466 UNDER THE WILLOW TREE
made such a deep impression on the children that they never forgot it; and for that reason it is perhaps advisable that we should hear it too, more especially as the story is not long.
' On the shop-board/ he said, c lay two gingerbread cakes, one in the shape of a man with a hat, the other of a maiden without a bonnet, but with a piece of gold-leaf on her head ; both their faces were on the side that was uppermost, for they were to be looked at on that side, and not on the other; and, indeed, no one should be viewed from the wrong side. On the left side the man wore a bitter almond—that was his heart; but the maiden, on the other hand, was honey-cake all over. They were placed as samples on the shop-board, and remaining there a long time, at last they fell in love with one another, but neither told the other, as they should have done if they had expected anything to come of it.
' " He is a man, and therefore he must speak first," she thought; but she felt quite contented, for she knew her love was returned.
' His thoughts were far more extravagant, as is always the case with a man. He dreamed that he was a real street boy, that he had four pennies of his own, and that he purchased the maiden and ate her up. So they lay on the shop-board for days and weeks, and grew dry and hard, but the thoughts of the maiden became ever more gentle and maidenly.
1" It is enough for me that I have lain on the same table with him," she said, and—crack !—she broke in two.
1 " If she had only known of my love, she would have kept together a little longer," he thought.
' And that is the story, and here they are, both of them/ said the baker in conclusion. ' They are remarkable for their curious history, and for their silent love, which never came to anything. And there they are for you !' and, so saying, he gave Joanna the man who was yet entire, and Knud got the broken maiden ; but the children had been so much impressed by the story that they could not summon courage to eat up the lovers.
On the following day they went out with them to the churchyard, and sat down by the church wall, which is covered, winter and summer, with the most luxuriant ivy