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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A LEAF FROM THE SKY                  485
will become clear, and during the night a beautiful dream will strengthen him for the coming day.'.,.
This was all clear enough, and all the doctors and the professor of botany went out into the forest.—Yes, but where was the plant ?
' I fancy it was taken up in my bundle, and burned to ashes long ago,' said the swineherd ; ' but I did not know any better.'
' You did not know any better!' said they all together. ' 0 ignorance, ignorance, how great thou art ! '
And those words the swineherd might well take to him­self, for they were meant for him, and for no one else.
Not another leaf was to be found ; the only one lay in the coffin of the dead girl, and no one knew anything about that.
And the King himself, in his melancholy, wandered out to the spot in the wood.
c Here is where the plant stood,' he said ; ' it is a sacred place.'
And the place was surrounded with a golden railing, and a sentry was posted there both by night and by day.
The botanical professor wrote a long treatise upon the heavenly plant. For this he was decorated, and that was a great delight to him, and the decoration suited him and his family very well. And indeed that was the most agree­able part of the whole story, for the plant was gone, and the King remained as low-spirited as before ; but that he had always been, at least so the sentry said.
The mayor stood at the open window. He was in his shirt-sleeves, with a breast-pin stuck in his frill, and was uncommonly smooth shaven—all his own work ; certainly he had given himself a slight cut, but he had stuck a bit of newspaper on the place.
1 Hark ye, youngster ! ' he cried.
The youngster in question was no other than the son