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 sun shone hot, and not a cloud was to be seen in the sky. The road was very dusty, for many people who were all bound for the fair were driving, or riding, or walking upon it. There was no shelter anywhere from the sunbeams.
Among the rest, a man was trudging along, and driving a cow to the fair. The cow was as beautiful a creature as • any cow can be.
' She gives good milk, I'm sure,' said the peasant. ' That would be a very good exchange—the cow for the horse.'
' Hallo, you there with the cow !' he said. ' Shall we two not talk a little together ? I tell you what—I fancy a horse costs more than a cow, but I don't mind that; a cow would be more useful to me. If you like, we'll exchange.'
I To be sure I will,' said the man; and they exchanged accordingly.
So that was settled, and the peasant might have turned back, for he had done the business he came to do ; but as he had once made up his mind to go to the fair, he determined to proceed, merely to have a look at it; and so he went on to the town with his cow.
Leading the animal, he strode sturdily on ; and after a short time, he overtook a man who was driving a sheep. It was a good fat sheep, with a fine fleece on its back.
II  should like to have that fellow,' said our peasant to himself. * He would find plenty of grass by our palings, and in the winter we could keep him in the room with us. Perhaps it would be more practical to have a sheep instead of a cow. Shall we exchange ? '
The man with the sheep was quite ready, and the bargain was struck. So our peasant went on in the high road with his sheep.
Beside a stile he saw another man, carrying a great goose under his arm.
' That's a heavy thing you have there. It has plenty of feathers and plenty of fat, and would look well tied to a string, and paddling in the water at our place. That would be something for my old woman to collect peelings for. How often she has said, " If we only had a goose ! ' Now she can have one ; and it shall be hers. Shall we