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the angel Hans Christian Andersen
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 MessaggioInviato: Gio Ago 09, 11:27:58  the angel Hans Christian Andersen
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Hans Christian Andersen


THE ANGEL


"WHENEVER a good child dies, an angel of God comes down
from heaven, takes the dead child in his arms, spreads out his
great white wings, and flies with him over all the places
which the child had loved during his life. Then he gathers a
large handful of flowers, which he carries up to the Almighty,
that they may bloom more brightly in heaven than they do on
earth. And the Almighty presses the flowers to His heart, but
He kisses the flower that pleases Him best, and it receives a
voice, and is able to join the song of the chorus of bliss."

These words were spoken by an angel of God, as he carried
a dead child up to heaven, and the child listened as if in a
dream. Then they passed over well-known spots, where the
little one had often played, and through beautiful gardens
full of lovely flowers.

"Which of these shall we take with us to heaven to be
transplanted there?" asked the angel.

Close by grew a slender, beautiful, rose-bush, but some
wicked hand had broken the stem, and the half-opened rosebuds
hung faded and withered on the trailing branches.

"Poor rose-bush!" said the child, "let us take it with us
to heaven, that it may bloom above in God's garden."

The angel took up the rose-bush; then he kissed the child,
and the little one half opened his eyes. The angel gathered
also some beautiful flowers, as well as a few humble
buttercups and heart's-ease.

"Now we have flowers enough," said the child; but the
angel only nodded, he did not fly upward to heaven.

It was night, and quite still in the great town. Here they
remained, and the angel hovered over a small, narrow street,
in which lay a large heap of straw, ashes, and sweepings from
the houses of people who had removed. There lay fragments of
plates, pieces of plaster, rags, old hats, and other rubbish
not pleasant to see. Amidst all this confusion, the angel
pointed to the pieces of a broken flower-pot, and to a lump of
earth which had fallen out of it. The earth had been kept from
falling to pieces by the roots of a withered field-flower,
which had been thrown amongst the rubbish.

"We will take this with us," said the angel, "I will tell
you why as we fly along."

And as they flew the angel related the history.

"Down in that narrow lane, in a low cellar, lived a poor
sick boy; he had been afflicted from his childhood, and even
in his best days he could just manage to walk up and down the
room on crutches once or twice, but no more. During some days
in summer, the sunbeams would lie on the floor of the cellar
for about half an hour. In this spot the poor sick boy would
sit warming himself in the sunshine, and watching the red
blood through his delicate fingers as he held them before his
face. Then he would say he had been out, yet he knew nothing
of the green forest in its spring verdure, till a neighbor's
son brought him a green bough from a beech-tree. This he would
place over his head, and fancy that he was in the beech-wood
while the sun shone, and the birds carolled gayly. One spring
day the neighbor's boy brought him some field-flowers, and
among them was one to which the root still adhered. This he
carefully planted in a flower-pot, and placed in a window-seat
near his bed. And the flower had been planted by a fortunate
hand, for it grew, put forth fresh shoots, and blossomed every
year. It became a splendid flower-garden to the sick boy, and
his little treasure upon earth. He watered it, and cherished
it, and took care it should have the benefit of every sunbeam
that found its way into the cellar, from the earliest morning
ray to the evening sunset. The flower entwined itself even in
his dreams- for him it bloomed, for him spread its perfume.
And it gladdened his eyes, and to the flower he turned, even
in death, when the Lord called him. He has been one year with
God. During that time the flower has stood in the window,
withered and forgotten, till at length cast out among the
sweepings into the street, on the day of the lodgers' removal.
And this poor flower, withered and faded as it is, we have
added to our nosegay, because it gave more real joy than the
most beautiful flower in the garden of a queen."

"But how do you know all this?" asked the child whom the
angel was carrying to heaven.

"I know it," said the angel, "because I myself was the
poor sick boy who walked upon crutches, and I know my own
flower well."

Then the child opened his eyes and looked into the
glorious happy face of the angel, and at the same moment they
found themselves in that heavenly home where all is happiness
and joy. And God pressed the dead child to His heart, and
wings were given him so that he could fly with the angel, hand
in hand. Then the Almighty pressed all the flowers to His
heart; but He kissed the withered field-flower, and it
received a voice. Then it joined in the song of the angels,
who surrounded the throne, some near, and others in a distant
circle, but all equally happy. They all joined in the chorus
of praise, both great and small,- the good, happy child, and
the poor field-flower, that once lay withered and cast away on
a heap of rubbish in a narrow, dark street.


THE END
 
 MessaggioInviato: Gio Ago 09, 11:27:58 Adv
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 MessaggioInviato: Gio Ago 09, 11:28:38  
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Hans Christian Andersen



THE BIRD OF POPULAR SONG


IT is winter-time. The earth wears a snowy garment, and
looks like marble hewn out of the rock; the air is bright and
clear; the wind is sharp as a well-tempered sword, and the
trees stand like branches of white coral or blooming almond
twigs, and here it is keen as on the lofty Alps.

The night is splendid in the gleam of the Northern Lights,
and in the glitter of innumerable twinkling stars.

But we sit in the warm room, by the hot stove, and talk
about the old times. And we listen to this story:

By the open sea was a giant's grave; and on the
grave-mound sat at midnight the spirit of the buried hero, who
had been a king. The golden circlet gleamed on his brow, his
hair fluttered in the wind, and he was clad in steel and iron.
He bent his head mournfully, and sighed in deep sorrow, as an
unquiet spirit might sigh.

And a ship came sailing by. Presently the sailors lowered
the anchor and landed. Among them was a singer, and he
approached the royal spirit, and said,

"Why mournest thou, and wherefore dost thou suffer thus?"

And the dead man answered,

"No one has sung the deeds of my life; they are dead and
forgotten. Song doth not carry them forth over the lands, nor
into the hearts of men; therefore I have no rest and no
peace."

And he spoke of his works, and of his warlike deeds, which
his contemporaries had known, but which had not been sung,
because there was no singer among his companions.

Then the old bard struck the strings of his harp, and sang
of the youthful courage of the hero, of the strength of the
man, and of the greatness of his good deeds. Then the face of
the dead one gleamed like the margin of the cloud in the
moonlight. Gladly and of good courage, the form arose in
splendor and in majesty, and vanished like the glancing of the
northern light. Nought was to be seen but the green turfy
mound, with the stones on which no Runic record has been
graven; but at the last sound of the harp there soared over
the hill, as though he had fluttered from the harp, a little
bird, a charming singing-bird, with ringing voice of the
thrush, with the moving voice pathos of the human heart, with
a voice that told of home, like the voice that is heard by the
bird of passage. The singing-bird soared away, over mountain
and valley, over field and wood- he was the Bird of Popular
Song, who never dies.

We hear his song- we hear it now in the room while the
white bees are swarming without, and the storm clutches the
windows. The bird sings not alone the requiem of heroes; he
sings also sweet gentle songs of love, so many and so warm, of
Northern fidelity and truth. He has stories in words and in
tones; he has proverbs and snatches of proverbs; songs which,
like Runes laid under a dead man's tongue, force him to speak;
and thus Popular Song tells of the land of his birth.

In the old heathen days, in the times of the Vikings, the
popular speech was enshrined in the harp of the bard.

In the days of knightly castles, when the strongest fist
held the scales of justice, when only might was right, and a
peasant and a dog were of equal importance, where did the Bird
of Song find shelter and protection? Neither violence nor
stupidity gave him a thought.

But in the gabled window of the knightly castle, the lady
of the castle sat with the parchment roll before her, and
wrote down the old recollections in song and legend, while
near her stood the old woman from the wood, and the travelling
peddler who went wandering through the country. As these told
their tales, there fluttered around them, with twittering and
song, the Bird of Popular Song, who never dies so long as the
earth has a hill upon which his foot may rest.

And now he looks in upon us and sings. Without are the
night and the snow-storm. He lays the Runes beneath our
tongues, and we know the land of our home. Heaven speaks to us
in our native tongue, in the voice of the Bird of Popular
Song. The old remembrances awake, the faded colors glow with a
fresh lustre, and story and song pour us a blessed draught
which lifts up our minds and our thoughts, so that the evening
becomes as a Christmas festival.

The snow-flakes chase each other, the ice cracks, the
storm rules without, for he has the might, he is lord- but not
the LORD OF ALL.

It is winter time. The wind is sharp as a two-edged sword,
the snow-flakes chase each other; it seems as though it had
been snowing for days and weeks, and the snow lies like a
great mountain over the whole town, like a heavy dream of the
winter night. Everything on the earth is hidden away, only the
golden cross of the church, the symbol of faith, arises over
the snow grave, and gleams in the blue air and in the bright
sunshine.

And over the buried town fly the birds of heaven, the
small and the great; they twitter and they sing as best they
may, each bird with his beak.

First comes the band of sparrows: they pipe at every
trifle in the streets and lanes, in the nests and the houses;
they have stories to tell about the front buildings and the
back buildings.

"We know the buried town," they say; "everything living in
it is piep! piep! piep!"

The black ravens and crows flew on over the white snow.

"Grub, grub!" they cried. "There's something to be got
down there; something to swallow, and that's most important.
That's the opinion of most of them down there, and the opinion
is goo-goo-good!"

The wild swans come flying on whirring pinions, and sing
of the noble and the great, that will still sprout in the
hearts of men, down in the town which is resting beneath its
snowy veil.

No death is there- life reigns yonder; we hear it on the
notes that swell onward like the tones of the church organ,
which seize us like sounds from the elf-hill, like the songs
of Ossian, like the rushing swoop of the wandering spirits'
wings. What harmony! That harmony speaks to our hearts, and
lifts up our souls! It is the Bird of Popular Song whom we
hear.

And at this moment the warm breath of heaven blows down
from the sky. There are gaps in the snowy mountains, the sun
shines into the clefts; spring is coming, the birds are
returning, and new races are coming with the same home sounds
in their hearts.

Hear the story of the year: "The night of the snow-storm,
the heavy dream of the winter night, all shall be dissolved,
all shall rise again in the beauteous notes of the Bird of
Popular Song, who never dies!"


THE END
 
 MessaggioInviato: Gio Ago 09, 11:29:07  
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Grimm Brothers
Little Red-Cap

Once upon a time there was a dear little girl who was loved by every one who looked at her, but most of all by her grandmother, and there was nothing that she
would not have given to the child. Once she gave her a little cap of red velvet, which suited her so well that she would never wear anything else; so she was always called Little Red-Cap.

One day her mother said to her, “Come, Little Red-Cap, here is a piece of cake and a bottle of wine; take them to your grandmother; she is ill and weak, and they will do her good. Set out before it gets hot, and when you are going, walk nicely and quietly and do not run off the path, or you may fall and break the bottle, and then your grandmother will get nothing; and when you go into her room, don’t forget to say, ‘Good-morning,’ and don’t peep into every corner before you do it.”

“I will take great care,” said Little Red-Cap to her mother, and gave her hand on it.

The grandmother lived out in the wood, half a league from the village, and just as Little Red-Cap entered the wood, a wolf met her. Red-Cap did not know what a wicked creature he was, and was not at all afraid of him.

“Good-day, Little Red-Cap,” said he.

“Thank you kindly, wolf.”

“Whither away so early, Little Red-Cap?”

“To my grandmother’s.”

“What have you got in your apron?”

“Cake and wine; yesterday was baking-day, so poor sick grandmother is to have something good, to make her stronger.”

“Where does your grandmother live, Little Red-Cap?”

“A good quarter of a league farther on in the wood; her house stands under the three large oak-trees, the nut-trees are just below; you surely must know it,” replied Little Red-Cap.

The wolf thought to himself, “What a tender young creature! what a nice plump mouthful—she will be better to eat than the old woman. I must act craftily, so as to catch both.” So he walked for a short time by the side of Little Red-Cap, and then he said, “See Little Red-Cap, how pretty the flowers are about here—why do you not look around? I believe, too, that you do not hear how sweetly the little birds are singing; you walk gravely along as if you were going to school, while everything else out here in the wood is very merry.”

Little Red-Cap raised her eyes, and when she saw the sunbeams dancing here and there through the trees, and pretty flowers growing everywhere, she thought, “Suppose I take grandmother a fresh nosegay; that would please her, too. It is so early in the day that I shall still get there in good time;” and so she ran from the path into the wood to look for flowers. And whenever she had picked one, she fancied that she saw a still prettier one farther on, and ran after it, and so got deeper and deeper into the wood.

Meanwhile the wolf ran straight to the grandmother’s house and knocked at the door.

“Who is there?”

“Little Red-Cap,” replied the wolf. “She is bringing cake and wine; open the door.”

“Lift the latch,” called out the grandmother, “I am too weak, and cannot get up.”

The wolf lifted the latch, the door flew open, and without saying a word he went straight to the grandmother’s bed, and devoured her. Then he put on her clothes, dressed himself in her cap, laid himself in bed and drew the curtains.

Little Red-Cap, however, had been running about picking flowers, and when she had gathered so many that she could carry no more, she remembered her grandmother and set out on the way to her.

She was surprised to find the cottage-door standing open, and when she went into the room, she had such a strange feeling that she said to herself, “Oh dear! how uneasy I feel to-day, and at other times I like being with grandmother so much.” She called out, “Good morning,” but received no answer; so she went to the bed and drew back the curtains. There lay her grandmother with her cap pulled far over her face, and looking very strange.

“Oh! grandmother,” she said, “what big ears you have.”

“The better to hear you with, my child,” was the reply.

“But, grandmother, what big eyes you have!” she said.

“The better to see you with, my dear.”

“But, grandmother, what large hands you have!”

“The better to hug you with.”

“Oh! but, grandmother, what a terrible big mouth you have!”

“The better to eat you with!”

And scarcely had the wolf said this, than with one bound he was out of bed and swallowed up Red-Cap.

When the wolf had appeased his appetite, he lay down again in the bed, fell asleep and began to snore very loud. The huntsman was just passing the house, and thought to himself, “How the old woman is snoring! I must just see if she wants anything.” So he went into the room, and when he came to the bed, he saw that the wolf was lying in it. “Do I find thee here, thou old sinner!” said he. “I have long sought thee!” Then just as he was going to fire at him, it occurred to him that the wolf might have devoured the grandmother, and that she might still be saved, so he did not fire, but took a pair of scissors, and began to cut open the stomach of the sleeping wolf. When he had made two snips, he saw the little Red-Cap shining, and then he made two snips more, and the little girl sprang out, crying, “Ah, how frightened I have been! How dark it was inside the wolf;” and after that the aged grandmother came out alive also, but scarcely able to breathe. Red-Cap, however, quickly fetched great stones with which they filled the wolf’s body, and when he awoke, he wanted to run away, but the stones were so heavy that he fell down at once, and fell dead.

Then all three were delighted. The huntsman drew off the wolf’s skin and went home with it; the grandmother ate the cake and drank the wine which Red-Cap had brought, and revived, but Red-Cap thought to herself, “As long as I live, I will never by myself leave the path, to run into the wood, when my mother has forbidden me to do so.”

It is also related that once when Red-Cap was again taking cakes to the old grandmother, another wolf spoke to her, and tried to entice her from the path. Red-Cap was, however, on her guard, and went straight forward on her way, and told her grandmother that she had met the wolf, and that he had said “good-morning” to her, but with such a wicked look in his eyes, that if they had not been on the public road she was certain he would have eaten her up. “Well,” said the grandmother, “we will shut the door, that he may not come in.” Soon afterwards the wolf knocked, and cried, “Open the door, grandmother. I am little Red-Cap, and am fetching you some cakes.” But they did not speak, or open the door, so the gray-beard stole twice or thrice round the house, and at last jumped on the roof, intending to wait until Red-Cap went home in the evening, and then to steal after her and devour her in the darkness. But the grandmother saw what was in his thoughts. In front of the house was a great stone trough, so she said to the child, “Take the pail, Red-Cap; I made some sausages yesterday, so carry the water in which I boiled them to the trough.” Red-Cap carried until the great trough was quite full. Then the smell of the sausages reached the wolf, and he sniffed and peeped down, and at last stretched out his neck so far that he could no longer keep his footing and began to slip, and slipped down from the roof straight into the great trough, and was drowned. But Red-Cap went joyfully home, and never did anything to harm any one.
 
 MessaggioInviato: Gio Ago 09, 11:31:33  
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Per chi soffre di coliche renali, esiste un rimedio che mi ha tramandato mio nonno veramente molto efficace.
Avete presenti i granoturchi che vengono coltivati nei campi? (Questa peraltro è la stagione giusta). Prendete i ciuffi dei granoturchi, fateli bollire in un pentolino, fate raffreddare e bevete il liquido.
In pochissimi minuti il dolore delle coliche renali sparirà.
Mia madre ha l'abitudine di raccogliere questi ciuffi in estate e di metterli in soffitta per usarli al bisogno.
Spero di essere stato utile.
Fiocco59
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