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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978                    V^NOE AND GLiENOE
is waiting for Glaenoe,' was the saying, and it became a settled tradition.
Many a little boy and girl lay on stormy nights and thought, ' To-night will come the hour when Vaenoe fetches Glaenoe.' They said their Lord's Prayer in fear and trembling, fell asleep, and dreamt sweet dreams,—and next morning Glaenoe was still there with its woods and cornfields, its friendly farm-houses, and hop-gardens ; the birds sang, the deer sprang ; the mole smelt no sea-water, as far as he could burrow.
And yet Glaenoe's days are numbered ; we cannot say how many they are, but they are numbered: one fine morning the island will have vanished.
You were perhaps, only yesterday, down there on the beach, and saw the wild swans floating on the water between Zealand and Glaenoe, a sailing boat with out­spread sails glided past the woodland ; you yourself drove over the shallow ford, there was no other way; the horses trampled in the water and it splashed about the wheels of the wagon. You have gone away, and perhaps travelled a little out into the wide world, and come back again after some years. You see the wood here encircling a big green stretch of meadow, where the hay smells sweet in front of tidy farm-houses. Where are you ? Holsteinborg still stands proudly here with its gilt spires, but not close to the fjord, it lies higher up on the land. You go through the wood, along over the field, and down to the shore, —where is Glaenoe ? You see no wooded island in front of you, you see the open water. Has Vaenoe fetched Glaenoe, that it waited for so long ? When was the storni}^ night on which it happened, when the earth quaked, so that old Holsteinborg was moved many thousand cock-strides up into the country ?
It was no stormy night, it was on a bright sunshiny day. The skill of man raised a dam against the sea ; the skill of man blew the pent-up waters away, and bound Glaenoe to the mainland. The firth has become a meadow with luxuriant grass, Glaenoe has grown fast to Zealand. The old farm lies where it always lay. It was not Vaenoe which fetched Glaenoe, it was Zealand, which with long dike-arms seized it, and blew with the breath of pumps