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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' If one's children have got inside, a mother can be content to stand outside the fence ! '
' That is an honourable thought! ' said the sunbeam. 1 You shall also get a good place ! '
' In a pot or in a frame ? ' asked the thistle.
' In a story ! ' said the sunbeam. And here it is !
There was once a young man who was studying to be a poet. He wanted to become one by Easter, to marry, and to live by poetry. To write poems, he knew, was only to invent something, but he could not invent anything. He had been born too late, everything had been taken up before he came into the world, everything had been written and told about.
' Happy people who were born thousands of years ago ! ' said he. ' They could easily become immortal ! Happy even, those who were born hundreds of years ago, for then there was still something to make a poem about; how the world is written out, and what can I write poetry abt ut ?'
He worried about that till he became sick and ill. Wretched man ! no doctor could help him, but perhaps the wise woman could ! She lived in the little house beside the field gate, which she opened for those riding and driving: she could open up more than the gate, she was wiser than the doctor, who drives in his own carriage and pays taxes for his rank.
1I must go out to her ! ' said the young man. The house she lived in was small and neat, but dreary to behold; there was neither tree nor flower; a bee-hive, which was very useful, stood outside the door ; there was a small potato patch, also very useful ; and a ditch with sloe-bushes which had flowered and now bore berries, which draw the mouth together if one tastes them before they have got frost.
* That is a true picture of our unpoetic time, I see here !'