cabbages ; but you see I must support myself by my
stick, and cannot carry any thing, therefore, allow
your little son to carry them home for me, I will re
ward him for it."
The little boy would not go with her, and began
to cry, for he was terrified at the ugly old woman,
but his mother commanded him earnestly to go, as
she thought it a sin to load the feeble old soul with
this burden. Still sobbing, he did as he was order
ed, and followed the old woman over the market.
She proceeded but slowly, and was almost three-
quarters of an hour before she arrived at a very re
mote part of the town, where she at length stopped
226 THE TOKEN.
in front of a small dilapidated house. She now pull
ed out of her pocket an old rusty hook, and thrust
it dexterously into a small hole in the door, which
immediately opened with a crash. But what was
the astonishment of little James as he entered !
The interior of the house was magnificently adorn
ed, the ceiling and walls were of marble, the furni
ture of the most beautiful ebony, inlaid with gold
and polished stones, the floor was of glass, and so
smooth, that little James several times slipped and
fell down. The old woman now took a small silver
whistle from her pocket, and blew a tune on it
which sounded shrilly through the house. Immedi
ately some guinea-pigs came down the stairs, and
little James was much amazed at their walking up
right on their hind legs, wearing on their paws nut
shells instead of shoes, men s clothes on their bodies,
and even hats in the newest fashion on their heads.
" Where are my slippers, ye rascally crew ? "
cried the old woman, striking at them with her stick,
so that they jumped squeaking into the air ; " how
long am I to stand here waiting ? "
They quickly scampered up the stairs, and re
turned with a pair of cocoa-nut shells lined with
leather, which they placed dexterously upon the old
woman s feet.
Now all her limping and shuffling was at an end.
She threw away her stick, and glided with great ra
pidity over the glass floor, pulling little James after
NOSE, THE DWARF. 227
her with her hand. At length she stopped in a
room which was adorned with a great variety of
utensils, and which almost resembled a kitchen, al
though the tables were of mahogany, and the sofas
covered with rich cloth, more fit for a drawing-room.
" Sit down," said the old woman, very kindly,
pressing him into a corner of a sofa, and placing a
table before him in such a manner that he could not
get out again ; " sit down, you have had a heavy
load to carry, human heads are not so light not so
" But, woman," replied the little boy, " you talk
very strangely ; I am, indeed, tired, but they were
cabbage heads I was carrying, and you bought them
of my mother."
" Why, you know but little about that," said
the old woman, laughing, as she took the lid from
the basket and brought out a human head, which
she held by the hair. The little boy was frightened
out of his senses at this ; he could not comprehend
how it all came to pass ; and thinking of his mother,
he said to himself, " If any one were to hear of these
human heads, my mother would certainly be prose
" I must give you some reward now, as you are
so good," muttered the old woman ; " have patience
for a minute, and I will prepare you a soup which
you will remember all your life." Having said this,
she whistled again, and immediately there came first
228 THE TOKEN.
some guinea-pigs dressed like human beings ; the}
had tied round them kitchen aprons, fastened by a
belt, in which were stuck ladles and carving-knives ;
after them came skipping in a number of squirrels,
that wore large, wide Turkish trousers, walked up
right, and had small caps of green velvet on their
heads. These seemed to be the scullions, for they
climbed very nimbly up the walls and brought down
pans and dishes, eggs and butter, herbs and flour,
and carried it to the hearth. The old woman slided
continually to and fro upon her cocoa-nut slippers,
and little James observed that she was very anxious
to cook something good for him. Now the fire
crackled and blazed up higher, there was a smoking
and bubbling in the saucepan, and a pleasant odor
spread over the room, but the old woman kept run
ning up and down, the squirrels and guinea-pigs after
her, and as often as she passed the hearth she poked
her long nose into the pot. At length it began to
boil and hiss, the steam rose from the pot, and the
scum flowed down into the fire. She then took off
the saucepan, and pouring some into a silver basin,
gave it to James.
" Now, my dear little son, now," said she, " eat
this soup and you will have in your own person all that
you admired so much in me. You shall moreover
become a clever cook, that you may be something at
least, but as for the herb, that you shall never find,
because your mother did not have it in her basket."
NOSE, THE DWARF. 229
The little boy did not exactly understand what
she was saying, but was the more attentive to eating
his soup, which he relished uncommonly. His mo
ther had cooked various savory soups^ but never any
like this. The flavor of the fine herbs and spice
ascended from it, and it was at the same time very
sweet, and very sharp and strong. While he was
sipping the last drops of the delicious soup, the
guinea-pigs lighted some Arabian incense which
floated through the room in blue clouds, which be
came thicker and thicker, and then descended. The
smell of the incense had a stupefying effect upon the
boy ; in vain did he repeatedly say to himself that
he must return to his mother, for as often as he en
deavored to rouse himself as often did he relapse into
slumber, and, at length, actually fell into a profound
sleep upon the old woman s sofa.
Strange dreams came over him while he thus
slept. It seemed as if the old woman was taking
off his clothes, and putting on him the skin of a
squirrel. Now he could make bounds and climb like
a squirrel ; he associated with the other squirrels and
guinea-pigs, who were all very polite, decent people,
and he did his duty of waiting upon the old woman
in his turn with the rest. At first he had to perform
the service of a shoeblack, that is, he had to oil and
polish the cocoa-nut shells which his mistress wore
instead of slippers. Having often blacked and pol
ished shoes at home, he performed his duty well and
230 THE TOKEN.
quickly. After the lapse of about one year, he dreamt
again, (according to the sequel of his dream,) that
he was employed for more delicate work, that is, in
company with some other squirrels, he was obliged
to catch the atoms in the sun, and, when they had
caught enough, to sift them through the finest hair-
sieve, as the old woman considered them the nicest
thing, and not being able to masticate well for want
of teeth, had her bread prepared of such atoms.
At the end of another year, he was raised to the
rank of one of the servants who had to collect the
water the old woman drank. But you must not
suppose that she had a cistern dug for that purpose,
or a tub placed in the yard to catch the rain-water ;
she had a much finer plan. The squirrels, and James
with them, had to collect in their hazel-nut shells
the dew from roses, and this was the beverage of the
old woman. The labor of these water-carriers was
not a very light one, as she used to drink a pro
digious quantity. After another year, he was em
ployed in indoor service, his duty being to clean the
floors, and as they were of glass and showed the least
speck, it was not a very easy task. He and his fel
low-servants were obliged to brush the floors, and
with pieces of old cloth tied to their feet dexterously
skated about the rooms. In the fourth year, he
received an appointment in the kitchen, which was
so honorable an office, that one could succeed to it
only after a long probation. James here served from
NOSE, THE DWARF. 231
scullion upwards to the post of first pastrycook, and
acquired such an extraordinary skill and experience
in every thing relating to the culinary art, that often
he could not help wondering at himself ; the most
difficult things, pies composed of two hundred differ
ent ingredients, soups prepared with all the herhs of
the globe, all these, and many other things, he
learned to make quickly and efficiently.
Seven years had thus passed away in the service
of the old woman, when one day, pulling off her
shoes of cocoa-nut, and taking her basket and crutch
in hand in order to go out, she told him to pluck a
chicken, stuff it with herbs, and roast it nice and
brown, during her absence. He did this according
to the rules of his art ; twisted the chicken s neck,
scalded it in hot water, pulled out the feathers clev
erly, scraped its skin smooth and fine, and then drew
it. Next he began gathering the herbs with which
he was to stuff the chicken. Now when he came to
the chamber where these herbs were kept, he per
ceived a small cupboard in the wall that he had never
before noticed, and finding the door of it half open,
he had the curiosity to go near, in order to see what
it contained, when behold ! there stood a great many
little baskets in it, from which proceeded a strong
pleasant smell. He opened one of these little bas
kets, and found in it an herb of a most singular form
and color ; its stalks and leaves were of a bluish
green, and it had a flower of burning red fringed
232 THE TOKEN.
with yellow at the top. He loooked thoughtfully at
this flower, and smelled it, when it emitted the same
powerful odor as the soup which the old woman had
cooked for him when he first came there. But the
smell was so strong that he began to sneeze, was
obliged to keep sneezing, and at last awoke, sneezing
He now found himself upon the old woman s sofa,
and looked around him with astonishment. " Heav
ens ! " he said to himself, " how vividly one may
dream ; I would almost have sworn that I was a
wanton squirrel, a companion of guinea-pigs and
other vermin, but at the same time had become a
great cook. How my mother will laugh when I tell
her all this ! But will she not also scold me for
falling asleep in a strange house instead of helping
her in the market ? " While engaged in these
thoughts, he started up to run away ; but his limbs
were still quite stiff with sleep, and particularly his
neck, for he was unable to move his head well to and
fro. He could not help smiling at himself and his
drowsiness, for every moment, before he was aware,
he ran his nose against a cupboard or the wall, or
turning suddenly round, struck it against a door
post. The squirrels and guinea-pigs crowded whining
around him, as if anxious to accompany him, and he
actually invited them to do so when he was en the
threshold, for they were nice little creatures, but
they glided quickly back into the house on their nut-
NOSE, THE DWARF. 233
shells, and he only heard them howling at a dis
As it was a very remote part of the town to
which the old woman had brought him, he could
hardly find his way through the narrow streets, and
as, moreover, there was a great crowd of people,
wherever he went, he could only account for this by
supposing there must be a dwarf somewhere in the
neighborhood for show, for he heard every where
cries of, " Only look at the ugly dwarf ! Where
does the dwarf come from ? ! what a long nose
he has, and how his head sits between his shoulders,
and look at his brown ugly hands ! " At any other
time, he would probably have followed the cry, for
he was very fond of seeing giants and dwarfs, and
any sort of curious, foreign costume, but now he was
obliged to hurry and get to his mother.
He felt quite weary when he arrived at the mar
ket. He found his mother still sitting there, and
she had a tolerable quantity of fruit in the basket ;
he could not therefore have been sleeping long, but
still it appeared to him, even at a distance, as if she
were very melancholy, for she did not call to those
coming past to buy, but supported her head by one
hand, and on coming closer he likewise thought she
looked paler than usual. He hesitated as to what
he should do ; and at length mustering up courage,
crept gently behind her, and putting his hand fa-
234 THE TOKEN.
miliarly upon her arm, asked, " Dear mother, what s
the matter with you ? are you angry with me ? "
The woman turned round, but started back with
a shriek of terror, saying, " What do you want with
me, you ugly dwarf ? Begone, begone ! I do not
like such jokes."
" But, mother, what is the matter with you ? "
asked James, quite terrified ; " surely you must be
unwell ; why will you turn your son away from
you ? "
" I have told you already to be gone/ replied
Jane, angrily ; " you will not get any money from
me by your juggleries, you ill-favored monster."
" Surely God has deprived her of the light of her
intellect," said the dwarf, deeply grieved within him
self; "what shall I do to get her home? Dear
mother, pray do listen to reason ; only look well at
me, I am indeed your son your own James."
" Why this is carrying the joke too far," she said
to her neighbor ; " only look at that ugly dwarf ;
there he stands, and will no doubt drive away all my
customers ; nay, he even dares to ridicule my mis
fortune, telling me that he is my son, my own James,
the impudent fellow."
At this her neighbors rose, and began as much
abuse as possible, (every one knows that market wo
men understand this well,) and reproaching him with
making light of poor Jane s misfortune, who seven
years ago had had her beautiful boy kidnapped, with
NOSE, THE DWAKF. 235
one accord they threatened to fall upon him and tear
him to pieces, unless he took himself off immediately.
Poor James did not know what to make of all
this. Indeed it seemed to him that he had that very
morning, as usual, gone to market with his mother, had
helped her to lay out her fruit, and had afterwards
gone with the old woman to her house, eaten some
soup, slept a little while, and had now come back ;
and yet his mother and his neighbors talked of seven
years, calling him at the same time an ugly dwarf.
What then was the change that had come over him ?
Seeing, at length, that his mother would no longer
listen to any thing he said, he felt the tears come in
his eyes, and went sorrowfully down the street to
wards the stall where his father sat in the daytime,
" I am curious to see," he thought to himself,
" whether he, too, will disown me ? I will place
myself in the doorway and talk to him." And having
come there, he did so and looked in.
The cobbler was so busily engaged at work that
he did not see him ; but happening to cast a look
towards the door, he dropped shoe, twine, and awl
on the ground, and cried, with astonishment, " For
Heaven s sake, what is that ? "
" Good evening, master," said the little dwarf,
stepping inside the booth. " How fare you ? "
" Badly, badly, my little gentleman," replied
James s father, to his utter amazement ; for he, too,
236 THE TOKEN.
did not seem to recognise him. " I have to do all
the work myself, for I am alone and now getting old,
and yet I cannot afford to keep a journeyman."
" But have you no son to assist you in your
work ? " inquired the dwarf further.
"Indeed I had one, whose name was James,
and he now must be a handsome, quick lad, twenty
years old, who might effectually assist me. Ah !
what a pleasant life I should lead I Even when he
was twelve years old he showed himself quite handy
and clever, and understood a great deal of the busi
ness. He was a fine engaging little fellow ; he
would soon have brought me plenty of custom, so
that I should no longer have been mending shoes
and boots but making new ones. But so goes the
" Where is your son, then ? " asked James, in a
" That God only knows," replied his father.
" Seven years ago, yes ! it is just that now, he was
stolen from us in the market-place."
" Seven years ago, you say ? " cried James, with
" Yes, little gentleman, seven years ago ; the
circumstance is as fresh in my memory as if it had
happened to-day, how my poor wife came home weep
ing and crying, saying that the child had not come
back all day, and that she had inquired and searched
everywhere without finding him. But I always said
NOSE, THE DWAEF. 237
it would come to that ; for James was a pretty
child, no one could help saying so, therefore my poor
wife was proud of him and fond of hearing people
praise him, and often sent him with vegetables and
such like things to the houses of the gentlefolks. All
this was very well ; he always received some present.
But, said I, mark me, the town is large, and there
are many bad people in it, so take care of James.
But it happened as I always said. Once there comes
an ugly old woman to the market, bargains for some
fruits and vegetables, and at length buys so much
that she cannot carry it home herself. My wife,
kind soul, sends the lad with her, and has never
s een him again since that hour."
" And that is now seven years, say you ? "
" Seven years this spring. We had him cried in
the town, we went from house to house, inquiring ;
many had known and liked the pretty lad, and
searched with us, but all in vain. Neither did any
one know the woman who bought the vegetables ; a
very aged woman, however, ninety years old, said,
6 it might possibly have been the wicked fairy,
Krauterweis, who once in fifty years comes to the
town to buy various articles."
Thus spoke James s father hastily, hammering his
shoes at the same time, and drawing out at great
length the twine with both hands. Now by degrees
light broke on the little dwarf s mind, and he saw
what had happened to him, viz., that he had not been
238 THE TOKEN.
dreaming, but had served as a squirrel seven years
with the evil fairy. Kage and sorrow now filled his
heart almost to bursting.
The old witch had robbed him of seven years of
his youth, and what had he in exchange ? What
was it that he could polish slippers of cocoa-nut shell ?
that he could clean rooms with glass floors ? that he
had learned all the mysteries of cooking, from the
guinea pigs ? Thus he stood for some time medi
tating on his fate, when at length his father asked
" Do you want to purchase any thing, young
gentleman ? Perhaps a pair of new slippers, or, per-
adveriture, a case for your nose ? " he added, smiling.
" What do you mean by my nose ? " asked
James ; " why should I want a case for it ? "
" Why/ replied the cobbler, " every one according
to his taste ; but I must tell you, that if I had such a
terrible nose, I should have a case made for it of rose-
colored morocco. Look here, I have a beautiful piece
that is just the thing ; indeed we should at least
want a yard for it. It would then be well guarded,
my little gentleman ; whereas now I am sure you
will knock it against every door-post and carriage
you would wish to avoid."
The dwarf was struck dumb with terror ; he felt
his nose, it was full two hands long and thick in
proportion. So then the old hag had likewise
changed his person ; and hence it was his mother
NOSE, THE DWARF. 239
did not know him, and people called him an ill-fa
" Master," said he, half crying to the cobbler,
" have you no looking-glass at hand in which I might
" Young gentleman," replied his father, gravely,
"you have not exactly been favored as to appearance
so as to make you vain, and you have no cause to
look often in the glass. You had better leave it off
altogether. It is with you a particularly ridiculous
" Oh ! pray let me look in the glass," cried the
dwarf. " I assure you it is not from vanity."
" Leave me in peace, I have none in my posses
sion ; my wife has a little looking-glass, but I do not
know where she has hid it. If you really must look
into one, why then, over the way lives Urban, the
barber, who has a glass twice as big as your head ;
look in there, and now, good morning."
With these words his father pushed him gently
out of the stall, locked the door after him, and sat
down again to his work. The little dwarf, much cast
down, went over the way to the barber, whom he well
remembered in former times.
" Good morning, Urban," said he to him, " I come
to beg a favor of you, be so kind as to let me look
a moment in your looking-glass."
" With pleasure," cried the barber, laughing,
" there it is ; " and his customers who were about to
240 THE TOKEN.
be shaved laughed heartily with him. " You are
rather a pretty fellow, slim and genteel ; you have a
neck like a swan, hands like a queen, and a turn-up
nose, such as one seldom sees excelled. A little vain
you are of it, no doubt ; but no matter, look at your
self, people shall not say that envy prevented me from
allowing you to see yourself in my glass."
Thus spoke the barber, and a yell of laughter re
sounded through the room. In the meantime the
dwarf had steped to the glass and looked at himself.
The tears came in his eyes, while saying to himself:
" Yes, dear mother, thus you could not indeed recog
nise your James, he did not look like this in the days
of your happiness, when you delighted to show him
off before the people ? " His eyes had become little,
like those of a pig ; his nose was immense, hanging
over his mouth down to his chin ; his neck seemed
to have been taken away altogether, for his head sat
low between his shoulders, and it was only with the
greatest pain that he could move it to the right or
left ; his body was still the same size as it had been
seven years ago, when he was twelve years old, so
that he had grown in width what others do in height,
between the ages of twelve and twenty. His back
and chest stood out like two short, well-filled bags ;
and this thick-set body was supported by small thin
legs, which seemed hardly sufficient to support their
burden : but so much the larger were his arms, which
hung down from his body, being of the size of those
of a full-grown man ; his hands were coarse, and of
a brownish hue, his fingers long, like spiders legs,
and when he stretched them to their full extent, he
could touch the ground without stooping. Such was
little James s appearance, now that he had become an
ugly dwarf. He now remembered the morning on
which the old woman had stopped before his mother s
baskets. All that he then had found fault with ir
her viz., her long nose, and ugly fingers all these
she had given him, only omitting her long, palsied
" Well, my prince, have you looked enough at
yourself now ? " said the barber, stepping up to him,
and surveying him with a laugh. " Truly, if we
wished to dream of such a figure, we could hardly see
one so comical. Nevertheless, I will make you a pro
position, my little man. My shaving-room is tolera
bly well frequented, but yet not so much so as I could
wish. That arises from my neighbor, the barber
Schaum, having discovered a giant, who attracts
much custom to his house- Now, to become a giant
is no great thing after all, but to be such a little man
as you, is indeed a different thing. Enter my ser
vice, little man, you shall have board and lodging,
clothes and every thing ; for this you shall stand in
my door-way in the morning, and invite people to
come in ; you shall beat up the lather, hand the
towel to the customers, and you may be sure that we
shall both make it answer ; I shall get more customers
242 THE TOKEN.
through you than my neighbor by his giant ; and
you will get many presents."
The little man felt quite indignant at the propo
sal of serving as a decoy to a barber. But was he
not obliged to submit patiently to this insulting offer ?
He, therefore, quietly told the barber he had no time
for such services, and went away.
Although the evil hag had thus stunted his
growth, yet she had had no power to affect his mind, as
he felt full well : for he no longer thought and felt as
he did seven years since, and believed that he had be
come wiser and more sensible in the interval. He did
not mourn for the loss of his beauty, nor for his ugly
appearance, but only that he was driven from his fa
ther s door like a dog. However, he resolved to make
another trial with his mother.
He went again to her in the market, and entreat
ed her to listen to him patiently. He reminded her
of the day on which he had gone with the old woman ;
he called to her mind all the particular incidents of his
childhood, told her then how he had served seven years