The Complete Fairy Tales & Other Stories
By Hans Christian Andersen - online book

Oxford Complete Illustrated Edition all his stories written between 1835 and 1872.

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

JACK THE DULLARD                       519
and the boards seemed to re-echo with his footsteps, and the ceiling of the hall was made of looking-glass, so that he saw himself standing on his head ; and at the window stood three clerks and a head clerk, and every one of them was writing down every single word that was uttered, so that it might be printed in the newspapers, and sold for a penny at the street corners. It was a terrible ordeal, and they had moreover made such a fire in the stove, that the stove-pipe was quite red hot.
' It is dreadfully hot here ! ' observed the first brother.
1 Yes,' replied the Princess, ' my father is going to roast young pullets to-day.'
Baa ! there he stood. He had not been prepared for a speech of this kind, and had not a word to say, though he intended to say something witty. Baa !
' He is of no use ! ' said the Princess. ' Away with him ! '
And he was obliged to go accordingly. And now the second brother came in.
1 It is terribly warm here ! ' he observed.
' Yes, we're roasting pullets to-day,' replied the Princess.
' What—what were you—were you pleased to ob------'
stammered he—and all the clerks wrote down, ' pleased to ob------'
' He is of no use ! ' said the Princess. ' Away with him ! '
Now came the turn of Jack the Dullard. He rode into the hall on his goat.
1 Well, it's most desperately hot here.'
1 Yes, because I'm roasting young pullets,' replied the Princess.
' Ah, that's lucky ! ' exclaimed Jack the Dullard, ' then I suppose I can get a crow roasted ? '
' With the greatest pleasure,' said the Princess. ' But have you anything you can roast it in ? for I have neither pot nor pan.'
' Certainly I have ! ' said Jack. ' Here 's a cooking utensil with a tin handle.'
And he brought out the old wooden shoe, and put the crow into it.
' Well, that is a famous dish ! ' said the Princess. ' But what shall we do for sauce ? '
' Oh, I have that in my pocket,' said Jack : ' I have so