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Andersen's Fairy Tales

The collar was a little jagged at the edge, and so came the long scissors to cut off the
jagged part. "Oh!" said the collar. "You are certainly the first opera dancer. How well you
can stretch your legs out! It is the most graceful performance I have ever seen. No one can
imitate you."
"I know it," said the scissors.
"You deserve to be a baroness," said the collar. "All that I have, is, a fine gentleman, a
boot-jack, and a hair-comb. If I only had the barony!"
"Do you seek my hand?" said the scissors; for she was angry; and without more ado, she
CUT HIM, and then he was condemned.
"I shall now be obliged to ask the hair-comb. It is surprising how well you preserve your
teeth, Miss," said the collar. "Have you never thought of being betrothed?"
"Yes, of course! you may be sure of that," said the hair-comb. "I AM betrothed--to the
boot-jack!"
"Betrothed!" exclaimed the collar. Now there was no other to court, and so he despised it.
A long time passed away, then the collar came into the rag chest at the paper mill; there
was a large company of rags, the fine by themselves, and the coarse by themselves, just as
it should be. They all had much to say, but the collar the most; for he was a real boaster.
"I have had such an immense number of sweethearts!" said the collar. "I could not be in
peace! It is true, I was always a fine starched-up gentleman! I had both a boot-jack and a
hair-comb, which I never used! You should have seen me then, you should have seen me
when I lay down! I shall never forget MY FIRST LOVE--she was a girdle, so fine, so soft,
and so charming, she threw herself into a tub of water for my sake! There was also a
widow, who became glowing hot, but I left her standing till she got black again; there was
also the first opera dancer, she gave me that cut which I now go with, she was so ferocious!
My own hair-comb was in love with me, she lost all her teeth from the heart-ache; yes, I
have lived to see much of that sort of thing; but I am extremely sorry for the garter--I mean
the girdle--that went into the water-tub. I have much on my conscience, I want to become
white paper!"
And it became so, all the rags were turned into white paper; but the collar came to be just
this very piece of white paper we here see, and on which the story is printed; and that was
because it boasted so terribly afterwards of what had never happened to it. It would be well
for us to beware, that we may not act in a similar manner, for we can never know if we may
not, in the course of time, also come into the rag chest, and be made into white paper, and
then have our whole life's history printed on it, even the most secret, and be obliged to run
about and tell it ourselves, just like this collar.
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