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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was a poet, the other a naturalist ; the one sang and wrote in gladness about all that God had made, and as it was reflected in his heart ; he sang it out, short, clear, and rich in melodious verse. The other took hold of the thing itself; aye, split it up, if necessary. He took our Lord's creation as a vast sum in arithmetic, subtracted, multiplied, wanted to know it out and in and to talk with understand­ing about it ; and it was perfect understanding, and he talked in gladness and with wisdom about it. They were good, happy fellows, both of them.
' There sits a good specimen of a toad,' said the naturalist. 61 must have it in spirit.'
' You have two others already,' said the poet; ' let it sit in peace, and enjoy itself ! '
' But it is so beautifully ugly,' said the other.
' Yes, if we could find the jewel in its head ! ' said the poet, ' I myself would help to split it up.'
' The jewel ! ' said the other ; ' you are good at natural history ! '
' But is there not something very beautiful in the common belief that the toad, the very ugliest of animals, often carries hidden in its head the most precious jewel ? Is it not the same with men ? What a jewel had not Aesop, and Socrates ! '—The toad heard no more, and it did not understand the half of it. The two friends went on, and it escaped being put in spirit.
1 They also talked about the jewel! ' said the toad. ' It is a good thing that I have not got it ; otherwise I should have got into trouble.'
There was a chattering on the farmer's roof ; the father-stork was delivering a lecture to his family, and they looked down askance at the two young men in the kitchen-garden.
* Man is the most conceited creature ! ' said the stork. ' Listen how they chatter ! and yet they can't give a single decent croak. They are vain of their oratorical power's and their language ! And it is a rare language ! It becomes unintelligible every day's journey that we do. The one doesn't understand the other. Our language we can talk over the whole world, both in Denmark and in Egypt. And men can't fly at all! they fly along by means of an invention which they call a railway, but they often break