THE SNOW MAN ^
' It 's so beautifully cold that my whole body crackles ! ' said the Snow Man. ' This is a kind of wind that can blow life into one ; and how the gleaming one up yonder is staring at me.' He meant the sun, which was just about to set. ' It shall not make me wink—I shall manage to keep the pieces.'
He had two triangular pieces of tile in his head instead of eyes. His mouth was made of an old rake, and consequently was furnished with teeth.
He had been born amid the joyous shouts of the boys, and welcomed by the sound of sledge bells and the slashing of whips.
The sun went down, and the full moon rose, round, large, clear, and beautiful in the blue air.
' There it comes again from the other side,' said the Snow Man. He intended to say the sun is showing himself again. 1 Ah ! I have cured him of staring. Now let him hang up there and shine, that I may see myself. If I only knew how I could manage to move from this place, I should like so much to move. If I could, I would slide along yonder on the ice, just as I see the boys slide ; but I don't know how to run.'
1 Off ! Off! ' barked the old Yard Dog. He was somewhat hoarse. He had got the hoarseness from the time when he was an indoor dog, and lay by the fire. ' The sun will teach you to run ! I saw that last winter in your predecessor, and before that in his predecessor. Off ! Off ! —and they all go.'
' I don't understand you, comrade,' said the Snow Man. 1 That thing up yonder is to teach me to run ? ' He meant the moon. ' Yes, it was running itself, when I looked hard at it a little while ago, and now it comes creeping from the other side.'
' You know nothing at all,' retorted the Yard Dog. ' But then you've only just been patched up. What you see yonder is the moon, and the one that went before was the sun. It will come again to-morrow, and will teach you to run down into the ditch by the wall. We shall
ANDERSEN Q q