Amrita Deb

The Goloshes of Fortune 17

The Clerk’s Transformation   THE watchman, whom we of course have not forgotten, thought, after a while, of the goloshes which he had found and taken to the hospital; so he went and fetched them. But neither the lieutenant nor any one in the street could recognize them as their own, so he gave them …

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The Goloshes of Fortune 16

The poor volunteer came out of the last heart in the row quite bewildered. He could not collect his thoughts, and imagined his foolish fancies had carried him away. “Good gracious!” he sighed, “I must have a tendency to softening of the brain, and here it is so exceedingly hot that the blood is rushing …

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The Goloshes of Fortune 15

The hospital is separated from the street by an iron railing, in which the bars stand so wide apart that, it is said, some very slim patients have squeezed through, and gone to pay little visits in the town. The most difficult part of the body to get through was the head; and in this …

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The Goloshes of Fortune 14

“What is it o’clock, watchman?” inquired a passenger. But there was no answer from the watchman.   The man then pulled his nose gently, which caused him to lose his balance. The body fell forward, and lay at full length on the ground as one dead.   All his comrades were very much frightened, for …

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The Goloshes of Fortune 13

In a very few seconds the watchman had travelled more than two hundred thousand miles to the moon, which is formed of a lighter material than our earth, and may be said to be as soft as new fallen snow. He found himself on one of the circular range of mountains which we see represented …

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The Goloshes of Fortune 12

There are certain things in the world which should be uttered very cautiously; doubly so when the speaker has on his feet the goloshes of Fortune. Now we shall hear what happened to the watchman.   Nearly everyone is acquainted with the great power of steam; we have proved it by the rapidity with which …

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The Goloshes of Fortune 11

“Well, yes; people write poems when they are in love, but a wise man will not print them. A lieutenant in love, and poor. This is a triangle, or more properly speaking, the half of the broken die of fortune.” The lieutenant felt this very keenly, and therefore leaned his head against the window-frame, and …

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The Goloshes of Fortune 10

The Watchman’s Adventures “WELL, I declare, there lies a pair of goloshes,” said the watchman. “No doubt, they belong to the lieutenant who lives upstairs. They are lying just by his door.” Gladly would the honest man have rung, and given them in, for a light was still burning, but he did not wish to …

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The Goloshes of Fortune 9

“How are you now?” asked the landlady, pulling the counsellor’s sleeve.   Then his recollection returned to him. In the course of conversation he had forgotten all that had happened previously.   “Goodness me! where am I?” said he. It bewildered him as he thought of it.   “We will have some claret, or mead, …

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The Goloshes of Fortune 8

So far all had passed off very well; but now one of the citizens began to speak of a terrible pestilence which had been raging a few years before, meaning the plague of 1484. The counsellor thought he referred to the cholera, and they could discuss this without finding out the mistake. The war in …

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The Goloshes of Fortune 7

“May I ask to whom I have the pleasure of speaking?”   “I am a Bachelor of Divinity,” said the man. This answer satisfied the counsellor. The title agreed with the dress.   “This is surely,” thought he, “an old village schoolmaster, a perfect original, such as one meets with sometimes even in Jutland.”   …

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The Goloshes of Fortune 6

“Is that to-day’s number of the Day?”2 he asked, quite mechanically, as he saw the woman putting by a large piece of paper. She did not understand what he meant, but she handed him the sheet; it was a woodcut, representing a meteor, which had appeared in the town of Cologne.   “That is very …

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The Goloshes of Fortune 5

“I am certainly all wrong,” said he, with a sigh; “and yet I only drank one glass of punch. But I cannot bear even that, and it was very foolish to give us punch and hot salmon; I shall speak about it to our hostess, the agent’s lady. Suppose I were to go back now …

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The Goloshes of Fortune 4

“Does the gentleman wish to be ferried over the Holm?” asked one.   “To the Holm!” exclaimed the counsellor, not knowing in what age he was now existing; “I want to go to Christian’s Haven, in Little Turf Street.” The men stared at him. “Pray tell me where the bridge is!” said he. “It is …

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The Goloshes of Fortune 3

“Why, this is horrible; how dreadfully dirty it is!” said the counsellor; “and the whole pavement has vanished, and the lamps are all out.”   The moon had not yet risen high enough to penetrate the thick foggy air, and all the objects around him were confused together in the darkness. At the nearest corner, …

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The Goloshes of Fortune 2

“I must tell you,” said she, “that to-day is my birthday; and in honor of it I have been intrusted with a pair of goloshes, to introduce amongst mankind. These goloshes have the property of making every one who puts them on imagine himself in any place he wishes, or that he exists at any …

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The Goloshes of Fortune 1

In a house in Copenhagen, not far from the king’s new market, a very large party had assembled, the host and his family expecting, no doubt, to receive invitations in return. One half of the company were already seated at the card-tables, the other half seemed to be waiting the result of their hostess’s question, …

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The Travelling Companion 20

But the princess was still a witch, and she could not love John. His fellow-traveller had thought of that, so he gave John three feathers out of the swan’s wings, and a little bottle with a few drops in it. He told him to place a large bath full of water by the princess’s bed, …

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The Travelling Companion 19

“What have I thought of?” asked the princess, of John. He immediately untied the handkerchief, and was himself quite frightened when he saw the head of the ugly magician. Every one shuddered, for it was terrible to look at; but the princess sat like a statue, and could not utter a single word. At length …

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The Travelling Companion 18

Then the princess told him that John had guessed rightly the second time, and if he succeeded the next morning, he would win, and she could never come to the mountain again, or practice magic as she had done, and therefore she was quite unhappy. “I will find out something for you to think of …

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The Travelling Companion 16

“Listen to what I say,” said the magician, “you must choose something very easy, he is less likely to guess it then. Think of one of your shoes, he will never imagine it is that. Then cut his head off; and mind you do not forget to bring his eyes with you to-morrow night, that …

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The Travelling Companion 15

At last she reached the side of the mountain, and knocked. The mountain opened with a noise like the roll of thunder, and the princess went in. The traveller followed her; no one could see him, as he had made himself invisible. They went through a long, wide passage. A thousand gleaming spiders ran here …

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The Travelling Companion 14

It was very quickly known among the inhabitants of the town that another suitor had arrived for the princess, and there was great sorrow in consequence. The theatre remained closed, the women who sold sweetmeats tied crape round the sugar-sticks, and the king and the priests were on their knees in the church. There was …

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The Travelling Companion 13

John kissed the good old king’s hand, and said he was sure it would be all right, for he was quite enchanted with the beautiful princess. Then the princess herself came riding into the palace yard with all her ladies, and he wished her “Good morning.” She looked wonderfully fair and lovely when she offered …

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The Travelling Companion 11

She was indeed a wicked princess. She possessed beauty enough—nobody could be more elegant or prettier than she was; but what of that? for she was a wicked witch; and in consequence of her conduct many noble young princes had lost their lives. Any one was at liberty to make her an offer; were he …

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The Travelling Companion 10

His fellow-traveller stood by with folded hands, gazing on the dark wood and the towns bathed in the warm sunshine. At this moment there sounded over their heads sweet music. They looked up, and discovered a large white swan hovering in the air, and singing as never bird sang before. But the song soon became …

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The Travelling Companion 8

“What can you want with those three fern rods?” asked John of his fellow-traveller.   “Oh, they will make capital brooms,” said he; “and I like them because I have strange whims sometimes.” Then they walked on together for a long distance.   “How dark the sky is becoming,” said John; “and look at those …

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The Travelling Companion 7

As John left the wood, a strong man’s voice called after him, “Hallo, comrade, where are you travelling?”   “Into the wide world,” he replied; “I am only a poor lad, I have neither father nor mother, but God will help me.”   “I am going into the wide world also,” replied the stranger; “shall …

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The Travelling Companion 6

“Why do you do this?” asked John, when he saw what they were going to do; “it is very wicked. Leave him to rest in peace, in Christ’s name.”   “Nonsense,” replied the two dreadful men. “He has cheated us; he owed us money which he could not pay, and now he is dead we …

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The Travelling Companion 5

It was Sunday, and the bells were ringing for church. As the people went in, John followed them; he heard God’s word, joined in singing the psalms, and listened to the preacher. It seemed to him just as if he were in his own church, where he had been christened, and had sung the psalms …

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The Travelling Companion 4

Then John turned to have one more look at the old church, in which he had been christened in his infancy, and where his father had taken him every Sunday to hear the service and join in singing the psalms. As he looked at the old tower, he espied the ringer standing at one of …

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The Travelling Companion 3

The little birds in the chestnut-trees twittered, “Tweet, tweet;” they were so happy, although they had seen the funeral; but they seemed as if they knew that the dead man was now in heaven, and that he had wings much larger and more beautiful than their own; and he was happy now, because he had …

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The Travelling Companion 2

During the following week the dead man was buried. The son walked behind the coffin which contained his father, whom he so dearly loved, and would never again behold. He heard the earth fall on the coffin-lid, and watched it till only a corner remained in sight, and at last that also disappeared. He felt …

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The Saucy Boy 3

And all good children, both girls and boys, whom he told about this, were on their guard against wicked Cupid; but he deceives them all the same, for he is very deep. When the students come out of class, he walks beside them with a book under his arm, and wearing a black coat. They …

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The Saucy Boy 2

The old man sat down by the fire, and taking the little boy on his knee, wrung the water out of his locks and warmed his hands in his own. He then made him some hot spiced wine, which quickly revived him; so that with reddening cheeks, he sprang upon the floor and danced around …

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The Saucy Boy 1

Once upon a time there was an old poet, one of those right good old poets. One evening, as he was sitting at home, there was a terrible storm going on outside; the rain was pouring down, but the old poet sat comfortably in his chimney-corner, where the fire was burning and the apples were …

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Little Tiny or Thumbelina 14

A large marble pillar lay on the ground, which, in falling, had been broken into three pieces. Between these pieces grew the most beautiful large white flowers; so the swallow flew down with Tiny, and placed her on one of the broad leaves. But how surprised she was to see in the middle of the …

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Little Tiny or Thumbelina 13

Here, on the hedges, and by the wayside, grew purple, green, and white grapes; lemons and oranges hung from trees in the woods; and the air was fragrant with myrtles and orange blossoms. Beautiful children ran along the country lanes, playing with large gay butterflies; and as the swallow flew farther and farther, every place …

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Little Tiny or Thumbelina 12

“Tweet, tweet,” sounded over her head suddenly. She looked up, and there was the swallow himself flying close by. As soon as he spied Tiny, he was delighted; and then she told him how unwilling she felt to marry the ugly mole, and to live always beneath the earth, and never to see the bright …

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Little Tiny or Thumbelina 11

When autumn arrived, Tiny had her outfit quite ready; and the field-mouse said to her, “In four weeks the wedding must take place.” Then Tiny wept, and said she would not marry the disagreeable mole.   “Nonsense,” replied the field-mouse. “Now don’t be obstinate, or I shall bite you with my white teeth. He is …

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Little Tiny or Thumbelina 8

“Yes, you may well say that, as a clever man!” exclaimed the field-mouse, “What is the use of his twittering, for when winter comes he must either starve or be frozen to death. Still birds are very high bred.”   Tiny said nothing; but when the two others had turned their backs on the bird, …

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Little Tiny or Thumbelina 7

“He is very rich and learned, and his house is twenty times larger than mine,” said the field-mouse.   He was rich and learned, no doubt, but he always spoke slightingly of the sun and the pretty flowers, because he had never seen them. Tiny was obliged to sing to him, “Lady-bird, lady-bird, fly away …

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Little Tiny or Thumbelina 6

“You poor little creature,” said the field-mouse, who was really a good old field-mouse, “come into my warm room and dine with me.” She was very pleased with Tiny, so she said, “You are quite welcome to stay with me all the winter, if you like; but you must keep my rooms clean and neat, …

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Little Tiny or Thumbelina 5

“Oh! she is ugly,” said all the lady cockchafers, although Tiny was very pretty. Then the cockchafer who had run away with her, believed all the others when they said she was ugly, and would have nothing more to say to her, and told her she might go where she liked. Then he flew down …

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Little Tiny or Thumbelina 4

Tiny sailed past many towns, and the little birds in the bushes saw her, and sang, “What a lovely little creature;” so the leaf swam away with her farther and farther, till it brought her to other lands. A graceful little white butterfly constantly fluttered round her, and at last alighted on the leaf. Tiny …

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Little Tiny or Thumbelina 2

In the swampy margin of a broad stream in the garden lived the toad, with her son. He was uglier even than his mother, and when he saw the pretty little maiden in her elegant bed, he could only cry, “Croak, croak, croak.”   “Don’t speak so loud, or she will wake,” said the toad, …

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Little Ida’s Flowers 10

“Do you remember what the flowers told you to say to me?” said little Ida. But Sophy looked quite stupid, and said not a single word. “You are not kind at all,” said Ida; “and yet they all danced with you.” Then she took a little paper box, on which were painted beautiful birds, and …

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Little Ida’s Flowers 9

“No, you must not die,” said Sophy, as she kissed the flowers.   Then the door of the room opened, and a number of beautiful flowers danced in. Ida could not imagine where they could come from, unless they were the flowers from the king’s garden. First came two lovely roses, with little golden crowns …

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Little Ida’s Flowers 8

Then Sophy raised himself, and looked round quite astonished, “There must be a ball here to-night,” said Sophy. “Why did not somebody tell me?” “Will you dance with me?” said the rough doll. “You are the right sort to dance with, certainly,” said she, turning her back upon him.   Then she seated herself on …

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Little Ida’s Flowers 7

“Now all the flowers are certainly dancing in there,” she thought, “oh how much I should like to see them,” but she did not dare move for fear of disturbing her father and mother. “If they would only come in here,” she thought; but they did not come, and the music continued to play so …

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Little Ida’s Flowers 6

But to little Ida, all these stories which the student told her about the flowers, seemed very droll, and she thought over them a great deal. The flowers did hang their heads, because they had been dancing all night, and were very tired, and most likely they were ill. Then she took them into the …

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Little Ida’s Flowers 5

“But how can one flower tell another? Flowers cannot speak?” “No, certainly not,” replied the student; “but they can make signs. Have you not often seen that when the wind blows they nod at one another, and rustle all their green leaves?” “Can the professor understand the signs?” asked Ida. “Yes, to be sure he …

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Little Ida’s Flowers 4

“Can the flowers from the Botanical Gardens go to these balls?” asked Ida. “It is such a distance!”   “Oh yes,” said the student “whenever they like, for they can fly. Have you not seen those beautiful red, white. and yellow butterflies, that look like flowers? They were flowers once. They have flown off their …

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Little Ida’s Flowers 3

“But,” said little Ida, “is there no one there to hurt the flowers for dancing in the king’s castle?”   “No one knows anything about it,” said the student. “The old steward of the castle, who has to watch there at night, sometimes comes in; but he carries a great bunch of keys, and as …

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Little Ida’s Flowers 2

“I was in the garden out there yesterday with my mother,” said Ida, “but all the leaves were off the trees, and there was not a single flower left. Where are they? I used to see so many in the summer.”   “They are in the castle,” replied the student. “You must know that as …

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Little Ida’s Flowers 1

My poor flowers are quite dead,” said little Ida, “they were so pretty yesterday evening, and now all the leaves are hanging down quite withered. What do they do that for,” she asked, of the student who sat on the sofa; she liked him very much, he could tell the most amusing stories, and cut …

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The Princess and the Pea 2

“Well, we’ll soon find that out,” thought the old queen. But she said nothing, went into the bed-room, took all the bedding off the bedstead, and laid a pea on the bottom; then she took twenty mattresses and laid them on the pea, and then twenty eider-down beds on top of the mattresses. On this …

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The Princess and the Pea 1

Once upon a time there was a prince who wanted to marry a princess; but she would have to be a real princess. He travelled all over the world to find one, but nowhere could he get what he wanted. There were princesses enough, but it was difficult to find out whether they were real …

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The Ugly Duckling 14

“See,” cried the youngest, “there is a new one;” and the rest were delighted, and ran to their father and mother, dancing and clapping their hands, and shouting joyously, “There is another swan come; a new one has arrived.”   Then they threw more bread and cake into the water, and said, “The new one …

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The Ugly Duckling 13

“I will fly to those royal birds,” he exclaimed, “and they will kill me, because I am so ugly, and dare to approach them; but it does not matter: better be killed by them than pecked by the ducks, beaten by the hens, pushed about by the maiden who feeds the poultry, or starved with …

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The Ugly Duckling 12

Early in the morning, a peasant, who was passing by, saw what had happened. He broke the ice in pieces with his wooden shoe, and carried the duckling home to his wife. The warmth revived the poor little creature; but when the children wanted to play with him, the duckling thought they would do him …

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The Ugly Duckling 11

“I believe I must go out into the world again,” said the duckling.   “Yes, do,” said the hen. So the duckling left the cottage, and soon found water on which it could swim and dive, but was avoided by all other animals, because of its ugly appearance. Autumn came, and the leaves in the …

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The Ugly Duckling 10

  “What an absurd idea,” said the hen. “You have nothing else to do, therefore you have foolish fancies. If you could purr or lay eggs, they would pass away.”   “But it is so delightful to swim about on the water,” said the duckling, “and so refreshing to feel it close over your head, …

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The Ugly Duckling 9

“What is that noise about?” said the old woman, looking round the room, but her sight was not very good; therefore, when she saw the duckling she thought it must be a fat duck, that had strayed from home. “Oh what a prize!” she exclaimed, “I hope it is not a drake, for then I …

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The Ugly Duckling 8

“Pop, pop,” sounded in the air, and the two wild geese fell dead among the rushes, and the water was tinged with blood. “Pop, pop,” echoed far and wide in the distance, and whole flocks of wild geese rose up from the rushes. The sound continued from every direction, for the sportsmen surrounded the moor, …

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The Ugly Duckling 7

“They are afraid of me because I am ugly,” he said. So he closed his eyes, and flew still farther, until he came out on a large moor, inhabited by wild ducks. Here he remained the whole night, feeling very tired and sorrowful.   In the morning, when the wild ducks rose in the air, …

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The Ugly Duckling 6

“The other ducklings are graceful enough,” said the old duck. “Now make yourself at home, and if you can find an eel’s head, you can bring it to me.”   And so they made themselves comfortable; but the poor duckling, who had crept out of his shell last of all, and looked so ugly, was …

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The Ugly Duckling 5

The ducklings did as they were bid, but the other duck stared, and said, “Look, here comes another brood, as if there were not enough of us already! and what a queer looking object one of them is; we don’t want him here,” and then one flew out and bit him in the neck.   …

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The Ugly Duckling 4

“Oh,” said the mother, “that is not a turkey; how well he uses his legs, and how upright he holds himself! He is my own child, and he is not so very ugly after all if you look at him properly. Quack, quack! come with me now, I will take you into grand society, and …

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The Ugly Duckling 3

At last the large egg broke, and a young one crept forth crying, “Peep, peep.” It was very large and ugly. The duck stared at it and exclaimed, “It is very large and not at all like the others. I wonder if it really is a turkey. We shall soon find it out, however when …

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The Ugly Duckling 2

“Well, how are you getting on?” asked an old duck, who paid her a visit. “One egg is not hatched yet,” said the duck, “it will not break. But just look at all the others, are they not the prettiest little ducklings you ever saw? They are the image of their father, who is so …

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The Ugly Duckling 1

It was a lovely summer weather in the country, and the golden corn, the green oats, and the haystacks piled up in the meadows looked beautiful. The stork walking about on his long red legs chattered in the Egyptian language, which he had learnt from his mother. The corn-fields and meadows were surrounded by large …

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Little Claus and Big Claus 20

“No, now, don’t be too fierce about it!” said Little Claus, as they walked on towards the river. When they approached it, the cattle, who were very thirsty, saw the stream, and ran down to drink. “See what a hurry they are in,” said Little Claus, “they are longing to get down again,” “Come, help …

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Little Claus and Big Claus 17

“And I, poor fellow,” said the drover, “I who am so old already, cannot get there.” “Open the sack,” cried Little Claus; “creep into it instead of me, and you will soon be there.” “With all my heart,” replied the drover, opening the sack, from which sprung Little Claus as quickly as possible. “Will you …

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Little Claus and Big Claus 16

“You shall pay for this,” said Great Claus, as soon as he got into the highroad, “that you shall, Little Claus.” So as soon as he reached home he took the largest sack he could find and went over to Little Claus. “You have played me another trick,” said he. “First, I killed all my …

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Little Claus and Big Claus 14

“Hallo!” cried Little Claus, rushing out of the door, and seizing hold of the landlord by the throat; “you have killed my grandmother; see, here is a great hole in her forehead.” “Oh, how unfortunate,” said the landlord, wringing his hands. “This all comes of my fiery temper. Dear Little Claus, I will give you …

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Little Claus and Big Claus 11

“What does this mean?” said Great Claus; so he ran off directly to Little Claus, and asked, “Where did you get so much money?” “Oh, for my horse’s skin, I sold it yesterday.” “It was certainly well paid for then,” said Great Claus; and he ran home to his house, seized a hatchet, and knocked …

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Little Claus and Big Claus 10

“Why, that is another matter,” said Little Claus, opening the chest. The sexton crept out, pushed the empty chest into the water, and went to his house, then he measured out a whole bushel full of gold for Little Claus, who had already received one from the farmer, so that now he had a barrow …

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Little Claus and Big Claus 9

“Farewell,” said Little Claus, as he went off with his money and the great chest, in which the sexton lay still concealed. On one side of the forest was a broad, deep river, the water flowed so rapidly that very few were able to swim against the stream. A new bridge had lately been built …

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Little Claus and Big Claus 6

  “Hallo! What have you got in your sack!” asked the farmer.   “Oh, it is a conjuror,” said Little Claus; “and he says we need not eat porridge, for he has conjured the oven full of roast meat, fish, and pie.”   “Wonderful!” cried the farmer, starting up and opening the oven door; and …

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Little Claus and Big Claus 5

“Is any one up there?” asked the farmer, looking up and discovering Little Claus. “Why are you lying up there? Come down, and come into the house with me.” So Little Claus came down and told the farmer how he had lost his way and begged for a night’s lodging.   “All right,” said the …

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Little Claus and Big Claus 4

At this moment he heard some one riding down the road, towards the farmhouse. It was the farmer returning home. He was a good man, but still he had a very strange prejudice,—he could not bear the sight of a sexton. If one appeared before him, he would put himself in a terrible rage. In …

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