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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at the little garden in which only one plant grew. A week afterwards the invalid for the first time sat up for a whole hour. Quite happy, she sat there in the warm sunshine; the window was opened, and in front of it outside stood a pink pea blossom, fully blown. The sick girl bent down and gently kissed the delicate leaves; This day was like a festival.
1 The Heavenly Father Himself has planted that pea, and caused it to thrive, to be a joy to you, and to me also, my blessed child ! ' said the glad mother ; and she smiled at the flower, as if it had been a good angel.
But about the other peas ? Why, the one who flew out into the wide world and said, ' Catch me if you can,' fell into the gutter on the roof, and found a home in a pigeon's crop, and lay there like Jonah in the whale ; the two lazy ones got just as far, for they, too, were eaten up by pigeons, and thus, at any rate, they were of some real use ; but the fourth, who wanted to go up into the sun, fell into the gutter, and lay there in the dirty water for days and weeks, and swelled prodigiously.
' How beautifully fat I'm growing ! ' said the Pea. ' I shall burst at last; and I don't think any pea can do more than that. I'm the most remarkable of all the five that were in the pod.'
And the Gutter said he was right.
But the young girl at the garret window stood there with gleaming eyes, with the hue of health on her cheeks, and folded her thin hands over the pea blossom, and thanked Heaven for it.
' I,' said the Gutter, ' stand up for my own pea.'
High up, in the thin clear air, flew an angel with a flower from the heavenly garden. As he was kissing the flower, a very little leaf fell down into the soft soil in the midst of the wood, and immediately took root, and sprouted, and sent forth shoots among the other plants.
1 A funny kind of slip, that,' said the Plants.
And neither Thistle nor Stinging-Nettle would recognize the stranger.