The Little Match Girl

The Little Match-girl ”  story One of the morals, or lessons, of “The Little Match-girl ”  by Hans Christian Andersen is to behave charitably toward those less fortunate. Despite her dire circumstances, the little girl dreams of warmth and food as she tries to earn money for her family.

The Little Match-girl  

It was terribly cold and nearly dark on the last evening of the old year, and the snow 

was falling fast in the cold and the darkness, a poor little girl with a bare head and 

naked feet roamed through the streets; it is true she had on a pair of slippers when 

she left home, but they were not of much use; they were very large, so large

indeed that they had belonged to her mother, and the poor little creature had lost them 

in the running across the street to avoid two carriages that were rolling along at a 

terrible rate, one of the slippers she could not find, and the boy seized upon the other 

and ran away with it, saying that he could use it as a cradle when he had children 

of his own.

The little girl went on with her little naked feet, which were quite red and blue with the 

cold, in an old apron she carried a number of matches and had a bundle of them in her 

hands; no one had bought anything of her the whole day, nor had anyone given her 

even a penny; shivering with the cold and hunger, she crept along, poor little child,

 she looked the picture of misery.

The snowflakes fell on her long fair hair, which hung in curls on her shoulders, but she 

regarded them not, lights were shining from every window, and there was a savory 

smell of roast goose, for it was New Year’s Eve, yes, she remembered that.

In a corner between two houses, one of which projected beyond the other, she sank 

and huddled herself together, she had drawn her little feet under her, but she could not 

keep off the cold, and she dared not go home for she had sold no matches that could 

not take home even a penny of money her father would certainly beat her beside 

it was almost as cold at home as here, for they had only a roof to cover them through 

which the wind hound, although the giant holes had been stopped up with straw and 

rags, her little hands were almost frozen with the cold, perhaps a burning match might 

be some good if she could draw it from the bundle and strike it against the wall 

to warm her fingers; she drew out one scratch how it sputtered as it burned it gave 

a warm, bright light like a little candle as she held her hand over it; it was really a 

wonderful light it seemed to the little girl that she was sitting by a large iron stove with 

polished brass feet and a brass ornament, how the fire burned and seemed so 

beautifully warm that the child stretched out her feet as if to warm them when lo 

the flame of the match went out the stove vanished as she had only the remains

of a half-burnt match in her hand, she rubbed another match on the wall, it burst into a 

flame and where its light fell upon the wall; it became as transparent as a veil as she 

could see into the room the table was covered with a snowy white tablecloth on which 

stood a splendid dinner service and a steaming roast goose stuffed with apples and 

dried plums and what was still more wonderful but goose jumped down from the dish 

and waddled across the floor with a knife and fork in its breast to the little girl, then

the match went out, and there remained nothing but the thick, damp cold wall 

before her.

She lighted another match, and then she found herself sitting under a beautiful 

Christmas tree. It was larger and more beautifully decorated than the one she had 

seen  through the glass door at the merchants, thousands of tapers were burning 

upon the green branches and colored pictures like those she had seen in the show 

windows looked down upon it all the little ones stretched out her hand towards them 

and the match went out.

The Christmas lights rose higher and higher till they looked to her like the stars

 in the sky, then she saw a star fall, leaving behind it a bright streak of fire 

“someone is dying,” thought the little girl for her old grandmother, the only one who 

had ever loved her and who was now dead had told her that when a star Falls a soul 

was going up to God, she again rubbed a match on the wall. The light shone around 

her in the brightness stood her old grandmother, clear and shining yet mild and loving 

in her appearance “grandmother!” cried the little one. 

“Oh, take me with you. I know you will go away when the match burns out. You vanish 

like the warm stove, the roast goose, and the large glorious Christmas tree”, 

and she made haste to light the whole bundle of matches, for she wished to keep her 

grandmother there. The matches glowed with a light that was brighter than 

the noonday, and her grandmother had never appeared so large or so beautiful. 

She took the little girl in her arms, and they both flew upwards in brightness and joy far 

above the earth where there was neither cold nor hunger nor pain, for they were

 with God.

In the dawn of morning, there lay the poor little one with pale cheeks and smiling 

mouth leaning against the wall. She had been frozen to death on the last evening 

of the year, and the New Year’s Sun rose and shone upon a little corpse. 

The child still sat in the stiffness of death, holding the matches in her hand, one bundle

of which was burnt, “she tried to warm herself,” said some. No one imagined what 

beautiful things she had seen nor into what glory she had entered with a grandmother 

on New Year’s Day!.😒

The End