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

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

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

' Now we're going on a journey,' said the Darning-Needle.—' If only I don't get lost ! '
But she really was lost.
' I'm too fine for this world,' she observed, as she lay in the gutter. * But I know who I am, and there 's always something in that !'
So the Darning-Needle kept her proud behaviour, and did not lose her good humour. And things of many kinds swam over her, chips and straws and pieces of old news­papers.
' Only look how they sail! ' said the Darning-Needle. ' They don't know what is under them ! I'm here, I re­main firmly here. See, there goes a chip thinking of nothing in the world but of himself—of a chip ! There 's a straw going by now. How he turns ! how he twirls about! Don't think so much of yourself, you might easily run up against a stone. There swims a bit of newspaper. What's written upon it has long been forgotten, and yet it gives itself airs. I sit quietly and patiently here. I know who I am, and I shall remain what I am.'
One day something lay close beside her that glittered splendidly; then the Darning-Needle believed that it was a diamond ; but it was a Bit of broken Bottle ; and because it shone, the Darning-Needle spoke to it, intro­ducing herself as a breast-pin.
' I suppose you are a diamond ? ' she observed.
' Why, yes, something of that kind.'
And then each believed the other to be a very valuable thing ; and they began speaking about the world, and how very conceited it was.
6 I have been in a lady's box,' said the Darning-Needle, ' and this lady was a cook. She had five fingers on each hand, and I never saw anything so conceited as those five fingers. And yet they were only there that they might take me out of the box and put me back into it.'
1 Were they of good birth ? ' asked the Bit of Bottle.
c No, indeed,' replied the Darning-Needle, ' but very haughty. There were five brothers, all of the finger family. They kept very proudly together, though they were of different lengths : the outermost, the thumbling, was short and fat; he walked out in front of the ranks, and only