Study Guide

Andersen's Fairy Tales Tales 141-150

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Tales 141-150

Tale 141: The Comet

  • A comet arrives, and one little boy grows up and is able to see it again as an old man, after he's become a schoolmaster. He dies upon seeing it again, though. Stories are like comets, too: they come in cycles and repeat over time.

Tale 142: The Days of the Week

  • The days of the week all have different personalities. They all gather to hold a masquerade on the twenty-ninth day of February. Hilarity ensues.

Tale 143: The Sunshine's Story

  • The wind and rain want to talk, but the sunshine beats them to it. It tells a story about a woman who finds a golden swan, and gives the four rings that come from one of its eggs to each of her sons. Each boy becomes something great. The youngest one becomes a poet.

Tale 144: Great-Grandfather

  • The narrator's grandfather (later promoted to great-grandfather) always argues that the past is better than the present. He argues the most with his grandson, Frederik, who insists that the present is better than the past. Frederik goes to America and returns with a bride, and they almost drown at sea until they see a beacon—proving that the scientific advances of today make the present better than the past.

Tale 145: The Candles

  • A wax candle and a tallow candle are each sent to different households, one rich and one poor. They have different experiences of the people using them being grateful for the light the candles provide at night. And we here at Shmoop are just grateful that we don't have to use candles to light our houses anymore… unless the power goes out, and someone already stole all of our batteries because it is also the zombie apocalypse.

Tale 146: The Most Incredible

  • Whoever accomplishes the most incredible thing will get to marry the princess. One guy makes an amazing clock that has biblical figures emerging at every hour. Then another dude smashes the clock, and the judges agree that his was the better deed. The princess is going to marry The Smasher when the ghost of the clock appears and beats him up. So then the princess marries the artist who'd made the clock.

Tale 147: What the Whole Family Said

  • A whole family, from the young kids to the old Godfather, agrees that life is the best fairy tale of all. They repeat it over and over again.

Tale 148: "Dance, Dance, Dolly Mine!"

  • A little girl named Amalie sings a song called "Dance, Dance, Dolly Mine!" that a student had taught her. The girl's aunt doesn't understand the song, since she's too old to get why it's fun for kids to make their dolls dance. But your aunts, parents, or teachers always understand why your hobbies are fun, right?

Tale 149: "It Is You the Fable Is About"

  • In ye olde days, wise men would give people advice by holding up a mirror in which animals appeared to illustrate a fable. The people would recognize their own stupidity in the story, and since no one was directly saying, "hey, you're dumb," people would actually learn the lesson they were supposed to. Neat, huh?

Tale 150: The Great Sea Serpent

  • A bunch of fish freak out when a giant "sea serpent" is dropped among them. It's actually a transatlantic telegraph cable. A tiny fish investigates, enlisting the help of a bunch of other sea creatures along the way. They finally figure out that it's a human invention, and not worth disturbing. Though some human inventions are actually pretty disturbing, especially to our animal friends.

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