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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Anne Lisbeth had a colour like milk and blood ; young and merry, she looked beautiful, with gleaming white teeth and clear eyes ; her footstep was light in the dance, and her mind was lighter still. And what came of it all ? Her son was an ugly brat ! Yes, he was not pretty ; so he was put out to be nursed by the labourer's wife. Anne Lisbeth was taken into the count's castle, and sat there in the splendid room arrayed in silks and velvets ; not a breath of wind might blow upon her, and no one was allowed to speak a harsh word to her. No, that might not be, for she was nurse to the count's child, who was delicate and fair as a prince, and beautiful as an angel ; and how she loved this child ! Her own boy was provided for at the labourer's, where the mouth boiled over more frequently than the pot, and where, in general, no one was at home. Then he would cry ; but what nobody knows, that nobody cares for ; and he would cry till he was tired, and then he fell asleep ; and in sleep one feels neither hunger nor thirst. A capital invention is sleep.
With years, just as weeds shoot up, Anne Lisbeth's child grew, but yet they said his growth was stunted ; but he had quite become a member of the family in which he dwelt; they had received money to keep him. Anne Lisbeth was rid of him for good. She had become a town lady, and had a comfortable home of her own ; and out of doors she wore a bonnet when she went out for a walk ; but she never walked out to see the labourer—that was too far from the town ; and indeed she had nothing to go for : the boy belonged to the labouring people, and she said he could eat his food, and he should do something to earn his food, and consequently he kept Mads Jensen's red cow. He could already tend cattle and make himself useful.
The big dog, by the yard gate of the nobleman's mansion, sits proudly in the sunshine on the top of the kennel, and barks at every one who goes by ; if it rains he creeps into his house, and there he is warm and dry. Anne Lisbeth's boy sat in the sunshine on the fence of the field, and cut