his bare feet, with only his shirt and jacket on, and with the bird in the cage.
11 can walk !' he shouted. ' My God ! ' and he sobbed and wept with joy.
And there was joy in the house of Ole and Kirsten. ' A more joyful day we could not see/ said both of them. Hans was called up to the big house ; he had not gone that way for many years ; it seemed as if the trees and the nut -bushes, which he knew so well, nodded to him and said, ' Good day, Hans, welcome here ! ' The sun shone on his face as well as in his heart. The master and mistress let him sit with them, and looked as glad as if he had belonged to their own family.
Gladdest of all was the lady, who had given him the story book, given him the singing-bird, which was now as a matter of fact dead, dead of fright, but it had been the means of restoring him to health, and the book had brought the awakening of the parents : he had the book still, and he would keep it and read it if he were ever so old. Now he could be a benefit to those at home. He would learn a trade, by preference a bookbinder, ' because,' said he, ' I can get all the new books to read ! '
In the afternoon the lady called both parents up to her. She and her husband had talked together about Hans ; he was a wise and clever boy: had pleasure in reading, and ability.
That evening the parents came home joyfully from the farm, Kirsten in particular, but the week after she wept, for then little Hans went away : he was dressed in good clothes ; he was a good boy ; but now he must go away across the salt water, far away to school, and many years would pass before they would see him again.
He did not get the story-book with him, the parents kept that for remembrance. And the father often read in it, but nothing except the two stories, for he knew them.
And they got letters from Hans, each one gladder than the last. He was with fine people, in good circumstances, and it was most delightful to go to school; there was so much to learn and to know ; he only wanted to remain there a hundred years and then be a schoolmaster.