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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andersen Hans Christian > Fairy tale "Godfather's Picture Book"

Godfather's Picture Book

They glittered in the water as if there were lightning down there, and shone in the depths like the northern lights. The sound had a wealth of fishes; therefore houses were built on the coast of Zealand, with walls of oak and roofs of bark - there were trees enough for that purpose. Ships anchored in the harbor, oil lamps hanging from swaying ropes, and the northeast wind blew and sang, 'O-out!' If a lantern glimmered on the island it was a thieves' lantern, for smugglers and thieves plied their trade on Thieves' Island.

" 'I believe that all the evil I wished for is coming,' said the northeast wind. 'Soon the tree will come, from which I can shake the fruit.'

"And here is the tree," said Godfather. "Do you see the gallows on Thieves' Island? Robbers and murderers hang there in iron chains, exactly as they hung in those days. The wind blew until it rattled the long skeletons, but the moon shone down on them as serenely as it now shines on a country dance. The sun also shone down pleasantly, crumbling away the dangling skeletons, and from the sunbeams the children of light sang, 'We know it! We know it! Here it shall be beautiful in the days to come; here it shall be good and splendid!'

" 'Chicken prattle!' said the northeast wind.

"Now we'll turn the page," said Godfather.

"The bells were ringing in the town of Roskilde, where Bishop Absalon lived. He could both read his Bible and wield his sword; he had power and will. He wished to protect from assault the busy fishermen at the harbor, whose town had grown until it was now a market town. He sprinkled the unhallowed ground with holy water; thus, Thieves' Island received the mark of honor. Masons and carpenters set to work on it; at the Bishop's command, a building grew up, and the sunbeams kissed the red walls as they rose. There stood the house of Axel:

The castle, with its towers, so stately and high,

Had balconies and stairs up to the sky

Booo! Whooo!

The northeast wind huffed and puffed,

But the castle stood unyielding, unruffed.

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