A PICTURE-BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES 1121
yellow flowers and house-leek. Cabbage and potatoes are the only plants in the gardens, but out of the hedge there grows an elder tree, and under this tree sat a little girl, and she sat with her eyes fixed upon the old oak tree between the two huts.
'It was an old withered stem. It had been sawn off at tho top, and a stork had built his nest upon it; and he stood in this nest clapping with his beak. A little boy came and stood by the girl's side : they were brother and sister.
1 " What are you looking at ? " he asked.
' " I'm watching the stork," she replied : " our neighbour told me that he would bring us a little brother or sister to-day ; let us watch to see it come ! "
1 " The stork brings no such things," the boy declared, ' you may be sure of that. Our neighbour told me the same thing, but she laughed when she said it, and so I asked her if she could say ' On my honour ', and she could not; and I know by that that the story about the storks is not true, and that they only tell it to us children for fun."
' " But where do the babies come from, then ? " asked the girl.
' " Why, an angel from heaven brings them under his cloak, but no man can see him; and that \s why we never know when he brings them."
1 At that moment there was a rustling in the branches of the elder tree, and the children folded their hands and looked at one another : it was certainly the angel coming with the baby. They took each other's hand, and at that moment the door of one of the houses opened, and the neighbour appeared.
* " Come in, you two," she said. " See what the stork has brought. It is a little brother."
' And the children nodded, for they had felt quite sure already that the baby was come/
* I was gliding over the Luneborg Heath,' the Moon said. 1 A lonely hut stood by the wayside, a few scanty bushes grew near it, and a nightingale who had lost his way sang sweetly. He died in the coldness of the night: it was his farewell song that I heard.
ANDERSEN O O