The Little Elder-Tree Mother 12

And the old man opened his prayer-book; the elder-blossom was still in it, and as fresh as if it had only just been put in. Remembrance nodded, and the two old people, with the golden crowns on their heads, sat in the glowing evening sun. They closed their eyes and—and—

 

Well, now the story is ended! The little boy in bed did not know whether he had dreamt it or heard it told; the teapot stood on the table, but no elder-tree was growing out of it, and the old man who had told the story was on the point of leaving the room, and he did go out.

 

“How beautiful it was!” said the little boy. “Mother, I have been to warm countries!”

 

“I believe you,” said the mother; “if one takes two cups of hot elder-tea it is quite natural that one gets into warm countries!” And she covered him up well, so that he might not take cold. “You have slept soundly while I was arguing with the old man whether it was a story or a fairy tale!”

 

“And what has become of the little elder-tree mother?” asked the boy.

 

“She is in the teapot,” said the mother; “and there she may remain.”

 

By: Hans Christian Andersen

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