28 LITTLE IDA'S FLOWERS
himself great and long, or remained the little yellow wax doll with the big black hat. Then the other flowers put in a good word for him, especially those who had lain in the doll's bed, and then the birch rod gave over. At the same moment there was a loud knocking at the drawer, inside where Ida's doll, Sophy, lay with many other toys. The chimney-sweep ran to the edge of the table, lay flat down on his stomach, and began to pull the drawer out a little. Then Sophy raised herself, and looked round quite astonished.
' There must be a ball here,' said she ; ' why did nobody tell me ? '
' Will you dance with me ? ' asked the chimney-sweep.
' You are a nice sort of fellow to dance ! ' she replied, and turned her back upon him.
Then she seated herself upon the drawer, and thought that one of the flowers would come and ask her ; but not one of them came. Then she coughed, ' Hem ! hem ! hem ! ' but for all that not one came. The chimney-sweep now danced all alone, and that was not at all so bad.
As none of the flowers seemed to notice Sophy, she let herself fall down from the drawer straight upon the floor, so that there was a great noise. The flowers now all came running up, to ask if she had not hurt herself ; and they were all very polite to her, especially the flowers that had lain in her bed. But she had not hurt herself at all; and Ida's flowers all thanked her for the nice bed, and were kind to her, took her into the middle of the floor, where the moon shone in, and danced with her ; and all the other flowers formed a circle round her. Now Sophy was glad, and said they might keep her bed ; she did not at all mind lying in the drawer.
But the flowers said, ' We thank you heartily, but we cannot live so long. To-morrow we shall be quite dead. But tell little Ida she is to bury us out in the garden, where the canary lies ; then we shall wake up again in summer, and be far more beautiful.'
' No, you must not die,' said Sophy ; and she kissed the flowers.
At that moment the door opened, and a great number of splendid flowers came dancing in. Ida could not imagine