The Snow Queen

“The Snow Queen”  story though to death a sagacious class of people to whom good Mr. Lindsay belongs it may seem but a childish affair is nevertheless capable of being moral in various methods greatly for edification one of its lessons, for instance, might be that it behooves men and especially men of benevolence to consider well what they are about and before acting on their philanthropic purposes to be quite sure that they comprehend the nature and all the relations of the business in hand.

The Snow Queen  

First story: which treats a mirror and of the splinters

Once upon a time, there was a wicked sprite indeed he was the most

mischievous of all sprites, one day he was in very good humor for he had made

a mirror with the power of causing all that was good and beautiful when it was

reflected therein to look poor and mean but that which was good for nothing

and looked ugly was shown magnified and increased in ugliness in this mirror

the most beautiful landscapes look like boiled spinach and the best people

were turned into fright or appeared to stand on their heads, their faces were

so distorted that they were not to be recognized and if anyone had a mole

you might be sure that it would be magnified and spread over both nose

and mouth “That’s glorious fun,” said the sprite, if a good thought passed

through a man’s mind then a grin was seen in the mirror and the sprite laughed

heartily at his clever discovery all the little sprites who went to his

school-for he kept a sprite school-told each other that a miracle had happened

and that now only as they thought it would be possible to see how the world

really looked, they ran about with the mirror, and at last, there was not a land

or a person who was not represented distorted in the mirror, so then they

thought they would fly up into the sky and have a joke there the higher they flew

at the mirror the more terribly it grinned they could hardly hold it fast higher

and higher still they flew nearer and nearer to the stars when suddenly

the mirror shook so terribly with grinning that it flew out of their hands and fell

to the earth where it was dashed into a hundred million and more pieces and now

it worked much eviler than before for some of these pieces were hardly so large

as a grain of sand and they flew about in the wide world

and when they got into people’s eyes there they stayed and then the people saw

everything perverted or only had an eye for that which was evil this happened

because the very smallest bit had the same power which the whole mirror had

possessed, some persons even got a splinter in their heart and then it made

one shudder for their heart became like a lump of ice, some of the broken

pieces were so large that they were used for windowpanes through which one

could not see one’s friends, other pieces were put into spectacles and that was

a sad affair when people put on their glasses to see well and rightly then

the wicked sprite laughed till he almost choked for all this tickled his fancy,

the fine splinters still flew about in the air and now we shall hear what

happened next.

Second story, a little boy and a little girl

In a large town where there are so many houses and so many people that there is

no room left for everybody to have a little garden and on this account most

persons are obliged to content themselves with flowers and pots, there lived two

little children who had a garden somewhat larger than a flower pot, they were not

brother and sister but they cared for each other as much as if they were,

their parents lived exactly opposite, they inhabited two garrets, and where the roof

of the one house joined to that of the other and the gutter ran along the extreme

end of it, there was to each house, a small window needed only to step over

the gutter to get from one window to the other, the children’s parents had large

wooden boxes there in which vegetables for the garden were planted and the little rose

trees, there, were rows in each box and they grew splendidly, they now thought

of placing the boxes across the gutter so that they nearly reached from one window

to the other and looked just like two walls of flowers, the tendrils of the peas hung

down over the boxes, and the rose trees shot up long branches twined around

the windows and then bent towards each other, it was almost like a triumphed arch

of foliage and flowers, the boxes were very high and the children knew that

they must not creep over them so that they often obtained permission to get out of

the windows to each other and to sit on their little stools among the roses where

they could play delightfully.

In the winter there was an end to this pleasure, the windows were often frozen over

but then they heated copper farthings on the stove and laid the hot farthings

on the windowpane and then they had a capital people quite nicely rounded

and out of each peeped a gentle friendly eye it was the little boy and the little girl

who was looking out? His name was “kay”, hers was “girder”. In summer with one

jump they could get to each other but in the winter they were obliged first to go

down the long stairs and then up the long stairs again and out of doors there was

quite a snowstorm, “it is the white bees that are swarming” said Kay’s old


“do the white bees choose a queen,” asked the little boy for he knew that the honeybees always have one,

“yes,” said the grandmother “she flies where the swarm hangs in the thickest clusters, she is the largest of all and she can never remain quietly on the earth but goes up again into the black clouds, many a winter’s night she flies through the streets of the town and peeps in at the windows and then they freeze in so wondrous a manner that they look like flowers”,

“yes I have seen it,” said both the children and so they knew that it was true,

“Can the snow queen come in?” asked the little girl,

“Only let her come in,” said the little boy “Then I’d put her on the stove and she’d melt”,

and then his grandmother patted his head and told him other stories, in the evening

when little Kaye was at home and half undressed he climbed up on the chair by

the window and peeped out of the little hole a few snowflakes were falling and one

the largest of all remained to lie on the edge of a flowerpot, the flake of snow grew

larger and larger and at last it was like a young lady dressed in the finest white

gauze made of a million little flakes like stars, she was so beautiful and so delicate

but she was a vice of dazzling sparkling eyes, yet she lived her eyes gazed fixedly

like two stars but there was neither quiet nor a pose in them, she nodded towards

the window and beckoned with her hand, the little boy was frightened and jumped

down from the chair, it seemed to him as if at the same moment a large bird flew

past the window.

The next day it was a sharp frost and then the spring came the sun shone

the green leaves appeared the swallows built their nests the windows were opened

and the little children again sat in their pretty garden high up on the leads at the top

of the house, that summer the roses flowered in unwanted 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 rose in the valley is blooming so sweet

the angels descend there, the children to greet

and the children held each other by the hand kissed the roses looked up

at the clear sunshine and spoke as though they really saw angels there, what lovely

summer days those were how delightful to be out in the air near the fresh rose

bushes that seemed as if they would never finish blooming, Kay and Girder looked at

the picture book full of beasts and of birds and it was then the clock in the church

tower was just striking five but Kaye said “Oh oh I feel such a sharp pain in my heart

and now something has gotten to 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’s out now,” said he but it was not, it was just one

of those pieces

of glass from the magic mirror that got into his eye and poor Kaye had got another

piece right in his heart, it will soon become like ice, it did not hurt any longer

but there it was.

“What are you crying for?” asked he “You look so ugly, there’s nothing the matter with me, ah,” he said it once “that rose is conquered, and look this one’s quite crooked after all these roses are very ugly they’re just like the boxer planted in” and that he gave the box a good kick with his foot and pulled both the roses up,

“what are you doing?” cried the little girl and as he perceived her fright he pulled up

another rose got in at the window and hastened off from dear little girder, afterward

when she had brought her picture book he asked, “What horrid beast have you

there!”, and if his grandmother told them stories he always interrupted her, if he

could manage it he would get behind her put on her spectacles and imitate her way

of speaking he copied all her ways and then everybody laughed at him he was soon

able to imitate the gate and manner of everyone in the street, everything that was

peculiar and displeasing in them that k knew how to imitate and at such times all

the people had said “The boy is certainly very clever”, but it was the glass he’d got

in his eye, the glass that was sticking in his heart which made him tease even little

girder whose whole soul was devoted to him.

His games now were quite different from what they had formerly been they were

so very knowing one winter’s day when the flakes of snow were flying about, he spread

the skirts of his blue coat and caught the snow as it fell “Look through this glass

girder” said he and every flake seemed larger and appeared like a magnificent flower

or a beautiful star it was splendid to look at a look “how clever!” said Kay, “that’s much

more interesting than real flowers, they are as exact as possible there’s not a fault

in them, if they did not melt!” it was not long after this that Kay came one day with

large gloves on and his little sled at his back and balled 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 marketplace some of the boldest of the boys

used to tie their sleds to the carts as they pass by and so they were pulled along

and got a good ride, it was so capital just as they were at the very height of their

amusement a large sled passed 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 sled drove round the square twice and tied on his sled 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 sled the person

nodded to him and then Kaye sat quietly, and so on they went until 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 went when suddenly he let go

the string he held in his hand in order to get loose from the sled but it was of no use

still, the little vehicle rushed on with the quickness of the wind, he then cried as loud

as he could but no one heard him, the snow drifted and the sled flew on

and sometimes 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 snowflakes grew larger and larger till at last, they looked just like a great white

fowls, suddenly they flew on one side the large sled stopped and the person who

drove rose up, it was a lady her cloak and cap were snow she was tall and a slender

figure and of dazzling whiteness, it was the “snow queen”.

“We have traveled fast,” said she, “but it is freezingly cold come under my bare skin”

and she put him in the sled beside her, wrapped the fur around him and he felt

as though he was sinking in a snow wreath, “are you still cold” asked her, 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 was quite congenial to him and he did not remark on the cold

that was around him, “My sled, don’t forget my sled” It was the first thing

he thought it was there tied to one of the white chickens who flew along with it on

his back, behind the large sled the snow queen kissed Kaye once more and then

he forgot little girder, grandmother, and all whom he’d left at his home, “now you will

have no more kisses” said she “or else I should kiss you to death”,

Kaye looked at her she was very beautiful a more clever or a more lovely countenance,

he could not fancy to himself and she no longer appeared of ice as before when

she sat outside the window and beckoned to him in his eyes, she was perfect

he did not fear her at all and told her that he could calculate in his head and with

fractions even though he knew the number of square miles there were in the different

countries and how many inhabitants they contained and she smiled while he spoke

it then seemed to him as if what he knew was not enough and he looked upwards

in the large huge empty space above him and aunt, she flew with him, flew high over

the black clouds.

while the storm moaned and whistled as though it were singing some old tune on

they flew over the woods and lakes, overseas and many lands, and beneath them

the chilling storms rushed fast, the wolves howled the snow crackled, above them

flew large screaming crows but higher up appeared the moon quite large and bright

and it was on that the kay gaze during the long long winter’s night while by day

he slept at the feet of the snow queen.

Third story of the flower garden at the old woman’s who understood witchcraft

But what became of little Girder when Kay did not return home where could he be!

nobody knew nobody could give any intelligence, all the boys knew was that they had

seen him tie his sled to another large and splendid one which drove down the street

and out of the town, nobody knew where he was.

Many sad tears were shed and little Girder wept long and bitterly, at last, she said

“he must be dead that he’d been drowned in the river which flowed close to the town”,

oh those were very long and dismal winter evenings, at last, the spring came

with its warm sunshine, “he is dead and gone,” said little girder,

“that I don’t believe,” said the sunshine,

“kay is dead and gone,” she said to the swallows,

“that I don’t believe,” they said,

and at last little girl did not think so any longer, “I’ll put on my red shoes” said she one morning “Kay has never seen them, and then I’ll go down to the river and ask”

there it was quite early she kissed her old grandmother who was still asleep, put on

her red shoes and went alone to the river, “is it true that you have taken my little

playfellow? I will make you a present of my red shoes if you will give them back to me”

and as it seemed to her the blue waves nodded in a strange manner then she took off

her red shoes, the most precious thing she possessed, and threw them into the river

but they fell close to the bank and the little waves bore them immediately to land,

it was as if the stream would not take what was dearest to her for in reality, it had not

got little Kay, but girder thought that she must not have thrown the shoes out far

enough so she clambered into a boat that lay among the brushes and went

to the farthest end and threw out the shoes, but the boat was not fastened

and the motion which he had occasioned made it drift from the shore, she observed

this and hastened to get back but before she could do so the boat was more than

a yard from the land and was gliding quickly onward.

Little Girder was very frightened and began to cry but no one heard her except

the sparrows could not carry her to land but they flew along the bank and sang

as if to comfort her, “Here we are here, we are here”

The boat drifted with the stream little Girder sat quite still without shoes for they were

swimming behind the boat but she could not reach them because the boat went much

faster than they did, the bank on both sides were beautiful lovely flowers venerable

trees and slopes with sheep and cows when not a human being was to be seen,

“Perhaps the river will carry me to little Kay!?” said she and then she grew less sad,

she rose and looked for many hours at the beautiful green banks presently, she sailed

by a large cherry orchard where there was a little cottage with curious red and blue

windows, it was thatched and before two wooden soldiers stood sentry and presented

arms when anyone went past, Gerda called to them for she thought they were alive

but they of course did not answer she came close to them for the stream drifted

the boat quite near the land, Gerda called still louder and an old woman then came out

of the cottage leaning upon a crooked stick, she had a large broad-brimmed hat

painted with the most splendid flowers.

“poor little child,” said the old woman “how did you get upon the large rapid river to be

driven about so in the wide world!!? and then the old woman went into the river 

and caught hold of the boat with her quote stick drew it to the bank and lifted the little 

Girder out, and Gerda was so glad to be on dry land again but she was rather afraid of 

the strange old woman “But come tell me who you are and how you came to be here. 

said she And Gerda told her all, the old woman shook her head and said “ahem”, and 

when Gerda had told her everything and asked her if she had not seen little Kay, the 

woman answered that he had not passed there but he no doubt would come and she 

told her not to be cast down but taste her cherries and look at her flowers which were 

finer than any in a picture book, each of which could tell a whole story.

she then took Girder by the hand led her into the little cottage and locked the door,

the windows were very high up the glass was red blue and green and the sunlight

shone through quite wondrously in all sorts of colors, on the table stood the most

exquisite cherries and Gerda ate as many as she chose for she had permission

to do so.

while she was eating the old woman combed her hair with a golden comb and her hair

curled and shone with a lovely golden color around that sweet little face which was

so round and so like a rose, “i have often longed for such a dear little girl” said the old

woman, “Now you shall see how well we agreed together”, and while she combed little

Gerda’s hair the child forgot her foster brother more and more, the old woman

understood magic but she was no evil being she only practiced witchcraft a little for

her own private amusement and now she wanted very much to keep little Girder,

she, therefore, went out into the garden and stretched out her crooked stick towards

the rose bushes which beautifully as they were blowing, all sank into the earth

and no one could tell where they had stood, the old woman feared that if Gerda should

see the roses she would then think of her own and would remember little Kay and run

away from her, she now led Gerda into the flower garden “Oh what odor and what

loveliness was there!” every flower that one could think of and of every season stood

there in fullest bloom, no pictured book could be gayer or more beautiful, Gerda

jumped for joy and played till the sun sunset behind the tall cherry tree she then had

a pretty bed with red silk and a coverlet filled with blue violets she fell asleep

and had as pleasant dreams as ever a queen on her wedding day.

the next morning she went to play with the flowers in the warm sunshine and thus

passed away a day Gerda knew every flower and numerous as they were it still

seemed to go to that one was wanting though she did not know which, one day while

she was looking at the hat of the old woman painted with flowers the most beautiful

of them, all seemed to her to be a rose, the old woman had forgotten to take it from

her hat when she made the others vanish from the earth but so it is when one’s 

thoughts are not collected.

“What!” said Girder “Are there no roses here?” and she ran about amongst the flower

beds and looked and looked but there was not one to be found she then sat down

and wept but her hot tears fell just where the rose bush had sunk and when her warm

tears watered the ground the tree shot up suddenly as fresh and blooming as when

it had been swallowed up, Girder kissed the roses and thought of her own dear roses

at home and with them of little “Oh how long I’ve stayed!!?” said the little girl

“I intended to look for Kay, don’t you know where he is?” she asked of the roses “Do

you think he is dead and gone?”

“dead! he is certainly not,” said the roses “We have been on the earth where all the dead

are but Kay was not there”,

“Many thanks,” said little girder and she went to the other flowers, looked into their

cups, and asked, “Don’t you know where little Kay is?”

but every flower stood in the sunshine and dreamed its own fairy tale or its own story

and they all told her very many things but not one knew anything of kay

“well what did the tiger lily say?” here is thou not the drum bum…bum those are

the only two tones are always bum…bum hark to the plaintiff song of the old woman

to the call of the priests, the Hindu woman in her long robe stands upon the funeral

pile the flames rise around her and her dead husband but the Hindu woman thinks

on the living one in the surrounding circle on him whose eyes burn hotter than

the flames on him the fire whose eyes pierce her heart more than the flames

which will soon burn her body to ashes can the heart’s flame die in the flame

of the funeral pile.

“I don’t understand that at all!” said little Girder

“that is my story,” said the lily.

what did the convolvulus say “Projecting over a narrow mountain path there hangs

an old feudal castle thick evergreens grow on the dilapidated walls and round

the altar where a lovely maiden is standing, she bends over the railing and looks out upon the rose no fresher rose hangs on the branches than she no apple blossom carried away by the wind is more buoyant how her silken robe is rustling, is he not yet calm?”

“is it Kaye that you mean?” asked little Girder,

“I am speaking about my story, about my dream!” answered the convolvers,

what do the snowdrops say ” Between the trees a longboard is hanging it is a swing

two little girls are sitting in it and swing themselves backward and forwards their frocks are as white as snow and long green silk ribbons flutter from their bonnets

their brother who is older than they are stands up in the swing he twines his arms

round the cords to hold himself fast for in one hand, he has a little cup

and in the other a clay pipe he’s blowing soap bubbles the swing moves

and the bubbles float in charming changing colors the last is still hanging

to the end of the pipe and rocks in the breeze, the swing moves the little black dog

as light as a soap bubble jumps up on his hind legs to try and get into the swing

it moves the dog falls down barks and is angry they tease him the bubble bursts

a swing a bursting bubble such as my song.”

what you relate may be very pretty but you tell it in some melancholy manner,

and did not mention Kay”,

what did the hyacinth say “There were once upon a time three sisters quite

transparent and very beautiful, the robe of the one was red and that of the second

blue and that of the third white, they danced hand in hand beside the calm lake

in the clear moonshine, there were not elephant maidens but mortal children, a sweet

fragrance was smelt and the maidens vanished in the wood the fragrance grew

stronger three coffins and in them, three lovely maidens glided out of the forest

and across the lake, the shining glowworms flew around as little floating lights do

the dancing maidens sleep or are they dead the odor of the flowers says

they are corpses”

the evening bell tolls for the dead, “you make me quite sad” said the little Girder

“I cannot help thinking of the dead maidens”, oh, is little Kay really dead? the roses

have been in the earth and they say no!”,

ding dong sound of the hyacinth bells “We do not tell for little kay, we do not know

him that is our way of singing the only one we have”,

and Girder went to the ranunculuses that looked forth from among the shining green

leaves “You are a little bright sun,” said Girder “Tell me if you know where I can find

my playfellow?” and the ranunculus has shone brightly and looked again at Girder,

what song could the ranunculuses sing? it was one that said nothing about Kaye,

either in a small court, the bright sun was shining in the first days of spring the beams

glided down the white walls of a neighbor’s house and close by the fresh yellow

flowers were growing shining like gold in the warm sun rays an old grandmother was

sitting in the air her granddaughter the poor and lovely servant was just coming

After a short visit, she knows her grandmother there was gold pure virgin gold in that

blessed kiss there that is my little story said the ranunculus,

“my poor old grandmother,” said Gerda, “Yes, she is longing for me no doubt, she is

sorrowing for me as she did for little Kay but I will soon come home and then I will

bring Kay with me, it is of no use asking the flowers they only know their own old

rhymes and can tell me nothing”,

and then she tucked up her frock to enable her to run quicker but the narcissist gave

her a knock on the leg just as she was going to jump over it, so she stood still and

looked at the long yellow flower, and asked “You perhaps know something!?”

and she bent down to the nicest and what did it say I can see myself I can see myself

“Oh, how odorous I am!”,

up in the little girl at their stands half-dressed a little dancer, she stands now on one

leg now on both she despises the whole world yet she lives only in imagination,

she pours water out of the teapot over a piece of stuff that she holds in her hand,

it is the bodice cleanliness is a fine thing the white dress is hanging on the hook it was

washed in the teapot and dried on the roof she puts it on and ties a saffron-colored

kerchief round her neck and then the gown looks whiter “I can see myself, I can see myself”,

“that’s nothing to me!” said little girder that does not concern me and then off she ran

to the further end of the garden, the gate was locked but she shook the rusted bolt till

it was loosened and the gate opened and little girder ran off barefooted into the wide

world, she looked around her thrice but no one followed her.

At last, she could run no longer, she sat down on a large stone, and when she looked

about her, she saw that the summer had passed it was late in the autumn but that one

could not remark on the beautiful garden where there was always sunshine and

where there were flowers the whole year round, “dear me, how long I’ve stayed!!?”

said Gerda, “Autumn has come I must not rest any longer and she got up to go further”,

oh, how tender and wearied her little feet were all around it looked so cold and raw,

the long willow leaves were quite yellow and the fog dripped from them like water,

one leaf fell after the other and the slows only stood full of fruit which set one’s teeth

on edge, oh how dark and comfortless it was in the dreary world.

Fourth story the prince and Princess

Gerda was obliged to rest herself again when exactly opposite to her a large raven

came hopping over the white snow he had long been looking at Gerda and shaking

his head and now he said “Good day, good day” he could not say it better but he felt

sympathy for the little girl and asked her where she was going all alone the word

alone, Gerda understood quite well and felt how much was expressed by it,

so she told the raven her whole history and asked if he’d not seen Kay, the raven

nodded very gravely and said, “It may be, it may be!”

“what do you really think?” so cried the little girl and she nearly squeezed the Raven to death so much did she kiss him,

“gently, gently,” said the raven, “I think I know, I think that it may be little Kay but he has forgotten you for the princess”,

“Does he live with the princess?” asked Gerda,

“yes, listen,” said the raven “but it will be difficult for me to speak your language,

if you understand the Raven language I can tell you better”,

“no, I have not learned it so well but my grandmother understands it and she can speak gibberish too, I wish I had learned it”,

“no matter,” said the raven, “I will tell you as well as I can, however, it will be bad enough”

and then he told all he knew “In the kingdom where we are now there lives a princess

who is extraordinarily clever for she has read all the newspapers in the whole world

and has forgotten them again, so clever is she, she was lately – it is said – sitting on

her throne which is not very amusing after all when she began humming an old tune

and it was just “Oh why should I not be married”,

“That song is not without its meaning,” said she and so then she was determined

to marry but she would have a husband who knew how to give an answer when

he was spoken to not one who looked only as if he were a great personage, for that is

so tiresome then she had all the ladies of the court drummed together and when

they heard her intention all were very pleased and said “We are very glad to hear of it,

it is the very thing we were thinking of”,

“you may believe every word I say,” said the raven, “for I have a tame sweetheart that hops about in the palace quite free and it was she who told me all this”,

the newspapers appeared forthwith with a border of hearts and the initials

of the princess and therein you might read that every good-looking young man who

was at liberty to come to the palace and speak to the princess, and he who spoke

in such ways as showed he felt himself at home there that one the princess

would choose for her husband, yes yes said the raven you may believe it, it is as true

as I am sitting here, people came in crowds there was a crush and a hurry but no one

was successful either on the first or the second day they could all talk well enough

when they were out in the street but as soon as they came inside the palace gates

and saw the guard richly dressed in silver and the lackeys and gold on the staircase

and the large illuminated saloons then they were abashed and when they stood before

the throne on which the princess was sitting all they could do was repeat

the last word they had uttered and to hear it again did not interest her very much,

it was just as if the people within were under a charm and had fallen into a trance till

they came out again into the street, for then oh then they could chatter enough,

there was a whole row of them standing from the town gates to the palace, I was there

myself to look” said the raven”, then they grew hungry and thirsty but from the palace

they got nothing, whatever, not even a glass of water, some of the cleverest

it is true had taken bread and butter with them but none shared it with his neighbor,

for each thought let him look hungry and then the princess won’t have him”

“Okay, little Kay so,” Gerda said “when did he come? was he among the number?”

“Patience, patience we are just coming to him, it was on the third day when a little personage without horse or equipage came marching right boldly up to the palace, his eyes shone like yours he had beautiful long hair but his clothes were very shabby”

“That was Kaye” cried Gerda with a voice of delight “Oh now I found him” and she clapped her hands for joy,

“He had a little knapsack at his back,” said the raven,

“no that was certainly his sled,” said Gerda “for when he went away he took a sled with him”,

“but maybe,” said the raven, “I did not examine him so minutely but I know from

my tame sweetheart that when he came into the courtyard of the palace and saw

the bodyguard in silver the lackeys on the staircase he was not the least abashed

he nodded and said to them it must be very tiresome to stand on the stairs for my part

I shall go in the saloons were gleaming with lusters privy counselors and excellencies

were walking about barefooted and wore gold keys, it was enough to make anyone

feel uncomfortable, his boots creaked too so loudly but still, he was not at all afraid”,

“That’s Kay for certain,” said Gerda “I know he had on new boots, I heard them creaking in grand mama’s room”,

“yes they creaked,” said the raven “and on he went boldly up to the princess who was

sitting on a pearl as large as a spinning wheel all the ladies of the court with their

attendance and attendance and all the cavaliers with their gentlemen

and gentleman’s gentleman stood round and the newer they stood to the door the

prouder they looked, it was hardly possible to look at the gentleman’s gentleman

so heartily”,

did he stand in the doorway!? oh, it must have been terrible!” said little Gerda “

and did Kay get the princess?”

“If I’m not a raven I should have taken the Princess myself, although, I am promised

it is,” said the Raven “he spoke as well as I speak when I talk Raven language,

this I learned from my tame sweetheart, he was bold and nicely behaved he had not

come to with the princess but only to hear her wisdom she pleased him

and he pleased her”,

“yes…yes for certain that was Kay,” said Gerda “he was so clever he could reckon

fractions in his head, oh, won’t you take me to the palace?”

“that is very easy” answered the raven,

“But how are we to manage it,” said Gerda,

“I’ll speak to my tame sweetheart about it she must advise us for so much I must tell

you such a little girl as you are will never get permission to enter”,

“oh yes I shall,” said Gerda “When Kaye hears that I’m here he will come out directly to fetch me”,

“wait for me on these steps,” said the raven, he moved his head backward and forwards and flew away.

The evening was closing in when the Raven returned “Car Car” said he, “She sends

her compliments and here is a rule for you, she took it out of the kitchen where there

is bread enough, you are hungry no doubt it is not possible for you to enter the palace

for your barefooted, the guides in silver and the lackeys in gold would not allow it

but do not cry you shall come in still, my sweetheart knows a little back stair that

leads to the bed chamber and she knows where she can get the key of it”,

and then they went into the garden in the large avenue where one leaf was falling

after the other and when the lights in the palace had all gradually disappeared

the Raven led little Gerda to the back door which stood half open, oh how good her

heart beat with anxiety and longing, it was just as if she had been about to do

something wrong and yet she only wanted to find out if little Kaye was there, “yes

he must be there!” she called to mind his intelligent ways and his long hair so vividly,

she could quite see him as he used to laugh when they were sitting under the roses

at home, “he will no doubt be glad to see you too, hear what a long way you have

come for his sake, to know how unhappy all at home were when he did not come

back”, oh what a fright and a joy it was.

They were now on the stairs; a single lamp was burning there, and on the floor stood

the tame raven turned her head on every side and looked at Gerda, who bowed

as her grandmother had taught her to do,

“my Raven has told me so much good of you my dear young lady,” said the tame

raven Your tail is very affecting, if you will take the lamp I will go before, we will go

straight on for we shall meet no one I think there is somebody just behind us so good

when something rushed past, it was like shadowy figures on the wall horses

with flowing manes and thin legs, huntsman ladies and gentlemen on horseback”,

“They are only dreams!” said the raven; they come to fetch the thoughts of the high

personages to the chase it is “Well for now you can observe them in bed all the better

but let me find when you enjoy honor and distinction that you possess a grateful heart

that’s not worth talking about,” said the raven of the woods, now they entered the first

saloon which was a rose-colored satin with artificial flowers on the wall,

here the dreams were rushing past but they hastened by so quickly that Gerda could

not see the high percentages; one hole was more magnificent than the other,

one might indeed be well abashed and at last, they came into the bed-chamber,

the ceiling of the room resembled a large palm tree with leaves of a glass of costly

glass and in the middle from a thick golden stem hung two beds each of which

resembled a lily, one was white, and in this lay the princess the other was red

and it was here that Gerda was to look for little Kay.

she bent back one of the red leaves and saw a brown neck oh that was Kaye,

she called him quite loud by the name and held the lamp towards him, the dreams 

rushed back again into the chamber, he woke turned his head and it was not little 

Kaye, the prince was only like him about the neck but he was young and handsome 

and out of the white lily leaves, the princess peeped too and asked “What was the 

matter? then little girl cried and told her whole history and all that the Ravens had 

done for her,

“poor little thing!” said the prince and princess they praised the ravens very much

and told them they were not at all angry with them but they were not to do so again,

however, they should have a reward.

“Will you fly about here at liberty?” asked the princess “Or would you like to have

a fixed appointment as court ravens with all the broken bits from the kitchen?”

and both the ravens nodded and begged for a fixed appointment, for they thought

of their old age and said, “it is a very good thing to have a provision for our old days,”

and the prince got up and let go to sleep in his bed and more than this he could not

do, she folded her little hands and thought how good men and animals are, and then

fell asleep and slept, soundly all the dreams flew in again and they now looked like

the angels and they drew a little sled in which little Kaye sat and nodded his head,

but the whole was only a dream and therefore it all vanished as soon as she awoke.

The next day she was dressed from head to foot in silk and velvet, they offered to let

her stay at the palace and lead a happy life, but she begged to have a little carriage

with the horse in front and for a small pair of shoes, then she said she would again

go forth in the wide world and look for Kaye, shoes and a muff were given her

and she was too dressed very nicely and when she was about to set off a new

carriage stopped before the door; it was of pure gold, and the arms of the prince

and Princess shone like a star, upon it the coachmen the footmen, and the outsiders,

for outriders there were two, all wore golden crowns, the prince and princess assisted

her into the carriage themselves and wished her all success, the Raven of the woods

who was now married accompanied her for the first three miles, he sat beside Gerda

for he could not bear riding backward, the other ravens stood in the doorway

and flapped her wings; she could not accompany Gerda because she suffered from

headache since she had had a fixed appointment and ate so much, the carriage was

lined inside with sugar plums and in the seats were fruits and gingerbread,

“farewell farewell” cried the prince and princess and Gerda wept and the raven wept

thus passed the first miles and then the raven Bader farewell and this was the most

painful separation of all, he flew into a tree and beat his black wings as long

as he could see the carriage that shone from afar like a sunbeam.

Fifth story the little robber maiden

they drove through the dark wood, but the carriage shone like a torch, and it dazzled

the eyes of the robbers so that they could not bear to look at it, “tis gold, tis gold.”

they cried, and they rushed forward, seized the horses, and knocked down the little

Castilian the coachmen and the servants and pulled little girder out of the carriage

“out plump how beautiful she is, she must have been fed on nut kernels,”

said the old female robber, who had a long scrubby beard and bushy eyebrows

that hung down over her eyes, “She’s as good as a fatted lamb; how nice she will be.”

and then she drew out a knife, the blade of which shines so that it was quite dreadful

to behold “Oh” cried the woman at the same moment she had been bitten in the air

by her own little daughter who hung at her back and was so wild and unmanageable

it was quite amusing to see her, “you naughty child!” said the mother, and now

she had no time to kill Gerda “She shall play with me,” said the little robber child,

“she shall give me her muff and her pretty frock, and she shall sleep in my bed,”

and then she gave her mother another bite so that she jumped and ran around with

the pain and the robbers laughed and said “Look at she’s dancing with the little one,”

“I will go into the carriage,” said the little robber maiden and she would have her will

for she was very spoiled and very headstrong, she and Gerda got in and then away

they drove over the stumps of the felled trees deeper and deeper into the woods,

the little robber maiden was as tall as Gerda but stronger, broader-shouldered,

and of dark complexion; her eyes were quite black; they looked almost melancholy

she embraced little Gerda and said they shall not kill you as long as I am not

displeased with you, you are doubtless a princess?”

“no,” said little Gerda, who then related all that had happened to her and how much

she cared about little Kaye; the little robber maiden looked at her with a serious hair

nodded her head slightly and said, “they shall not kill you even if I’m angry with you,

then I will do it myself,” and she dried Gerda’s eyes and put both her hands

in the handsome muff, which was so soft and worn at length.

the carriage stopped; they were in the midst of the courtyard of a robbers castle

it was full of cracks from top to bottom, and out of the openings, magpies and rooks

were flying, and the great bulldogs, each of which looked as if he could swallow a man

jumped up, but they did not bark, for that was forbidden, in the midst of the large old

smoking hole burnt a great fire on the stone floor the smoke disappeared under

the stones and had to seek its own egress in an immense cauldron, the soup

was boiling, and rabbits and hairs were being roasted on a spit,

“you shall sleep with me tonight with all my animals,” said the little robber maiden,

they had something to eat and drink and then went into a corner where straw

and carpets were lying beside them.

On lads and perches sat nearly a hundred pigeons, all asleep seemingly but yet

they moved a little when the rubber maiden came “They’re all mine,” said she

at the same time seizing one that was next to her by the legs and shaking it so that

its wings fluttered, “kiss it” cried the little girl and flung the pigeon into Gerda’s face,

up there is the rabble of the wood continued she pointing to several lathes which

were fastened before a hole high up in the wall that’s the rabble “They would all fly

away immediately if they were not well fastened in, and here’s my dear old back.”

and she laid hold of the horns of a reindeer that had a bright copper ring around

its neck and was tethered to the spot “We are obliged to lock this fellow in too

or he would make our escape, every evening I tickle his neck with my sharp knife

he is so frightened at it,” and the little girl drew forth a long knife from a crack

in the wall and let it glide over the reindeer’s neck; the poor animal kicked,

the girl laughed and pulled Gerda into bed with her.

do you intend to keep your knife while you sleep? that’s good looking at it rather 


“I always sleep with the knife,” said the little robber maiden “There is no knowing what

may happen, but tell me now once more all about little Kaye and why he started off in

the wide world alone?”,

and Gerda related all from the very beginning; the wood pigeons cooed above

in their cage and the others slept, the little robber maiden wound her arm round

Gerda’s neck held a knife in the other hand and snored so loud that everybody could

hear her, but Gerda could not close her eyes, for she did not know whether she was

to live or die, the robbers sat around the fire, sang and drank, and the old female 

robber jumped about so that it was quite dreadful for Gerda to see her, then the wood 

pigeon said, 

“cool, we have seen a little white handsome carries his sled, and he himself sat in

the carriage of the snow queen who passed here down just over the wood as we lay

on our nest, she blew upon us, young ones, and all died except us; too cool”

“what is it that you say up there!!?” cried little girder, “where did the snow queen go?”

“to do you know anything about it? She has no doubt gone to Lapland,

oh, there is always snow and ice there, only ask the reindeer who’s tethered there,

ice and snow are there”,

“there it is, glorious and beautiful,” said the reindeer “One can spring about in

the large shining valleys the snow queen has her summer tent there but her fixed

abode is high up towards the north pole on the island called Spitzbergen”,

“Okay, poor little Kaye”

“sorry Gerda, do you choose to be quiet,” said the robber maiden “If you don’t I shall make you in the morning,”

Gerda told her all that the wood pigeons had said and the little maiden looked very

serious but she nodded her head and said “That’s no matter, that’s no matter,

do you know where Lapland lies?” she asked of the reindeer who should know better

than me, the animal’s eyes rolled in his head and said “I was born and bred there,

there I leaped about on the fields of snow”,

“Listen,” said the robber maiden to Gerda “you see that the men are gone but my mother is still here and will remain, however towards the morning she takes a draft out of the large flask and then she sleeps a little, then I will do something for you”

she now jumped out of bed and flew to her mother with her arms around her neck

and pulling her by the beard said “Good morrow, my own sweet nanny goat

of a mother” and her mother took hold of her nose and pinched it till it was red

and blue but this was all done out of pure love when the mother had taken us up

at her flask and was having a nap the little robber maiden went to the reindeer

and said “I should very much like to give you still many a tickling with the sharp knife

for then you’re so amusing, however, I will untether you and help you out so that you

may go back to Lapland but you must make good use of your legs and take this little

girl for me to the palace of the snow queen where her playfellow is, you have heard

I suppose all she said for she spoke loud enough, and you were listening”,

the reindeer gave a bound for joy; the robber maiden lifted up the little girder and took

the precaution to bind her fast on the ranger’s back; she even gave her a small

cushion to sit on, “Here your worsted leggings for it will be cold, but the muff I shall

keep for me but it’s so very pretty, but I do not wish you to be cold, here is a pair

of lying gloves of my mother’s they reach up to your elbow. I’m with them now

you look about the hands just like my ugly old mother”,

and Gerda wept for joy. “I can’t bear to see you fretting,” said the little robber maiden,

“This is just the time when you ought to look pleased; here are two loaves and ham

for you so that you won’t starve” the bread and the meat were fastened

to the reindeer’s back, the little maiden opened the door and called in all the dogs

and then, with her knife, cut the rope that fastened the animal and said to him

“Now off with you, but take good care of the little girl,” and Gerda stretched out

her hands in the large wadded gloves towards the robber maiden and said “farewell,”

and the reindeer flew on over bush and bramble through the great wood over Moore

and health as fast as he could go was heard in the sky; it was just as if somebody

was sneezing “These are my old northern lights,” said the reindeer; look how

they gleam,” and on he now sped still quicker day and night on he went the lows

were consumed, and the ham too, and now they were in Lapland.

sixth story: the Lapland Woman and the Finland Woman

Suddenly they stopped before a little house that looked very miserable; the roof

reached to the ground, and the door was so low that the family was obliged to creep

upon their stomachs when they went in or out, nobody was at home except an old

Lapland woman who dressing fish by the light of an oil lamp and the ranger told her

the whole of Gerda’s history but first of all his own for that seemed to him of greater

importance, Gerda was so chilled that she could not speak “poor thing”

said the Lapland woman “You have far to run still, you have more than 100 miles to go

before you get to Finland, there the snow queen has her country house

and burns blue lights every evening, I will give you a few words from me which I will

write on a dried  Aberdeen for the paper I have none, this you can take it with you

to the Finland woman and  she will be able to give you more information than I can”,

when Gerda had warmed herself and had eaten and drunk the Lapland woman wrote

a few words on a dry Aberdeen begged Gerda to take care of them and put her

on the reindeer bound her fast and waste from.

The animal was again heard in the air, the most charming blue lights burned the whole

night in the sky and at last, they came to Finland they knocked at the chimney

of the Finland woman for us to adore she had none there was such a heat inside that

the Finland woman herself went about almost naked; she was diminutive and dirty

she immediately loosened little Gerda’s clothes and pulled off her thick gloves

and boots for otherwise the heat would have been too great and after laying a piece

of ice  on the reindeer’s head read what was written on the fish skin, she read i

three times.

She then knew it by heart so she put the fish into the cupboard for it might very well

be eaten and she never threw anything away, then the reindeer related his own story

first and afterward that of little Gerda and the Finland woman winked her eyes but

said nothing, “you are so clever,” said the reindeer “You can I know twist all the winds

of the world together in a knot if the semen loses one knot, then he has a good wind

if the second then it blows pretty stiffly but if he undoes the third and fourth then it

rages so that the forests are upturned will you give the little maiden a potion so that

she may possess the strength of twelve men and vanquish the snow queen?”

“The strength of twelve men!!?” said the Finland woman; much good that would be

then she went to a cupboard and drew out a large skin rolled up when she had

unrolled it strange characters were to be seen written thereon and the Finland woman

read at such a rate that the perspiration trickled down her forehead but the reindeer

begged so hard for little Gerda and Gerda looked so imploringly with tearful eyes

of the Finland woman that she winked and drew the Reindeer aside into a corner

where  they whispered together while the animal got some fresh eyes put on

his head “is true; little Kaye is at the Snow queens and finds everything there

quite to his taste  and he thinks it is the very best place in the world but the reason

for that is he has a  splinter of glass in his eye and in his heart these must be got out

first, otherwise, he will never go back to mankind and the Snow Queen will retain

her power over him”,

“but can you give little good and nothing to take which will indue her with power over the whole?”

“I can give her no more power than what she has already; don’t you see how great 
it is, don’t you see how men and animals are forced to serve her! how well she gets through the world barefooted! She must not hear of her power from us that power lies in her heart, because she’s a sweet and innocent child, if she cannot get the snow queen by herself and rid little of the glass we cannot help her, two miles hence the garden of the snow queen begins neither you may carry the little girl or set her down by the large bush with red berries standing in the snow, don’t stay talking but hasten back as fast as possible”, 

and now the Finland woman placed little Gerda on the ranger’s back and off he ran 

with all imaginable speed.

“Oh, I have not got my boots, I have not brought my gloves” quite a little Gerda

she marked, she was without them from the cutting frost but the reindeer dared not

standstill on he ran till he came to the great bush with red berries and there he set

Gerda down kissed her mouth while large bright tears flowed from the animal’s eyes,

and then back he went as fast as possible, there stood poor girder now without shoes

or gloves in the very middle of dreadful icy Finland, she ran on as fast as she could

there then came a whole regiment of snowflakes but they did not fall from above

and they were quite bright and shining from the aurora borealis; the flakes ran along

the ground and the nearer they came the larger they grew, Gerda well remembered

how large and strange the snowflakes appeared when she once saw them through

a magnifying glass but now they were large and terrific in another manner they were

all alive, they were the outposts of the snow queen, they had the most wondrous

shapes, some looked like large ugly porcupines others like snakes not together with

their heads sticking out, and others again like small fat bears with their hair standing

on end all were of dazzling whiteness, all were living snowflakes.

Little Gerda repeated the lord’s prayer; the cold was so intense that she could not see

her own breath which came like smoke out of her mouth, it grew thicker and thicker

and took the form of little angels that grew more and more when they touched

the earth all had helms on their heads and lances and shields in their hands

and they increased in numbers and when Gerda had finished the lord’s prayer

she was surrounded by a whole legion, they thrust at the horror snowflakes with

their spears so that they flew away into a thousand pieces and little Gerda walked on

bravely and in securely.

the angels patted her hands and feet and then she felt the cold less and went on

quickly towards the palace of the snow queen, but now we shall see how Kaye fared,

he never thought of Gerda and least of all that she was standing before the palace.

Seventh story: what took place in the palace of the snow queen and what happened afterward

The walls of the palace were of driving snow and the windows and doors of cutting

winds there were more than a hundred holes there a cording of the snow was driven

by the winds, the largest was many miles an extent all were lit up by the powerful

aurora borealis and all were so large, so empty, so icy cold and so resplendent, never

rained there.

there was never even a little bear ball with the storm for music while the polar bears

went on their hind legs and showed off their steps never a little tea party of white

young lady foxes are vast cold and empty with hulls of the snow queen the northern 

lights shone with such precision that one could tell exactly when they were at their 

highest or lowest degree of brightness in the middle of the empty endless hall 

of snow was a frozen lake, it was cracked into a thousand pieces but each piece was 

so like the other that it seemed the work of a cunning artificer. In the middle of this 

lake sat the snow queen when she was at home and then she said she was sitting in 

the mirror of understanding and that this was the only one and the best thing

 in the world.

It was quite blue yes nearly black with cold but he did not observe it for she had

kissed away all feelings of cold from his body and his heart was a lump of ice, he was

dragging along some pointed flat pieces of ice which he lay together in all possible

ways for he wanted to make something with them just as we have little flat pieces

of wood to make geometrical figures called the Chinese puzzle Kaye made all

sorts of figures the most complicated for it was a nice puzzle for the understanding

in his eyes, the figures were extraordinarily beautiful and of the most importance

for the bit of glass which was in his eye caused this.

He found whole figures which represented the written word but he never could

manage to represent just the word he wanted; that word was eternity

and the snow queen had said, “if you can discover that figure, you should be

your own master and I shall make you a present of the whole world and a pair of new

skates”, but he could not find it out, “I am going now to warm lands,” said the snow

queen “I must have a look down into the black cauldrons” It was the volcano’s

Vesuvius and Etna that she meant “I will give them just a coating of white for that is

as it ought to be, besides it is good for the oranges and the grapes”, and then away

she flew and Kaye sat quite alone in the empty halls of ice that were miles long and

looked at the blocks of ice and thought and thought till his skull was almost cracked

there he sat quite benumbed and motionless one would have imagined he was frozen

to death.

suddenly little Gerda stepped through the great portal into the palace; the gate was

formed of cutting winds but Gerda repeated her evening prayer and the winds were

laid as though they slept and the little maiden entered the vast empty cold halls,

there she beheld Kaye she recognized him flew to embrace him and cried out her

arms firmly holding him the while “Kaye, sweet little Kaye, have I found you at last”

but he sat quite still be numbed and cold then little Gerda shed burning tears

and they fell on his bosom they penetrated to his heart they thawed the lumps of ice

and consumed the splinters of the looking glass, he looked at her and she sang

the hymn

“the rose in the valley is blooming so sweet

and the angels to send there the children to greet

her upon Kaye burst into tears, he wept so much that the splinter rolled out of his eye

and he recognized her and shouted, “Gerda, sweet little Gerda, where have you been

so long and where have I been?!!”

He looked around him “How cold it is here!!” said he, “how empty and cold,”

and he was held fast by Gerda who laughed and wept for the joy it was so beautiful

that even the blocks of ice danced about for joy and when they were tired and laid

themselves down, they formed exactly the letters that the snow queen had told him

to find out so, now he was his own master he would have the whole world and a pair

of new skates into the bargain, Gerda kissed his cheeks and they grew quite

blooming, she kissed his eyes, and they shone like her own she kissed his hands

and feet and he was again well and merry.

the snow queen might come back as soon as she lights, there stood his discharge

written in resplendent masses of ice, they took each other by the hand and wandered

forth out of the large hall, they talked of their old grandmother and of the roses upon

the roof and wherever they went the wind ceased raging, and the sun burst forth,

and when they reached the bush with the red berries, they found the reindeer waiting

for them, he brought another a young one with him whose other was filled with milk

which he gave to the little ones and kissed their lips; they then carried Kaye

and Gerda, first to the Finland woman where they warmed themselves in the warm

room and learned what they were to do on their journey home and then they went

to the Lapland woman who made some new clothes for them and repaired their

sleds, the reindeer, and the young hind leaped along beside them

and accompanied them to the boundary of the country where the first vegetation

peeped forth here and Gerda took leave of the Lapland woman.

“Farewell…farewell,” they all said, and the first green buds appeared the first little 

birds began to chirp and after the wood came riding on a magnificent horse which 

Gerda knew it was one of the leaders in the golden carriage, a young damsel with a 

bright red cap on her head and armed with pistols, it was a little rubber maiden who 

tired of being at home had determined to make a journey to the north and afterward in

another direction if that did not please her.

she recognized Gerda immediately, and Gerda knew her too, it was a joyful meeting

“you’re a fine fella for tramping about,” she said to little Kaye “I should like to know

faith if you deserve that one should run from one end of the world to the other

for your sake”,

but Gerda patted her cheeks and inquired for the prince and princess “They are gone abroad,” said the other,

“but the raven!?” asked little Gerda, “oh the raven is dead” she answered, “His tame

sweetheart is a widow and wears a bit of black worsted around her leg, she laments

most piteously but it’s all mere talk and stuff now tell me what have you been doing

and how you managed to catch him?”

and Gerda and Kaye both told their story and “schnipp schnapp schner basilur”

said the robber maiden and she took the hands of each and promised that if

she should someday pass through the town where they lived she would come

and visit them and then away she rode Kaye and Gerda took each other’s hand it was

lovely spring weather with an abundance of flowers and a version.

The church bells rang, and the children recognized the high towers and the large town

it was that in which they dwelt; they entered and hastened up to their grandmother’s

room where everything was standing as formally the clock said tac and the finger

moved around but as they entered they remarked that they were now grown up

the roses on the leads hung blooming in at the open window; there stood the little

children’s chairs and Kaye and Gerda sat down on them holding each other

by the hand, they had both forgotten the cold empty splendor of the snow queen

as though it had been a dream, the grandmother sat in the bright sunshine and read

aloud from the bible: “Unless he, his little children ye cannot enter the kingdom

of heaven”, and Kaye and Gerda looked into each other’s eyes and all at once they

understood the old hymn

“the rose in the valley is blooming so sweet

and the angels to send there the children to greet

there sat the two grown-up persons grown-up and yet children at least in heart

and it was summertime, summer glorious summer

The End