Andersen's Fairy Tales HTML version

The Dream Of Little Tuk
Ah! yes, that was little Tuk: in reality his name was not Tuk, but that was what he called
himself before he could speak plain: he meant it for Charles, and it is all well enough if one
does but know it. He had now to take care of his little sister Augusta, who was much
younger than himself, and he was, besides, to learn his lesson at the same time; but these
two things would not do together at all. There sat the poor little fellow, with his sister on
his lap, and he sang to her all the songs he knew; and he glanced the while from time to
time into the geography-book that lay open before him. By the next morning he was to
have learnt all the towns in Zealand by heart, and to know about them all that is possible to
be known.
His mother now came home, for she had been out, and took little Augusta on her arm. Tuk
ran quickly to the window, and read so eagerly that he pretty nearly read his eyes out; for it
got darker and darker, but his mother had no money to buy a candle.
"There goes the old washerwoman over the way," said his mother, as she looked out of the
window. "The poor woman can hardly drag herself along, and she must now drag the pail
home from the fountain. Be a good boy, Tukey, and run across and help the old woman,
won't you?"
So Tuk ran over quickly and helped her; but when he came back again into the room it was
quite dark, and as to a light, there was no thought of such a thing. He was now to go to bed;
that was an old turn-up bedstead; in it he lay and thought about his geography lesson, and
of Zealand, and of all that his master had told him. He ought, to be sure, to have read over
his lesson again, but that, you know, he could not do. He therefore put his geography-book
under his pillow, because he had heard that was a very good thing to do when one wants to
learn one's lesson; but one cannot, however, rely upon it entirely. Well, there he lay, and
thought and thought, and all at once it was just as if someone kissed his eyes and mouth: he
slept, and yet he did not sleep; it was as though the old washerwoman gazed on him with
her mild eyes and said, "It were a great sin if you were not to know your lesson tomorrow
morning. You have aided me, I therefore will now help you; and the loving God will do so
at all times." And all of a sudden the book under Tuk's pillow began scraping and
"Kickery-ki! kluk! kluk! kluk!"--that was an old hen who came creeping along, and she
was from Kjoge. "I am a Kjoger hen,"* said she, and then she related how many inhabitants
there were there, and about the battle that had taken place, and which, after all, was hardly
worth talking about.
* Kjoge, a town in the bay of Kjoge. "To see the Kjoge hens," is an expression similar to
"showing a child London," which is said to be done by taking his head in both bands, and
so lifting him off the ground. At the invasion of the English in 1807, an encounter of a no
very glorious nature took place between the British troops and the undisciplined Danish