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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andersen Hans Christian > Fairy tale "The Puppet-show Man"

The Puppet-show Man

My breath stopped, and my head was dizzy; I was as miserable as a man can be. It was quite a new kind of people among whom I found myself now. I only wished I had them all back in their box and that I had never been a director at all. I told them straight out that they were all nothing but puppets-and so they killed me!

"I found myself lying on my bed in my room; how I got there, or how I got away from the Polytechnic student, he may know-I don't. The moon shone in on the floor where the box lay overturned, and all the dolls, great and small, were scattered about in confusion; but I wasn't idle. I jumped out of bed and popped them all back into the box, some on their heads and some on their feet; then I slammed down the lid, and seated myself on the box. It was a picture worth painting! Can't you just see it? I can! 'Now you'll just have to stay in there,' I said. 'And I'll never again wish that you have flesh and blood!' I was in such a relieved frame of mind, I was the happiest of men. The Polytechnic student had entirely purified me. I sat there in a state of utter contentment and fell asleep on the box.

"The next morning-it was really noon, for I slept wonderfully late that day-I was still sitting there, lighthearted, and conscious that my one former wish had been foolish. I asked for the Polytechnic student, but he was gone, like the gods of Greece and Rome; and since that time I have been the happiest of men. I am a happy director; my company never grumbles, or my public either-they're amused to their hearts' content. I can put my plays together just as I like, taking out of other plays anything that pleases me, and no one is annoyed at it. Plays that nowadays are disdained in the big theaters, but that the public ran to see, and wept over, thirty years ago-those plays I now put on. I perform them for the little ones, and the little ones weep just as Papa and Mamma did. I give them Johanne Montsaucon and Dyveke, but in abbreviated versions, for the youngsters don't want long-winded love stories; what they want is something sad but short.

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