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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andersen Hans Christian > Fairy tale "The Windmill"

The Windmill

On the hill there stood a windmill stately to look at and very proud of itself.

"But I'm not proud at all," it said, "though I'm much enlightened, outside and inside. On the outside I have the sun and moon, and for inward use, too; and I also have wax candles, oil lamps, and tallow candles. Yes, I daresay I'm enlightened. I'm a thinking individual and so well built that I'm a pleasure to look at. I have a good windpipe in my chest, and I have four wings placed upon my head, just under my hat. Even the birds have only two wings and have to carry them on their backs. I'm a Dutchman by birth - you can tell that from my figure - a Flying Dutchman! People call them supernatural beings, I know, and yet I'm quite natural. There's a gallery round my stomach, and a dwelling place underneath it; that's where my thoughts live. My strongest thought, who rules and governs, is called by the other thoughts: 'The Millers.' He knows what he wants, and rules over the flour and the oats; but he has a mate, too, who calls herself 'Mother.' She is my real heart. She doesn't run around awkwardly; she knows what she wants and what she can do. She's as gentle as the wind and as strong as a tempest; she knows how to lead up to a thing carefully but get her own way. She is my softer side, and the father is my harder; they are two and yet one; and each calls the other 'My better half.'

"These two have youngsters, little thoughts that will grow up, and these little ones make a lot of noise.

"The other day I wisely let the father and his helpers examine my throat and the hole in my chest. I wanted to know what was wrong, for something was wrong, and when you're out of order it's well to look into yourself. The youngsters made a tremendous racket, which was very annoying to me; for, remember, on the top hill where I stand I am in the limelight, and one is judged accordingly. The youngest one jumped up into my hat and shouted so up there that it tickled me. Yes, I know those little thoughts will grow up.

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