Study Guide

Andersen's Fairy Tales Tales 121-130

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Tales 121-130

Tale 121: The Teapot

  • A proud teapot breaks, and is then used as a planter. Having a flower bloom inside her makes the teapot happy, but then her owners decide that the flower deserves a prettier flowerpot, so the teapot is thrown in the trash heap. Cold.

Tale 122: The Songbird of the People

  • A ghostly king cannot rest until a bard sings of his deeds. Out of the bard's harp flies a bird: the immortal songbird of the people, which sings the people's songs forever and ever. It is singing for us even now. But you probably can't hear it right now because you're, like, sitting at home in front of your computer instead of taking a stroll through the woods.

Tale 123: The Little Green Ones

  • The "little green ones" are actually bugs that live on the leaves of a rosebush, though they think quite highly of themselves.

Tale 124: The Pixy and the Gardener's Wife

  • A gardener's wife fancies herself a poet. The pixy of the house is annoyed at being ignored until she writes a poem about a wonderful, grand pixy… which is totally intended as a metaphor, but the pixy doesn't know that, and he brings good luck to the house anyway.

Tale 125: Peiter, Peter, and Peer

  • Storks deliver babies, but before that they live in flowers and then in a pond, and so babies who get really muddy then turn out to be bad human beings. And there's this family, the Peitersen family, and the three Pietersen kids are named Peiter, Peter, and Peer. Peiter's a naughty child who grows up to be a delinquent; Peter is a musician; and Peer becomes a naturalist. Peer never marries, but he also never escapes the kiss of Death, which we hear is just about as bad as the Dementor's kiss.

Tale 126: Hidden But Not Forgotten

  • This tale contains three short vignettes that illustrate the theme/title "hidden but not forgotten." First, a boy helps a noblewoman escape from robbers, because she'd once asked for mercy for his father. Second, a noblewoman gives an invalid girl a comfortable spot in the sunshine. Third, a poor girl keeps her sorrow hidden but not forgotten, after her fiancé deserts her and dies.

Tale 127: The Janitor's Son

  • A janitor's son falls in love with the general's daughter who lives upstairs while they're children. He manages to become a famous architect, famous enough that he can finally marry the general's daughter even though her snooty parents oppose the marriage on principle. Cuz that's what snooty parents do in fairy tales.

Tale 128: Moving Day

  • The night watchman Ole who was mentioned in tale 92 makes another appearance here. He narrates a story about how Death eventually moves us all the same way people move houses on Moving Day (which was apparently something like a national holiday in Denmark at the time).

Tale 129: The Snowdrop

  • The snowdrop is a flower that blossoms when there's still snow on the ground, which is pretty cool. One is plucked and sent in a love letter, and then forgotten. But it winds up as a bookmark in a book of poetry, which makes it happy.

Tale 130: Auntie

  • Auntie is a lady who is nuts about the theater. This tale is basically just a bunch of anecdotes about her favorite plays, the times when she's had the best view in the house, and so on. Theater was pretty much like church for her.

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