The Tinder Box ブログトップ

The Tinder Box (1) [The Tinder Box]

The Tinder Box (1)

A soldier came marching along the high roadーleft, right, left, right  !
He had his knapsack on his back and a sword by his side, for he had been to the wars and was now returning home.

An old witch met him on the road.
She was very ugly to look at.

"Good morning, Soldier ! " she said.
" What a fine sword and knapsack you have. You are a very fine soldier. You ought to have as much money as you would like to carry ! "

" Thank you, old Witch, " answered the Soldier.

" Do you see that great tree there ? " said the Witch, pointing to a tree beside them. 

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" It is hollow inside. You must climb up to the top, then you will see a hole through which you can let yourself down into the tree. I will tie a thick rope round your waist, so that I may be able to pull you up again when you call. "

" What shall I do down there ? " asked the Soldier.

" Get money ! " answered the Witch.


The Tinder Box (2) [The Tinder Box]

The Tinder Box (2)

" Listen !
When you reach the bottom of the tree you will find yourself in a large hall; it is light there, for there are more than three hundred lamps burning.

Then you will see three doors, which you can open ー the keys are in the locks.

If you go into the first room, you will see a great chest in the middle of the floor with a dog sitting upon it; he has eyes as large as saucers, but you need not trouble about him.

I will give you my blue-check apron, which you must spread out on the floor. and then go back quickly and fetch the dog and set him upon it; open the chest and take as much money as you like. It is copper there.

If you would rather have silver, you must go into next room, where there is a dog with eyes as large as mill-wheels.
But don't take any notice of him; just set him upon my apron, and help yourself to the money. 

If you prefer gold, you can get that too, if you go into the third room, and as much as you like to carry.
But the dog that guards the chest there has eyes as large as the Round Tower at Copenhagen !
He is a savage dog, I can tell you, but you need not be afraid of him either. Only, put him on my apron and he won't touch you, and you can take out of the chest as much gold as you like !  "

" This is not bad ! " said the Soldier.
" But what am I to give you in return, old Witch,; for surely you are not going to do this for nothing ? "


The Tinder Box (3) [The Tinder Box]

The Tinder Box (3)

" Yes, I am ! " replied the Witch.
" Not a single farthing will I take. For me you shall bring nothing but an old tinder box which my grandmother forgot last time she was down there. "

" Well, tie the rope round my waist, " said the Soldier.

" Here it is, " said the Witch, " and here is my blue-check apron. "

Then the Soldier climbed up the tree, let himself down through the hole, and found himself standing, as the Witch had said, underground in the large hall, where the more than three hundred lamps were burning.

Well, he opened the first door.

Ugh !  there sat the dog with eyes as big as saucers glaring at him.

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" You are a fine fellow ! " said the Soldier, and put him on the Witch's apron, took as much copper as his pockets could hold; then he shut the chest, put the dog on it again, and went into the second room.     


The Tinder Box (4) [The Tinder Box]

The Tinder Box (4)

Sure enough there sat the dog with eyes as large as mill-wheel.

" You had better not stare at me so hard ! " said the Soldier, " or your eyes will come out of their sockets. "
And then he set the dog on the apron.

When he saw all the silver in the chest, he threw away the copper he had taken, and filled his pockets and knapsack with nothing but silver.

Then the Soldier went into the third room.
Horrors ! the dog there had two eyes, each as large as the Round Tower at Copenhagen, spinning round in his head like wheels.

" Good evening, " said the Soldier and saluted, for he had never seen a dog like this before.

But when he had examined him more closely, he thought to himself: " Now then, I've had enough of this ! "and put him down on the floor, and opened the chest.

Heavens ! what a heap of gold there was.


The Tinder Box (5) [The Tinder Box]

The Tinder Box (5)

With all that he could buy up the whole town, and all the sweetthings, all the tin soldiers, whips and rocking-horses in the whole world.

Bow he threw away all the silver with which he had filled his pockets and knapsack, and filled them with gold insteadー yes, all his pockets, his knapsack,cap and boots even, so that he could hardly walk.

Now he was rich indeed.
He put the dog back upon the chest, shut the door, and then called up through the tree: " Now pull me up again, old Witch ! "

" Have you got the tinder box also ? " asked the Witch.

" Botheration ! "said the Soldier, " I had clean forgotten it ! "
And then he went back and fetched it.

The Witch pulled him up, and there he stood again on the high road, with his pockets, knapsack, cap and bootsfilled with gold.

" What do you want to do with the tinder box ? "asked the Soldier.


The Tinder Box (6) [The Tinder Box]

The Tinder Box (6)

" That doesn't matter to you," replied the Witch.
" You have got your money, give me my tinder box. "

" We'll see ! " said the Soldier.
" Tell me at once what you want to do with it, or I will draw my sword and cut off your head ! "  

" No, " screamed the Witch.

The Soldier immediately cut off her head.
That was the end of the old Witch.

But he tied up all his gold in her apron, slung it like a bundle over his shoulder, put the tinder box in his pocket, and set out toward the town.

It was a splendid town !
He walked into the finest inn, ordered the best room and his favorite dinner; for now that he had so much money he was really rich.

It certainly occurred to the servant who had to clean
his boots that they were astonishingly old boots for such a rich lord. 
But that was because he had not yet bought new ones.




The Tinder Box (7) [The Tinder Box]

The Tinder Box (7)

Next day he appeared in respectable boots and fine clothes.

Now, instead of a common soldier he had become a noble load, and the people told him about all the grand doings of the town and the King, and what a beautiful princess his daughter was.

" how can one get to see her ? " asked the Soldier.

" She is never to be seen at all ! " they told him; " she lives in a great big copper castle, surrounded by many walls and towers.
No one except the King may go in or out, for it is prophesied that she will marry a common soldier, and the King simply cannot submit to that.

" I should very much like to see her, " thought the Soldier, but he could not get permission.

Now he lived very pleasantly, went to theatre, drove in the King's garden, and gave the poor a great deal of money, which was very nice of him; he had experienced in former times how hard it is not to have a farthing in the world.

Now he was rich, wore fine clothes, and made many friends, who all said that he was an excellent man, a real nobleman.

And the Soldier liked that.


The Tinder Box (8) [The Tinder Box]

The Tinder Box (8)

But as he was always spending money and never made any more, at last the day came when he had nothing left but two shillings, and he had to leave the beautiful room in which he had been living.
He had to go into a little attic, under the roof, and clean his own boots, and mend them with a darning needle.

None of his friends came to visit him there, for there were too many stairs to climb.

It was a dark evening, and he could not even buy a light.
But all at once it flashed across him that there was a little end of tinder in the tinder box, which he had taken from the hollow tree into which the Witch had helped him down.

He found the box with the tinder in it; but just as he was kindling a light, and had struck a spark out of the tinder box, the door burst open, and the dog with eyes as large as saucers, which he had seen down in the tree, stood before him and said: " What does my lord command ? "


The Tinder Box (9) [The Tinder Box]

The Tinder Box (9)

" Whatever is the meaning of this ? " exclaimed the Soldier.

" This is a wonderful kind of tinder box, if I can get whatever I want like this. Get me money ! " he cried to the dog, and hey, presto ! he was off and back again, holding a great purse full of money in his mouth.

Now the Soldier knew wgat an excellent tinder box this was.

If he rubbed once, the dog that sat on the chest of copper appeared; if he rubbed twice, there came the dog that watched over the silver chest; and if he rubbed three times, the one that guarded the gold appeared.

Now, the Soldier went down again to his beautiful rooms, and appeared once more in splendid clothes.

His friends immediately recognised him again, as though he were the person they liked best in the world.


The Tinder Box (10) [The Tinder Box]

The Tinder Box (10)

One day he thought to himself, " It is very strange that no-one can get too see the Princess.

They all say she is very pretty, but what's the use of that if she has to sit for ever in the great copper castle with all the towers ?
Can I not manage to see her somehow ?
Where is my tinder box ? "

And so he struck a spark, and, pesto ! there came the dog with eyes as large as saucers.

" It is the middle of the night, I know, " said the Soldier; " but I should very much like to see the Princess for a moment. "

The dog was already outside the door, and before the Soldier could look around, in he came with the Princess. 

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She was lying asleep on the dog's back and was so beautiful that anyone could see she was a real princess.

The Soldier could not refrain from kissing her, for he was such a thorough soldier.

Then the dog ran back with the Princess. 


The Tinder Box (11) [The Tinder Box]

The Tinder Box (11)

But when it was morning, and the King and Queen were drinking tea, the princess said that the night before she had had such a strange dream about a dog and a soldier: she had ridden on the dog's back, and the soldier had kissed her.

" That is certainly a fine story, " replied the Queen.

But the next night one of the ladies-in-waiting was told to watch at the Princess's bed, to see if it was only a dream, or if it had actually happened.

The Soldier once again had an overpowering longing to see the Princess again, and so the dog came in the middle of the night and fetched her, running as fast as he could.

But the lady-in waiting put on her slippers and followed them.

When she saw them disappear into a large house, she thought to herself, " Now I know where it is; "and made a large cross on the door with a piece of chalk.

Then she went home and lay down, and the dog came back also, with the Princess.

But when he saw that a cross had been made on the door of the house where the Soldier lived, he took a piece of chalk also, and made crossed on all the doors in the town; and that was very clever, for now the lady-in-waiting could not find the right house, as there were crosses on all the doors.


The Tinder Box (12) [The Tinder Box]

The Tinder Box (12)

Early next morning the King, Queen, Ladies-in-waiting, and officers came out to see where the Princess had been.
" There it is ! " exclaimed the King, when he saw the first door with a cross on it.

" No, there it is, my dear ! " exclaimed the Queen, when she also saw a door with a cross on it.

" But here is one, and there is another ! " they all exclaimed; wherever they looked there was a cross on the door.

Then they realised that sign would not help them at all.

However, the Queen was an extremely clever woman, who could do a great deal more than just drive in a coach. 
She took her golden scissors, cut up a piece of silk, and made a petty little bag of it.

This she filled with the finest buckwheat grains, and tied it round the Princess's neck; she cut a little hole in the bag, so that the grains would strew the whole road wherever the Princess went. 

In the night the dog came again, took the princess on his back and ran away with her to Soldier, who was very much in love with her, and would have liked to have been a prince so that he might have had her for his wife.  

The dog did not notice how the grains were strewn right from the castle to the Soldier's window, where he ran up the wall with the Princess.


The Tinder Box (13) [The Tinder Box]

The Tinder Box (13)

In the morning the king and the Queen saw plainly where their daughter had been, and they took the Soldier a d put him into prison.

There he sat.
How dark and dull it was there !

And they told him; " Tomorrow you are to be banged. "

Hearing that did not exactly cheer him, and he had left his tinder box in the inn.

Next morning he could see through the iron grating in front of his little window how all the people were hurrying out of the town to watch him banged.

He heard the drums and saw the soldiers marching; all the people were running to and fro.

Just below his window was a shoemaker's apprentice, complete with leather apron and shoes; he was skipping along so merrily that one of his shoes flew off  and fell against the wall, just where the Soldier was sitting peeping through the iron grating.

" Oh, shoemaker's boy, you needn't be in such a hurry  ! " said the Soldier to him.
" There's nothing going on till I arrive. But if you will run back to the house where I lived and fetch me my tinder box, I will give you four shillings. But you must put your best foot foremost. " 

The shoemaker's boy was very willing to earn four shillings, and fetched the tinder box , give it to the Soldier, and ー yes ー now you shall hear. 


The Tinder Box (14) [The Tinder Box]

The Tinder Box (14)

Outside the town a great scaffold had been erected, and all round were standing the soldiers, and hundreds of thousands of people.

The King and Queen were sitting on a magnificent throne opposite the judges and the whole council.

The Soldier was already standing on the top of the ladder; but when they wanted to put the rope round his neck, he said that fulfillment of one innocent request was always granted to a poor criminal before he underwent his punishment.

He told them, he would so much like to smoke a small pipe of tabacco ; it would be his last pipe in this world.

The King could not refuse him this, and so he took out his tinder box, and rubbed it once, twice, three times.

And lo, and behold ! there stood all three dogs ー the one with eyes as large as saucers, the second with eyes as large as mill wheels, and the third with eyes as large as the Round Tower at Copenhagen.


The Tinder Box(15 完) [The Tinder Box]

The Tinder Box(15 完)

" Help me now, so that I may not be banged ! " cried the Soldier.

And thereupon all three dogs fell upon the judges and the whole council., seized some by the legs, other's by the nose, and threw them so high into the air that they fell to the ground and were smashed into pieces.

" I won't stand this ! " said the king, but the largest dog seized him too, and the Queen as well, threw them up after the others.

This frightened the soldier, and all the people cried.
" Good Soldier,  you shall be our King,  and marry the Princess. "

Then they put the soldier into the King's coach, and the three dogs danced in front, crying " Hurrah ! " and all the boys whistled and the soldiers presented arms.  

 The Princess came out of the copper castle, and became Queen, and that pleased her very much.

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The wedding, festivities lasted for eight days, and the dogs sat at table and made eyes at everyone.

(15/15 完) 


The Tinder Box ブログトップ