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

sometimes on his back, and as for flying, that was out of the question ; he doubted whether he should escape from the place with his life. He therefore remained lying where he was.
When the weather had moderated a little, and the Beetle had blinked the water out of his eyes, he saw something white. It was linen that had been placed there to bleach. He managed to make his way up to it, and crept into a fold of the damp linen. Certainly the place was not so com­fortable to lie in as the warm stable ; but there was no better to be had, and therefore he remained lying there for a whole day and a whole night, and the rain kept on during all the time. Towards morning he crept forth : he was very much out of temper because of the climate.
On the linen two Frogs were sitting. Their bright eyes absolutely gleamed with pleasure.
1 Wonderful weather this ! ' one of them cried. ' How refreshing ! And the linen keeps the water together so beautifully. My hind legs seem to quiver as if I were going to swim.'
' I should like to know,' said the second, ' if the swallow, who flies so far round in her many journeys in foreign lands, ever meets with a better climate than this. What delicious dampness ! It is really as if one were lying in a wet ditch. Whoever does not rejoice in this, certainly does not love his fatherland.'
1 Have you then never been in the Emperor's stable ? ' asked the Beetle ; * there the dampness is warm and refreshing. That's the climate for me ; but I cannot take it with me on my journey. Is there never a muck-heap, here in the garden, where a person of rank, like myself, can feel himself at home, and take up his quarters ? '
But the Frogs either did not or would not understand him.
' I never ask a question twice !' said the Beetle, after he had already asked this one three times without receiving any answer.
Then he went a little farther, and stumbled against a fragment of pottery, that certainly ought not to have been lying there ; but since it was there, it gave a good shelter against wind and weather. Here dwelt several families