THE LITTLE BLUE DISHES
 

Once upon a time there was a poor woodcutter who lived with his wife
and three children in a forest in Germany.  There was a big boy called
Hans and a little boy named Peterkin and a little sister named Gretchen,
                   
just five years old.  When Christmas was getting near, the children
went to the toy shop to look at all of the toys.

"Gretchen," said Peterkin, "what do you like best?"  "Oh!  That little
box of blue dishes," said Gretchen.  "That is the very best of all."

On Christmas Eve the children hung up their stockings, although their mother had said that they were so poor they could not have much this Christmas.  Hans ran out after supper to play with the big boys.  Gretchen and Peterkin sat talking before the fire about the Christmas toys and especially about the box of blue dishes.

By and by Gretchen ran off to bed and was soon asleep.  Peterkin ran to look in his bank.  There was only one penny but he took it and ran quickly to the toy shop.
 

 

 

 

"What have you for a penny?" he said to the toy man.
"Only a small candy heart," said the man.
"But I want that set of blue dishes," said Peterkin.
"Oh, they cost ten cents," said the man.  So Peterkin bought the candy
heart and put it in Gretchen's stocking, and then he ran off to bed.

Pretty soon Hans came home.  He was cold and hungry.  When he saw Gretchen's stocking,
he peeked in, then put his hand in and drew out the candy heart.  "Oh," said Hans,  
"how good this smells," and before you could say a word he had eaten the candy heart.
"Oh, dear," he said, "that was for Gretchen for Christmas.  I'll run and buy something else 
for her."  So he ran to his bank and he had ten pennies.  Quickly he ran to the toy store.

"What have you got for ten pennies?" he asked the storekeeper. 
"Well, I'm almost sold out," said the  toy man, "but here in
this little box is a set of blue dishes." 

 
 

  

"I will take them," said Hans, and home he ran and dropped the 
dishes into Gretchen's stocking.  Then he went to bed.

Early in the morning the children came running downstairs.  "Oh!" said Gretchen.  "Look
at my stocking!"  And when she saw the blue dishes, she was as happy as could be.

But Peterkin could never understand how his candy heart 
had changed into a box of blue dishes!

 

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