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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THE BEETLE                             761
put into a warm trousers-pocket. He crept and crawled ; but he got a good pressing from the boy's hand for this. Then the boy went rapidly towards the g¥eat lake that lay at the end of the garden. Here the Beetle was put in an old broken wooden shoe, on which a little stick was placed upright for a mast, and to this mast the Beetle was bound with a woollen thread. Now he was a sailor, and had to sail away.
The lake was very large, to the Beetle it seemed an ocean ; and he was so astonished, that he fell over on his back and kicked out with his legs.
The little ship sailed away. The current of the water seized it; but whenever it went too far from the shore, one of the boys turned up his trousers and went in after it, and brought it back to the land. But at length, just as it went merrily out again, the two boys were called away, and very urgently, so that they hurried away, and left the wooden shoe to its fate. Thus it drove away from the shore, farther and farther into the open sea : it was terrible work for the Beetle, for he could not get away, in consequence of being bound to the mast.
Then a Fly came and paid him a visit.
' What beautiful weather !' said the Fly. ' I'll rest here, and sun myself. You have an agreeable time of it.'
; You speak according to your intelligence,' replied the Beetle. * Don't you see that I'm a prisoner ? '
' Ah ! but I'm not a prisoner,' observed the Fly ; and he flew away accordingly.
' Well, now I know the world,' said the Beetle to himself. 1 It is an abominable world. I'm the only honest person in it. First, they refuse me my golden shoes ; then I have to lie on wet linen, and to stand in the draught ; and, to crown all, they fasten a wife upon me. Then, when I've taken a quick step out into the world, and found out how one can have it there, and how I wished to have it, one of those human whelps comes and ties me up, and leaves me to the mercy of the wild waves, while the Emperor's horse prances about proudly in golden shoes. That is what annoys me more than all. But one must not look for sympathy in this world ! My career has been very interesting; but what's the use of that, if nobody knows it ? The world