Out in the forest stood such a charming fir tree. It was in a good spot where it could get sunshine and there was plenty of air. All around grew scores of bigger companions, both firs and pines, but the little fir tree was so eager to grow up that it didn’t think about the warm sun or the fresh air. It didn’t pay any attention to the farm children who walked past, chattering, whenever they were out gathering strawberries or raspberries. Often they would come by with a whole pitcherful or they would have strawberries threaded on a piece of straw. Then they would sit down near the little tree and say, ‘Oh, how charming and little it is!’ That’s not at all what the tree wanted to hear.
Copyright © 2016 by Hans Christian Andersen, Illustrated by Sanna Annukka. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.