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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andersen Hans Christian > Fairy tale "Vänö and Glänö"

Vänö and Glänö

And still Glänö's days were numbered; we could not say just how many there were, but they were numbered, and one beautiful morning the island would no longer exist.

You were perhaps down there at the beach on a day prior to this and saw the wild swans resting on the water between Zealand and Glänö, while a sailboat in full sail glided by the wooded shore, and perhaps you, too, rode across at low tide, with the horses trampling in the water as it splashed over the wagon wheels.

You went away from there, perhaps traveled out into the wide world, and after a few years you have returned. You see the same woods, now surrounding a large, green meadow, where fragrant hay is stacked in front of pretty farmhouses. Where are you? Holsteinborg, with its golden tower spires, is still there, but not close to the bay; it now lies farther up in the country. You walk through the woods, across the field, down toward the beach. Where is Glänö? You don't see little wooded island before you; you see only the open water. Has Vänö finally taken Glänö, as it so long was expected to? On what stormy night did this happen, and when did an earthquake move old Holsteinborg so far inland?

There was no stormy night; it all happened on clear, sunny days. Human skill built a dam to hold back the ocean; human skill dried up the water and bound Glänö to the mainland. The bay has become a meadow with luxuriant grass; Glänö has become part of Zealand. And the old castle stands where it always stood. It was not Vänö that took Glänö; it was Zealand that, through mechanical skill, gained many new acres of land.

This is the truth; you can find it in the records. Glänö Island is no more.

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