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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within the moat; but most beautiful of all were the lofty lime trees, which grew up to the highest windows and filled the air with sweet fragrance. In a corner of the garden towards the north-west stood a great bush full of blossom like winter snow amid the summer's green : it was an elder bush, the first that Jiirgen had seen thus in bloom. He never forgot it, nor the lime tree : the child's soul treasured up these remembrances of beauty and fragrance to gladden the old man.
From Norre Vosborg, where the elder blossomed, the way went more easily, for they encountered other guests who were also bound for the burial, and were riding in wagons. Our travellers had to sit all together on a little box at the back of the wagon, but even this was preferable to walking, they thought. So they pursued their journey in the wagon across the rugged heath. The oxen which drew the vehicle slipped every now and then, where a patch of fresh grass appeared amid the heather. The sun shone warm, and it was wonderful to behold how in the far distance something like smoke seemed to be rising ; and yet this smoke was clearer than the mist; it was transparent and looked like rays of light rolling and dancing afar over the heath.
' That is Lokeman driving his sheep,' said some one ; and this was enough to excite the fancy of Jiirgen. It seemed to him as if they were now going to enter fairyland, though everything was still real.
How quiet it was ! Far and wide the heath extended around them like a beautiful carpet. The heather bloomed and the juniper bushes and the vigorous oak sapling stood up like nosegays from the earth. An inviting place for a frolic, if it were not for the number of poisonous adders of which the travellers spoke, as they did also of the wolves which formerly infested the place, from which circumstance the region was still called the Wolfborg region. The old man who guided the oxen related how, in the lifetime of his father, the horses had to sustain many a hard fight with the wild beasts that were now extinct; and how he himself, when he went out one morning, had found one of the horses standing with its fore-feet on a wolf it had killed, but the flesh was quite off the legs of the horse.