208 OLE LUK-OIE
the beautiful warm climes, where the grapes hung in ripe heavy clusters, where the air is mild, and the mountains glow with colours unknown here.
1 But they have not our green colewort there !' objected the Hen. ' I was in the country, with my children one summer. There was a sand pit, in which we could walk about and scratch ; and we had the entree to a garden where green colewort grew : Oh, how green it was! I cannot imagine anything more beautiful.'
1 But one cole-plant looks just like another,' said the Swallow ; ' and the weather here is often so bad.'
1 One is accustomed to that,' said the Hen.
' But it is so cold here, it freezes.'
' That is good for the cole worts !' said the Hen. * Besides, it can also be warm. Did we not, four years ago, have a summer which lasted five weeks % it was so hot here that one could scarcely breathe ; and then we have not all the poisonous animals that infest these warm countries of yours, and we are free from robbers. He is a villain who does not consider our country the most beautiful—he certainly does not deserve to be here ! ' And then the Hen wept, and went on : 'I have also travelled. I rode in a coop above fifty miles ; and there is no pleasure at all in travelling !'
1 Yes, the Hen is a sensible woman !' said the doll Bertha. * I don't think anything either of travelling among mountains, for you only have to go up, and then down again. No, we..will go into the sand pit beyond the gate, and walk about in the colewort-patch.'
And so it was settled.
' Am I to hear some stories now ?' asked little Hjalmar, as soon as Ole Luk-Oie had got him into bed.
' This evening we have no time for that,' replied Ole; and he spread his fine umbrella over the lad. ' Only look at these Chinamen !'
And the whole umbrella looked like a great China dish, with blue trees and pointed bridges with little Chinamen upon them, who stood there nodding their heads.
: We must have the whole world prettily decked out for