I have
got him !'
But the king said, 'The flying horse is all very
G HOW THE DRAGON WAS TRICKED
well, but I want something more. You must bring me
the covering with the little bells that lies on the bed of
the dragon, or I will have you hewn into a thousand
'Is that all ?' answered the youth. That is easily
And when night came he went away to the dragon's
house and climbed up on to the roof. Then he opened
a little window in the roof and let down the chain
from which the kettle usually hung, and tried to hook the
bed covering and to draw it up. But the little bells all
began to ring, and the dragon woke and said to his wife,
'Wife, you have pulled off all the bed-clothes!' and
drew the covering towards him, pulling, as he did' so,
the young man into the room. Then the dragon flung
himself on the youth and bound him fast with cords
saying as he tied the last knot, 'To-morrow when I go to
church you must stay at home and kill him and cook him,
and when I get back we will eat him together.'
So the following morning the dragoness took hold of
the young man and reached, down from the shelf a sharp
knife with which to kill him. But as she untied the
cords the better to get hold of him, the prisoner caught
her by the legs, threw her to the ground, seized her and
speedily cut her throat, just as she had been about to do
for him, and put her body in the oven. Then he snatched
up the covering and carried it to the king.
The king was seated on his throne when the youth
appeared before him and spread out the covering with
a deep bow. 'That is not enough,' said his majesty;
'you must bring me the dragon himself, or I will have
you hewn into a thousand pieces.'
It shall be done,' answered the youth; but you must
give me two years to manage it, for my beard must grow
so that he may not know me.
So be it,' said the king.
And the first thing the young man did when his beard
j 1 0A' 1/1 f "I L-I MI I I I [K JA C 511-
URAG 0 Nf a OL
10 HOW THE DRAGON WAS TRICKED
was grown was to take the road to the dragon's house
and on the way he met a beggar, whom he persuaded to
change clothes with him, and in the beggar's garments
he went fearlessly forth to the dragon.
He found his enemy before his house, very busy
making a box, and addressed him politely, 'Good
morning, your worship. Have you a morsel of bread?'
'You must wait,' replied the dragon, 'till I have
finished my box, and then I will see if I can find
What will you do with the box when it is made ?'
inquired the beggar.
'It is for the young man who killed my wife, and
stole my flying horse and my bed covering,' said the
'He deserves nothing better,' answered the beggar,
'for it was an ill deed. Still that box is too small for
him, for he is a big man.'
'You are wrong,' said the dragon. 'The box is large
enough even for me.'
'Well, the rogue is nearly as tall as you,' replied the
beggar, and, of course, if you can get in, he can. But I
am sure you would find it a tight fit.'
'No, there is plenty of room,' said the dragon, tucking
himself carefully inside.
But no sooner was he well in, than the young man
clapped on the lid and called out, 'Now press hard,
just to see if he will be able to get out.'
The dragon pressed as hard as he could, but the lid
It is all right,' he cried; now you can open it.'
But instead of opening it, the young man drove in
long nails to make it tighter still; then he took the box on
his back and brought it to the king. And when the king
heard that the dragon was inside, he was so excited that
he would not wait one moment, but broke the lock and
lifted the lid just a little way to make sure he was really
HOW THE DRAGON WAS TRICKED 11
there. He was very careful not to leave enough space
for the dragon to jump out, but unluckily there was just
room for his great mouth, and with one snap the king
vanished down his wide red jaws. Then the young man
married the king's daughter and ruled over the land, but
what he did with the dragon nobody knows.
THE GOBLIN AND THE GROCER'
THERE was once a hard-working student who lived in
an attic, and he had nothing in the world of his own.
There was also a hard-working grocer who lived on the
first floor, and he had the whole house for his own.
The Goblin belonged to him, for every Christmas Eve
there was waiting for him at the grocer's a dish of jam
with a large lump of butter in the middle.
The grocer could afford this, so the Goblin stayed in
the grocer's shop; and this teaches us a good deal.
One evening the student came in by the back door to
buy a candle and some cheese ; he had no one to send,
so he came himself.
He got what he wanted, paid for it, and nodded a good
evening to the grocer and his wife (she was a woman
who could do more than nod; she could talk).
When the student had said good night he suddenly
stood still, reading the sheet of paper in which the cheese
had been wrapped.
It was a leaf torn out of an old book-a book of poetry.
'There's more of that over there!' said the grocer.
'I gave an old woman some coffee for the book. If you
like to give me twopence you can have the rest.'
'Yes,' said the student, give me the book instead of
the cheese. I can eat my bread without cheese. It
would be a shame to leave the book to be torn up. You
I Translated from the German of Hans Andersen.
THE GOBLIN AND THE GROCER
are a clever and practical man, but about poetry you
understand as much as that old tub over there !'
And that sounded rude as far as the tub was concerned,
but the grocer laughed, and so did the student. It was
only said in fun.
But the Goblin was angry that anyone should dare to
say such a thing to a grocer who owned the house and
sold the best butter.
When it was night and the shop was shut, and every-
one was in bed except the student, the Goblin went
upstairs and took the grocer's wife's tongue. She did
not use it when she was asleep, and on whatever object
in the room he put it that thing began to speak, and
spoke out its thoughts and feelings just as well as the
lady to whom it belonged. But only one thing at a time
could use it, and that was a good thing, or they would
have all spoken together.
The Goblin laid the tongue on the tub in which were
the old newspapers.
Is it true,' he asked, 'that you know nothing about
poetry ? '
'Certainly not answered the tub. 'Poetry is some-
thing that is in the papers, and that is frequently cut out.
I have a great deal more in me than the student has, and
yet I am only a small tub in the grocer's shop.'
And the Goblin put the tongue on the coffee-mill, and
Show it began to grind! He put it on the butter-cask,
and on the till, and all were of the same opinion as the
waste-paper tub, and one must believe the majority.
'Now I will tell the student !' and with these words
he crept softly up the stairs to the attic where the student
There was a light burning, and the Goblin peeped
through the key-hole and saw that he was reading the
torn book that he had bought in the shop.
But how bright it was Out of the book shot a streak
of light which grew into a large tree and spread its
14 THE GOBLIN AND THE GROCEB
branches far above the student. Every leaf was alive,
and every flower was a beautiful girl's head, some with
dark and shining eyes, others with wonderful blue ones.
Every fruit was a glittering star, and there was a
marvellous music in the student's room. The little
Goblin had never even dreamt of such a splendid sight,
much less seen it.
He stood on tiptoe gazing and gazing, till the candle
in the attic was put out; the student had blown it out
and had gone to -bed, but the Goblin remained standing
outside listening to the music, which very softly and
sweetly was now singing the student a lullaby.
I have never seen anything like this I said the
Goblin. I never expected this I must stay with the
The little fellow thought it over, for he was a sensible
Goblin. Then he sighed, 'The student has no jam '
And on that he went down to the grocer again. And
it was a good thing that he did go back, for the tub had
nearly worn out the tongue. It had read everything that
was inside it, on the one side, and was just going to turn
itself round and read from the other side when the Goblin
came in and returned the tongue to its owner.
But the whole shop, from the till down to the shavings,
from that night changed their opinion of the tub, and they
looked up to it, and had such faith in it that they were
under the impression that when the grocer read the art
and drama critiques out of the paper in the evenings,
it all came from the tub.
But the Goblin could no longer sit quietly listening to
the wisdom and intellect downstairs. No, as soon as the
light shone in the evening from the attic it seemed to
him as though its beams were strong ropes dragging him
up, and he had to go and peep through the key-hole.
There he felt the sort of feeling we have looking at the
great rolling sea in a storm, and he burst into tears. He
could not himself say why he wept, but in spite of his
16 THE GOBLIN AND THE GROCER
tears he felt quite happy. How beautiful it must be to
sit under that tree with the student, but that he could
not do; he had to content himself with the key-hole and
be happy there!
There he stood out on the cold landing, the autumn
wind blowing through the cracks of the floor. It was
cold-very cold, but he first found it out when the light
in the attic was put out and the music in the wood died
away. Ah then it froze him, and he crept down again
into his warm corner; there it was comfortable and cosy.
When Christmas came, and with it the jam with the
large lump of butter, ah then the grocer was first with
But in the middle of the night the Goblin awoke,
hearing a great noise and knocking against the shutters
-people hammering from outside. The watchman was
blowing his horn: a great fire had broken out; the whole
town was in flames.
Was it in the house? or was it at a neighbour's?
Where was it ?
The alarm increased. The grocer's wife was so
terrified that she took her gold earrings out of her ears
and put them in her pocket in order to save something.
The grocer seized his account books, and the maid her
black silk dress.
Everyone wanted to save his most valuable possession;
so did the Goblin, and in a few leaps he was up the stairs
and in the student's room. He was standing quietly by
the open window looking at the fire that was burning
in the neighbour's house just opposite. The Goblin
seized the book lying on the table, put it in his red cap,
and clasped it with both hands. The best treasure in the
house was saved, and he climbed out on to the roof with
it-on to the chimney. There he sat, lighted up by the
flames from the burning house opposite, both hands
holding tightly on his red cap, in which lay the treasure;
and now he knew what his heart really valued most-to
THE GOBLIN AND THE GROCER
whom he really belonged. But when the fire was put
out, and the Goblin thought it over-then-
I will divide myself between the two,' he said. I
cannot quite give up the grocer, because of the jam!'
And it is just the same with us. We also cannot
quite give up the grocer-because of the jam.
THE HOUSE IN THE WOOD'
A roon woodcutter lived with his wife and three daughters
in a little hut on the borders of a great forest.
One morning as he was going to his work, he said to
his wife, 'Let our eldest daughter bring me my lunch into
the wood; and so that she shall not lose her way, I will
take a bag of millet with me, and sprinkle the seed on the
When the sun had risen high over the forest, the girl
set out with a basin of soup. But the field and wood
sparrows, the larks and finches, blackbirds and green-
finches had picked up the millet long ago, and the girl
could not find her way.
She went on and on, till the sun set and night came
on. The trees rustled in the darkness, the owls hooted,
and she began to be very much frightened. Then she
saw in the distance a light that twinkled between the
trees. 'There must be people living yonder,' she thought,
' who will take me in for the night,' and she began walk-
ing towards it.
Not long afterwards she came to a house with lights
in the windows.
She knocked at the door, and a gruff voice called,
Come in '
The girl stepped into the dark entrance, and tapped
at the door of the room.
I From the German of Grimm.
THE HOUSE IN THE WOOD
'Just walk in,' cried the voice, and when she opened
the door there sat an old grey-haired man at the table.
His face was resting on his hands, and his white beard
flowed over the table almost down to the ground.
By the stove lay three beasts, a hen, a cock, and a
brindled cow. The girl told Lhe old man her story, and
asked for a night's lodging.
The man said:
And you, pretty brindled cow,
What do you say now?
'Duks,' answered the beasts; and that must have
meant, We are quite willing,' for the old man went on,
'Here is abundance; go into the back kitchen and cook
us a supper.
The girl found plenty of everything in the kitchen, and
cooked a good meal, but she did not think of the beasts.
She placed the full dishes on the table, sat down
opposite the grey-haired man, and ate till her hunger was
When she was satisfied, she said, 'But now I am so
tired, where is a bed in which I can sleep?'
The beasts answered:
You have eaten with him,
You have drunk with him,
Of us you have,not thought,
Sleep then as you ought!
Then the old man said, 'Go upstairs, and there you
will find a bedroom; shake the bed, and put clean sheets
on, and go to sleep.
The maiden went upstairs, and when she had made
the bed, she lay down.
After some time the grey-haired man came, looked at
her by the light of his candle, and shook his head. And
20 THE HOUSE IN THE WOOD
when he saw that she was sound asleep, he opened a trap-
door and let her fall into the cellar.
The woodcutter came home late in the evening, and
reproached his wife for leaving him all day without food.
'No, I did not,' she answered; 'the girl went off with
your dinner. She must have lost her way, but will no
doubt come back to-morrow.
But at daybreak the woodcutter started off into the
wood, and this time asked his second daughter to bring
'I will take a bag of lentils,' said he; 'they are larger
than millet, and the girl will see them better and be sure
to find her way.
At midday the maiden took the food, but the lentils
had all gone; as on the previous day, the wood birds had
eaten them all.
The maiden wandered about the wood till nightfall,
when she came in the same way to the old man's house,
and asked for food and a night's lodging.
The man with the white hair again asked the beasts:
And you, pretty brindled cow,
What do you say now ?
The beasts answered,' Duks,' and everything happened
as on the former day.
The girl cooked a good meal, ate and drank with the
old man, and did not trouble herself about the animals.
And when she asked for a bed, they replied:
You have eaten with him,
You have drunk with him,
Of us you have not thought,
Now sleep as you ought!
And when she was asleep, the old man shook his head
over her, and let her fall into the cellar.
THE HOUSE IN THE WOOD
On the third morning the woodcutter said to his wife,
'Send our youngest child to-day with my dinner. She is
always good and obedient, and will keep to the right path,
and not wander away like her sisters, idle drones !'
But the mother said, 'Must I lose my dearest child
'Do not fear,' he answered; 'she is too clever and
intelligent to lose her way. I will take plenty of peas
with me and strew them along; they are even larger than
lentils, and will show her the way.'
But when the maiden started off with the basket on
her arm, the wood pigeons had eaten up the peas, and she
did not know which way to go. She was much distressed,
and thought constantly of her poor hungry father and
her anxious mother. At last, when it grew dark, she saw
the little light, and came to the house in the wood. She
asked prettily if she might stay there for the night, and
the man with the white beard asked his beasts again:
And you, pretty brindled cow,
What do you say now?
'Duks,' they said. Then the maiden stepped up to
the stove where the animals were lying, and stroked the
cock and the hen, and scratched the brindled cow between
And when at the bidding of the old man she had
prepared a good supper, and the dishes were standing on
the table, she said, Shall I have plenty while the good
beasts have nothing ? There is food to spare outside; I
will attend to them first.'
Then she went out and fetched barley and strewed it
before the cock and hen, and brought the cow an armful
of sweet-smelling hay.
'Eat that, dear beasts,' she said, and when you are
thirsty you shall have a good drink.'
22 THE HOUSE IN THE WOOD
Then she fetched a bowl of water, and the cock and
hen flew on to the edge, put their beaks in, and then held
up their heads as birds do when they drink, and the
brindled cow also drank her fill. When the beasts were
satisfied, the maiden sat down beside the old man at the
table and ate what was left for her. Soon the cock and
hen began to tuck their heads under their wings, and the
brindled cow blinked its eyes, so the maiden said, 'Shall
we not go to rest now ?'
And you, pretty brindled cow,
What do you say now ?
THE HOUSE IN THE WOOD
The animals said, 'Duks:
You have eaten with us
You have drunk with us,
You have tended us right,
So we wish you good night.'
The maiden therefore went upstairs, made the bed and
put on clean sheets and fell asleep. She slept peacefully
till midnight, when there was such a noise in the house
that she awoke. Everything trembled and shook; the
animals sprang up and dashed themselves in terror
against the wall; the beams swayed as if they would be
torn from their foundations, it seemed as if the stairs were
tumbling down, and then the roof fell in with a crash.
Then all became still, and as no harm came to the maiden
she lay down again and fell asleep. But when she awoke
again in broad daylight, what a sight met her eyes She
was lying in a splendid room furnished with royal
splendour; the walls were covered with golden flowers
on a green ground; the bed was of ivory and the counter-
pane of velvet, and on a stool near by lay a pair of slippers
studded with pearls. The maiden thought she must be
dreaming, but in came three servants richly dressed, who
asked what were her commands. Go,' said the maiden,
'I will get up at once and cook the old man's supper for
him, and then I will feed the pretty cock and hen and the
But the door opened and in came a handsome young
man, who said, 'I am a king's son, and was condemned
by a wicked witch to live as an old man in this wood
with no company but that of my three servants, who were
transformed into a cock, a hen, and a brindled cow. The
spell could only be broken by the arrival of a maiden
who should show herself kind not only to men but to
beasts. You are that maiden, and last night at midnight
we were freed, and this poor house was again transformed
into my royal palace.
24 THE HOUSE IN THE WOOD
As they stood there the king's son told his three ser-
vants to go and fetch the maiden's parents to be present
at the wedding feast.
'But where are my two sisters?' asked the maid.
'I shut them up in the cellar, but in the morning they
shall be led forth into the forest and shall serve a char-
coal burner until they have improved, and will never
again suffer poor animals to go hungry.'
URASCHIMATABO AND THE TURTLE'
THERE was once a worthy old couple who lived on the
coast, and supported themselves by fishing. They had
only one child, a son, who was their pride and joy, and
for his sake they were ready to work hard all day long,
and never felt tired or discontented with their lot. This
son's name was Uraschimataro, which means in Japanese,
' Son of the island,' and he was a fine well-grown youth
and a good fisherman, minding neither wind nor weather.
Not the bravest sailor in the whole village dared venture
so far out to sea as Uraschimataro, and many a time the
neighbours used to shake their heads and say to his
parents, If your son goes on being so rash, one day he
will try his luck once too often, and the waves will end
by swallowing him up.' But Uraschimataro paid no heed
to these remarks, and as he was really very clever in
managing a boat, the old people were very seldom
anxious about him.
One beautiful bright morning, as he was hauling his
well-filled nets into the boat, he saw lying among the
fishes a tiny little turtle. He was delighted with his
prize, and threw it into a wooden vessel to keep till he
got home, when suddenly the turtle found its voice, and
tremblingly begged for its life. 'After all,' it said,
'what good can I do you? I am so young and small,
and I would so gladly live a little longer. Be merciful
SFrom the Japanische Alirchen and Sagen, von David Brauns
(Leipzig: Wilhelm Friedrich).
26 URASCHIIATARO AND THE TURTLE
and set me free, and I shall know how to prove my
Now Uraschimataro was very good-natured, and be-
sides, he could never bear to say no, so he picked up the
turtle, and put it back into the sea.
Years flew by, and every morning Uraschimataro
sailed his boat into the deep sea. But one day as he was
making for a little bay between some rocks, there arose a
fierce whirlwind, which shattered his boat to pieces, and
she was sucked under by the waves. Uraschimataro
himself very nearly shared the same fate. But he was a
powerful swimmer, and struggled hard to reach the
shore. Then he saw a large turtle coming towards him,
and above the howling of the storm he heard what it
said: 'I am the turtle whose life you once saved. I
will now pay my debt and show my gratitude. The land
is still far distant, and without my help you would
never get there. Climb on my back, and I will take you
where you will.' Uraschimataro did not wait to be asked
twice, and thankfully accepted his friend's help. But
scarcely was he seated firmly oil the shell, when the
turtle proposed that they should not return to the shore
at once, but go under the sea, and look at some of the
wonders that lay hidden there.
Uraschimataro agreed willingly, and in another moment
they were deep, deep down, with fathoms of blue water
above their heads. Oh, how quickly they darted through
the still, warm sea The young man held tight, and
marvelled where they were going and how long they
were to travel, but for three days they rushed on, till
at last the turtle stopped before a splendid palace, shin-
ing with gold and silver, crystal and precious stones,
and decked here and there with branches of pale pink
coral and glittering pearls. But if Uraschimataro was
astonished at the beauty of the outside, he was struck
dumb at the sight of the hall within, which was lighted
by the blaze of fish scales.
URASCHIMATARO AND THE TURTLE 27
'Where have you brought me ?' he asked his guide in
a low voice.
'To the palace of Ringu, the house of the sea god,
whose subjects we all are,' answered the turtle. I am
Soe --uijth -thhe -JTRiLE-
rto -the-AS a-A -&N CE-S
the first waiting maid of his daughter, the lovely princess
OtohimB, whom you will shortly see.'
Uraschimataro was still so puzzled with the adventures
that had befallen him, that he waited in a dazed condition
for what would happen next. But the turtle, who had
28 URASCHIMATARO AND THE TURTLE
talked so much of him to the princess that she had
expressed a wish to see him, went at once to make
known his arrival. And directly the princess beheld him
her heart was set on him, and she begged him to stay
with her, and in return promised that he should never
grow old, neither should his beauty fade. 'Is not that
reward enough?' she asked, smiling, looking all the while
as fair as the sun itself. And Uraschimataro said Yes,'
and so he stayed there. For how long? That he only
His life passed by, and each hour seemed happier
than the last, when one day there rushed over him a
terrible longing to see his parents. He fought against it
hard, knowing how it would grieve the princess, but it
grew on him stronger and stronger, till at length he
became so sad that the princess inquired what was
wrong. Then he told her of the longing he had to visit
his old home, and that he must see his parents once
more. The princess was almost frozen with horror, and
implored him to stay with her, or something dreadful
would be sure to happen. You will never come back,
and we shall meet again no more,' she moaned bitterly.
But Uraschimataro stood firm and repeated, 'Only this
once will I leave you, and then will I return to your side
for ever.' Sadly the princess shook her head, but she
answered slowly, One way there is to bring you safely
back, but I fear you will never agree to the conditions of
'I will do anything that will bring me back to you,'
exclaimed Uraschimataro, looking at her tenderly, but the
princess was silent: she knew too well that when he left
her she would see his face no more. Then she took from
a shelf a tiny golden box, and gave it to Uraschimataro,
praying him to keep it carefully, and above all things
never to open it. 'If you can do this,' she said as she
bade him farewell, your friend the turtle will meet you at
the shore, and will carry you back to me.'
~: '~5 2
K -A~6 X
30 UBASCHIMATABO AND THE TURTLE
Uraschimataro thanked her from his heart, and swore
solemnly to do her bidding. He hid the box safely in
his garments, seated himself on the back of the turtle,
and vanished in the ocean path, waving his hand to the
princess. Three days and three nights they swam
through the sea, and at length Uraschimataro arrived at
the beach which lay before his old home. The turtle
bade him farewell, and was gone in a moment.
Uraschimataro drew near to the village with quick
and joyful steps. He saw the smoke curling through
the roof, and the thatch where green plants had thickly
sprouted. He-heard the children shouting and calling,
and from a window that he passed came the twang of
the koto, and everything seemed to cry a welcome for
his return. Yet suddenly he felt a pang at his heart
as he wandered down the street. After all, everything
was changed. Neither men nor houses were those
he once knew. Quickly he saw his old home; yes, it
was still there, but it had a strange look. Anxiously he
knocked at the door, and asked the woman who opened
it after his parents. But she did not know their names,
and could give him no news of them.
Still more disturbed, he rushed to the burying ground,
the only place that could tell him what he wished to
know. Here at any rate he would find out what it all
meant. And he was right. In a moment he stood
before the grave of his parents, and the date written on the
stone was almost exactly the date when they had lost
their son, and he had forsaken them for the Daughter of
the Sea. And so he found that since he had left his
home, three hundred years had passed by.
Shuddering with horror at his discovery he turned
back into the village street, hoping to meet some one
who could tell him of the days of old. But when the
man spoke, he knew he was not dreaming, though he felt
as if he had lost his senses.
In despair he bethought him of the box which was
URASCHIMATARO AND THE TURTLE 31
the gift of the princess. Perhaps after all this dreadful
thing was not true. He might be the victim of some
enchanter's spell, and in his hand lay the counter-
charm. Almost unconsciously he opened it, and a purple
vapour came pouring out. He held the empty box in
his hand, and as he looked he saw that the fresh hand of
youth had grown suddenly shrivelled, like the hand of an
old, old man. He ran to the brook, which flowed in a
clear stream down from the mountain, and saw himself
32 URASCHIMATARO AND THE TURTLE
reflected as in a mirror. It was the face of a mummy
which looked back at him. Wounded to death, he crept
back through the village, and no man knew the old, old
man to be the strong handsome youth who had run down
the street an hour before. So he toiled wearily back, till
he reached the shore, and here he sat sadly on a rock,
and called loudly on the turtle. But she never came
back any more, but instead, death came soon, and set
him free. But before that happened, the people who
saw him sitting lonely on the shore had heard his story,
and when their children were restless they used to tell
them of the good son who from love to his parents had
given up for their sakes the splendour and wonders of
the palace in the sea, and the most beautiful woman in
the world besides.
THE SLAYING OF THE TANUKI1
NEAR a big river, and between two high mountains, a man
and his wife lived in a cottage a long, long time ago. A
dense forest lay all round the cottage, and there was
hardly a path or a tree in the whole wood that was not
familiar to the peasant from his boyhood. In one of his
wanderings he had made friends with a hare, and many
an hour the two passed together, when the man was
resting by the roadside, eating his dinner.
Now this strange friendship was observed by the
Tanuki, a wicked, quarrelsome beast, who hated the
peasant, and was never tired of doing him an ill turn.
Again and again he had crept to the hut, and finding some
choice morsel put away for the little hare, had either eaten
it if he thought it nice, or trampled it to pieces so that no
one else should get it, and at last the peasant lost patience,
and made up his mind he would have the Tanuki's blood.
So for many days the man lay hidden, waiting for the
Tanuki to come by, and when one morning he marched
up the road thinking of nothing but the dinner he was
going to steal, the peasant threw himself upon him and
bound his four legs tightly, so that he could not move.
Then he dragged his enemy joyfully to the house, feeling
that at length he had got the better of the mischievous
beast which had done him so many ill turns. 'He shall
pay for them with his skin,' he said to his wife. We
will first kill him, and then cook him.' So saying, he
SFrom the Japanische M1rchen und Sagcn.
34 THE SLAYING OF THE TANUKI
hanged the Tanuki, head downwards, to a beam, and went
out to gather wood for a fire.
Meanwhile the old woman was standing at the mortar
pounding the rice that was to serve them for the week
with a pestle that made her arms ache with its weight.
Suddenly she heard something whining and weeping in
the corner, and, stopping her work, she looked round to
see what it was. That was all that the rascal wanted,
and he put on directly his most humble air, and begged
the woman in his softest voice to loosen his bonds, which
were hurting him sorely. She was filled with pity for
him, but did not dare to set him free, as she knew that
her husband would be very angry. The Tanuki, however,
did not despair, and seeing that her heart was softened,
began his prayers anew. 'He only asked to have his
bonds taken from him,' he said. 'He would give his
word not to attempt to escape, and if he was once set free
he could soon pound her rice for her.' Then you can
have a little rest,' he went on, 'for rice pounding is very
tiring work, and not at all fit for weak women.' These
last words melted the good woman completely, and she
unfastened the bonds that held him. Poor foolish
creature! In one moment the Tanuki had seized her,
stripped off all her clothes, and popped her in the mortar.
In a few minutes more she was pounded as fine as the
rice ; and not content with that, the Tanuki placed a pot
on the hearth and made ready to cook the peasant a
dinner from the flesh of his own wife !
When everything was complete he looked out of the
door, and saw the old man coming from the forest carrying
a large bundle of wood. Quick as lightning the Tanuki
not only put on the woman's clothes, but, as he was a
magician, assumed her form as well. Then he took the
wood, kindled the fire, and very soon set a large dinner
before the old man, who was very hungry, and had
forgotten for the moment all about his enemy. But when
the Tanuki saw that he had eaten his fill and would be
'kE TIWUI(L J Tttf- OLD WOMAN
36 THE SLAYING OF THE TANUKI
thinking about his prisoner, he hastily shook off the
clothes behind a door and took his own shape. Then he
said to the peasant, You are a nice sort of person to
seize animals and to talk of killing them You are
caught in your own net. It is your own wife that you
have eaten, and if you want to find her bones you have
only to look under the floor.' With these words he
turned and made for the forest.
The old peasant grew cold with horror as he listened,
and seemed frozen to the place where he stood. When
he had recovered himself a little, he collected the bones
of his dead wife, buried them in the garden, and swore
over the grave to be avenged on the Tanuki. After every-
thing was done he sat himself down in his lonely cottage
and wept bitterly, and the bitterest thought of all was
that he would never be able to forget that he had eaten
his own wife.
While he was thus weeping and wailing his friend the
hare passed by, and, hearing the noise, pricked up his ears
and soon recognized the old man's voice. He wondered
what had happened, and put his head in at the door and
asked if anything was the matter. With tears and groans
the peasant told him the whole dreadful story, and the
hare, filled with anger and compassion, comforted him as
best he could, and promised to help him in his revenge.
'The false knave shall not go unpunished,' said he.
So the first thing he did was to search the house for
materials to make an ointment, which he sprinkled
plentifully with pepper and then put in his pocket. Next
he took a hatchet, bade farewell to the old man, and
departed to the forest. He bent his steps to the dwelling
of the Tanuki and knocked at the door. The Tanuki,
who had no cause to suspect the hare, was greatly pleased
to see him, for he noticed the hatchet at once, and began
to lay plots how to get hold of it.
To do this he thought he had better offer to accompany
the hare, which was exactly what the hare wished and
THE SLAYING OF THE TANUKI 37
expected, for he knew all the Tanuki's cunning, and
understood his little ways. So he accepted the rascal's
company with joy, and made himself very pleasant as
they strolled along. When they were wandering in this
manner through the forest the hare carelessly raised his
hatchet in passing, and cut down some thick boughs that
were hanging over the path, but at length, after cutting
down a good big tree, which cost him many hard blows,
-he declared that it was too heavy for him to carry home,
and he must just leave it where it was. This delighted
the greedy Tanuki, who said that they would be no weight
38 THE SLAYING OF THE TANUKI
for him, so they collected the large branches, which the
hare bound tightly on his back. Then he trotted gaily
to the house, the hare following after with his lighter
By this time the hare had decided what he would do,
and as soon as they arrived, he quietly set on fire the
wood on the back of the Tanuki. The Tanuki, who was
busy with something else, observed nothing, and only
called out to ask what was the meaning of the crackling
that he heard. 'It is just the rattle.of the stones which
are rolling down the side of the mountain,' the hare said;
and the Tanuki was content, and made no further remarks,
never noticing that the noise really sprang from the burn-
ing boughs on his back, until his fur was in flames, and
it was almost too late to put itout. Shrieking with.pain,
he let.fall the burning wood from his back, and stamped.
and,liowled with agony. But the hare comforted him,
and told him that he always carried with him an excellent
plaster in case of need, which would bring himl instant
.relief, and taking out his ointment he spread it on a leaf
of bamboo, and laid it on the wound. No sooner did it
touch-him than the Tanuki leapt yelling into the air, and
the hare laughed, and ran to tell his friend the peasant
what a trick he had played on their enemy. But the,old
man'-shook his head sadly, for he knew that the villain
was only crushed for the moment, and that he would
shortly be- revenging himself upon them. No, the only
way ever to get any peace and quiet was to render the
Tanuki harmless for ever. Long did the old man and the
hare puzzle together how this was to be done, and at last
they decided that they would make two boats, a small one
of wood and a large one of clay. Then they fell to work
at once, and when the boats were ready and properly
painted, the hare went to the Tanuki, who was still very
ill, and invited him to a great fish-catching. The Tanuki
was still feeling angry with the hare about the trick he
had played him, but he was weak and very hungry, so he
THE SLAYING OF THE TANUKI 39
gladly accepted the proposal, and accompanied the hare
to the bank of the river, where the two boats were moored,
rocked by the waves. They both looked exactly alike,
and the Tanuki only saw that one was bigger than the
other, and would hold more fish, so he sprang into the
large one, while the hare climbed into the one which was
made of wood. They loosened their moorings, and made
for the middle of the stream, and when they were at some
distance from the bank, the hare took his oar, and struck
such a heavy blow at the other boat, that it broke in two.
The Tanuki fell straight into the water, and was held
there by the hare till he was quite dead. Then he put
the body in his boat and rowed to land, and told the old
man that his enemy was dead at last. And the old man
rejoiced that his wife was avenged, and he took the
hare into his house, and they lived together all their days
in peace and quietness upon the mountain.
THE FLYING TRUNK
THERE was once a merchant who was so rich that he
could have paved the whole street, and perhaps even a
little side-street besides, with silver. But he did not do
that; he knew another way of spending his money. If
he spent a shilling he got back a florin-such an excellent
merchant he was-till he died.
Now his son inherited all this money. He lived very
merrily; he went every night to the theatre, made paper
kites out of five-pound notes, and played ducks and
drakes with sovereigns instead of stones. In this way
the money was likely to come soon to an end, and so it
At last he had nothing left but four shillings, and he
had no clothes except a pair of slippers and an old
His friends did not trouble themselves any more about
him; they would not even walk down the street with
But one of them who was rather good-natured sent
him an old trunk with tlb message, 'Pack up! That
was all very well, but he had nothing to pack up, so he
got into the trunk himself.
It was an enchanted trunk, for as soon as the lock
was pressed it could fly. He pressed it, and away he
flew in it up the chimney, high into the clouds, further
and further away. But whenever the bottom gave a
Translated from the German of Hans Andersen.
THE FLYING TRUNK
little creak he was in terror lest the trunk should go
to pieces, for then he would have turned a dreadful
somersault-just think of it!
In this way he arrived at the land of the Turks. He
hid the trunk in a wood under some dry leaves, and then
walked into the town. He could do that quite well, for
all the Turks were dressed just as he was-in a dressing-
gown and slippers.
He met a nurse with a little child.
Halloa! you Turkish nurse,' said. he, what is that
great castle there close to the town ? The one with the
windows so high up ? '
'The sultan's daughter lives there,' she replied. 'It
is prophesied that she will be very unlucky in her
husband, and so no one is allowed to see her except when
the sultan and sultana are by.'
Thank you,' said the merchant's son, and he went
into the wood, sat himself in his trunk, flew on to the
roof, and crept through the window into the princess's
She was lying on the sofa asleep, and was so beautiful
that the young merchant had to kiss her. Then she
woke up and was very much frightened, but he said he
was a Turkish god who had come through the air to see
her, and that pleased her very much.
They sat close to each other, and he told her a story
about her eyes. They were beautiful dark lakes in which
her thoughts swam about like mermaids. And her
forehead was a snowy mountain, grand and shining.
These were lovely stories.
Then he asked the princess to marry him, and she
said yes at once.
'But you must come here on Saturday,' she said, 'for
then the sultan and the sultana are coming to tea with
me. They will be indeed proud that I receive the god
of the Turks. But mind you have a really good story
ready, for my parents like them immensely. My mother
THE FLYING TR UNK
likes something rather moral and high-flown, and my
father likes something merry to make him laugh.'
'Yes, I shall only bring a fairy story-for my dowry,'
said he, and.so they parted. But the princess gave him
a sabre set with gold pieces which he could use.
Then he flew away, bought himself a new dressing-
gown, and sat down in the wood and began to make up
a story, for it had to be ready by Saturday,-and that was
-no easy matter.
THE FLYING TRUNK
When he had it ready it was Saturday.
The sultan, the sultana, and the whole court were at
tea with the princess.
He was most graciously received.
Will you tell us a story ? said the sultana; one
that is thoughtful and instructive ?'
'But something that we can laugh at,' said the sultan.
'Oh, certainly,' he replied, and began : 'Now, listen
attentively. There was once a box of matches which lay
between a tinder-box and an old iron pot, and they told
the story of their youth.
'"We used to be on the green fir-boughs. Every
morning and evening we had diamond-tea, which was the
dew, and the whole day long we had sunshine, and the
little birds used to tell us stories. We were very rich,
because the other trees only dressed in summer, but we
had green dresses in summer and in winter. Then the
woodcutter came, and our family was split up. We have
now the task of making light for the lowest people. That
is why we grand people are in the kitchen."
My fate was quite different," said the iron pot, near
which the matches lay.
Since I came into the world I have been many times
scoured, and have cooked much. My only pleasure is to
have a good chat with my companions when I am lying
nice and clean in my place after dinner."
'" Now you are talking too fast," spluttered the fire.
'" Yes, let us decide who is the grandest! said the
'" No, I don't like talking about myself," said the pot.
"Let us arrange an evening's entertainment. I will
tell the.story of my life.
'" On the Baltic by the Danish shore- "
'" What a beautiful beginning said all the plates.
" That's a story that will please us all."
And the end was just as good as the beginning. All
the plates clattered for joy.
THE FLYING TRUNK
'" Now I will dance," said the tongs, and she danced.
Oh! how high she could kick !
'The old chair-cover in the corner split when he saw
The urn would have sung but she said she had a
cold; she could not sing unless she boiled.
In the window was an old quill pen. There was
nothing remarkable about her except that she had been
dipped too deeply into the ink. But she was very proud
'"If the urn will not sing," said she, "outside the
door hangs a nightingale in a cage who will sing."
'"I don't think it's proper," said the kettle, "that
such a foreign bird should be heard."
Oh, let us have some acting," said everyone. Do
'Suddenly the door opened and the maid came in.
Everyone was quite quiet. There was not a sound. But
each pot knew what he might have done, and how grand
The maid took the matches and lit the fire with
them. How they spluttered aQd flamed, to be sure!
" Now everyone can see," they thought, that we are
the grandest! How we sparkle! What a light- "
'But here they were burnt out.'
'That was a delightful story said the sultana. 'I
quite feel myself in the kitchen with the matches. Yes,
now you shall marry our daughter.'
Yes, indeed,' said the sultan, you shall marry our
daughter on Monday.' And they treated the young man
as one of the family.
The wedding was arranged, and the night before the
whole town was illuminated.
Biscuits and gingerbreads were thrown among the
people, the street boys stood on tiptoe crying hurrahs and
whistling through their fingers. It was all splendid.
'Now I must also give them a treat,' thought the
ITHEMINESSWRITD.AL DY ONTHEVOO
THE FLYING TRUNK
merchant's son. And so he bought rockets, crackers, and
all the kinds of fireworks you can think of, put them in
his trunk, and flew up with them into the air.
Whirr-r-r, how they fizzed and blazed!
All the Turks jumped so high that their slippers flew
above their heads; such a splendid glitter they had never
Now they could quite well understand that it was the
god of the Turks himself who was to marry the princess.
As soon as the young merchant came down again into
the wood with his trunk he thought, Now I will just go
into the town to see how the show has taken.'
And it was quite natural that he should want to do
Oh what stories the people had to tell !
Each one whom he asked had seen it differently, but
they had all found it beautiful.
'I saw the Turkish god himself,' said one. 'He had
eyes like glittering stars, and a beard like foaming water.'
'He flew away in a cloak of fire,' said another.
They were splendid things that he heard, and the next
day was to be his wedding day.
Then he went back into the wood to sit in his trunk;
but what had become of it ? The trunk had been burnt.
A spark of the fireworks had set it alight, and the trunk
was in ashes. He could no longer fly, and could' never
reach his bride.
She stood the whole day long on the roof and waited;
perhaps she is waiting there still.
But he wandered through the world and told stories ;
though they are not so merry as the one he told about the
'How astonishingly cold it is My body is cracking all
over!' said the Snow-man. 'The wind is really cutting
one's very life out And how that fiery thing up there
glares I He meant the sun, which was just setting.
'It sha'n't make me blink, though, and I shall keep quite
cool and collected.'
Instead of eyes he had two large three-cornered pieces
of slate in his head; his mouth consisted of an old rake,
so that he had teeth as well.
He was born amidst the shouts and laughter of the
boys, and greeted by the jingling bells and cracking
whips of the sledges.
The sun went down, the full moon rose, large, round,
clear and beautiful, in the dark blue sky.
'There it is again on the other side! said the Snow-
man, by which he meant the sun was appearing again.
'I have become quite accustomed to its glaring. I hope
it will hang there and shine, so that I may be able to see
myself. I wish I knew, though, how one ought to set
about changing one's, position. I should very much like
to move about. If I only could, I would glide up and
down the ice there, as I saw the boys doing; but some-
how or other, I don't know how to run.'
'Bow-wow!' barked the old yard-dog; he was rather
hoarse and couldn't bark very well. His hoarseness
Translated from the German of Hans Christian Andersen.
came on when he was a house-dog and used to lie in
front of the stove. 'The sun will soon teach you to run !
I saw that last winter with your predecessor, and farther
back still with his predecessors! They have all run
'I don't understand you, my friend,' said the Snow-
man. 'That thing up there is to teach me to run? He
meant the moon. 'Well, it certainly did run just now,
for I saw it quite plainly over there, and now here it is
on this side.'
You know nothing at all about it,' said the yard-dog.
'Why, you have only just been made. The thing you see
there is the moon; the other thing you saw going down
the other side was the sun. He will come up again to-
morrow morning, and will soon teach you how to run
away down the gutter. The weather is going to change;
I feel it already by the pain in my left hind-leg; the
weather is certainly going to change.'
'I can't understand him,' said the Snow-man; 'but I
have an idea that he is speaking of something unpleasant.
That thing that glares so, and then disappears, the sun, as
he calls it, is not my friend. I know that by instinct.'
'Bow-wow!' barked the yard-dog, and walked three
times round himself, and then crept into his kennel to
sleep. The weather really did change. Towards morning
a dense damp fog lay over the whole neighbourhood;
later on came an icy wind, which sent the frost packing.
But when the sun rose, it was a glorious sight. The
trees and shrubs were covered with rime, and looked like
a wood of coral, and every branch was thick with long
white blossoms. The most delicate twigs, which are lost
among the foliage in summer-time, came now into pro-
minence, and it was like a spider's web of glistening
white. The lady-birches waved in the wind; and when
the sun shone, everything glittered and sparkled as if it
were sprinkled with diamond dust, and great diamonds
were lying on the snowy carpet.
A~6 Zhjk7out5 Y-) =
Isn't it wonderful ?' exclaimed a girl who was walk-
ing with a young man in the garden. They stopped near
the Snow-man, and looked at the glistening trees.
' Summer cannot show a more beautiful sight,' she said,
with her eyes shining.
'And one can't get a fellow like this in summer either,'
said the young man, pointing to the Snow-man. 'He's a
The girl laughed, and nodded to the Snow-man, and
then they both danced away over the snow.
Who were those two ?' asked the Snow-man of the
yard-dog. 'You have been in this yard longer than I
have. Do you know who they are ?'
'Do I know them indeed?' answered the yard-dog.
'She has often stroked me, and he has given me bones.
I don't bite either of them '
'But what are they ?' asked the Snow-man.
'Lovers! replied the yard-dog. 'They will go into
one kennel and gnaw the same bone! '
'Are they the same kind of beings that we are?'
asked the Snow-man.
'They are our masters,' answered the yard-dog.
' Really people who have only been in the world one day
know very little That's the conclusion I have come to.
Now I have age and wisdom; I know everyone in the
house, and I can remember a time when I was not
lying here in a cold kennel. Bow-wow !'
The cold is splendid,' said the Snow-man. 'Tell me
some more. But don't rattle your chain so, it makes me
'Bow-wow !' barked the yard-dog. 'They used to
say I was a pretty little fellow; then I lay in a velvet-
covered chair in my master's house. My mistress used
to nurse me, and kiss and fondle me, and call me her
dear, sweet little Alice! But by-and-by I grew too big,
and I was given to the housekeeper, and I went into the
kitchen. You can see into it from where you are standing;
you can look at the room in which I was master, for so I
was when I was with the housekeeper. Of course it was
a smaller place than upstairs, but it was more comfortable,
for I wasn't chased about and teased by the children as I
had been before. My food was just as good, or even
better. I had my own pillow, and there was a stove there,
which at this time of year is the most beautiful thing in
the world. I used to creep right under that stove. Ah
me! I often dream of that stove still! Bow-wow!'
Is a stove so beautiful ? asked the Snow-man. 'Is
it anything like me?'
It is just the opposite of you It is coal-black, and
has a long neck with a brass pipe. It eats firewood, so
that fire spouts out of its mouth. One has to keep close
beside it-quite underneath is the nicest of all. You can
see it through the window from where you are standing.'
And the Snow-man looked in that direction, and saw a
smooth polished object with a brass pipe. The flicker
from the fire reached him across the snow. The Snow-
man felt wonderfully happy, and a feeling came over him
which he could not express; but all those who are not
snow-men know about it.
'Why did you leave her ?' asked the Snow-man. He
had a feeling that such a being must be a lady. 'How
could you leave such a place ?'
'I had to !' said the yard-dog. 'They turned me out
of doors, and chained me up here. I had bitten the
youngest boy in the leg, because he took away the bone I
was gnawing; a bone for a bone, I thought! But they
were very angry, and from that time I have been chained
here, and I have lost my voice. Don't you hear how
hoarse I am? Bow-wow I can't speak like other dogs.
Bow-wow! That was the end of happiness!'
The Snow-man, however, was not listening to him any
more; he was looking into the room where the house-
keeper lived, where the stove stood on its four iron legs,
and seemed to be just the same size as the Snow-man.
'How something is cracking inside me!' he said.
'Shall I never be able to get in there ? It is certainly a
very innocent wish, and our innocent wishes ought to be
fulfilled. I must get there, and lean against the stove, if
I have to break the window first! '
You will never get inside there !' said the yard-dog;
'and if you were to reach the stove you would disappear.
'I'm as good as gone already I' answered the Snow-
man. 'I believe I'm breaking up '
The whole day the Snow-man looked through the
window; towards dusk the room grew still more inviting;
the stove gave out a mild light, not at all like the moon or
even the sun; no, as only a stove can shine, when it has
something to feed upon. When the door of the room was
open, it flared up-this was one' of its peculiarities; it
flickered quite red upon the Snow-man's white face.
'I can't stand it any longer!' he said. 'How
beautiful it looks with its tongue stretched out like that !'
It was a long night, but the Snow-man did not find it
so; there he stood, wrapt in his pleasant thoughts, and
they froze, so that he cracked.
Next morning the panes of the kitchen window were
covered with ice, and the most beautiful ice-flowers that
even a snow-man could desire, only they blotted out the
stove. The window would not open; he couldn't see the
stove which he thought was such a lovely lady. There
was a cracking and cracking inside him and all around;
there was just such a frost as a snow-man would delight
in. But this Snow-man was different: how could he feel
'Yours is a bad illness for a Snow-man!' said the
yard-dog. 'I also suffered from it, but I have got over
it. Bow-wow!' he barked. 'The weather is going to
change!' he added.
The weather did change. There came a thaw.
When this set in the Snow-man set off. He did not
say anything, and he did not complain, and those are bad
One morning he broke up altogether. And lo where
he had stood there remained a broomstick standing up-
right, round which the boys had built him !
'Ah! now I understand why he loved the stove,'
said the yard-dog. That is the raker they use to clean
out the stove The Snow-man had a stove-raker in his
body That's what was the matter with him And now
it's all over with him! Bow-wow !'
And before long it was all over with the winter too !
' Bow-wow! barked the hoarse yard-dog.
But the young girl sang:
Woods, your bright green garments don !
Willows, your woolly gloves put on !
Lark and cuckoo, daily sing-
February has brought the spring !
My heart joins in your song so sweet;
Come out, dear sun, the world to greet!
And no one thought of the Snow-man.
THERE was once a fine gentleman whose entire worldly
possessions consisted of a boot-jack and a hair-brush;
but he had the most beautiful shirt-collar in the world,
and it is about this that we are going to hear a story.
The shirt-collar was so old that he began to think
about marrying; and it happened one day that he and a
garter came into the wash-tub together.
ulloa said the shirt-collar, 'never before have I
seen anything so slim and delicate, so elegant and pretty !
May I be permitted to ask your name?'
'I shan't tell you,' said the garter.
'Where is the place of your abode?' asked the shirt-
But the garter was of a bashful disposition, and did
not think it proper to answer.
'Perhaps you are a girdle ? said the shirt-collar-' an
under girdle ? for I see that you are for use as well as
for ornament, my pretty miss !'
'You ought not to speak to me !' said the garter;
'I'm sure I haven't given you any encouragement! '
'When anyone is as beautiful as you,' said the shirt-
collar, 'is not that encouragement enough ?'
'Go away, don't come so close!' said the garter.
'You seem to be a gentleman !'
So I am, and a very fine one too !' said the shirt-
collar; 'I possess a boot-jack and a hair-brush !'
Translated from the German of Hans Christian Andersen.
That was not true; it was his master who owned
these things; but he was a terrible boaster.
'Don't come so close,' said the garter. 'I'm not
accustomed to such treatment '
'What affectation!' said the shirt-collar. And then
they were taken out of the wash-tub, starched, and hung
on a chair in the sun to dry, and then laid on the ironing-
board. Then came the glowing iron.
Mistress widow said the shirt-collar,' dear mistress
widow! I am becoming another man, all my creases
are coming out; you are burning a hole in me Ugh !
Stop, I implore you '
'You rag! said the iron, travelling proudly over the
shirt-collar, for it thought it was a steam-engine and
ought to be at the station drawing trucks.
Rag !' it said.
The shirt-collar was rather frayed out at the edge, so
the scissors came to cut off the threads.
Oh said the shirt-collar, you must be a dancer !
How high you can kick! That is the most beautiful
thing I have ever seen! No man can imitate you '
'I know that! said the scissors.
'You ought to be a duchess !' said the shirt-collar.
' My worldly possessions consist of a fine gentleman, a
boot-jack, and a hair-brush. If only I had a duchy '
What He wants to marry me ?' said the scissors,
and she was so angry that she gave the collar a sharp
snip, so that it had to be cast aside as good for nothing.
'Well, I shall have to propose to the hair-brush !'
thought the shirt-collar. 'It is really wonderful what
fine hair you have, madam Have you never thought of
Yes, that I have answered the hair-brush; 'I'm
engaged to the boot-jack '
'Engaged !' exclaimed the shirt-collar. And now
there was no one he could marry, so he took to despising
Time passed, and the shirt-collar came in a rag-bag
to the paper-mill. There was a large assortment of rags,
the fine ones in one heap, and the coarse ones in another,
as they should be. They had all much to tell, but no
one more than the shirt-collar, for he was a hopeless
I have had a terrible number of love affairs he
said. 'They gave me no peace. I was such a fine
gentleman, so stiff with starch I had a boot-jack and a
hair-brush, which I never used! You should just have
seen me then Never shall I forget my first love She
was a girdle, so delicate and soft and pretty She threw
herself into a wash-tub for my sake Then there was
a widow, who glowed with love for me. But I left her
alone, till she became black. Then there was the dancer,
who inflicted the wound which has caused me to be here
now; she was very violent My own hair-brush was in
love with me, and lost all her hair in consequence. Yes,
I have experienced much in that line; but I grieve most
of all for the garter,-I mean, the girdle, who threw
herself into a wash-tub. I have much on my conscience;
it is high time for me to become white paper! '
And so he did! he became white paper, the very
paper on which this story is printed. And that was
because he had boasted so terribly about things which
were not true. We should take this to heart, so that it
may not happen to us, for we cannot indeed tell if we
may not some day come to the rag-bag, and be made
into white paper, on which will be printed our whole
history, even the most secret parts, so that we too go
about the world relating it, like the shirt-collar.
THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST
THERE were once a king and a queen who lived in a
beautiful castle, and had a large, and fair, and rich, and
happy land to rule over. From the very first they loved
each other greatly, and lived very happily together, but
they had no heir.
They had been married for seven years, but had
neither son nor daughter, and that was a great grief to
both of them. More than once it happened that when
the king was in a bad temper, he let it out on the poor
queen, and said that here they were now, getting old, and
neither they nor the kingdom had an heir, and it was all
her fault. This was hard to listen to, and she went and
cried and vexed herself.
Finally, the king said to her one day, This can't be
oorne any longer. I go about childless, and it's your fault.
I am going on a journey and shall be away for a year.
If you have a child when I come back again, all will be
well, and I shall love you beyond all measure, and never
more say an angry word to you. But if the nest is just
as empty when I come home, then I must part with you.'
After the king had set out on his journey, the queen
went about in her loneliness, and sorrowed and vexed
herself more than ever. At last her maid said to her one
day, 'I think that some help could be found, if your
majesty would seek it.' Then she told about a wise old
woman in that country, who had helped many in troubles
' Translated from the Danish.
58 THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST
of the same kind, and could no doubt help the queen as
well, if she would send for her. The queen did so, and
the wise woman came, and to her she confided her
sorrow, that she was childless, and the king and his
kingdom had no heir.
The wise woman knew help for this. Out in the
king's garden,' said she, 'under the great oak that stands
on the left hand, just as one goes out from the castle, is a
little bush, rather brown than green, with hairy leaves
and long spikes. On that bush there are just at this
moment three buds. If your majesty goes out there
alone, fasting, before sunrise, and takes the middle one
of the three buds, and eats it, then in six months you
will bring a princess into the world. As soon as she is
born, she must have a nurse, whom I shall provide, and
this nurse must live with the child in a secluded part of
the palace; no other person must visit the child; neither
the king nor the queen must see it until it is fourteen
years old, for that would cause great sorrow and mis-
The queen rewarded the old woman richly, and next
morning, before the sun rose, she was down in the
garden, found at once the little bush with the three buds,
plucked the middle one and ate it. It was sweet to
taste, but afterwards was as bitter as gall. Six months
after this, she brought into the world a little girl. There
was a nurse in readiness, whom the wise woman had
provided, and preparations were made for her living with
the child, quite alone, in a secluded wing of the castle,
looking out on the pleasure-park. The queen did as the
wise woman had told her; she gave up the child im-
mediately, and the nurse took it and lived with it there.
When the king came home and heard that a daughter
had been born to him, he was of course very pleased and
happy, and wanted to see her at once.
The queen had then to tell him this much of the
story, that it had been foretold that it would cause great
THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST
sorrow and misfortune if either he or she got a sight of
the child until it had completed its fourteenth year.
This was a long time to wait. The king longed so
much to get a sight of his daughter, and the queen no less
than he, but she knew that it was not like other children,
for it could speak immediately after it was born, and was
r :~ )'I /A~-"TB~
as wise as older folk. This the nurse had told her, for
with her the queen had a talk now and again, but there
was no one else who had ever seen the princess. The
queen had also seen what the wise woman could do, so
she insisted strongly that her warning should be obeyed.
The king often lost his patience, and was determined to
see his daughter, but the queen always put him off the
60 THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST
idea, and so things went on, until the very day before
the princess completed her fourteenth year.
The king and the queen were out in the garden then,
and the king said, 'Now I can't and I won't wait any
longer. I must see my daughter at once. A few hours,
more or less, can't make any difference.'
The queen begged him to have patience till the
morning. When they 'had waited so long, they could
surely wait a single day more. But the king was quite
unreasonable. No nonsense,' said he; she is just as
much mine as yours, and I will see her,' and with that
he went straight up to her room.
He burst the door open, and pushed aside the nurse,
who tried to stop him, and there he saw his daughter.
She was the loveliest young princess, red and white, like
milk and blood, with clear blue eyes and golden hair,
but right in the middle of her forehead there was a little
tuft of brown hair.
The princess went to meet her father, fell on his neck
and kissed him, but with that she said, O father, father !
what have you done now? to-morrow I must die, and
you must choose one of three things: either the land
must be smitten by the black pestilence, or you must
have a long and bloody war, or you must, as soon as I
am dead, lay me in a plain wooden chest, and set it in
the church, and for a whole year place a sentinel beside
it every night.'
The king was frightened indeed, and thought she was
raving, but in order to please her, he said, Well, of these
three things I shall choose the last; if you die, I shall
lay you at once in a plain wooden chest, and have it set
in the church, and every night I shall place a sentinel
beside it. But you shall not die, even if you are ill now.'
He immediately summoned all the best doctors in
the country, and they came with all their prescriptions
and their medicine bottles, but next day the princess was
stiff and cold in death. All the doctors could certify to
THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST 61
that, and they all put their names to this and appended
their seals, and then they had done all they could.
The king kept his promise. The princess's body was
lain the same day in a plain wooden chest, and set in
the chapel of the castle, and on that night and every
night after it, a sentinel was posted in the church, to
keep watch over the chest.
The first morning when they came to let the sentinel
out, there was no sentinel there. They thought he had
just got frightened and run away, and next evening a
new one was posted in the church. In the morning he
was also gone. So it went every night. When they
came in the morning to let the sentinel out, there was no
one there, and it was impossible to discover which way
he had gone if he had run away. And what should they
run away for, every one of them, so that nothing more
was ever heard or seen of them, from the hour that they
were set on guard beside the princess's chest ?
It became now a general belief that the princess's
ghost walked, and ate up all those who were to guard
her chest, and very soon there was no one left who
would be placed on this duty, and the king's soldiers
deserted the service, before their turn came to be her
bodyguard. The king then promised a ,large reward to
the soldier who would volunteer for the post. This did
for some time, as there were found a few reckless fellows,
who wished to earn this good payment. But they never
got it, for in the morning they too had disappeared like
So it had gone on for something like a whole year;
every night a sentinel had been placed beside the chest,
either by compulsion or of his own free will, but not a
single one of the sentinels was to be seen, either on the
following day or any time thereafter. And so it had also
gone with one, on the night before a certain day, when a
merry young smith came wandering to the town where
the king's castle stood. It was the capital of the country,
62 THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST
and people of every kind came to it to get work. This
smith, whose name was Christian, had come for that
same purpose. There was no work for him in the place
he belonged to, and he wanted now to seek a place in the
There he entered an inn where he sat down in the
public room, and got something to eat. Some under-
officers were sitting there, who were out to try to get
some one enlisted to stand sentry. They had to go in
this way, day after day, and hitherto they had always
succeeded in finding one or other reckless fellow. But
on this day they had, as yet, found no one. It was too
well known how all the sentinels disappeared, who were
set on that post, and all that they had got hold of had
refused with thanks. These sat down beside Christian,
and ordered drinks, and drank along with him. Now
Christian was a merry fellow who liked good company;
he could both drink and sing, and talk and boast as well,
when he got a little drop in his head. He told these
under-officers that he was one of that kind of folk who
never are afraid of anything. Then he was just the kind
of man they liked, said they, and he might easily earn a
good penny, before he was a day older, for the king paid
a hundred dollars to anyone who would stand as sentinel
in the church all night, beside his daughter's chest.
Christian was not afraid of that--he wasn't afraid of
anything, so they drank another bottle of wine on this,
and Christian went with them up to the colonel, where
he was put into uniform, with musket, and all the rest,
and was then shut up in the church, to stand as sentinel
It was eight o'clock when he took up his post, and
for the first hour he was quite proud of his courage;
during the second hour he was well pleased with the
large reward that he would get, but in the third hour,
when it was getting near eleven, the effects of the wine
passed off, and he began to get uncomfortable, for he
THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST
had heard about this post; that no one had ever escaped
alive from it, so far as was known. But neither did any-
one know what had become of all the sentinels. The
thought of this ran in his head so much, after the wine
was out of it, that he searched about everywhere for a
way of escape, and finally, at eleven o'clock, he found a
little postern in the steeple which was not locked, and
out at this he crept, intending to run away.
At the same moment as he put his foot outside the
church door, he saw standing before him a little man,
who said, 'Good evening, Christian, where are you
With that he felt as if he were rooted to the spot
and could not move.
'Nowhere,' said he.
Oh, yes,' said the little man, You were just about to
run away, but you have taken upon you to stand sentinel
in the church to-night, and there you must stay.'
Christian said, very humbly, that he dared not, and
therefore wanted to get away, and begged to be let go.
'No,' said the little one, 'you must remain at your
post, but I shall give you a piece of good advice; you
shall go up into the pulpit, and remain standing there.
You need never mind what you see or hear, it will not be
able to do you any harm, if you remain in your place
until you hear the lid of the chest slam down again behind
the dead : then all danger is past, and you can go about
the church, wherever you please.'
The little man then pushed him in at the door again,
and locked it after him. Christian made haste to get up
into the pulpit, and stood there, without noticing anything,
until the clock struck twelve. Then the lid of the
princess's chest sprang up, and out of it there came
something like the princess, dressed as you see in the
picture. It shrieked and howled, Sentry, where are
you? Sentry, where are you? If you don't come, you
shall get the most cruel death anyone has ever got.'
64 TIE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST
It went all round the church, and when it finally
caught sight of the smith, up in the pulpit, it came
rushing thither and mounted the steps. But it could not
get up the whole way, and for all that it stretched and
strained, it could not touch Christian, who meanwhile
stood and trembled up in the pulpit. When the clock
struck one, the appearance had to go back into the chest
again, and Christian heard the lid slam after it. After
this there was dead silence in the church. He lay down
where he was and fell asleep, and did not awake before
it was bright daylight, and he heard steps outside, and
the noise of the key being put into the lock. Then he
came down from the pulpit, and stood with his musket
in front of the princess's chest.
It was the colonel himself who came with the patrol,
and he was not a little surprised when he found the
recruit safe and sound. He wanted to have a report, but
Christian would give him none, so he took him straight
up to the king, and announced for the first time that
here was the sentinel who had stood guard in the church
over-night. The king immediately got out of bed, and
laid the hundred dollars for him on the table, and then
wanted to question him. 'Have you seen anything ?' said
he. 'Have you seen my daughter?' 'I have stood at
my post,' said the young smith, 'and that is quite enough;
I undertook nothing more.' He was not sure whether
he dared tell what he had seen and heard, and besides he
was also a little conceited because he had done what no
other man had been able to do, or had had courage for.
The king professed to be quite satisfied, and asked him
whether he would engage himself to stand on guard again
the following night. 'No, thank you,' said Christian ,' I
will have no more of that '
'As you please,' said the king, 'you have behaved like
a brave fellow, and now you shall have your breakfast.
You must be needing something to strengthen you after
66 THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST
The king had breakfast laid for him, and sat down at
the table with him in person; he kept constantly filling
his glass for him and praising him, and drinking his
health. Christian needed no pressing, but did full justice
both to the food and drink, and not least to the latter.
Finally he grew bold, and said that if the king would give
him two hundred dollars for it, he was his man to stand
sentry next night as well.
When this was arranged, Christian bade him Good-
day,' and went down among the guards, and then out
into the town along with other soldiers and under-officers.
He had his pocket full of money, and treated them, and
drank with them and boasted and made game of the
good-for-nothings who were afraid to stand on guard,
because they were frightened that the dead princess
would eat them. See whether she had eaten him! So
the day passed in mirth and glee, but when eight o'clock
came, Christian was again shut up in the church, all
Before he had been there two hours, he got tired of it,
and thought only of getting away. He found a little door
behind the altar which was not locked, and at ten o'clock
he slipped out at it, and took to his heels and made for
the beach. He had got half-way thither, when all at once
the same little man stood in front of him and said, 'Good
evening, Christian, where are you going ? I'veleaveto go
where I please,' said the smith, but at the same time he
noticed that he could not move a foot. 'No, you have
undertaken to keep guard to-night as well,' said the little
man,' and you must attend to that.' He then took hold of
him, and, however unwilling he was, Christian had to go
with him right back to the same little door that he had
crept out at. When they got there, the little man said to
him, Go in front of the altar now, and take in your hand
the book that is lying there. There you shall stay till you
hear the lid of the chest slam down over the dead. In
that way you will come to no harm.'
THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST
With that, the little man shoved him in at the door,
and locked it. Christian then immediately went in front
of the altar, and took the book in his hand, and stood
thus until the clock struck twelve, and the appearance
sprang out of the chest. 'Sentry, where are you? Sentry,
where are you ?' it shrieked, and then rushed to the pulpit,
and right up into it. But there was no one there that
night. Then it howled and shrieked again,
My father has set no sentry in,
War and Pest this night begin.
At the same moment, it noticed the smith standing in
front of the altar, and came rushing towards him. 'Are
you there?' it screamed; 'now I'll catch you.' But it
could not come up over the step in front of the altar, and
there it continued to howl, and scream, and threaten,
until the clock struck one, when it had to go into the
chest again, and Christian heard the lid slam above it.
That night, however, it had not the same appearance as
on the previous one; it was less ugly.
When all was quiet in the church, the smith lay
down before the altar and slept calmly till the following
morning, when the colonel came to fetch him. He was
taken up to the king again, and things went as on the
day before. He got his money, but would give no
explanation whether he had seen the king's daughter,
and he would not take the post again, he said. But after
he had got a good breakfast, and tasted well of the king's
wines, he undertook to go on guard again the third night,
but he would not do it for less than the half of the king-
dom, he said, for it was a dangerous post, and the king had
to agree, and promise him this.
The remainder of the day went like the previous one.
He played the boastful soldier, and the merry smith, and
he had comrades and boon-companions in plenty. At
eight o'clock he had to put on his uniform again, and was
shut up in the church. He had not been there for an
68 THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST
hour before he had come to his senses, and thought, It's
best to stop now, while the game is going well.' The
third night, he was sure, would be the worst; he had
been drunk when he promised it, and the half of the
kingdom, the king could never have been in earnest about
that So he decided to leave, without waiting so long as
on the previous nights. In that way he would escape
the little man who had watched him before. All the
doors and posterns were locked, but he finally thought
of creeping up to a window, and opening that, and as the
clock struck nine, he crept out there. It was fairly high
in the wall, but he got to the ground with no bones
broken, and started to run. He got down to the shore
without meeting anyone, and there he got into a boat,
and pushed off from land. He laughed immensely to
himself at the thought of how cleverly he had managed
and how he had cheated the little man. Just then he
heard a voice from the shore, Good evening, Christian,
where are you going?' He gave no answer. 'To-night
your legs will be too short,' he thought, and pulled at the
oars. But he then felt something lay hold of the boat,
and drag it straight in to shore, for all that he sat and
struggled with the oars.
The man then laid hold of him, and said, You must
remain at your post, as you have promised,' and whether
he liked it or not, Christian had just to go back with him
the whole way to the church.
He could never get in at that window again, Christian
said; it was far too high up.
'You must go in there, and you shall go in there,' said
the little man, and with that he lifted him up on to the
window-sill. Then he said to him: 'Notice well now
what you have to do. This evening you must stretch
yourself out on the left-hand side of her chest. The lid
opens to the right, and she comes out to the left. When
she has got out of the chest and passed over you, you
must get into it and lie there, and that in a hurry, without
THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST
her seeing you. There you must remain lying until day
dawns, and whether she threatens or entreats you, you
must not come out of it, or give her any answer. Then
she has no power over you, and both you and she are
The smith then had to go in at the window, just as he
came out, and went and laid himself all his length on the
left side of the princess's chest, close up to it, and there
he lay as stiff as a rock until the clock struck twelve.
Then the lid sprang up to the right, and the princess
came out, straight over him, and rushed round the church,
howling and shrieking 'Sentry, where are you? Sentry,
where are you?' She went towards the altar, and
right up to it, but there was no one there; then she
My father has set no sentry in,
War and Pest will now begin.
Then she went round the whole church, both up and
down, sighing and weeping,
My father has set no sentry in,
War and Pest will now begin.
Then she went away again, and at the same moment the
clock in the tower struck one.
Then the smith heard in the church a soft music,
which grew louder and louder, and soon filled the whole
building. He heard also a multitude of footsteps, as if
the church was being filled with people. He heard the
priest go through the service in front of the altar, and
there was singing more beautiful than he had ever heard
before. Then he also heard the priest offer up a prayer
of thanksgiving because the land had been freed from
war and pestilence, and from all misfortune, and the
king's daughter was delivered from the evil one. Many
voices joined in, and a hymn of praise was sung; then
he heard the priest again, and heard his own name and
70 THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST
that of the princess, and thought that he was being
wedded to her. The church was packed full, but he
could see nothing. Then he heard again the many foot-
steps as of folk leaving the church, while the music
sounded fainter and fainter, until it altogether died away.
When it was silent, the light of day began to break in
through the windows.
The smith sprang up out of the chest and fell on his
knees and thanked God. The church was empty, but up
in front of the altar lay the princess, white and red, like
a human being, but sobbing and crying, and shaking with
cold in her white shroud. The smith took his sentry
coat and wrapped it round her; then she dried her tears,
and took his hand and thanked him, and said that he had
now freed her from all the sorcery that had been in her
from her birth, and which had come over her again when
her father broke the command against seeing her until
she had completed her fourteenth year.
She said further, that if he who had delivered her
would take her in marriage, she would be his. If not,
she would go into a nunnery, and he could marry no
other as long as she lived, for he was wedded to her with
the service of the dead, which he had heard.
She was now the most beautiful young princess that
anyone could wish to see, and he was now lord of half
the kingdom, which had been promised him for standing
on guard the third night. So they agreed that they
would have each other, and love each other all their
With the first sunbeam the watch came and opened
the church, and not only was the colonel there, but the
king in person, come to see what had happened to the
sentinel. He found them both sitting hand in hand on
the step in front of the altar, and immediately knew his
daughter again, and took her in his arms, thanking God
and her deliverer. He made no objections to what they
had arranged, and so Christian the smith held his wedding
72 THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST
with the princess, and got half the kingdom at once, and
the whole of it when the king died.
As for the other sentries, with so many doors and
windows open, no doubt they had run away, and gone
into the Prussian service. And as for what Christian
said he saw, he had been drinking more wine than was
good for him.
THE THREE BROTHERS'
THERE was once a man who had three sons, and no
other possessions beyond the house in which he lived.
Now the father loved his three sons equally, so that he
could not make up his mind which of them should have
the house after his death, because he did not wish to
favour any one more than the others. And he did not
want to sell the house, because it had belonged to his
family for generations; otherwise he could have divided
the money equally amongst them. At last an idea struck
him, and he said to his sons: 'You must all go out into
the world, and look about you, and each learn a trade,
and then, when you return, whoever can produce the best
masterpiece shall have the house.'
The sons were quite satisfied. The eldest wished to
be a blacksmith, the second a barber, and the third a
fencing-master. They appointed a time when they were
to return home, and then they all set out.
It so happened that each found a good master, where
he learnt all that was necessary for his trade in the best
possible way. The blacksmith had to shoe the king's
horses, and thought to himself, 'Without doubt the
house will be yours !' The barber shaved the best men
in the kingdom, and he, too, made sure that the house
would be his. The fencing-master received many a blow,
but he set his teeth, and would not allow himself to be
STranslated from the German of the Brothers Grimm.
THE THREE BROTHERS
troubled by them, for he thought to himself, 'If you are
afraid of a blow you will never get the house.'
When the appointed time had come the three
brothers met once more, and they sat down and discussed
the best opportunity of showing off their skill. Just then
a hare came running across the field towards them.
'Look said the barber, 'here comes something in the
nick of time seized basin and soap, made a lather
whilst the hare was approaching, and then, as it ran at full
tilt, shaved its moustaches, without cutting it or injuring
a single hair on its body.
'I like that very much indeed,' said the father.
'Unless the others exert themselves to the utmost, the
house will be yours.'
Soon after they saw a man driving a carriage furiously
towards them. 'Now, father, you shall see what I can
do !' said the blacksmith, and he sprang after the carriage,
tore off the four shoes of the horse as it was going at the
top of its speed, and shod it with four new ones without
checking its pace.
You are a clever fellow !' said the father, and know
your trade as well as your brother. I really don't know
to which of you I shall give the house.'
Then the third son said, 'Father, let me also show
you something; and, as it was beginning to rain, he drew
his sword and swung it in cross cuts above his head, so
that not a drop fell on him, and the rain fell heavier and
heavier, till at last it was coming down like a waterspout,
but he swung his sword faster and faster, and kept as
dry as if he were under cover.
When the father saw this he was astonished, and
said, 'You have produced the greatest masterpiece: the
house is yours.'
Both the other brothers were quite satisfied, and
praised him too, and as they were so fond of each other
they all three remained at home and plied their trades;
and as they were so experienced and skilful they earned
THE THREE BROTHERS 75
a great deal of money. So they lived happily together
till they were quite old, and when one was taken ill and
died the two others were so deeply grieved that they
were also taken ill and died too. And so, because they
had all been so clever, and so fond of each other, they
were all laid in one grave.
THERE was once a dreadfully wicked hobgoblin. One
day he was in capital spirits because he had made a
looking-glass which reflected everything that was good
and beautiful in such a way that it dwindled almost to
nothing, but anything that was bad and ugly stood out
very clearly and looked much worse. The most beautiful
landscapes looked like boiled spinach, and the best
people looked repulsive or seemed to stand on their heads
with no bodies; their faces were so changed that they
could not be recognized, and if anyone had a freckle you
might be sure it would be spread over the nose and
That was the best part of it, said the hobgoblin.
But one day the looking-glass was dropped, and it
broke into a million-billion and more pieces.
And now came the greatest misfortune of all, for each
of the pieces was hardly as large as a grain of sand, and
they flew about all over the world, and if anyone had a
bit in his eye there it stayed, and then he would see
everything awry, or else could only see the bad sides of
a case. For every tiny splinter of the glass possessed
the same power that the whole glass had.
Some people got a splinter in their hearts, and that
was dreadful, for then it began to turn into a lump of ice.
The hobgoblin laughed till his sides ached, but still
the tiny bits of glass flew about.
STranslated from the German of Hans Andersen by Miss Alma
THE SNOW-QUEEN 77
And now we will hear all about it.
In a large town, where there were so many people and
houses that there was not room enough for everybody to
bis Sides acbed
have gardens, lived two poor children. They were not
brother and sister, but they loved each other just as much
as if they were. Their parents lived opposite one another
in two attics, and out on the leads they had put two
boxes filled with flowers. There were sweet peas in it,
and two rose trees, which grew beautifully, and in
summer the two children were allowed to take their little
chairs and sit out under the roses. Then they had
In the winter they could not do this, but then they
put hot pennies against the frozen window-panes, and
made round holes to look at each other through.
His name was Kay, and hers was Gerda.
Outside it was snowing fast.
'Those are the white bees swarming,' said the old
'Have they also a queen bee ?' asked the little boy,
for he knew that the real bees have one.
'To be sure,' said the grandmother. 'She flies
wherever they swarm the thickest. She is larger than
any of them, and never stays upon the earth, but flies
again up into the black clouds. Often at midnight she
flies through the streets, and peeps in at all the windows,
and then they freeze in such pretty patterns and look like
'Yes, we have seen that,' said both children; they
knew that it was true.
'Can the Snow-queen come in here?' asked the little
Just let her !' cried the boy, 'I would put her on the
stove, and melt her !'
But the grandmother stroked his hair, and told some
In the evening, when little Kay was going to bed, he
jumped on the chair by the window, and looked through
the little hole. A few snow-flakes were falling outside,
and one of them, the largest, lay on the edge of one of the
window-boxes. The snow-flake grew larger and larger
till it took the form of a maiden, dressed in finest white
E(.OZI)QM5KAP'MI($-9 t-o LWLEJQIY
She was so beautiful and dainty, but all of ice, hard
Still she was alive; her eyes glittered like two clear
stars, but there was no rest or peace in them. She
nodded at the window, and beckoned with her hand.
The little boy was frightened, and sprang down from the
chair. It seemed as if a great white bird had flown past
The next day there was a harder frost than before.
Then came the spring, and then the summer, when the
roses grew and smelt more beautifully than ever.
Kay and Gerda were looking at one of their picture-
books-the clock in the great church-tower had just
struck five, when Kay exclaimed, Oh! something has
stung my heart, and I've got something in my eye!'
The little girl threw her arms round his neck; he
winked hard with both his eyes; no, she could see nothing
I think it is gone now," said he; but it had not gone.
It was one of the tiny splinters of the glass of the magic
mirror which we have heard about, that turned everything
great and good reflected in it small and ugly. And poor
Kay had also a splinter in his heart, and it began to
change into a lump of ice. It did not hurt him at all,
but the splinter was there all the same.
Why are you crying ?' he asked; 'it makes you look
so ugly! There's nothing the matter with me. 'Just
look that rose is all slug-eaten, and this one is stunted !
What ugly roses they are '
And he began to pull them to pieces.
Kay, what are you doing ?' cried the little girl.
And when he saw how frightened she was, he pulled
off another rose, and ran in at his window away from dear
When she came later on with the picture book, he
said that it was only fit for babies, and when his grand-
mother told them stories, he was always interrupting
with, 'But-' and then he would get behind her and put
on her spectacles, and speak just as she did. This he did
very well, and everybody laughed. Very soon he could.
imitate- the way all the people in the street walked and
His games were now quite different. On a winter's
day he would take a burning glass and hold it out on his
blue coat and let the snow-flakes fall on it.
Look in the glass, Gerda Just see how regular they
are They are much more interesting than real flowers.
Each is perfect; they are all made according to rule. If
only they did not melt !'
One morning Kay came out with his warm gloves on,
and his little sledge hung over his shoulder. He shouted
to Gerda, 'I am going to the market-place to play with
the other boys,' and away he went.
In the market-place the boldest boys used often to
fasten their sledges to the carts of the farmers, and then
they got a good ride.
When they were in the middle of their games there
drove into the square a large sledge, all white, and in it
sat a figure dressed in a rough white fur pelisse with a
white fur cap on.
The sledge drove twice round the square, and Kay
fastened his little sledge behind it and drove off. It went
quicker and quicker into the next street. The driver
turned round, and nodded to Kay in a friendly way as if
they had known each other before. Every time that Kay
tried to unfasten his sledge the driver nodded again, and
Kay sat still once more. Then they drove out of the town,
and the snow began to fall so thickly that the little boy
could not see his hand before him, and on and on they
went. He quickly unfastened the cord to get loose from
the big sledge, but it was of no use; his little sledge hung
on fast, and it went on like the wind.
Then he cried out, but nobody heard him. He was
The snowflakes grew larger and larger till they looked
like great white birds. All at once they flew aside, the
large sledge stood still, and the figure who was driving
stood up. The fur cloak and cap were all of snow. It
was a lady, tall and slim, and glittering. It was the
'We have come at a good rate,' she said; but you
are almost frozen. Creep in under my cloak.'
And she set him close to her in the sledge and drew
the cloak over him. He felt as though he were sinking
into a snow-drift.
'Are you cold now?' she asked, and kissed his
forehead. The kiss was cold as ice and reached down to
his heart, which was already half a lump of ice.
'My sledge Don't forget my sledge !' He thought
of that first, and it was fastened to one of the white birds
who flew behind with the sledge on its back.
The Snow-queen kissed Kay again, and then he forgot
all about little Gerda, his grandmother, and everybody at
'Now I must not kiss you any more,' she said, 'or
else I should kiss you to death.'
Then away they flew over forests and lakes, over sea
and land. Round them whistled the cold wind, the
wolves howled, and the snow hissed; over them flew
the black shrieking crows. But high up the moon shone
large and bright, and thus Kay passed the long winter
night. In the day he slept at the Snow-queen's feet.
But what happened to little Gerda when Kay did not
come back ?
What had become of him? Nobody knew. The
other boys told how they had seen him fasten his sledge
on to a large one which had driven out of the town gate.
Gerda cried a great deal. The winter was long and
dark to her.
Then the spring came with warm sunshine. 'I will
go and look for Kay,' said Gerda.
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84 THE SNOW-QUEEN
So she went down to the river and got into a little
boat that was there. Presently the stream began to
carry it away.
'Perhaps the river will take me to Kay,' thought
Gerda. She glided down, past trees and fields, till she
came to a large cherry garden, in which stood a little
house with strange red and blue windows and a straw
roof. Before the door stood two wooden soldiers, who
were shouldering arms.
Gerda called to them, but they naturally did not
answer. The river carried the boat on to the land.
Gerda called out still louder, and there came out of
the house a very old woman. She leant upon a crutch,
and she wore a large sun-hat which was painted with the
most beautiful flowers.
'You poor little girl! said the old woman.
And then she stepped into the water, brought the
boat in close with her crutch, and lifted little Gerda out.
'And now come and tell me who you are, and how
you came here,' she said.
Then Gerda told her everything, and asked her if she
had seen Kay. But she said he had not passed that way
yet, but he would soon come.
She told Gerda not to be sad, and that she should stay
with her and take of the cherry trees and flowers, which
were better than any picture-book, as they could each tell
She then took Gerda's hand and led her into the little
house and shut the door.
The windows were very high, and the panes were
red, blue, and yellow, so that the light came through in
curious colours. On the table were the most delicious
cherries, and the old woman let Gerda eat as many as
she liked, while she combed her hair with a gold comb as
The beautiful sunny hair rippled and shone round the
dear little face, which was so soft and sweet. 'I have
THE SNOW-QUEEN 85
always longed to have a dear little girl just like you, and
you shall see how happy we will be together.'
And as she combed Gerda's hair, Gerda thought less
and less about Kay, for the old woman was a witch, but
not a wicked witch, for she only enchanted now and then
to amuse herself, and she did want to keep little Gerda
So she went into the garden and waved her stick over
all the rose bushes and blossoms and all; they sank
down into the black earth, and no one could see where
they had been.
The old woman was afraid that if Gerda saw the
roses she would begin to think about her own, and then
would remember Kay and run away.
Then she led Gerda out into the garden. How
glorious it was, and what lovely scents filled the air All
the flowers you can think of blossomed there all the year
Gerda jumped for joy and played there till the sun
set behind the tall cherry trees, and then she slept in a
beautiful bed with red silk pillows filled with violets, and
she slept soundly and dreamed as a queen does on her
The next day she played again with the flowers in the
warm sunshine, and so many days passed by. Gerda
knew every flower, but although there were so many, it
seemed to her as if one were not there, though she could
not remember which.
She was looking one day at the old woman's sun-hat
which had the painted flowers on it, and there she saw a
The witch had forgotten to make that vanish when
she had made the other roses disappear under the earth.
It is so difficult to think of everything.
Why, there are no roses here cried Gerda, and she
hunted amongst all the flowers, but not one was to be
found. Then she sat down and cried, but her tears fell
86 THE SNOW-QUEEN
just on the spot where a rose bush had sunk, and when
her warm tears watered the earth, the bush came up in
full bloom just as it had been before. Gerda kissed the
roses and thought of the lovely roses at home, and with
them came the thought of little Kay.
'Oh, what have I been doing said the little girl. I
wanted to look for Kay.'
She ran to the end of the garden. The gate was shut,
but she pushed against the rusty lock so that it came
She ran out with her little bare feet. No one came
after her. At last she could not run any longer, and she
sat down on a large stone. When she looked round she
saw that the summer was over; it was late autumn. It
had not changed in the beautiful garden, where were
sunshine and flowers all the year round.
Oh, dear, how late I have made myself said Gerda.
'It's autumn already I cannot rest! And she sprang
up to run on.
Oh, how tired and sore her little feet grew, and it
became colder and colder.
She had to rest again, and there on the snow in front
of her was a large crow.
It had been looking at her for some time, and it
nodded its head and said, 'Caw! caw! good day.'
Then it asked the little girl why she was alone in the
world. She told the crow her story, and asked if he had
The crow nodded very thoughtfully and said, 'It might
be It might be '
'What! Do you think you have?' cried the little
girl, and she almost squeezed the crow to death as she
'Gently, gently said the crow. 'I think--I know
-I think-it might be little Kay, but now he has
forgotten you for the princess !'
'Does he live with a princess ? asked Gerda.
THE SNOW-QUEEN 87
'Yes, listen,' said the crow.
Then he told all he knew.
'In the kingdom in which we are now sitting lives
a princess who is dreadfully clever. She has read all the
newspapers in the world and has forgotten them again.
She is as clever as that. The other day she came to the
throne, and that is not so pleasant as people think. Then
she began to say, Why should I not marry ? But she
wanted a husband who could answer when he was spoken
to, not one who would stand up stiffly and look re-
spectable-that would be too dull.
'When she told all the Court ladies, they were
delighted. You can believe every word I say,' said the
crow. I have a tame sweetheart in the palace, and she
tells me everything.'
Of course his sweetheart was a crow.
'The newspapers came out next morning with a
border of hearts round it, and the princess's monogram
on it, and inside you could read that every good-looking
young man might come into the palace and speak to the
princess, and whoever should speak loud enough to be
heard would be well fed and looked after, and the one
who spoke best should become the princess's husband.
Indeed,' said the crow, 'you can quite believe me. It is
as true as that I am sitting here.
'Young men came in streams, and there was such a
crowding and a mixing together But nothing came of
it on the first nor on the second day. They could all
speak quite well when they were in the street, but as soon
as they came inside the palace door, and saw the guards
in silver, and upstairs the footmen in gold, and the great
hall all lighted up, then their wits left them And when
they stood in front of the throne where the princess was
sitting, then they could not think of anything to say
except to repeat the last word she had spoken, and she
did not much care to hear that again. It seemed as if
they were walking in their sleep until they came out
88 THE SNOVW-QUEEN
into the street again, when they could speak once more.
There was a row stretching from the gate of the town up
to the castle.
They were hungry and thirsty, but in the palace they
did not even get a glass of water.
'A few of the cleverest had brought some slices of
bread and butter with them, but they did not share them
with their neighbour, for they thought, If he looks
hungry, the princess will not take him !" '
'But what about Kay?' asked Gerda. 'When did
he come? Was he in the crowd?'
'Wait a bit; we are coming to him! On the third
day a little figure came without horse or carriage and
walked jauntily up to the palace. His eyes shone as
yours do; he had lovely curling hair, but quite poor
'That was Kay cried Gerda with delight. Oh, then
I have found him and she clapped her hands.
He had a little bundle on his back,' said the crow.
'No, it must have been his skates, for he went away
with his skates !'
'Very likely,' said the crow, I did not see for certain.
But I know this from my sweetheart, that when he came
to the palace door and saw the royal guards in silver, and
on the stairs the footmen in gold, he was not the least
bit put out. He nodded to them, saying, It must be
rather dull standing on the stairs; I would rather go
'The halls blazed with lights; councillors and ambass-
adors were walking about in noiseless shoes carrying
gold dishes. It was enough to make one nervous His
boots creaked dreadfully loud, but he was not frightened.'
That must be Kay !' said Gerda. 'I know he had
new boots on; I have heard them creaking in his
grandmother's room !'
'They did creak, certainly !' said the crow. 'And, not
one bit afraid, up he went to the princess, who was
sitting on a large pearl as round as a spinning wheel.
All the ladies-in-waiting were standing round, each with
their attendants, and the lords-in-waiting with their
attendants. The nearer they stood to the door the
prouder they were.'
ie H-tn NMOT coIE To Woo. A00'
'It must have been dreadful! said little Gerda.
'And Kay did win the princess? '
'I heard from my tame sweetheart that he was
merry and quick-witted; he had not come to woo, he
said, but to listen to the princess's wisdom. And the
end of it was that they fell in love with each other.'