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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POULTRY MEG'S FAMILY                1011
breeze came along, and the sails swelled, the young student set himself with his face to the wind, and fell asleep, and that was not quite the wisest thing to do. Already on the third morning the ship lay off Falster.
' Do you know any one in this place, with whom I could live cheaply ? ' Holberg asked the captain.
11 believe that you would do well to go to the ferry-woman in Borrehouse,' said he. 'If you want to be very polite, her name is Mother Soren Sorensen Moller ! yet it may happen that she will fly into a rage if you are too polite to her ! Her husband is in custody for a crime ; she herself manages the ferry-boat, she has fists of her own ! '
The student took his knapsack and went to the ferry-house. The door was not locked, he lifted the latch, and went into a room with a brick-laid floor, where a bench with a big leather coverlet was the chief article of furniture. A white hen with chickens was fastened to the bench, and had upset the water-dish, and the water had run across the floor. No one was here, or in the next room, only a cradle with a child in it. The ferry-boat came back with only one person in it, whether man or woman was not easy to say. The person was wrapped in a great cloak, and wore a fur cap like a hood on the head. The boat lay to.
It was a woman who got out and came into the room. She looked very imposing when she straightened her back ; two proud eyes sat under the black eyebrows. It was Mother Soren, the ferry-woman; rooks, crows, and daws would scream out another name which we know better.
She looked morose, and did not seem to care to talk, but so much was said and settled, that the student arranged for board and lodging for an indefinite time, whilst things were so bad in Copenhagen. One or other honest citizen from the neighbouring town came regularly out to the ferry-house. Frank the cutler and Sivert the excise-man came there ; they drank a glass of ale and talked with the student. He was a clever }'oung man, who knew his ' Practica', as they called it; he read Greek and Latin, and was well up in learned subjects.
' The less one knows, the less one is burdened with it,' said Mother Soren.
1 You have to work hard ! ' said Holberg, one day when