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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who dwelt in that place had not been there from the beginning : they had come into the land from the far north, where their ancestors dwelt, who were called Swedes. And Rudy was very proud of knowing this. But he had others who taught him something, and these others were companions of his belonging to the animal creation. There was a great dog, whose name was Ajola, and who had belonged to Rudy's father ; and a Tom Cat was there too ; this Tom Cat had a special significance for Rudy, for it was Pussy who had taught him to climb.
' Come with me out on the roof,' the Cat had said, quite distinctly and plainly, to Rudy ; for, you see, children who cannot talk yet, can understand the language of fowls and ducks right well, and cats and dogs speak to them quite as plainly as Father and Mother can do ; but that is only when the children are very little, and then, even Grandfather's stick will become a perfect horse to them, and can neigh, and, in their eyes, is furnished with head and legs and tail. With some children this period ends later than with others, and of such we are accustomed to say that they are very backward, and that they have remained children a long time. People are in the habit of saying many strange things.
* Come out with me on to the roof,' was perhaps the first thing the Cat had said and that Rudy had understood. 1 What people say about falling down is all fancy: one does not fall down if one is not afraid. Just you come, and put one of your paws thus and the other thus. Feel your way with your fore-paws. You must have eyes in your head and nimble limbs ; and if an empty space comes, jump over, and then hold tight as I do.'
And Rudy did so too ; consequently he was often found seated on the top of the roof by the Cat; and afterwards he sat with him in the tree-tops, and at last was even seen seated on the edge of the cliff, whither Puss did not go.
1 Higher up ! ' said Tree and Bush. ' Don't you see how we climb ? How high we reach, and how tight we cling, even to the narrowest, loftiest ridge of rock ! '
And Rudy climbed to the very summit of the mountain, frequently reaching the top before the sun touched it, and there he drank his morning draught of fresh mountain air,