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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Thirtieth Evening
1 Close by the high road,' said the Moon, ' is an inn, and opposite to it is a great wagon-shed, whose straw roof was just being re-thatched. I looked down between the bare rafters and through the open loft into the comfortless space below. The turkey-cock slept on the beam, and the saddle rested in the empty crib. In the middle of the shed stood a travelling carriage ; the proprietor was inside, fast asleep, while the horses were being watered. The coachman stretched himself, though I am very sure that he had been most comfortably asleep half the last stage. The door of the servants' room stood open, and the bed looked as if it had been turned over and over ; the candle stood on the floor, and had burned deep down into the socket. The wind blew cold through the shed : it was nearer to the dawn than to midnight. In the stall, on the ground, slept a wandering family of musicians. The father and mother seemed to be dreaming of the burning liquor that remained in the bottle. The little pale daughter was dreaming too, for her eyes were wet with tears. The harp stood at their heads, and the dog lay stretched at their feet.'
Thirty-first Evening
1 It was in a little provincial town,' the Moon said; ' it certainly happened last year, but that has nothing to do with the matter. I saw it quite plainly. To-day I read about it in the papers, but there it was not half so clearly expressed. In the tap-room of the little inn sat the bear­leader, eating his supper ; the bear was tied up outside, behind the wood pile—poor Bruin, who did nobody any harm, though he looked grim enough. Up in the garret three little children were playing by the light of my beams ; the eldest was perhaps six years old, the youngest certainly not more than two. Tramp ! tramp !—somebody was coming upstairs : who might it be ? The door was thrust open—it was Bruin, the great, shaggy Bruin ! He had got tired of waiting down in the courtyard, and had found his way to the stairs. I saw it all,' said the Moon. ' The