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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andersen Hans Christian > Fairy tale "The Wind Tells about Valdemar Daae and His Daughters"

The Wind Tells about Valdemar Daae and His Daughters

The frantic old birds and the homeless young ones screamed hoarse tales about the oak forest that had been ravished and the many wonderful nests that had been destroyed, all for the sake of this great piece of useless lumber, the proud vessel that was never to sail the seas. And I tossed and whirled the snow about until it lay thickly over the ship; I made it listen to my voice and taught it all that a storm has to say; I certainly did my part in teaching it all a ship should know of life. Whew, whew, whew! On, on, on!

"And winter passed away, winter and summer passed, as they always pass, as I pass, as the snow melts, as the leaf drifts downward, as the apple blossom fades, away, away, away! And as people pass away!

"But the daughters were still young. Little Ide was still as blooming a rose as when the shipbuilder had seen her. Often I caught hold of her long brown hair when she stood thoughtfully beside the apple tree in the garden, and she didn't notice that I shook petals down on her hair, loosening it, as she gazed at the crimson sunset and the streak of golden sky through the dark bushes and trees. Her sister Johanne was still like a lily, bright and slender, straight and tall, as stiff upon her stalk as her mother had been. She loved to linger in the great hall where the portraits of their ancestors hung; the ladies were painted wearing velvets and silk, with tiny, pearl-embroidered hats set on their braids; they were beautiful ladies, indeed; the men were shown in steel armor, or in stiff white ruffs and rich mantles lined with squirrel fur, their swords belted to their sides, not around their waists. Johanne often wondered how her own portrait would look on those same walls, and what her husband would look like. Yes, she thought about that, and talked about it to herself. I heard it as I whipped through the long gallery into the hall and whirled around again.

"Anna Dorothea, the pale hyacinth, was still a very quiet child of fourteen, with large, thoughtful blue eyes, and the smile of childhood still lingering on her lips.

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