26 LITTLE IDA'S FLOWERS
little bed, so that the sun should not shine in their eyes. The whole evening through she could not help thinking of what the student had told her. And when she was going to bed herself, she was obliged first to look behind the curtain which hung before the windows where her mother's beautiful flowers stood—hyacinths as well as tulips ; then she whispered quite softly, ' I know you're going to the ball to-night ! ' But the flowers made as if they did not understand a word, and did not stir a leaf ; but still little Ida knew what she knew.
When she was in bed she lay for a long time thinking how pretty it must be to see the beautiful flowers dancing out in the king's castle. ' I wonder if my flowers have really been there \ ' And then she fell asleep. In the night she awoke again : she had dreamed of the flowers, and of the student with whom the councillor found fault. It was quite quiet in the bedroom where Ida lay ; the night-lamp burned on the table, and father and mother were asleep.
' I wonder if my flowers are still lying in Sophy's bed ? ' she thought to herself. ' How I should like to know it ! ' She raised herself a little, and looked at the door, which stood ajar ; within lay the flowers and all her playthings. She listened, and then it seemed to her as if she heard some one playing on the piano in the next room, but quite softly and prettily, as she had never heard it before.
1 Now all the flowers are certainly dancing in there ! ' thought she. ' Oh, how much I should like to see it ! ' But she dared not get up, for she would have disturbed her father and mother.
1 If they would only come in ! ' thought she. But the flowers did not come, and the music continued to play beautifully ; then she could not bear it any longer, for it was too pretty ; she crept out of her little bed, and went quietly to the door, and looked into the room. Oh, how splendid it was, what she saw !
There was no night-lamp burning, but still it was quite light: the moon shone through the window into the middle of the floor ; it was almost like day. All the hyacinths and tulips stood in two long rows on the floor ; there were none at all left at the window. There stood the