As soon as the merchant’s son had come down in his flying trunk to the wood after the fireworks, he thought, “I will go back into the town now, and hear what they think of the entertainment.” It was very natural that he should wish to know. And what strange things people did say, to be sure! Every one whom he questioned had a different tale to tell, though they all thought it very beautiful.
“I saw the Turkish angel myself,” said one; “he had eyes like glittering stars, and a head like foaming water.”
“He flew in a mantle of fire,” cried another, “and lovely little cherubs peeped out from the folds.”
He heard many more fine things about himself, and that the next day he was to be married. After this he went back to the forest to rest himself in his trunk. It had disappeared! A spark from the fireworks which remained had set it on fire; it was burnt to ashes! So the merchant’s son could not fly any more, nor go to meet his bride. She stood all day on the roof waiting for him, and most likely she is waiting there still; while he wanders through the world telling fairy tales, but none of them so amusing as the one he related about the matches.
By: Hans Christian Andersen