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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A travelling coach passed by below, the postilion wound his horn, and the poor nuns looked after the carriage for a moment with a mournful glance, and a tear gleamed in the eyes of the younger one. Aid the horn sounded faintly and more faint, and the convent bell drowned its expiring echoes.'
Twenty-fourth Evening
Hear what the Moon told me. ' Some years ago, here in Copenhagen, I looked through the window of a mean little room. The father and mother slept, but the little son was awake. I saw the flowered cotton curtains of the bed move, and the child peep forth. At first I thought he wras looking at the great clock, which was gaily painted in red and green. At the top sat a cuckoo, below hung the heavy leaden weights, and the pendulum with the polished disk of metal went to and fro, and said, ' Tick, tick." But no, he was not looking at the clock, but at his mother's spinning-wheel, that stood just underneath it. That was the boy's favourite piece of furniture, but he dared not touch it, for if he meddled with it he got a rap on the knuckles. For hours together, when his mother was spinning, he would sit quietly by her side, watching the whirring spindle and the revolving wheel, and as he sat he thought of many things. Oh, if he might only turn the wheel himself ! Father and mother were asleep : he looked at them, and looked at the spinning-wheel, and presently a little naked foot peeped out of the bed, and then a second foot, and then two little white legs. There he stood. He looked round once more, to see if father and mother were still asleep,—yes, they slept; and now he crept softly, softlyy in his short little nightgown, to the spinning-wheel, and began to spin. The thread flew from the wheel, and the wheel whirled faster and faster. I kissed his fair hair and his blue eyes, it was such a pretty picture.
' At that moment the mother awoke. The curtain shook ; she looked forth, and fancied she saw a gnome or some other kind of little spectre. " In Heaven's name ! ' she cried, and aroused her husband in a frightened way. He opened his eyes, rubbed them with his hands, and looked at the