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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934                          REMOVING-DAY
I did get something shortly after Christmas. I came down into the street, which was raw, wet, dirty, and enough to give one a cold. The dustman stopped with his cart, which was full, a kind of sample of the streets of Copenhagen on a removing-day. In the back of the cart was a fir-tree, still quite green and with gold-tinsel on the branches; it had been used for a Christmas-tree and was now thrown out into the street, and the dustman had stuck it up at the back of the heap. It was pleasant to look at, or some­thing to weep over ; yes, one can say either, according to how one thinks about it, and I thought about it, and so did one and another of the things which lay in the cart, or they might have thought, which is about one and the. same thing. A lady's torn glove lay there; what did it think about ? Shall I tell you ? It lay and pointed with the little finger at the fir-tree. " That tree concerns me," it thought; " I have also been at a party where there were chandeliers ! my real life was one ball-night; a hand-clasp, and I split! there my recollection stops ; I have nothing more to live for!" That is what the glove thought, or could have thought. " How silly the fir-tree is ! " said the potsherd. Broken crockery thinks everything foolish. " If one is on the dust-cart," they said, " one should not put on airs and wear tinsel! I know that I have been of use in this world, of more use than a green branch like that." That was also an opinion such as many people may have ; but the fir-tree looked well, it was a little poetry on the pile of rubbish, and there is plenty of that about in the streets on removing-day! The way got heavy and trouble­some for me down there, and I became eager to come away, up into the tower again, and to stay up here: here I sit and look down with good humour.
' The good people down there play at changing houses ! they drag and toil with their belongings ; and the brownie sits in the tub and removes with them. House rubbish, family troubles, sorrows and afflictions remove from the old to the new dwelling, and so what do they and we get out of the whole ? Yes, it is already written down long ago in the good, old verse in the newspaper : " Think of Death's great removing-day! " It is a serious thought, but I suppose it is not unpleasant for you to hear about it.