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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on now ! '—but what more beautiful could be found ? Perhaps a little toad, or some green frogs. During the past night, it had sounded in the wind as if there were cousins in the neighbourhood. ' It is lovely to live ! to come up out of the well ; to lie among stinging-nettles ; to crawl along a dusty road, and to rest in the wet ditch! but forward still! let us find frogs or a little toad; one cannot do without that; Nature is not enough for one ! ' And so it set out again on its wanderings. It came into the field, to a big pond with sedges round it, and it made its way into these.
' It is too wet for you here, isn't it ? ' said the frogs, ' but you are very welcome !—Are you a he or a she ? It does not matter, you are welcome all the same.'
And so it was invited to a concert in the evening, a family concert; great enthusiasm and thin voices,—we all know that kind. There were no refreshments, except free drinks,—the whole pond if they liked.
' Now I shall travel farther ! ' said the little toad. It was always craving after something better. It saw the stars twinkle, so big and so clear ; it saw the new moon shine, it saw the sun rise, higher and higher.
' I am still in the well, in a bigger well ; I must get higher up ! I have a restlessness and a longing.'
And when the moon was full and round, the poor creature thought, ' Can that be the bucket, which is let down, and which I can jump into, to come higher up ! or is the sun the big bucket ? how big it is, and how beaming ; it could hold all of us together. I must watch for my chance ! Oh, what a brightness there is in my head ! I don't believe the jewel can shine better ! but I haven't got it, and I don't weep for it. No ; higher up in brightness and gladness ! I have an assurance, and yet a fear—it is a hard step to take ! but one must take it ! forwards ! right out on the highway ! '
And it stepped out, as well as such a crawling creature can, and then it was on the highway where people lived; there were both flower-gardens and kitchen-gardens. It rested beside a kitchen-garden.
'How many different beings there are, which I have never known ! and how big and blessed the world is !