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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on it shone like gold ; one feather fell down on the big merchant ship which glided past under full sail. The feather fell on the curly hair of the young man who had charge of the cargo, the " Super-cargo " they called him. The feather of the bird of Fortune touched his forehead, and became a pen in his hand, and he soon became a rich merchant, who could easily buy himself spurs of gold, and change gold plate into a nobleman's shield. I have shone upon it,' said the Sunshine.
' The swan flew away over the green meadow, where the little shepherd, a boy of seven years old, had laid himself to rest under the shadow of the single old tree there. And the swan in its flight kissed a leaf of the tree; it fell into the boy's hand, and the one leaf became three, then ten, then a whole book, and he read in it about the wonders of nature, about his mother-tongue, and about faith and knowledge. At bedtime he laid the book under his head, so that he should not forget what he had read, and the book took him to the school bench and the desk of . learning. I have read his name among those of the learned ! ' said the Sunshine.
1 The swan flew into the loneliness of the forest, rested there on the still, dark lakes, where the water-lilies and the wild apples grow, where the cuckoo and the wood-pigeon have their homes.
1A poor woman gathered fallen branches for firewood, and carried them on her back ; she bore her child in her arms, and was on her way home. She saw the golden swan, the swan of Fortune, fly up from the rush-grown bank. What shone there ? A golden egg ; she laid it in her bosom, and the warmth remained ; there was certainly life in the egg. Yes, there was a tapping inside the shell ; she noticed it, and thought it was the beating of her own heart.
' At home in her poor room she took out the golden egg, " Tick, tick," it said, as if it were a valuable gold watch, but it was an egg with living life. The egg burst, and a little cygnet, feathered like pure gold, stuck its head out; it had four rings round its neck, and as the poor woman had just four boys, three at home, and the fourth which she had carried with her in the forest, she understood at once that