windows were often frozen
over; but then they heated copper farthings on the stove, and laid the
hot farthing on the windowpane, and then they had a capital peep-hole,
quite nicely rounded; and out of each peeped a gentle friendly eye--it
was the little boy and the little girl who were looking out. His name
Kay, hers was Gerda. In summer, with one jump, they could get to each
but in winter they were obliged first to go down the long stairs, and
up the long stairs again: and out-of-doors there was quite a
"It is the
white bees that
are swarming," said Kay's old grandmother.
white bees choose
a queen?" asked the little boy; for he knew that the honey-bees always
"she flies where the swarm hangs in the thickest clusters. She is the
of all; and she can never remain quietly on the earth, but goes up
into the black clouds. Many a winter's night she flies through the
of the town, and peeps in at the windows; and they then freeze in so
a manner that they look like flowers."
have seen it," said
both the children; and so they knew that it was true.
Snow Queen come
in?" said the little girl.
her come in!" said
the little boy. "Then I'd put her on the stove, and she'd melt." And
his grandmother patted his head and told him other stories.
evening, when little
Kay was at home, and half undressed, he climbed up on the chair by the
window, and peeped out of the little hole. A few snow-flakes were
and one, the largest of all, remained lying on the edge of a
The flake of snow grew larger and larger; and at last it was like a
lady, dressed in the finest white gauze, made of a million little
like stars. She was so beautiful and delicate, but she was of ice, of
sparkling ice; yet she lived; her eyes gazed fixedly, like two stars;
there was neither quiet nor repose in them. She nodded towards the
and beckoned with her hand. The little boy was frightened, and jumped
from the chair; it seemed to him as if, at the same moment, a large
flew past the window. The next day it was a sharp frost--and then the
came; the sun shone, the green leaves appeared, the swallows built
nests, the windows were opened, and the little children again sat in
pretty garden, high up on the leads at the top of the house.
the roses flowered
in unwonted beauty. The little girl had learned a hymn, in which there
was something about roses; and then she thought of her own flowers; and
she sang the verse to the little boy, who then sang it with her: "The
in the valley is blooming so sweet, And angels descend there the
to greet." And the children held each other by the hand, kissed the
looked up at the clear sunshine, and spoke as though they really saw
there. What lovely summer-days those were! How delightful to be out in
the air, near the fresh rose-bushes, that seem as if they would never
blossoming! Kay and Gerda looked at the picture-book full of beasts and
of birds; and it was then--the clock in the church-tower was just
five--that Kay said, "Oh! I feel such a sharp pain in my heart; and now
something has got into my eye!" The little girl put her arms around his
neck. He winked his eyes; now there was nothing to be seen.
"I think it
is out now,"
said he; but it was not. It was just one of those pieces of glass from
the magic mirror that had got into his eye; and poor Kay had got
piece right in his heart. It will soon become like ice. It did not hurt
any longer, but there it was.
you crying for?"
asked he. "You look so ugly! There's nothing the matter with me. Ah,"
he at once, "that rose is cankered! And look, this one is quite
After all, these roses are very ugly! They are just like the box they
planted in!" And then he gave the box a good kick with his foot, and
both the roses up.
you doing?" cried
the little girl; and as he perceived her fright, he pulled up another
got in at the window, and hastened off from dear little Gerda.
when she brought her picture-book, he asked, "What horrid beasts have
there?" And if his grandmother told them stories, he always interrupted
her; besides, if he could manage it, he would get behind her, put on
spectacles, and imitate her way of speaking; he copied all her ways,
then everybody laughed at him. He was soon able to imitate the gait and
manner of everyone in the street. Everything that was peculiar and
in them--that Kay knew how to imitate: and at such times all the people
said, "The boy is certainly very clever!" But it was the glass he had
in his eye; the glass that was sticking in his heart, which made him
even little Gerda, whose whole soul was devoted to him. His games now
quite different to what they had formerly been, they were so very
winter's day, when the
flakes of snow were flying about, he spread the skirts of his blue
and caught the snow as it fell. "Look through this glass, Gerda," said
he. And every flake seemed larger, and appeared like a magnificent
or beautiful star; it was splendid to look at! "Look, how clever!" said
Kay. "That's much more interesting than real flowers! They are as exact
as possible; there is not a fault in them, if they did not melt!" It
not long after this, that Kay came one day with large gloves on, and
little sledge at his back, and bawled right into Gerda's ears, "I have
permission to go out into the square where the others are playing"; and
off he was in a moment. There, in the market-place, some of the boldest
of the boys used to tie their sledges to the carts as they passed by,
so they were pulled along, and got a good ride. It was so capital! Just
as they were in the very height of their amusement, a large sledge
by: it was painted quite white, and there was someone in it wrapped up
in a rough white mantle of fur, with a rough white fur cap on his head.
The sledge drove round the square twice, and Kay tied on his sledge as
quickly as he could, and off he drove with it. On they went quicker and
quicker into the next street; and the person who drove turned round to
Kay, and nodded to him in a friendly manner, just as if they knew each
other. Every time he was going to untie his sledge, the person nodded
him, and then Kay sat quiet; and so on they went till they came outside
the gates of the town. Then the snow began to fall so thickly that the
little boy could not see an arm's length before him, but still on he
when suddenly he let go the string he held in his hand in order to get
loose from the sledge, but it was of no use; still the little vehicle
on with the quickness of the wind. He then cried as loud as he could,
no one heard him; the snow drifted and the sledge flew on, and
it gave a jerk as though they were driving over hedges and ditches. He
was quite frightened, and he tried to repeat the Lord's Prayer; but all
he could do, he was only able to remember the multiplication table. 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
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
It was the Snow Queen.
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
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
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
to him, and he did not remark the cold that was around him.
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
large sledge. The Snow Queen kissed Kay once more, and then he forgot
Gerda, grandmother, and all whom he had left at his home.
will have no more
kisses," said she, "or else I should kiss you to death!" Kay looked at
her. She was very beautiful; a more clever, or a more lovely
he could not fancy to himself; and she no longer appeared of ice as
when she sat outside the window, and beckoned to him; in his eyes she
perfect, he did not fear her at all, and told her that he could
in his head and with fractions, even; that he knew the number of square
miles there were in the different countries, and how many inhabitants
contained; and she smiled while he spoke. It then seemed to him as if
he knew was not enough, and he looked upwards in the large huge empty
above him, and on she flew with him; flew high over the black clouds,
the storm moaned and whistled as though it were singing some old tune.
On they flew over woods and lakes, over seas, and many lands; and
them the chilling storm rushed fast, the wolves howled, the snow
above them flew large screaming crows, but higher up appeared the moon,
quite large and bright; and it was on it that Kay gazed during the long
long winter's night; while by day he slept at the feet of the Snow
SNOW QUEEN THIRD STORY