The Complete Fairy Tales & Other Stories
By Hans Christian Andersen - online book

Oxford Complete Illustrated Edition all his stories written between 1835 and 1872.

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search



Share page  


Previous Contents Next

1022               WHAT ONE CAN INVENT
* Well, then, you can't become a poet before Easter,' said the wise woman.
* But when, then ? ' he asked.
* Neither by Easter, nor by Whitsuntide ! You will not learn how to invent anything.'
' What shall I do, then, to earn my bread by poetry ?'
1 You can join in the Shrove-Tuesday sports, and knock the poets out of the barrel! To hit at their writings is as good as hitting themselves. Only don't let yourself be abashed ; strike boldly, and so you will get dumplings with which you can feed both your wife and yourself.'
' What one can invent! ' said the young man, and so he knocked down every other poet, because he could not be a poet himself.
We have it from the wise woman ; she knows what one can invent.
GOOD LUCK CAN LIE IN A PIN
Now I shall tell a story about good luck. We all know good luck : some see it from year's end to year's end, others only at certain seasons, on a certain day ; there are even people who only see it once in their lives, but see it we all do.
Now I need not tell you, for every one knows it, that God sends the little child and lays it in a mother's lap, it may be in the rich castle, and in the well-to-do house, but it may also be in the open field where the cold wind blows. Every one does not know, however, but it is true all the same, that God, when He brings the child, brings also a lucky gift for it : but it is not laid openly by its side ; it is laid in some place in the world where one would least expect to find it, and yet it always is found : that is the best of it. It may be laid in an apple; it was so for a learned man who was called Newton : the apple fell, and so he found his good luck. If you do not know the story, then ask some one who knows it to tell it you. I have another story to tell, and that is a story about a pear.
Once upon a time there was a man who was born in