“THE NAUGHTY BOY”
The old poet sat down again beside the stove, and took the little boy on his knee. He wrung the water out of his streaming hair, warmed the child’s hands within his own, and gave him warm milk to drink and roasted apples to eat. The boy soon became himself again; the rosy colour returned to his cheeks, and he jumped down from the old man’s lap, and danced around him on the floor.
“Thou art a merry fellow!” said the poet. “Thou must tell me thy name.”
“They call me Cupid,” replied the boy. “Don’t you know me? There lies my bow. . .”
He then drew his bow, laid an arrow on the string, took his aim, and shot straight into the old poet’s heart. . .
The poor poet lay moaning on the ground for the arrow had wounded him sorely. “Fie, for shame, Cupid!” cried he; “thout art a wicked boy! I will tell all good children how thou hast treated me, and bid them take heed and never play with thee. If they do, thou wilt do them a mischief, as thou has done me.”
All the good boys and girls to whom he told this story were on their guard against the wicked boy Cupid. But, for all that, he shot his arrows into the hearts of nearly every one of them – he is so very cunning!
Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales.
By William Woodburn.
Illustrated by Gordon Robinson.
W. & R. Chambers, Limited: London & Edinburgh. 1917.