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 ICE MAIDEN
793
besides his grandfather to whom he had to say farewell; and foremost came Ajola, the old dog.
' Your father was the postilion and I was the post dog,* said Ajola ; ' we went to and fro together ; and I know some dogs from beyond the mountains, and some people too. I was never much of a talker ; but now that we most likely shall not be able to talk much longer together, I will tell you a little more than usual. I will tell you a story that I have kept to myself and ruminated on for a long while. I don't understand it, and you won't under­stand it, but that does not signify : this much at least I have made out, that things are not quite equally divided in the world, either for dogs or for men. Not all are destined to sit on a lady's lap and to drink milk : /'ve not been accustomed to it, but I've seen one of those little lap dogs, driving in the coach, and taking up a passenger's place in it; the lady, who was its mistress, or whose master it was, had a little bottle of milk with her, out of which she gave the dog a drink ; and she offered him sweetmeats, but he only sniffed at them, and would not even accept them, and then she ate them up herself. I was running along in the mud beside the carriage, as hungry as a dog can be, chewing my own thoughts, that this could not be quite right ; but they say a good many things are going on that are not quite right. Should you like to sit in a lady's lap and ride in a coach ? I should be glad if you did. But one can't manage that for oneself. I never could manage it, either by barking or howling.'
These were Ajola's words ; and Rudy embraced him and kissed him heartily on his wet nose ; then the lad took the Cat in his arms, but Puss struggled, saying,
1 You 're too strong for me, and I don't like to use my claws against you ! Clamber away over the mountains, for I have taught you how to climb. Don't think that you can fall, and then you will be sure to maintain your hold.'
And so saying the Cat ran away, not wishing Rudy to see that the tears were in his eyes.
The Fowls were strutting about in the room. One of them had lost its tail. A traveller who wanted to be a