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Hans Christian Andersen


about Waldemar Daa and his daughters

WHEN THE WIND sweeps across a field of grass it makes little ripples in it like a lake; in a field of corn it makes great waves like the sea it- self: this is the wind's frolic. Then listen to the stories it tells; it sings them aloud, one kind of song among the trees of the forest, and a very different one when it is pent up within walls with all their cracks and crannies. Do you see how the wind chases the white fleecy clouds as if they were a flock of sheep? Do you hear the wind down there, howling in the open doorway like a watchman wind- ing his horn? Then, too, how he whistles in the chimneys, making the fire crackle and sparkle. How cosy it is to sit in the warm glow of the fire listening to the tales it has to tell! Let the wind tell its own story! It can tell you more adventures than all of us put together. Listen now:—

'Whew!—Whew!—Fare away!' That was the refrain of his song. 'Close to the Great Belt stands an old mansion with thick red walls,' says the wind. 'I know every stone of it; I knew them before when they formed part of Marsk Stig's Castle on the Ness. It had to come down. The stones were used again, and made a new wall of a new castle in another place—Borreby Hall as it now stands.

'I have watched the highborn men and women of all the various races who have lived there, and now I am going to tell you about Waldemar Daa and his daughters!

'He held his head very high, for he came of a royal stock! He knew more than the mere chasing of a stag, or the emptying of a flagon; he knew how to manage his affairs, he said himself.

'His lady wife walked proudly across the brightly polished floors, in her gold brocaded kirtle; the tapestries in the rooms were gor-


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