The Little Match Girl
It was very cold one winter‘s evening. The snow fell and it was almost dark.
It was the last day of the year.
A little match girl was walking down the street. Her name was Gretchen.
She had no hat and no cloak. She was very cold.
Gretchen had a lot of matches in her old apron.
She had a little bunch in her hand.
But she couldn‘t sell her matches because no one would buy them.
Poor little Gretchen!
She was cold and hungry.
The snow fell on her hair. But she did not think about that. She saw lights in the houses and smelled good things cooking.
She said to herself,
“This is the last night of the year.“
Gretchen got colder and colder and she was afraid to go home. She knew her dad would whip her, if she did not take some money to him.
So Gretchen sat down on a door step. Her little hands were almost frozen.
She took het match and lit it to warm her hands. The match looked like a little candle. Gretchen thought she was sitting by a big stove. It was so bright.
She put the match near her feet, to warm them. Then the light went out. She didn‘t think she was by the stove any more.
So Gretchen lit another match. Now she thought she could look into a room and in this room was a table full of food.
The light went out and she was in the cold again.
So Gretchen lit a third match. She thought she was sitting by a Christmas tree. Very many candles were on the tree and it was full of pretty things.
Then she saw a star fall.
“Some one is dying,“
said little Gretchen.
Her grandma had been very good to the little girl. But she was dead. The grandma had said,
“When a star falls some one is going to Heaven.“
The little girl lit another match. It made a big light. Gretchen thought she saw her grandma. She never looked so pretty before. She looked so sweet and happy.
said the little girl,
“take me. When the light goes out you will go away. The stove and the turkey and the Christmas tree, they all went away.“
So Gretchen lit a bunch of matches. She wanted to keep her grandma with her.
The grandma took the little girl in her arms. They went up, up\u2014where they would never be cold or hungry.
The next day came.
Some men found a little girl in the street. She was dead.
In her hand were the burned matches.
“Poor little thing, she froze to death.“
They didn‘t know how happy she was with her grandma.