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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THE THISTLE'S EXPERIENCES           1017
' I have brought that about ! ' thought the thistle-bush, and thought of the flower it had given for a button-hole. Each flower that opened heard of this occurrence.
41 shall certainly be planted in the garden ! ' thought the thistle; ' perhaps put in a pot which pinches: that is the greatest honour of all ! '
And the thistle thought of this so strongly that it said with full conviction, ' I shall be put in a pot ! '
It promised every little thistle-flower which opened that it also should be put in a pot, perhaps in a button-holeó the highest honour that was to be attained ; but none of them was put in a pot, to say nothing of a button-hole ; they drank in the air and the light, licked the sunshine by day and the dew by night, bloomed, were visited by bees and hornets which searched for the dowry, the honey in the flowers, and they took the honey and left the flower standing. ' The thieving pack !' said the thistle, ' if I could only stab them ! But I cannot ! '
The flowers hung their heads and faded, but new ones came again.
' You come in good time ! ' said the thistle, ; every minute I expect to get across the fence.'
A few innocent daisies and narrow-leaved plantains stood and listened with deep admiration, and believed every≠thing that was said.
The old ass of the milk-cart looked along from the wayside to the thistle-bush, but the halter was too short to reach it.
And the thistle thought so long of the Scottish thistle to whose family it thought it belonged,that atlast it believed it came from Scotland and that its parents had been put into the national scutcheon. It was a great thought, but great thistles can have great thoughts !
' One is often of such a noble family, that one dare not know it ! ' said the nettle, which grew close by ; it also had an idea that it might turn into nettle-cloth if it were properly handled. And the summer passed and the autumn passed ; the leaves fell off the trees, the flowers got strong colours and less scent. The gardener's apprentice sang in the garden, across the fence :
* Up the hill and down the hill, That is all the story still.'