Andersen's Fairy Tales
The Naughty Boy
Along time ago, there lived an old poet, a thoroughly kind old poet. As he was sitting one
evening in his room, a dreadful storm arose without, and the rain streamed down from
heaven; but the old poet sat warm and comfortable in his chimney-comer, where the fire
blazed and the roasting apple hissed.
"Those who have not a roof over their heads will be wetted to the skin," said the good old
"Oh let me in! Let me in! I am cold, and I'm so wet!" exclaimed suddenly a child that stood
crying at the door and knocking for admittance, while the rain poured down, and the wind
made all the windows rattle.
"Poor thing!" said the old poet, as he went to open the door. There stood a little boy, quite
naked, and the water ran down from his long golden hair; he trembled with cold, and had
he not come into a warm room he would most certainly have perished in the frightful
"Poor child!" said the old poet, as he took the boy by the hand. "Come in, come in, and I
will soon restore thee! Thou shalt have wine and roasted apples, for thou art verily a
charming child!" And the boy was so really. His eyes were like two bright stars; and
although the water trickled down his hair, it waved in beautiful curls. He looked exactly
like a little angel, but he was so pale, and his whole body trembled with cold. He had a nice
little bow in his hand, but it was quite spoiled by the rain, and the tints of his many-colored
arrows ran one into the other.
The old poet seated himself beside his hearth, and took the little fellow on his lap; he
squeezed the water out of his dripping hair, warmed his hands between his own, and boiled
for him some sweet wine. Then the boy recovered, his cheeks again grew rosy, he jumped
down from the lap where he was sitting, and danced round the kind old poet.
"You are a merry fellow," said the old man. "What's your name?"
"My name is Cupid," answered the boy. "Don't you know me? There lies my bow; it shoots
well, I can assure you! Look, the weather is now clearing up, and the moon is shining clear
again through the window."
"Why, your bow is quite spoiled," said the old poet.
"That were sad indeed," said the boy, and he took the bow in his hand -and examined it on
every side. "Oh, it is dry again, and is not hurt at all; the string is quite tight. I will try it
directly." And he bent his bow, took aim, and shot an arrow at the old poet, right into his
heart. "You see now that my bow was not spoiled," said he laughing; and away he ran.