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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372
THE SHADOW
opposite house; yes, it sat just among the flowers on the balcony, and when the stranger moved his Shadow moved too.
* I think my Shadow is the only living thing we see yonder,' said the learned man. ' Look how gracefully it sits among the flowers. The door is only ajar, but the Shadow ought to be sensible enough to walk in and look round, and then come back and tell me what it has seen.
' Yes, you would thus make yourself very useful,' said he, in sport. ' Be so good as to slip in. Now, will you go %' And then he nodded at the Shadow, and the Shadow nodded back at him. ' Now go, but don't stay away altogether.'
And the stranger stood up, and the Shadow on the balcony opposite stood up too, and the stranger turned round, and the Shadow turned also, and if any one had noticed closely he would have remarked how the Shadow went away in the same moment, straight through the half-opened door of the opposite house, as the stranger returned into his room and let the curtain fall.
Next morning the learned man went out to drink coffee and read the papers.
' What is this ? ' said he, when he came out into the sunshine. ' I have no Shadow ! So it really went away yesterday evening, and did not come back : that's very tiresome.'
And that fretted him, but not so much because the Shadow was gone as because he knew that there was a story of a man without a shadow. All the people in the cold lands knew this story, and if the learned man came home and told his own history, they would say that it was only an imitation, and he did not choose that they should say this of him. So he would not speak of it at all, and that was a very sensible idea of his.
In the evening he again went out on his balcony : he had placed the light behind him, for he knew that a shadow always wants its master for a screen, but he could not coax it forth. He made himself little, he made himself long, but there was no shadow, and no shadow came. He said, c Here, here ! ' but that did no good.
That was vexatious, but in the warm countries every­thing grows very quickly, and after the lapse of a week he