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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1098                    AUNTIE TOOTHACHE
' You are a poet! said she, ' perhaps the greatest we have ! If I should live to see it, then I shall willingly go to my grave ! You have always amazed me with your powerful imagination, from the very day of Brewer Rasmussen's funeral.'
So said Auntie Milly, and kissed me.
Now who was Auntie Milly, and who was Brewer Rasmussen ? Mother's aunt was called ' Auntie ' by us children, we had no other name for her.
She gave us jam and sugar, although it was a great destruction for our teeth, but she was weak where the sweet children were concerned, she said. It was cruel to deny them the little bit of sweetstuff they thought so much of.
And because of that we thought so much of Auntie. She was an old maid, as far back as I can remember, always old ! She stood still in the years.
In earlier years she suffered much from toothache, and always spoke about it, and so it was that her friend, Brewer Rasmussen, who was witty, called her ' Auntie Toothache ! '
He lived on his money, and came often to see Auntie, and was older than she. He had no teeth, only some black stumps.
As a child he had eaten too much sugar, she told us children, and so one came to look like that. Auntie had certainly never in her childhood eaten sugar ; she had the most lovely white teeth. She saved them too, 'and did not sleep with them at night ! ' said Brewer Rasmussen.
That was malicious, we children knew, but Auntie said he did not mean anything by it.
One morning, at breakfast, she told of a nasty dream she had had in the night: one of her teeth had fallen out.
- That means,' said she, ' that I will lose a true friend.'
' Was it a false tooth ? ' said Brewer Rasmussen, and laughed ; ' then it may only mean that you will lose a false friend ! '
1 You are a rude old gentleman !' said Auntie, angry as I have never seen her, before or since.
Later on she said, it was only the teasing of her old friend. He was the most noble man on earth, and when he