654 WALDEMAR DAA AND HIS DAUGHTERS
Dorothea, the pale hyacinth : then she was old and bent, for it was fifty years afterwards. She lived longer than the rest; she knew all.
' Yonder on the heath, by the town of Wiborg, stood the fine new house of the Dean, built of red bricks with projecting gables ; the smoke came up thickly from the chimney. The Dean's gentle lady and her beautiful daughters sat in the bay window, and looked over the hawthorn hedge of the garden towards the brown heath. What were they looking at ? They looked on the stork's nest out there, on the hut, which was almost falling in ; the roof consisted of moss and houseleek, in so far as a roof existed there at all—the stork's nest covered the greater part of it, and that alone was in proper condition, for it was kept in order by the stork himself.
* That is a house to be looked at, but not to be touched : I must deal gently with it,' said the Wind. ' For the sake of the stork's nest the hut has been allowed to stand, though it was a blot upon the landscape. They did not like to drive the stork away, therefore the old shed was left standing, and the poor woman who dwelt in it was allowed to stay : she had the Egyptian bird to thank for that ; or was it perchance her reward, because she had once interceded for the nest of its black brother in the forest of Borreby ? At that time she, the poor woman, was a young child, a pale hyacinth in the rich garden. She remembered all that right well, did Anna Dorothea.
1 " Oh ! oh ! " Yes, people can sigh like the wind moaning in the rushes and reeds. " Oh ! oh ! " she sighed, " no bells sounded at thy burial, Waldemar Daa ! The poor schoolboys did not even sing a psalm when the former lord of Borreby was laid in the earth to rest ! Oh, everything has an end, even misery. Sister Ida became the wife of a peasant. That was the hardest trial that befell our father, that the husband of a daughter of his should be a miserable serf, whom the proprietor could mount on the wooden horse for punishment ! I suppose he is under the ground now. And thou, Ida ? Alas, alas ! it is not ended yet, wretch that I am ! Grant me that I may die, kind Heaven!"
' That was Anna Dorothea's prayer in the wretched hut which was left standing for the sake of the stork.