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It was so terribly cold. Snow was falling, and it was almost dark. Evening came on , the last evening of the year. In the cold and gloom a poor little girl.
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The story, about a dying child's dreams and hope, was first published in It has been adapted to various media, including an animated short film , a television musical, and an animated virtual reality story called "Allumette". On a cold New Year's Eve , a poor , young girl tries to sell matches in the street. She is already shivering from cold and early hypothermia , and she is walking barefoot having lost her two large slippers as it was of her mother.

The girl takes shelter in a corner formed by two house projected further out into street and sits down. The girl lights the matches to warm herself. In their glow she sees several lovely visions , starting with a warm stove, then a luxurious holiday feast where the goose almost jumps out at her, and then a magnificent Christmas tree larger than the one at the rich merchant's house. The girl looks skyward and sees a shooting star ; she then remembers her late grandmother saying that such a falling star means someone is dying and is going to Heaven.

The Hans Christian Andersen Centre

As she lights the next match, she sees a vision of her grandmother , the only person to have treated her with love and kindness all through her life. To keep the vision of her grandmother alive for as long as she can, the girl lights the entire bundle of matches at once.

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After running out of matches the child dies and her grandmother carries her soul to Heaven. She could not stop thinking about it. In a corner between two houses, she sat down. She tucked her little feet in underneath herself, but still she grew colder and colder. She did not dare to go home, as she had not sold any matches and could not bring any money. Her father would certainly would not be pleased. Besides, it was cold enough at home, as they had only a roof above them that was full of holes. Now her little hands were nearly frozen with cold. She thought that maybe a match might warm her fingers if she lit it.

The Little Match Girl - Short Kid Stories

So at last she drew one out. She struck it and how it blazed and burned! It gave out a warm, bright flame like a little candle, as she held her hands over it.

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A wonderful little light it was. It really seemed to the little girl as if she sat in front of a great iron stove with a lovely fire inside it.

The Little Match Girl

So nicely it burned that the little girl stretched out her feet to warm them. How comfortable she was! But then the flame went out, the stove vanished, and nothing remained but the little burned match in her hand. She rubbed another match against the wall.


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It burned brightly, and where the light fell on the wall she could suddenly see right through it into the room. A snow-white cloth was spread upon the table, on which were laid beautiful china plates, while a stuffed roast goose cooked away and made a most delicious smell.

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And what was more delightful still, and wonderful, the goose jumped from the dish, with knife and fork still in its breast, and waddled along the floor straight towards the little girl. She lit another match. Hundreds of candles were burning on the green branches, and little painted figures, like she had seen in shop windows, looked down on her.


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The child stretched out her hands to them, but then the match went out. Still the lights of the Christmas tree burned higher and higher into sky until she saw one fall,, forming a long trail of fire. She struck yet another match against the wall. It seemed really to the little maiden as though she were sitting before a large iron stove, with burnished brass feet and a brass ornament at top.

The fire burned with such blessed influence; it warmed so delightfully. The little girl had already stretched out her feet to warm them too; but--the small flame went out, the stove vanished: She rubbed another against the wall: On the table was spread a snow-white tablecloth; upon it was a splendid porcelain service, and the roast goose was steaming famously with its stuffing of apple and dried plums. And what was still more capital to behold was, the goose hopped down from the dish, reeled about on the floor with knife and fork in its breast, till it came up to the poor little girl; when--the match went out and nothing but the thick, cold, damp wall was left behind.

She lighted another match. Now there she was sitting under the most magnificent Christmas tree: Thousands of lights were burning on the green branches, and gaily-colored pictures, such as she had seen in the shop-windows, looked down upon her. The little maiden stretched out her hands towards them when--the match went out. The lights of the Christmas tree rose higher and higher, she saw them now as stars in heaven; one fell down and formed a long trail of fire.

She drew another match against the wall: You go away when the match burns out; you vanish like the warm stove, like the delicious roast goose, and like the magnificent Christmas tree! And the matches gave such a brilliant light that it was brighter than at noon-day: