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               1015
Still she had relations, although she did not know it, nor the clerk either, however much manuscript he had in the table-drawer, but one of the old crows knew about it, and told about it. From its mother and grandmother it had heard about Poultry Meg's mother and her grandmother, whom we also know from the time she ^as a child and rode over the bridge looking about her proudly, as if the whole world and its birds' nests belonged to her ; we saw her out on the heath by the sand-dunes, and last of all in the ferry-house. The grandchild, the last of the race, had come home again where the old house had stood, where the wild birds screamed, but she sat among the tame birds, known by them and known along with them. Poultry Meg had no more to wish for, she was glad to die, and old enough to die.
' Grave ! grave ! ' screamed the crows.
And Poultry Meg got a good grave, which no one knew except the old crow, if he is not dead also.
And now we know the story of the old manor, the old race, and the whole of Poultry Meg's family.
Beside the lordly manor-house lay a lovely, well-kept garden with rare trees and flowers ; the guests of the house expressed their admiration of it; the people of the district, from town and country, came on Sundays and holidays and begged permission to see the garden, even whole schools came to visit it.
Outside the garden, close to the palings beside the field-path, stood a huge thistle; it was very big and spread from the root in several branches, so that it might be called a thistle-bush. No one looked at it except the old ass which drew the milk-cart. It stretched out its neck to the thistle, and said, ' You are lovely ! I could eat you ! ' but the halter was not long enough for the ass to get near enough to eat it.
There was a great deal of company at the manor-house— some very noble people from the capital, young pretty