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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with two high pointed towers. Out of this hill flowed springs of water in thick columns, so that there was a continual splashing, and close by sat an old King with a golden crown upon his long hair : that was King Hroar of the springs, close by the town of Roskilde, as it is now called. And up the hill into the old church went all the Kings and Queens of Denmark, hand in hand, all with golden crowns ; and the organ played, and the springs plashed. Little Tuk saw all and heard all.
' Don't forget the States of the realm,' said King Hroar.
At once everything had vanished, and whither ? It seemed to him like turning a leaf in a book. And now stood there an old peasant woman. She was a weeding woman, who came from Soroe, where grass grows in the market­place ; she had an apron of grey cotton thrown over her head and shoulders, and the apron was very wet; it must have been raining.
* Yes, that it has ! ' said she ; and she knew many amusing things out of Holberg's plays, and about Waldemar and Absalom. But all at once she cowered down, and wagged her head as if she were about to spring. * Koax ! ' said she ; c it is wet! it is wet! There is a very agreeable death-silence in Soroe!' Now she changed all at once into a frog—' Koax!' —and then she became an old woman again. ' One must dress according to the weather,' she said. ' It is wet! it is wet! My town is just like a bottle : one goes in at the cork, and must come out again at the cork. In old times I had capital fish, and now I've fresh red-cheeked boys in the bottom of the bottle, and they learn wisdom— Hebrew, Greek.—Koax ! '
That sounded just like the croak of the frogs, or the sound of some one marching across the moss in great boots ; always the same note, so monotonous and weari­some that little Tuk fairly fell asleep, and that could not hurt him at all.
But even in this sleep came a dream, or whatever it was. His little sister Gustava with the blue eyes and the fair curly hair was all at once a tall slender maiden, and without having wings she could fly; and now they flew over Zealand, over the green forests and the blue lakes.