There are two little Mice here who are going to enter into the marriage
state to-night. They live under the floor of your mother's store-closet :
that is said to be a charming dwelling-place ! : '
" But how can I get through the little mouse-hole in the floor ? " asked
" Let me manage that," said Ole Luk-Oie. " I will make you small."
An 1 he touched Hjalmar wi^h his magic squirt, and the boy began to
shrink and shrink, until he was not so long as a finger.
" JS"ow you may borrow the uniform of a tin soldier : I think it would
fit you, and it looks well to wear a uniform when one is in society."
" Yes, certainly," said HjalmM'.
And in a moment he was dressed like the spiciest of tin soldiers.
" Will your honour not be kind enough to take a seat in your mamma's
thimble ? " asked the Mouse. " Then I shall have the honour of draw-
" Will the young lady really take so much trouble ? " cried Hjalmar.
And thus they drove to the mouse's wedding. First they came into
a long passage beneath the boards, which was only just so high that they
could drive through it in the thimble ; and the whole passage was lit up
with rotten wood.
"Is there not a delicious smell here?" observed the Mouse. "The
entire road has been greased with bacon rinds, and there can be nothing
Xow they came into the festive hall. On the right hand stood all the
little lady mice ; and they whispered and giggled as if they were making
fun of each other ; on the left stood all the gentlemen mice, stroking
their whiskers with their fore paws ; and in the centre of the hall the
bridegroom and bride might be seen standing in a hollow cheese rind,
and kissing each other terribly before all the guests ; for this was the
betrothal, and the marriage was to follow immediately.
More and more strangers kept flocking in. One mouse was nearly
treading another to death ; and the happy couple had stationed them-
selves just in the doorway, so that one could neither come in nor go out.
Like the passage, the room had been greased with bacon rinds, and that
was the entire banquet ; but for the dessert a pea was produced, in which
a mouse belonging to the familv had bitten the name of the betrothed
W .^O ' ,-^' ,- - 7.1 'PS"
y f i^ '.: . -A SF$
OLE 1TJK-OIE TAKES HJALMAR TO SEE A WEDDING.
pair that is to say, the first letter of the name : that was something
quite out of the common way.
All the mice said it was a beautiful wedding, and that the entertain-
ment had been very agreeable. And then Hjalmar drove home again :
he had really been in grand company ; but he had been obliged to crawl,
to make himself little, and to put on a tin soldier's uniform.
" It is wonderful how many grown-up people there are who would be
glad to have me ! " said Ole Luk-Oie ; " especially those who have done
something wrong. ' Good little Ole,' they say to me, ' we cannot close
our eyes, and so we lie all night and see our evil deeds, which sit on the
bedstead like ugly little goblins, and throw hot water over us ; will you
not come and drive them away, so that we may have a good sleep ? '-
and then they sigh deeply ' we would really be glad fco pay for it.
Ole Luk-Oie. 109
G-ood night, Ole ; the money lies on the window-sill.' But I do nothing
for money," says Ole Luk-Oie.
" What shall we do this evening ? " asked Hjalmar.
" I don't know if you care to go to another wedding to-night. It is
of a different kind from that of yesterday. Your sister's great doll, that
looks like a man, and is called Hermann, is going to marry the doll
Bertha. Moreover, it is the dolls' birthday, and therefore they will
receive very many presents."
" Tes, I know that," replied Hjalmar. " Whenever the dolls want
new clothes my sister lets them either keep their birthday or celebrate a
wedding ; that has certainly happened a hundred times already."
" Tes, but to-night is the hundred and first wedding ; and when
number one hundred and one is past, it is all over ; and that is why it
will be so splendid. Only look ! "
And Hjalmar looked at the table. There stood the little cardboard
house with the windows illuminated, and in front of it all the tin soldiers
were presenting arms. The bride and bridegroom sat quite thoughtful,
and with good reason, on the floor, leaning against a leg of the table.
And Ole Luk-Oie, dressed up in the grandmother's black gown, married
them to each other. When the ceremony was over, all the pieces of
furniture struck up the following beautiful song, which the pencil had
written for them. It was sung to the melody of the soldiers' tattoo.
" Let the song swell like the rushing wind,
In honour of those who this day are joined.
Although they stand here so stiff and blind,
Because they are both of a leathery kind.
Hurrah ! hurrah ! though they 're deaf and blind,
Let the song swell like the rushing wind."
And now they received presents but they had declined to accept pro-
visions of any kind, for they intended to live on love.
" Shall we now go into a summer lodging, or start on a journey ? '
asked the bridegroom.
And the Swallow, who was a great traveller, and the old yard Hen,
who had brought up five broods of chickens, were consulted on the
subject. And the Swallow told of the beautiful warm climes, where the
grapes hung in ripe heavy clusters, where the air is mild, and the moun-
tains glow with colours unknown here.
" But you have not our brown cole there ! " objected the Hen. " I
was once in the country, with my children, in one summer that lasted
five weeks. There was a sand pit, in which we could walk about and
scratch ; and we had the entree to a garden where brown cole grew : it
was so hot there that one could scarcely breathe ; and then we have not
all the poisonous animals that infest these warm countries of yours,
and we are free from robbers. He is a villain who does not consider
our country the most beautiful he certainly does not deserve to be
here ! " And then the Hen wept, and went on : "I have also travelled.
I rode in a coop above twelve miles ; and there is no pleasure at all in
travelling ! "
110 Stories for the Household.
" Yes, the Hen is a sensible woman ! " said the doll Bertha. " I don't
think anything of travelling among mountains, for you only have to go
up, and then down again. Xo, we will go into the sand pit beyond
the gate, and walk about in the cabbage garden."
And 4 so it was settled.
"Am I to hear some stories now ?" asked little Hjaluiar, as soon as
Ole Luk-Oie had set him to sleep.
" This evening we have no time for that," replied Ole Luk-Oie ; and
he spread his finest umbrella over the lad. " Only look at these China-
And the whole umbrella looked like a great China dish, with blue trees
and pointed bridges with little Chinamen upon them, who stood there
nodding their heads.
" We must have the whole world prettily decked out for to-morrow
morning," said Ole Luk-Oie, "for that will be a holiday it will be Sun-
day. I will go to the church steeples to see that the little church goblins
are polishing the bells, that they may sound sweetly. I will go out
into the field, and see if the breezes are blowing the dust from the grass
and leaves ; and, what is the greatest work of all, I will bring down all
the stars, to polish them. I take them in my apron ; but first each one
must be numbered, and the holes in which they are to be placed up
there must be numbered likewise, so that they may be placed iu the
same grooves again otherwise they would not sit fast, and we should
have too many shooting stars, for one after another would fall down."
" Hark ye ! Do you know, Mr. Ole Luk-Oie," said an old Portrait
which hung on the wall where Hjalmar slept, " I am Hjalmar's great-
grandfather ? I thank you for telling the boy stories ; but you must
not confuse his ideas. The stars cannot come down and be polished !
The stars are world-orbs, just like our own earth, and that is just the
good thing about them."
" I thank you, old great-grandfather," said Ole Luk-Oie, " I thank
you ! You are the head of the family. You are the ancestral head ;
but I am older than you ! I am an old heathen : the Romans and
Greeks called me the Dream God. I have been in the noblest houses,
and am admitted there still ! I know how to act with great people and
with small ! ISTow you may tell your own story !" And Ole Luk-Oie
took his umbrella, and went away.
"Well, well! May one not even give an opinion now-a-days ? "
grumbled the old Portrait. And Hjalmar awoke.
" Good evening !" said Ole Luk-Oie ; and Hjalmar nodded, and then
ran and turned his great-grandfather's Portrait against the wall, that it
might not interrupt them, as it had done yesterday.
Jack the Dullard. Ill
" Now you must tell me stories ; about the five green peas that lived
in one shell, and about the cock's foot that paid court to the hen's foot,
and of the darning-needle who gave herself such airs because she thought
herself a working-needle."
" There may be too much of a good thing ! " said Ole Luk-Oie. " You
know that I prefer showing you something. I will show you my own
brother. His name, like mine, is Ole Luk-Oie, but he never comes to
any one more than once ; and he takes him to whom he comes upon his
horse, and tells him stories. He only knows two. One of these is so
exceedingly beautiful that no one in the world can imagine it, and the
other so horrible and dreadful that it cannot be described."
And then Ole Luk-Oie lifted little Hjalrnar up to the window, and said,
"There you will see my brother, the other Ole Luk-Oie. They also
call him Death ! Do you see, he does not look so terrible as they make
him in the picture-books, where he is only a skeleton. No, that is
silver embroidery that he has on his coat ; that is a splendid hussar's
uniform ; a mantle of black velvet flies behind him over the horse. See
bow he gallops along !"
And Hjalmar saw how this Ole Luk-Oie rode away, and took young
people as well as old upon his horse. Some of them he put before him,
and some behind ; but he always asked first, " How stands it with the
mark-book ?" " Well," they all replied. " Tes, let me see it myself,"
he said. And then each one had to show him the book ; and those who
had "very well " and "remarkably well " written in their books, were
placed in front of his horse, and a lovely story was told to them ; while
those who had " middling " or " tolerably well," had to sit up behind,
and hear a very terrible story indeed. They trembled and wept, and
wanted to jump off the horse, but this they could not do, for they had
all, as it were, grown fast to it.
" But Death is a most splendid Ole Luk-Oie," said Hjalmar. " I am
not afraid of him!"
" Nor need you be," replied Ole Luk-Oie ; "but see that you have a
good mark-book !"
" Tes, that is improving !" muttered the great-grandfather's Picture.
" It is of some use giving one's opinion." And now he was satisfied.
You see, that is the story of Ole Luk-Oie ; and now he may tell you
more himself, this evening !
JACK THE DULLARD.
AN OLD STORY TOLD ANEW.
FAR in the interior of the country lay an old baronial hall, and in i.
lived an old proprietor, who had two sons, which two young men thought
themselves too clever by half. They wanted to go out and woo the
112 Stories for the Household.
King's daughter ; for the maiden in question had publicly announced
that she would choose for her husband that youth who could arrange
his words best.
So these two geniuses prepared themselves a full week for the wooing
this was the longest time that could be granted them ; but it was
enough, for they had had much preparatory information, and everybody
knows how useful that is. One of them knew the whole Latin dic-
tionary by heart, and three whole years of the daily paper of the little
town into the bargain ; and so well, indeed, that he could repeat it all
either backwards or forwards, just as he chose. The other was deeply-
read in the corporation laws, and kne\v by heart what every corporation
ought to know ; and accordingly he thought he could talk of affairs of
state, and put his spoke in the wheel in the council. And he knew one
thing more : he could embroider braces with roses and other flowers,
and with arabesques, for he was a tasty, light-fingered fallow.
" I shall win the Princess ! " So cried both of them. Therefore their
old papa gave to each a handsome horse. The youth who knew the
dictionary and newspaper by heart had a black horse, and he who knew
all about the corporation laws received a milk-white steed. Then they
rubbed the corners of their mouths with fish-oil, so that they might
become very smooth and glib. All the servants stood belo\v in the
courtyard, and looked on while they mounted their horses ; and just by
chance the third son came up. For the proprietor had really three
sons, though nobody counted the third with h s brothers, because he
was not so learned as they, and indeed he was generally known as " Jack
" Hallo ! " said Jack the Dullard, " where are you going ? I declare
you have put on your Sunday clothes! "
" We 're going to the King's court, as suitors to the King's daughter.
Don't you know the announcement that has been made all through the
country ? " And they told him ;ill about it.
"My word! I'll be in it too! " cried Jack the Dullard; and his
two brothers burst out laughing at him, and rode away.
" Father dear," said Jack, " 1 must have a horse too. I do feel so
desperately inclined to marry ! If she accepts me, she accepts me ; and
if she won't have me, I '11 have her; but she shall be mine ! "
" Don't talk nonsense," replied the old gentleman. " You shall have
no horse from me. You don't know how to speak you can't arrange
your words. Your brothers are very different fellows from you."
" Well," quoth Jack the Dullard, " if I can't have a horse, I '11 take
the billy-goat, who belongs to me, and he can carry me very well ! "
And so said, so done. He mounted the billy-goat, pressed his heels
into its sides, and gallopped down the high street like a hurricane.
" Hei, houp ! that was a ride ! Here I come ! " shouted Jack the
Dullard, and he sang till his voice echoed far and wide.
But his brothers rode slowly on in advance of him. They spoke not
a word, for they were thinking about the fine extempore speeches they
would have to bring out, and these had to be cleverly prepared beforehand.
JACK'S INTEODUCTION TO THE PBINCESS.
" Hallo ! " shouted Jack the Dullard. " Here am I ! Look what I
have found on the high road." And he showed them what it was, and
it was a dead crow.
" Dullard ! " exclaimed the brothers, " what are you going to do with
that ? "
" With the crow ? why, I am going to give it to the Princess."
" Yes, do so," said they ; and they laughed, and rode on.
" Hallo, here I am again ! Just see what I have found now : you don't
find that on the high road every day ! "
And the brothers turned round to see what he could have found now
" Dullard ! " they cried, " that is only an old wooden shoe, and the
upper part is missing into the bargain ; are you going to give that also
to the Princess ? "
" INIost certainly I shall," replied Jack the Dullard ; and again the
brothers laughed and rode on, and thus they got far in advance of him ;
" Hallo hop rara ! " and there was Jack the Dullard agaiu. " It is
getting better and better," he cried. " Hurrah ! it is quite famous."
114 Stories for the Household.
" Why, what have you found this time ? " inquired the brothers.
" Oh," said Jack the Dullard, " I can hardly tell you. How glad the
Princess will be ! "
" Bah ! " said the brothers ; " that is nothing but clay out of the ditch/'
" Tes, certainly it is," said Jack the Dullard ; " and clay of the finest
sort. See, it is so wet, it runs through one's fingers." And he filled
his pocket with the clay.
But his brothers gallopped on till the sparks flew, and consequently
they arrived a full hour earlier at the town gate than could Jack. Now
at the gate each suitor was provided with a number, and all were placed
in rows immediately on their arrival, six in each row, and so closely
packed together that they could not move their arms ; and that was a
prudent arrangement, for they would certainly have come to blows, had
they been able, merely because one of them stood before the other.
All the inhabitants of the country round about stood in great crowds
around the castle, almost under the very windows, to see the Princess
receive the suitors ; and as each stepped into the hall, his power of
speech seemed to desert him, like the light of a candle that is blown out.
Then the Princess would say, " He is of no use ! away with him out of
the hall ! ):
At last the turn came for that brother who knew the dictionary by
heart ; but he did not know it now ; he had absolutely forgotten it alto-
gether ; and the boards seemed to re-echo with his footsteps, and the
ceiling of the hall was made of looking-glass, so that he saw himself
standing on his head ; and at the window stood three clerks and a head
clerk, and every one of them was writing down every single word that
was uttered, so that it might be printed in the newspapers, and sold for
a penny at the street corners. It was a terrible ordeal, and they had
moreover made such a fire in the stove, that the room seemed quite
" It is dreadfully hot here ! " observed the first brother.
" Tes," replied the Princess, " my father is going to roast young
" Baa ! " there he stood like a baa-lamb. He had not been prepared
for a speech of this kind, and had not a word to say, though he intended
to say something witty. " Baa ! "
" He is of no use ! " said the Princess. " Away with him ! "
And he was obliged to go accordingly. And now the second brother
" It is terribly warm here ! " he observed.
' Yes, we 're roasting pullets to day," replied the Princess.
" What what were you were you pleased to ob " stammered he
and all the clerks wrote down, ' pleased to ob
" He is of no use ! " said the Princess. " A way \vith him ! "
Xow came the turn of Jack the Dullard. He rode into the hall on
" Well, it 's most abominably hot here."
'Yes, because I'm roasting young pullets," replied the Princess.
The Beetle. 115
"Ah, that's lucky!" exclaimed Jack the Dullard, "for I suppose
you '11 let me roast my crow at the same time ? "
" "With the greatest pleasure," said the Princess. " But have you
anything you can roast it in ? for I have neither pot nor pan."
" Certainly I have ! " said Jack. " Here 's a cooking utensil with a
And he brought out the old wooden shoe, and put the crow into it,
" Well, that is a famous dish ! " said the Princess. " But what shall
we do for sauce ? "
" Oh, I have that in my pocket," said Jack : " I have so much of it
that I can afford to throw some away ; " and he poured some of the clay
out of his pocket.
" I like that ! " said the Princess. " You can give an answer, and you
have something to say for yourself, and so you shall be my husband.
But are you aware that every word we speak is being taken down, and
will be published in the paper to-morrow ? Look yonder, and you will
see in every window three clerks and a head clerk ; and the old head
clerk is the worst of all, for he can't understand anything."
But she only said this to frighten Jack the Dullard : and the clerks
gave a great crow of delight, and each one spurted a blot out of his pen
on to the floor.
" Oh, those are the gentlemen, are they ? " said Jack ; " then I will
give the best I have to the head clerk." And he turned out his pockets,
and flung the wet clay full in the head clerk's face.
" That was very cleverly done," observed the Princess. " I could not
have done that ; but I shall learn in time."
And accordingly Jack the Dullard was made a king, and received a
crown and a wife, and sat upon a throne. And this report we have wet
from the press of the head clerk and the corporation of printers but
they are not to be depended upon in the least !
THE Emperor's favourite horse was shod with gold. It had a golden
shoe on each of its feet.
And why was this ?
He was a beautiful creature, with delicate legs, bright intelligent eyes,
and a mane that hung down over his neck like a veil. He had carried
his master through the fire and smoke of battle, and heard the bullets
whistling around him, had kicked, bitten, and taken part in the fight
when the enemy advanced, and had sprung with his master on his back
over the fallen foe, and had saved the crown of red gold, and the life of
the Emperor, which was more valuable than the red gold ; and that is
why the Emperor's horse had golden shoes.
11G Stories for the Household.
And a Beetle came creeping forth.
" First the great ones," said he, " and then the little ones ; but great-
ness is not the only thing that does it." And so saying, he stretched out
his thin legs.
" And pray what do you want ? " asked the smith.
" Golden shoes, to be sure," replied the Beetle.
" AVhy, you must be out of your senses," cried the smith. " Do you
want to have golden shoes too ? "
" Golden shoes t 1 certainly," replied the Beetle. "Am I not just as
good as that big creature yonder, that is waited on, and brushed, and
has meat and drink put before him ? Don't I belong to the imperial
stable ? "
" But why is the horse to have golden shoes ? Don't you understand
that ? " asked the smith.
" Understand ? I understand that it is a personal slight offered to
myself," cried the Beetle. " It is done to annoy rue, and therefore I am
going into the world to seek my fortune."
" Go along ! " said the smith.
" You 're a rude fellow ! " cried the Beetle ; and then he went out of
the stable, flew a little way, and soon afterwards found himself in a
beautiful flower garden, all fragrant with roses and lavender.
" Is it not beautiful here ? " asked one of the little Lady-Birds that
flew about, with their delicate wings and their red-aud-black shields on
their backs. " IIo\v sweet it is here how beautiful it is ! "
"I'm accustomed to better thin^o/' said the Beetle. "Do you call
this beautiful ? AVhy, there is not so much as a dung-heap."
Then he went on, under the shadow of a great stack, and found a
Caterpillar crawling along.
" How beautiful the world is ! " said the Caterpillar: "the sun is so
warm, and everything so enjoyable ! And when 1 go to sleep, and die,
as they call it, I shall wake up as a butterllv, with beautiful wings to
" How conceited you are ! " exclaimed the Beetle. " You fly about
as a butterfly, indeed ! I 've come out of the stable of the Emperor, and
no one there, not even the Emperor's favourite horse that by the way
wears my cast-off golden shoes has any such idea. To have wings to
fly ! why, we can fly now ; " and he spread his wings and flew away. " I
don't want to be annoyed, and yet I am annoyed," he said, as he flew off.
Soon afterwards he fell down upon a great lawn. For awhile he lay
there and feigned slumber ; at last he fell asleep in earnest.
Suddenly a heavy shower of rain came falling from the clouds. The
Beetle woke up at the noise, and wanted to escape into the earth, but
could not. He was tumbled over and over : sometimes he was swimming
on his stomach, sometimes on his back, and as for flying, that was out
of the question ; he doubted whether he should escape from the place
with his life. He therefore remained lying where he was.
AVhen the weather had moderated a little, and the Beetle had rubbed
the water out of his eyes, he saw something gleaming. It was linen
'ike Beetle. 117
that had been placed there to bleach. He managed to make his way up
to it, and crept into a fold of the damp linen. Certainly the place was
not so comfortable to lie in as the warm stable ; but there was no better
to be had, and therefore he remained lying there for a whole day and a
whole night, and the rain kept on during all the time. Towards morning
he crept forth : he was very much out of temper about the climate.
On the b'nen two Frogs were sitting. Their bright eyes absolutely
gleamed with pleasure.
"Wonderful weather this!" one of them cried. " How refreshing !
And the linen keeps the water together so beautifully. My hind legs
seem to quiver as if I were going to swim."
" I should like to know," said the second, " if the swallow, who flies
so far round, in her many journeys in foreign lands ever meets with a