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

The old Elf King had one of his crowns polished with powdered slate pencil; it was slate pencil from the first form, and it's very difficult for the Elf King to get first form slate pencil ! In the bedroom, curtains were hung up, and fastened with snail slime. Yes, there was a humming and murmuring there !
* Now we must burn horse-hair and pigs' bristles as incense here,' said the Elf King, ' and then I think I shall have done my part.'
' Father dear 1' said the youngest of the daughters, 1 shall I hear now who the distinguished strangers are ? '
1 Well,' said he, ' I suppose I must tell it now. Two of my daughters must hold themselves prepared to be married; two will certainly be married. The old gnome from Norway yonder, he who lives in the Dovre mountain, and possesses many rock castles of granite, and a gold mine which is better than one thinks, is coming with his two sons, who want each to select a wife. The old gnome is a true old honest Norwegian veteran, merry and straightforward. I know him from old days, when Ave drank brotherhood with one another. He was down here to fetch his wife; now she is dead,—she was a daughter of the King of the Chalk-rocks of Moen. He took his wife upon chalk, as the saying is. Oh, how I long to see the old Norwegian gnome! The lads, they say, are rather rude, forward lads; but perhaps they are belied, and they'll be right enough when they grow older. Let me see that you can teach them manners.'
' And when will they come ? ' asked one of the daughters.
' That depends on wind and weather,' said the Elf King. 'They travel economically: they come when there's a chance by a ship. I wanted them to go across Sweden, but the old one would not incline to that wish. He does not advance with the times, and I don't like that.'
Then two Will-o'-the-wisps came hopping up, one quicker than the other, and so one of them arrived first.
' They're coming ! they're coming !' they cried.
1 Give me my crown, and let me stand in the moonshine,' said the Elf King.
And the daughters lifted up their shawls and bowed down to the earth.