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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1 Then the elf dipped his little finger into the cup of a blue violet, and said to me,                            -*
' " See here ! I will anoint your pilgrim's staff ; and when you go back home to the castle of the Mouse King, you have but to touch his warm breast with the staff, and violets will spring forth and cover its whole staff, even in the coldest winter-time. And so I think I've given you something to carry home, and a little more than something ! " '
But before the little Mouse said what this ' something more ' was, she stretched her staff out towards the King's breast, and in very truth the most beautiful bunch of violets burst forth ; and the scent was so powerful that the Mouse King incontinently ordered the mice who stood nearest the chimney to thrust their tails into the fire and create a smell of burning, for the odour of the violets was not to be borne, and was not of the kind he liked.
' But what was the " something more ", of which you spoke ? ' asked the Mouse King.
' Why,' the little Mouse answered, ' I think it is what they call effect!' and herewith she turned the staff round, and lo ! there was not a single flower to be seen upon it ; she only held the naked skewer, and lifted this up like a music baton. ' " Violets," the elf said to me, " are for sight, and smell, and touch. Therefore it yet remains to provide for hearing and taste ! " '
And now the little Mouse began to beat time ; and music was heard, not such as sounded in the forest among the elves, but such as is heard in the kitchen. There was a bubbling sound of boiling and roasting ; and all at once it seemed as if the sound were rushing through every chimney, and pots or kettles were boiling over. The fire-shovel hammered upon the brass kettle, and then, on a sudden, all was quiet again. They heard the quiet subdued song of the tea-kettle, and it was wonderful to hear—they could not quite tell if the kettle were beginning to sing or leaving off ; and the little pot simmered, and the big pot simmered, and neither cared for the other : there seemed to be no reason at all in the pots. And the little Mouse flourished her baton more and more wildly ; the pots foamed, threw up large bubbles, boiled over, and the wind roared and