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Under The Willow Tree

On they went, straight toward Kjöge Church, and Knud and Johanne followed them - they, too, walked hand in hand. The church stood there as it had always stood, with the beautiful green ivy growing on its red walls, and the great door of the church swung open, and the organ pealed, and the gingerbread couple walked up the aisle.

"Our master first," said the cake pair, and made room for Johanne and Knud to kneel before the altar. And she bent her head over him, and the tears fell from her eyes, but they were icy cold, for it was the ice around her heart that was melting, softened by his strong love.

The tears fell upon his burning cheeks, and then he awoke - and he was sitting under the old willow tree in a foreign land on that cold winter evening; an icy hail from the could s was beating on his face.

"That was the most wonderful hour of my life!" he cried. "And it was just a dream. Oh, God, let me dream again!

Then he closed his eyes once more and dreamed again.

Toward morning there was a great snowstorm, and the wind blew it in drifts over him, and when the villagers came forth to go to church they found a journeyman sitting by the roadside. He was dead - frozen to death beneath the willow tree!

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