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The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep (1) [Chimney Sweep]

The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep (1)

Have you ever seen an old wooden cupboard quite black with age, and ornamented with carved foliage and curious figures?

Well, once upon a time in a great big house, there just such a cupboard stood in a parlor, and had been left to the family as a legacy by the great-grandmother.


It was covered from top to bottom with carved roses and tulips. The most curious scrolls were drawn upon it, and in the middle of them, little stags’ heads with antlers peered out.

In the center of the cupboard door was the carved figure of a man most ridiculous to look at.
He grinned at you, for no one could call it laughing. He had goat’s legs, little horns on his head, and a long beard.

The children in the room always called him, “Major      General-Field-Sergeant-Commander Billy-Goat’s-Legs.”

It was certainly a very difficult name to pronounce, and there are very few who have ever receive such a title, but then it seemed wonderful how he ever came to be carved at all.
Yet there he was.


The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep (2) [Chimney Sweep]

The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep (2)

Major-General-Field-Sergeant-Commander Billy Goat's Legs always looked out at the table under the looking-glass.

On the table stood a very pretty little Shepherdess made of china. Her shoes were gilt, and her dress had a red rose or an ornament.
She wore a hat, and carried a crook, that were both gilded. She looked very bright and pretty.


Close by her side stood a little Chimney Sweep. His clothes were  as black as coal, and he was also made of china.

He was, however, quite as clean and neat as any other china figure.
He only represented a black Chimney-Sweep, and the china workers might just as
well have made him a prince, had they felt inclined to do so.

He stood holding his ladder quite handily, and his face was as fair and rosy as a girl’s.
Indeed, that was rather a mistake, it should have had some black marks on it.

He and the Shepherdess had been placed close together, side by side. And, being so placed close, they decided to become engaged to each other.

They were very well suited, as they both were made of the same sort of china, and were equally fragile.


The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep (3) [Chimney Sweep]

The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep (3)

Close to them stood another figure, three times as large as they were and also made of china.

He was an old Chinaman, who could nod his head, and used to pretend that he was the grandfather of the shepherdess, although he could not prove it.
He however assumed authority over her.

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And therefore when “Major-General-Field-Sergeant-Commander Billy-goat’s-legs” asked for permission to marry the little Shepherdess, he nodded his head.  

“You will have a husband,” said the old Chinaman to her.
" I really believe he is made of mahogany. And he has the whole cupboard full of silver plate, which he keeps locked up in secret drawers. He will make you a lady of Major-General-Field-Sergeant-Commander Billy-Goat's-Legs. 

“I won’t go into the dark cupboard !,” said the little Shepherdess.
“I have heard that he has eleven china wives there already.”

“Then you shall be the twelfth,” said the old Chinaman.
“Tonight as soon as you hear a rattling in the old cupboard, you shall be married. "
And then he nodded his head and fell asleep.


The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep (5) [Chimney Sweep]

The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep (5)

The two were rather frightened at this, so they jumped into the drawer of the window-seat.

In there were three or four packs of cards not quite complete, and a doll’s theatre, where a comedy was being performed.

All the queens of diamonds, clubs, hearts, and spades sat in the first row,  fanning themselves with tulips.
And behind them stood all the knaves.


The play was about two lovers who were not allowed to marry, and the Shepherdess wept because it was so like her own story.

" I cannot bear it," she said.
" I must get out of the drawer. "

But when they reached the floor, and cast their eyes on the table, they saw the old Chinaman was awake.

He shook his whole body until all at once down he came on the floor, “plump.”

" The old Chinaman is coming,” cried the little Shepherdess in fright, and down she fell on one knee.
" There was nothing left for us but to go out into the wide world. " 

The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep (6) [Chimney Sweep]

The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep (6)

" I have thought of something," said the Chimney-Sweep.
 " Let us get into the great pot-pourri jar which stands in the corner. There we can lie on rose-leaves and lavender, and throw salt in his eyes if he comes near us."   

"No, that will never do, " she said, " because I know that the Chinaman and the pot-pourri jar were lovers once, and there always remains behind a feeling of good-will between them. No, there is nothing left for us but to go out into the wide world. "   

" Have you really courage enough to go out into the wide world with me? " said the Chimney-Sweep, "have you thought how large it is, and that we can never come back here again? "    

“Yes, I have,” she replied.
When the Chimney-Sweep saw that she was quite determined, he said, " My way is through the stove and up the chimney. I'll take you through that way. 
Have you courage to creep with me through the fire-box, and the iron pipe? When we get to the chimney I shall know how to manage very well. We shall soon climb too high for anyone to reach us, and we'll go through a hole in the top out into the wide world."

So the Chimney-Sweep led the Shepherdess to the door of the stove.


The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep (7) [Chimney Sweep]

The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep (7)

" It looks very dark," she said in a worried voice.
But she found the courage to go in with him.    

" Now we are in the chimney, " he said,  " and look, there is a beautiful star shining above us !"
It was a real star shining down upon them as if it would show them the way.


So they crept and clambered on. It was frightfully steep but the Chimney-Sweep helped the Shepherdess and supported her and they climbed higher and higher.
He showed her the best places on which to set her little china foot, so at last they reached the top of the chimney.

They sat themselves down, for they were very tired.


The sky, with all its stars, was over their heads, and below were the roofs of the town.
They could see for a very long distance out into the wide world. The poor poor little Shepherdess leaned her head on the Chimney-Sweep’s shoulder and wept.
The world was so different to what she expected.

" This is too much,” she said, " It is too large. Oh, I wish I were safe back on the table, again under the looking glass. I shall never be happy until I am safe back there. Now, please take me back,  if you love me. "


The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep (8) [Chimney Sweep]

The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep (8)

Then the Chimney-Sweep tried to reason with her, and spoke of the old Chinaman, and of the Major-General-Field-Sergeant-Commander Billy-Goat’s Legs, but she sobbed so bitterly, and kissed her little Chimney-Sweep until he was obliged to do all she asked.

And so, with a great deal of trouble, they climbed down the chimney, and crept through the pipe and stove, which were certainly not very pleasant places.

Then they stood in the dark fire-box, and listened behind the door, to hear what was going on in the room.

As it was all quiet, they peeped out.

The old Chinaman lay on the floor. He had fallen down from the table as he attempted to run after them, and was broken into three pieces.
His back had separated into two and his head had rolled away from his body.

13 - 1.jpg

The Major-General stood in his old place, and appeared lost in thought.    

"This is terrible," said the little Shepherdess. " My poor old grandfather is broken to pieces, and it is our fault. I shall never live after this. "
She wrung her little hands.

" He can be riveted back together," said the Chimney-Sweep.
" Do not be so hasty. If they cement his back and put a good rivet in it, he will be as good as new and will be able to say as many disagreeable things to us as ever. "    


The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep (9 完) [Chimney Sweep]

The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep (9 完)

" Do you think so? " she asked.
And then they climbed up to the table and stood in their old places.

" We have done no good," said the Chimney-Sweep, "we might as well have remained here, instead of taking so much trouble."    

" I wish grandfather could be repaired, " said the Shepherdess,sadly.
" Will it cost much, I wonder? "   

he had her wish.
The family had the Chinaman’s back mended, and a strong rivet put through his neck. He looked as good as new, but he could no longer nod his head. 

13 - 11.jpg   

" You have become proud since your fall broke you to pieces, " said Major-General-Field-Sergeant-Commander Billy-Goat’s-Legs.
“Am I to marry her or not?”

The Chimney-Sweep and the little Shepherdess looked at the old Chinaman, as they were afraid he might nod, but he couldn't  because of rivet.
It was so tiresome to be always telling strangers he had a rivet in the back of his neck.    

And so the little china people remained together, and were glad of the grandfather’s rivet.
They continued to love each other until they were finally broken into pieces many years later.

(9/9 完)

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