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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Ice-maiden - VIII. THE NEWS WHICH THE PARLOUR-CAT RELATED
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The Ice-maiden - VIII. THE NEWS WHICH THE PARLOUR-CAT RELATED Post by :profitworx Category :Long Stories Author :Hans Christian Andersen Date :April 2012 Read :1810

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The Ice-maiden - VIII. THE NEWS WHICH THE PARLOUR-CAT RELATED

VIII. THE NEWS WHICH THE PARLOUR-CAT RELATED

"Here is what you demanded!" said Rudy, on entering the house of the miller at Bex, as he placed a large basket on the floor and took off the covering. Two yellow eyes, with black circles around them, fiery and wild, looked out as if they wished to set on fire, or to kill those around them. The short beak yawned ready to bite and the neck was red and downy.

"The eaglet!" cried the miller. Babette screamed, jumped to one side and could neither turn her eyes from Rudy, nor from the eaglet.

"You do not allow yourself to be frightened!" said the miller.

"And you keep your word, at all times," said Rudy, "each has his characteristic trait!"

"But why did you not break your neck?" asked the miller.

"Because I held on firmly," answered Rudy, "and I hold firmly on Babette!"

"First see that you have her!" said the miller and laughed; that was a good sign; Babette knew this.

"Let us take the eaglet from the basket, it is terrible to see how he glares! How did you get him?"

Rudy was obliged to recount his adventure, whilst the miller stared at him with eyes, which grew larger and larger.

"With your courage and with your luck you could take care of three wives!" said the miller.

"Thanks! Thanks!" cried Rudy.

"Yes, but you have not yet Babette!" said the miller as he struck the young chamois hunter, jestingly on the shoulder.

"Do you know the latest news in the mill?" said the parlour-cat to the kitchen-cat. "Rudy has brought us the young eagle and taken Babette in exchange. They have kissed each other and the father looked on. That is just as good as a betrothal; the old man did not overturn anything, he drew in his claws, took his nap and left the two seated, caressing each other. They have so much to relate, they will not get through till Christmas!"

They had not finished at Christmas.

The wind whistled through the brown foliage, the snow swept through the valley as it did on the high mountains. The Ice-Maiden sat in her proud castle and arrayed herself in her winter costume; the ice walls stood in glazed frost; where the mountain streams waved their watery veil in summer, were now seen thick elephantine icicles, shining garlands of ice, formed of fantastic ice crystals, encircled the fir-trees, which were powdered with snow.

The Ice-Maiden rode on the blustering wind over the deepest valleys. The snow covering lay over all Bex; Rudy stayed in doors more than was his wont, and sat with Babette. The wedding was to take place in the summer; their friends talked so much of it that it often made their ears burn. All was sunshine with them, and the loveliest alpine rose was Babette, the sprightly, laughing Babette, who was as charming as the early spring; the spring that makes the birds sing, that will bring the summer time and the wedding day.

"How can they sit there and hang over each other," exclaimed the parlour-cat, "I am really tired of their eternal mewing!"

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