about a little boy and a little girl
IN A BIG TOWN crowded with houses and people, where there is no room for gardens, people have to be con-tent with flowers in pots instead. In one of these towns lived two children who managed to have some-thing bigger than a flower pot for a garden. They were not brother and sister, but they were just as fond of each other as if they had been. Their parents lived opposite each other in two attic rooms. The roof of one house just touched the roof of the next one, with only a rain-water gutter between them. They each had a little dormer window, and one only had to step over the gutter to get from one house to the other. Each of the parents had a large win- dow-box, in which they grew pot herbs and a little rose-tree. There was one in each box, and they both grew splendidly. Then it oc- curred to the parents to put the boxes across the gutter, from house to house, and they looked just like two banks of flowers. The pea vines hung down over the edges of the boxes, and the roses threw out long creepers which twined round the windows. It was almost like a green triumphal arch. The boxes were high, and the children knew they must not climb up on to them, but they were often al- lowed to have their little stools out under the rose-trees, and there they had delightful games. Of course in the winter there was an end to these amusements. The windows were often covered with hoar- frost; then they would warm coppers on the stove and stick them on the frozen panes, where they made lovely peep-holes, as round as possible. Then a bright eye would peep through these holes, one from each window. The little boy's name was Kay, and the little girl's Gerda.
In the summer they could reach each other with one bound, but in the winter they had to go down all the stairs in one house and up