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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GOOD LUCK CAN LIE IN A PIN          1023
poverty, had grown up in poverty, and in poverty he had married. He was a turner by trade and made, especially, umbrella handles and rings ; but he only lived from hand to mouth. ' / never find good luck,' he said. This is a story that really happened, and one could name the country and the place where the man lived, but that doesn't matter.
The red, sour rowan-berries grew in richest profusion about his house and garden. In the garden there was also a pear-tree, but it did not bear a single pear, and yet the good luck was laid in that pear-tree, laid in the invisible pears.
One night the wind blew a terrible storm. They told in the newspapers that the big stage-coach was lifted off the road and thrown aside like a rag. It could very well happen then that a great branch was broken off the pear-tree.
The branch was put into the workshop, and the man, as a joke, made a big pear out of it, and then another big one, then a smaller one, and then some very little ones. ' The tree must some time or other have pears,' the man said, and he gave them to the children to play with.
One of the necessities of life in a wet country is an umbrella. The whole house had only one for common use ; if the wind blew too strongly, the umbrella turned inside -out ; it also snapped two or three times, but the man soon put it right again. The most provoking thing, however, was that the button which held it together when it was down, too often jumped off, or the ring which was round it broke in two.
One day the button flew off ; the man searched for it on the floor, and there got hold of one of the smallest of the wooden pears which the children had got to play with. 1 The button is not to be found,' said the man, ' but this little thing will serve the same purpose.' So he bored a hole in it, pulled a string through it, and the little pear fitted very well into the broken ring. It was assuredly the very best fastener the umbrella had ever had.
Next year when the man was sending umbrella handles to the town, as he regularly did, he also sent some of the little wooden pears, and begged that they might be tried, and so they came to America. There they very soon noticed that the little pears held much better than any other