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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306                   THE DARNING-NEEDLE
under the water. Ah ! I'm so fine that my mother cannot find me. If I had my old eye, which broke off, I think I should cry ; but, no, I should not do that: it's not genteel to cry.'
One day a couple of street boys lay grubbing in the gutter, where they sometimes found old nails, farthings, and similar treasures. It was dirty work, but they took great delight in it.
' Oh !' cried one, who had pricked himself with the Darning-Needle, ' there 's a fellow for you !'
' I'm not a fellow, I'm a young lady !' said the Darning-Needle.
But nobody listened to her. The sealing-wax had come off, and she had turned black; but black makes one look slender, and she thought herself finer even than before.
1 Here comes an egg-shell sailing along !' said the boys ; and they stuck the Darning-Needle fast in the egg-shell.
' White walls, and black myself! that looks well,' remarked the Darning-Needle. ' Now one can see me. I only hope I shall not be sea-sick !' But she was not sea­sick at all. ' It is good against sea-sickness, if one has a steel stomach, and does not forget that one is a little more than an ordinary person ! Now my sea-sickness is over. The finer one is, the more one can bear.'
1 Crack !■ went the egg-shell, for a hand-barrow went over her.
' Good heavens, how it crushes one !' said the Darning-Needle. ' I'm getting sea-sick now,—I'm quite sick.'
But she was not really sick, though the hand-barrow went over her ; she lay there at full length, and there she may lie.
At evening, in the narrow streets of the great city, when the sun went down and the clouds shone like gold among the chimneys, there was frequently heard, sometimes by one, and sometimes by another, a strange tone, like the sound of a church bell; but it was only heard for a moment at a time, for in the streets there wras a continual rattle of carriages, and endless cries of men and women—and that