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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950
THE TOAD
But one must also look about in it, and not remain sitting in one place,' and so it hopped into the kitchen-garden. ' How green it is 1 how lovely it is here !'
' I know that well enough ! ' said the caterpillar on the leaf. ' My leaf is the biggest one here ! it hides half the world, but I can do without that.'
' Cluck, cluck,' was heard, and fowls came tripping into the garden. The foremost hen was long-sighted ; she saw the caterpillar on the curly leaf, and pecked at it, so that it fell to the ground, where it wriggled and twisted itself. The hen looked first with one eye and then with the other, for it did not know what was to be the end of this wriggling.
' It does not do that with any good intent,' thought the hen, and lifted its head to peck at it. The toad became so frightened, that it crawled right up towards the hen.
' So it has friends to help it ! ' said the hen,' look at that crawler ! ' and it turned away. ' I don't care a bit about the little green mouthful: it only tickles one's throat I' The other fowls were of the same opinion, and so they went away.
' I wriggled myself away from it! ' said the caterpillar, * it is a good thing to have presence of mind ; but the hardest task remains, to get back on to my cabbage leaf. Where is it ? '
And the little toad came and expressed its sympathy. It was glad that it had frightened the hens with its ugliness.
' What do you mean by that ? ' asked the caterpillar. ' I wriggled myself away from them. You are very un­pleasant to look at! May I be allowed to occupy my own place ? Now I smell cabbage I Now I am close to my leaf ! There is nothing so nice as one's own ! But I must get higher up I'
' Yes, higher up !' said the little toad, ' higher up ! it feels as I do ! but it is not in a good humour to-day ; that comes from the fright. We all wish to get higher up !' And it looked up as high as it could.
The stork sat in his nest on the farmer's roof ; he chattered, and the mother-stork chattered.
' How high up they live ! ' thought the toad ; ' if one could only get up there 1 '
In the farm-house lived two young students. The one