Thursday, 27 October 2016

Hans Christian Andersen - The Red Shoes


There was once a little girl, so fine and pretty, but in the summer she always had to go barefoot, for she was poor, and in the winter she had to wear large wooden clogs, and these made her little ankles turn bright red and look horrible.
In the middle of the country village lived old Mother Shoemaker, she sat sewing – as best she could – a pair of small shoes out of old red strips of cloth. They were rather clumsily made, but well-meant, and those the little girl was to have. The little girl’s name was Karen.
On precisely the day her mother was buried she was given the red shoes and wore them for the first time; they were not exactly right for mourning, but she didn’t have any other shoes and she walked bare-legged behind the poor straw coffin with them on.
At that moment a large old carriage drove past, and in it there sat a large old lady. She caught sight of the little girl and felt sorry for her and said to the vicar: ‘Listen, give that little girl to me, and I will treat her kindly!’
And Karen believed the red shoes had brought all this about, but the old lady said that they were horrible and had them burnt, but Karen herself was nicely dressed in clean clothes; she had to learn to read and sew, and people said that she was pretty, but the mirror said: ‘You’re much more than pretty, you are lovely!’ 

To see the entire tale in translation, go to here

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