200 OLE LUK-OIE
to be quiet, and that they are not until they are taken to bed : they are to be quiet that he may tell them stories.
When the children sleep, Ole Luk-Oie sits down upon their bed. He is well dressed : his coat is of silk, but it is impossible to say of what colour, for it shines red, green, and blue, according as he turns. Under each arm he carries an umbrella: the one with pictures on it he spreads over the good children, and then they dream all night the most glorious stories ; but on his other umbrella nothing at all is painted : this he spreads over the naughty children, and these sleep in a dull way, and when they awake in the morning they have not dreamed of anything.
Now we shall hear how Ole Luk-Oie, every evening through one whole week, came to a little boy named Hjalmar, and what he told him. There are seven stories, for there are seven days in the week.
c Listen,' said Ole Luk-Oie in the evening, when he had put Hjalmar to bed ; ' now I'll decorate.'
And all the flowers in the flower-pots became great trees, stretching out their long branches under the ceiling of the room and along the walls, so that the whole room looked like a beauteous bower; and all the twigs were covered with flowers, and each flower was more beautiful than a rose, and smelt so sweet that one wanted to eat it—it was sweeter than jam. The fruit gleamed like gold, and there were cakes bursting with raisins. It was incomparably beautiful. But at the same time a terrible wail sounded from the table drawer, where Hjalmar's school-book lay.
1 Whatever can that be ? ' said Ole Luk-Oie ; and he went to the table, and opened the drawer. It was the slate which was suffering from convulsions, for a wrong number had got into the sum, so that it was nearly falling in pieces ; the slate pencil tugged and jumped at its string, as if it had been a little dog who wanted to help the sum ; but he could not. And thus there was a great lamentation in Hjalmar's copy-book ; it was quite terrible to hear. On each page the great letters stood in a row, one underneath the other, and each with a little one at its side ; that