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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THE DROP OF WATER                    391
wanted the best of everything, and when he could not manage it otherwise, he did it by magic .-s
There he sat one day, and held his magnifying glass to his eye, and looked at a drop of water that had been taken out of a puddle in the ditch. But what a cribbling and crab-bling was there ! All the thousands of little creatures hopped and sprang and tugged at one another, and ate each other up.
'That is horrible!' said old Cribble-Grabble. 'Can
one not persuade them to live in peace and quietness, so that each one may mind his own business ? '
And he thought it over and over, but it would not do, and so he had recourse to magic.
11 must give them colour, that they may be seen more plainly,' said he ; and he poured something like a little drop of red wine into the drop of water, but it was witches' blood, the finest kind, at a halfpenny a drop. And now the wonderful little creatures were pink all over : it looked like a little town of naked wild men.
1 What have you there ? ' asked another old magician, who had no name—and that was the best thing about him.
' Ah! if you can guess what it is,' said Cribble-Crabble, 1 I'll make you a present of it.'