The Complete Fairy Tales & Other Stories
By Hans Christian Andersen - online book

Oxford Complete Illustrated Edition all his stories written between 1835 and 1872.

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126
THE DAISY
1 Pull off the flower !' said the other boy.
And the daisy trembled with fear,for to be pulled off would be to lose its life; and now it wanted particularly to live, as it was to be given with the piece of turf to the captive lark.
' No, let it stay,' said the other boy; ■ it makes such a nice ornament.'
And so it remained, and was put into the lark's cage. But the poor bird complained aloud of his lost liberty, and beat his wings against the wires of his prison ; and the little daisy could not speakócould say no consoling word to him, gladly as it would have done so. And thus the whole morning passed.
' Here is no water,' said the captive lark. ' They are all gone out, and have forgotten to give me anything to drink. My throat is dry and burning. It is like fire and ice within me, and the air is so close. Oh, I must die ! I must leave the warm sunshine, the fresh green, and all the splendour that God has created ! '
And then he thrust his beak into the cool turf to refresh himself a little with it. Then the bird's eye fell upon the daisy, and he nodded to it, and kissed it with his beak, and said,
* You also must wither in here, you poor little flower. They have given you to me with the little patch of green grass on which you grow, instead of the whole world which was mine out there ! Every little blade of grass shall be a green tree for me, and every one of your white leaves a fragrant flower. Ah, you only tell me how much I have lost!'
' If I could only comfort him!' thought the little daisy.
It could not stir a leaf ; but the scent which streamed forth from its delicate leaves was far stronger than is generally found in these flowers ; the bird also noticed that, and though he was fainting with thirst, and in his pain plucked up the green blades of grass, he did not touch the flower.
The evening came, and yet nobody appeared to bring the poor bird a drop of water. Then he stretched out his pretty wings and beat the air frantically with them ; his song changed to a mournful piping, his little head sank