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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andersen Hans Christian > Fairy tale "The Snow Man"

The Snow Man

You must keep beside it or underneath it; it's very comfortable there. You must be able to see it through the window from where you're standing."

Then the Snow Man looked, and he really saw a brightly polished thing with a brass stomach and fire glowing from the lower part of it. A very strange feeling swept over the Snow Man; he didn't know what it meant, and couldn't understand it, but all people who aren't snow men know that feeling.

"Why did you leave her?" asked the Snow Man, for it seemed to him that the stove must be a female. "How could you leave a place like that?"

"I was compelled to," replied the Watchdog. "They turned me outside and chained me up here. You see, I had bitten the youngest of the master's children in the leg, because he had kicked away a bone I was gnawing. 'A bone for a bone,' I always say. They didn't like that at all, and from that time I've been chained out here and have lost my voice. Don't you hear how hoarse I am? Away! Away! And that was the end of that!"

But the Snow Man wasn't listening to him any longer. He kept peering in at the housekeeper's basement room, where the stove stood on its four iron legs, just about the same size as the Snow Man himself.

"What a strange crackling there is inside me!" he cried. "I wonder if I'll ever get in there. That's an innocent wish, and our innocent wishes are sure to be fulfilled. It is my only wish, my biggest wish; it would almost be unfair if it wasn't granted. I must get in and lean against her, even if I have to break a window."

"You'll never get in there," said the Watchdog. "And if you go near that stove you'll melt away! Away!"

"I'm as good as gone, anyway," replied the Snow Man. "I think I'm breaking up."

All day long the Snow Man stood looking in through the window. At twilight the room grew still more inviting; a mild glow came from the stove, not like the moon or the sun either, but just like the glow of a stove when it has been well filled. Every time the room door was opened, the flames leaped out of the stove's mouth; this was a habit it had.

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