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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898           THE STORM SHIFTS THE SIGNS
found over the billiard club, and the Institute itself got the sign * Children brought up by hand \ Now, this was not at all witty, merely naughty; but the storm had done it, and no one has any control over that.
It was a terrible night, and in the morning—only think !—nearly all the signs had changed places : in some places the inscriptions were so malicious, that Grandfather would not speak of them at all; but I saw that he was chuckling secretly, and it is possible he was keeping some­thing to himself.
The poor people in the town, and still more the strangers, were continually making mistakes in the people they wanted to see ; nor was this to be avoided, when they went according to the signs. Thus, for instance, some who wanted to go to a very grave assembly of elderly men, where important affairs were to be discussed, found them­selves in a noisy boys' school, where all the company were leaping over the chairs and tables.
There were also people who made a mistake between the church and the theatre, and that was terrible indeed !
Such a storm we have never witnessed in our day ; for that only happened in Grandpapa's time, when he was quite a little boy. Perhaps we shall never experience a storm of the kind, but our grandchildren may ; and we can only hope and pray that all may stay at home while the storm is shifting the signs.
THE TEA-POT
There was a proud tea-pot, proud of its porcelain, proud of its long spout, proud of its broad handle ; it had something both before and behind, the spout before and the handle behind, and it talked about it; but it did not talk about its lid; that was cracked, it was riveted, it had a defect, and one does not willingly talk of one's defects ; others do that sufficiently. The cups, the cream-pot, and the sugar-basin, the whole of the tea-service would remember more about the frailty of the lid and talk about it, than about the good handle and the splendid spout; the tea-pot knew that.