Read on line
Listen on line
Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andersen Hans Christian > Fairy tale "The Comet"

The Comet

Now there came a comet with its shiny nucleus and its menacing tail. People from the great castles and people from the poor huts gazed at it. So did the crowd in the street, and so did the man who went his solitary way across the pathless heath. Everyone had his own thoughts. "Come and look at the omen from heaven. Come out and see this marvelous sight," they cried, and everyone hastened to look.

But a little boy and his mother still stayed inside their room. The tallow candle was burning and the mother thought she saw a bit of wood-shaving in the light. The tallow formed a jagged edge around the candle, and then it curled. The mother believed these were signs that her son would soon die. The wood-shaving was circling toward him. This was an old superstition, but she believed it. The little boy lived many more years on earth. Indeed he lived to see the comet return sixty years later.

The boy did not see the wood-shaving in the candle-light, and his thoughts were not about the comet which then, for the first time in his life, shone brightly in the sky. He sat quietly with an earthenware bowl before him. The bowl was filled with soapy water, into which he dipped the head of a clay pipe. Then he put the pipe stem in his mouth, and blew soap bubbles, large and small. They quivered and spun in beautiful colors. They changed from yellow to red, and from red to purple or blue and then they turned bright green, like leaves when the sun shines through them.

The boy's mother said, "May God grant you many more years on earth - as many years as the bubbles you are blowing."

"So many, so many!" he cried. "I can never blow all the soapy water into bubbles. There goes one year, there goes another one; see how they fly!" he exclaimed, as bubbles came loose from his pipe and floated away. A few of them blew into his eye, where they burned, and smarted, and made his tears flow. In every bubble he saw a picture of the future, glimmering and glistening.

"This is the time to look at the comet," cried their neighbors.

Also read
Read
The Peasant And The Devil
Category: Brothers Grimm
Read times: 7
Read
The Crumbs on The table
Category: Brothers Grimm
Read times: 5
Read
The Sea-Hare
Category: Brothers Grimm
Read times: 3