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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Mars, shone over the Great Paris, over the little square with the trees and the splashing fountain, amongst the tall houses, where the chestnut tree stood, but with drooping branches, withered leaves, the tree which only yesterday lifted itself as fresh and full of life as the spring itself. Now it was dead, they said. The Dryad-had gone, passed away like the cloud, no one knew whither.
There lay on the ground a withered, broken chestnut flower; the holy water of the Church had no power to call it to life. The foot of man soon trod it down into the dust.
The whole of this actually happened, we saw it ourselves at the Paris Exhibition in 1867, in our own time, in the great, wonderful, time of fairy-tale.
Poultry Meg was the only human occupant in the handsome new house which was built for the fowls and ducks on the estate. It stood where the old baronial mansion had stood, with its tower, crow-step gable, moat, and drawbridge. Close by was a wilderness of trees and bushes ; the garden had been here and had stretched down to a big lake, which was now a bog. Rooks, crows, and jackdaws flew screaming and cawing over the old trees, a perfect swarm of birds. They did not seem to decrease, but rather to increase, although one shot amongst them. One could hear them inside the poultry-house, where Poultry Meg sat with the ducklings running about over her wooden shoes. She knew every fowl, and every duck, from the time it crept out of the egg ; she was proud of her fowls and ducks, and proud of the splendid house which had been built for them.
Her own little room was clean and neat, that was the wish of the lady to whom the poultry-house belonged ; she often came there with distinguished guests and showed them the ' barracks of the hens and ducks ', as she called it.
Here was both a wardrobe and an easy-chair, and even