OLE LUK-OIE 209
to-morrow morning,' said Ole, ' for that is a holiday—it is Sunday. I will go to the church steeples to see that the little church goblins are polishing the bells, that they may sound sweetly. I will go out into the field, and see if the breezes are blowing the dust from the grass and leaves ; and, what is the greatest work of all, I will bring down all the stars, to polish them. I take them in my apron ; but first each one must be numbered, and the holes in which they are fixed up there must be numbered likewise, so that they may be placed in the same holes again ; otherwise they would not sit fast, and we should have too many shooting stars, for one after another would fall down.'
' Hark-ye ! Do you know, Mr. Luk-Oie,' said an old Portrait which hung on the wall where Hjalmar slept,
* I am Hjalmar's great-grandfather. I thank you for telling the boy stories ; but you must not confuse his ideas. The stars cannot be taken down and polished ! The stars are world-orbs, just like our own earth, and that is just the good thing about them.'
' I thank you, old great-grandfather,' said Ole Luk-Oie,
* I thank you ! You are the head of the family. You are the ancestral head ; but I am older than you ! I am an old heathen : the Romans and Greeks called me the Dream God. I have been in the noblest houses, and am admitted there still ! I know how to act with great people and with small. Now you may tell your own story ! ' And Ole Luk-Oie took his umbrella, and went away.
' Well, well! May one not even give an opinion now-a-days ? ' grumbled the old Portrait. And Hjalmar awoke.
* Good evening !' said Ole Luk-Oie ; and Hjalmar nodded, and then ran and turned his great-grandfather's Portrait against the wall, that it might not interrupt them, as it had done yesterday.
' Now you must tell me stories ; about the five green peas that lived in one pod, and about the cock's foot that paid court to the hen's foot, and of the darning-needle who gave herself such airs because she thought herself a sewing needle.'
1 There may be too much of a good thing ! ' said Ole