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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Andersen's Fairy Tales

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Andersen's Fairy Tales 
by H. C. Andersen

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Of all Hans Christian Andersen's stories, none fascinated me more as a child than "The Snow Queen". It was a tale about a place and characters so remote from my experience that is made me return to it again and again. 

It was only when I grew up that I really understood what it was about. Once more, the best books for children always turn out to be stories for adults that children can love and appreciate.

These are some of his best.

The snow-flakes grew larger and larger, till at last they looked just like great white fowls. Suddenly they flew on one side; the large sledge stopped, and the person who drove rose up. It was a lady; her cloak and cap were of snow. She was tall and of slender figure, and of a dazzling whiteness. It was the Snow Queen.

"We have travelled fast," said she; "but it is freezingly cold. Come under my bearskin." And she put him in the sledge beside her, wrapped the fur round him, and he felt as though he were sinking in a snow-wreath.

"Are you still cold?" asked she; and then she kissed his forehead. Ah! it was colder than ice; it penetrated to his very heart, which was already almost a frozen lump; it seemed to him as if he were about to die--but a moment more and it was quite congenial to him, and he did not remark the cold that was around him.

"My sledge! Do not forget my sledge!" It was the first thing he thought of. It was there tied to one of the white chickens, who flew along with it on his back behind the large sledge. The Snow Queen kissed Kay once more, and then he forgot little Gerda, grandmother, and all whom he had left at his home.

"Now you will have no more kisses," said she, "or else I should kiss you to death!"

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 Andersen's Fairy Tales by H. C. Andersen

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