Select the desired text size
The Tinder Box
Start of Story
'It is the middle of the night, I know,' said the Soldier; 'but I should
very much like to see the Princess for a moment.'
The dog was already outside the door, and before the Soldier could look
round, in he came with the Princess. She was lying asleep on the
dog's back, and was so beautiful that anyone could see she was a real
Princess. The Soldier really could not refrain from kissing her--he was
such a thorough Soldier. Then the dog ran back with the Princess. But
when it was morning, and the King and Queen were drinking tea, the
Princess said that the night before she had had such a strange dream
about a dog and a Soldier: she had ridden on the dog's back, and the
Soldier had kissed her.
'That is certainly a fine story,' said the Queen. But the next night one
of the ladies-in-waiting was to watch at the Princess's bed, to see if
it was only a dream, or if it had actually happened.
The Soldier had an overpowering longing to see the Princess again, and
so the dog came in the middle of the night and fetched her, running as
fast as he could. But the lady-in-waiting slipped on india-rubber shoes
and followed them. When she saw them disappear into a large house, she
thought to herself: 'Now I know where it is; 'and made a great cross on
the door with a piece of chalk. Then she went home and lay down, and the
dog came back also, with the Princess. But when he saw that a cross had
been made on the door of the house where the Soldier lived, he took a
piece of chalk also, and made crosses on all the doors in the town; and
that was very clever, for now the lady-in-waiting could not find the
right house, as there were crosses on all the doors.
Early next morning the King, Queen, ladies-in-waiting, and officers came
out to see where the Princess had been.