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 TEA-POT                            899
' I know them ! ' it said to itself, ' I know also my defect and I admit it; therein lies my humility, my modesty; we all have defects, but one has also merits. The cups have a handle, the sugar-basin a lid, I have both of these and another thing besides, which they never have, I have a spout, and that makes me the queen of the tea-table. To the sugar-basin and the cream-pot it is granted to be the servants of sweet taste, but I am the giver, the ruler of all; I disseminate blessing among thirsty humanity; in my inside the Chinese leaves are prepared in the boiling, tasteless water.
The tea-pot said all this in its undaunted youth. It stood on the table laid for tea, and it was lifted by the
finest hand ; but the finest hand was clumsy, the tea-pot fell, the spout broke off, the handle broke off, the lid is not worth talking about, for enough has been said about it. The tea-pot lay in a faint on the floor ; the boiling water ran out of it. That was a hard blow it got, and the hardest of all was that they laughed ; they laughed at it, and not at the awkward hand.
11 shall never get that experience out of my mind,' said the tea-pot, when it afterwards related its career to itself, ' I was called an invalid and set in a corner, and the day after, presented to a woman who begged kitchen-refuse. I came down into poverty, stood speechless both out and in ; but there, as I stood, my better life began ; one is one thing, and becomes something quite different. Earth was put into me; for a tea-pot, that is the same as to be buried, but in the earth was put a bulb : who laid it there,