1340. If the right cheek burns, some one is speaking well of you; if the left, they are speaking ill of you; if both, they speak well and ill at once. Moisten the finger in the mouth and touch it to the cheek, naming those whom you suspect; the... Read more of Bodily Affections at Superstitions.caInformational Site Network Informational
Privacy
Home - Stories - Categories - Books - Search

Featured Stories

The Little Robber Girl
The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Categories

A FAIRY-TALE

Aesop

ALPHABET RHYMES

AMERICAN INDIAN STORIES

AMUSING ALPHABETS

Animal Sketches And Stories

ANIMAL STORIES

ARBOR DAY

BIRD DAY

Blondine Bonne Biche and Beau Minon

Bohemian Story

BRER RABBIT and HIS NEIGHBORS

CATS

CHINESE MOTHER-GOOSE RHYMES

CHRISTMAS DAY

COLUMBUS DAY

CUSTOM RHYMES

Didactic Stories

Everyday Verses

EVIL SPIRITS

FABLES

FABLES FOR CHILDREN

FABLES FROM INDIA

FATHER PLAYS AND MOTHER PLAYS

FIRST STORIES FOR VERY LITTLE FOLK

For Classes Ii. And Iii.

For Classes Iv. And V.

For Kindergarten And Class I.

FUN FOR VERY LITTLE FOLK

GERMAN

Good Little Henry

HALLOWEEN

Happy Days

INDEPENDENCE DAY

JAPANESE AND OTHER ORIENTAL TALES]

Jean De La Fontaine

King Alexander's Adventures

KINGS AND WARRIORS

LABOR DAY

LAND AND WATER FAIRIES

Lessons From Nature

LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY

LITTLE STORIES that GROW BIG

Love Lyrics

Lyrics

MAY DAY

MEMORIAL DAY

Modern

MODERN FABLES

MODERN FAIRY TALES

MOTHER GOOSE CONTINUED

MOTHER GOOSE JINGLES

MOTHER GOOSE SONGS AND STORIES

MOTHERS' DAY

Myths And Legends

NATURE SONGS

NEGLECT THE FIRE

NUMBER RHYMES

NURSERY GAMES

NURSERY-SONGS.

NURSEY STORIES

OLD-FASHIONED STORIES

ON POPULAR EDUCATION

OURSON

Perseus

PLACES AND FAMILIES

Poems Of Nature

Polish Story

Popular

PROVERB RHYMES

RESURRECTION DAY (EASTER)

RHYMES CONCERNING "MOTHER"

RIDDLE RHYMES

RIDING SONGS for FATHER'S KNEE

ROMANCES OF THE MIDDLE AGES

SAINT VALENTINE'S DAY

Selections From The Bible

Servian Story

SLEEPY-TIME SONGS AND STORIES

Some Children's Poets

Songs Of Life

STORIES BY FAVORITE AMERICAN WRITERS

STORIES FOR CHILDREN

STORIES for LITTLE BOYS

STORIES FROM BOTANY

STORIES FROM GREAT BRITAIN

STORIES FROM IRELAND

STORIES FROM PHYSICS

STORIES FROM SCANDINAVIA

STORIES FROM ZOOLOGY

STORIES _for_ LITTLE GIRLS

SUPERSITITIONS

THANKSGIVING DAY

The Argonauts

THE CANDLE

THE DAYS OF THE WEEK

THE DECEMBRISTS

The King Of The Golden River; Or, The Black Brothers

The Little Grey Mouse

THE OLD FAIRY TALES

The Princess Rosette

THE THREE HERMITS

THE TWO OLD MEN

Theseus

Traditional

UNCLES AND AUNTS AND OTHER RELATIVES

VERSES ABOUT FAIRIES

WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY

WHAT MEN LIVE BY

WHERE LOVE IS, THERE GOD IS ALSO

The Little Match Girl

from Favorite Fairy Tales.





It was dreadfully cold, it was snowing fast, and almost dark; the
evening--the last evening of the Old Year--was drawing in. But cold and
dark as it was, a poor little girl, with bare head and feet, was still
wandering about the streets. When she left her home she had slippers on,
but they were much too large for her--indeed, really, they belonged to
her mother--and had dropped off her feet while she was running very fast
across the road, to get out of the way of two carriages. One of the
slippers was not to be found; the other had been snatched up by a little
boy, who ran off with it thinking it might serve him as a doll's cradle.



So the little girl now walked on, her bare feet quite red and blue with
the cold. She carried a small bundle of matches in her hand, and a good
many more in her tattered apron. No one had bought any of them the
livelong day--no one had given her a single penny. Trembling with cold
and hunger she crept on, the picture of sorrow; poor little child!

The snowflakes fell on her long fair hair, which curled in such pretty
ringlets over her shoulders; but she thought not of her own beauty, nor
of the cold. Lights were glimmering through every window, and the savor
of roast goose reached her from several houses. It was New Year's Eve,
and it was of this that she thought.

In a corner formed by two houses, one of which projected beyond the
other, she sat down, drawing her little feet close under her, but in
vain--she could not warm them. She dared not go home, she had sold no
matches, earned not a single penny, and perhaps her father would beat
her. Besides her home was almost as cold as the street--it was an attic;
and although the larger of the many chinks in the roof were stopped up
with straw and rags, the wind and snow often came through.



Her hands were nearly dead with cold; one little match from her bundle
would warm them, perhaps, if she dare light it. She drew one out, and
struck it against the wall. Bravo! it was a bright, warm flame, and she
held her hands over it. It was quite an illumination for that poor
little girl--nay, call it rather a magic taper--for it seemed to her as
though she were sitting before a large iron stove with brass ornaments,
so beautifully blazed the fire within! The child stretched out her feet
to warm them also. Alas! in an instant the flame had died away, the
stove vanished, the little girl sat cold and comfortless, with the
burnt match in her hand.

A second match was struck against the wall. It kindled and blazed, and
wherever its light fell the wall became transparent as a veil--the
little girl could see into the room within. She saw the table spread
with a snow-white damask cloth, whereon were ranged shining china
dishes; the roast goose, stuffed with apples and dried plums, stood at
one end, smoking hot, and--which was pleasantest of all to see-the
goose, with knife and fork still in her breast, jumped down from the
dish, and waddled along the floor right up to the poor child. Then the
match went out, and only the thick, hard wall was beside her.

She kindled a third match. Again up shot the flame. And now she was
sitting under a most beautiful Christmas tree, far larger, and far more
prettily decked out, than the one she had seen last Christmas Eve
through the glass doors of the rich merchant's house. Hundreds of wax
tapers lighted up the green branches, and tiny painted figures, such as
she had seen in the shop windows, looked down from the tree upon her.
The child stretched out her hands towards them in delight, and in that
moment the light of the match was quenched. Still, however, the
Christmas candles burned higher and higher--she beheld them beaming
like stars in heaven. One of them fell, the lights streaming behind
it like a long, fiery tail.



"Now someone is dying," said the little girl softly, for she had been
told by her old grandmother--the only person who had ever been kind to
her, and who was now dead--that whenever a star falls an immortal spirit
returns to God who gave it.

She struck yet another match against the wall. It flamed up, and,
surrounded by its light, appeared before her that same dear grandmother,
gentle and loving as always, but bright and happy as she had never
looked during her lifetime.

"Grandmother!" exclaimed the child, "Oh, take me with you! I know you
will leave me as soon as the match goes out. You will vanish like the
warm fire in the stove, like the splendid New Year's feast, like the
beautiful large Christmas tree!" And she hastily lighted all the
remaining matches in the bundle, lest her grandmother should disappear.
And the matches burned with such a blaze of splendor, that noonday could
scarcely have been brighter. Never had the good old grandmother looked
so tall and stately, so beautiful and kind. She took the little girl in
her arms, and they both flew together--joyfully and gloriously they
flew--higher and higher, till they were in that place where neither
cold, nor hunger, nor pain is ever known--they were in Paradise.

But in the cold morning hour, crouching in the corner of the wall, the
poor little girl was found--her cheeks glowing, her lips smiling--frozen
to death on the last night of the Old Year. The New Year's sun shone on
the lifeless child. Motionless she sat there with the matches in her
lap, one bundle of them quite burnt out.

"She has been trying to warm herself, poor thing!" the people said; but
no one knew of the sweet visions she had beheld, or how gloriously she
and her grandmother were celebrating their New Year's festival.





Next: Beauty And The Beast

Previous: The Three Bears



Add to del.icio.us Add to Reddit Add to Digg Add to Del.icio.us Add to Google Add to Twitter Add to Stumble Upon
Add to Informational Site Network
Report
Privacy
SHAREADD TO EBOOK



Viewed: 1685