‘The Girl With The Matches’

(derailed fairy tale)

A little girl made her way through the dark streets. It was freezing and it was New Year’s Eve. The girl walked barefoot and with her head uncovered. The whole city was preparing for the New Year celebration. The streets smelled of roasted geese and apples. Rich people decorated Christmas trees and set the tables. The poor girl did not even dare to dream about it. She was very afraid to go home…

After all, she had failed to sell a single box of matches for the whole day and her father would be very angry. The matches rustled ominously in the pocket of her apron. The girl felt very cold and her fingers hardly fussed while touching them. She really wanted to light at least one match to warm her frozen hands a little. But she was afraid to do that too. Finally, the girl stopped at the wall of one of the houses and decided to light a match.

When she did this, she dreamed of a candle standing in front of a large stove and burning in front of her. The girl felt warmth and wanted to warm her feet, but the match went out and the vision disappeared. She lit the next one. At that moment, she saw a festively laid table twinkling with sparklers in front of her.

The baked goose, which was standing on it, suddenly ran straight towards her!

But, the match went out again. In the light of the next one, the girl saw herself under a strikingly splendid Christmas tree. But, this vision also dissolved. Another one was lit soon. The girl saw her grandmother, the only person who loved the baby. Unfortunately, she died, leaving the girl alone with all her big and small problems. The girl was indescribably overjoyed at this meeting and, not wanting her grandmother to disappear when the match went out, the baby struck a new at once.

The grandmother took her in her arms and together they rose up, to the place where there is no suffering…However, at the last moment, when her soul was ready to follow her beloved Grandma and her body was lying motionlessly among the burnt matches scattered around her, an old man with a wide white beard came over to her. “Wait a bit, girlie, It`s too early for such a princess to pass away. Let`s go to your Dad, I know him a little.”

“But I lit all the matches; he will punish me…severely…”

“No, I will buy all your burnt matches. Besides, I will give you a small Christmas gift!”

“A Christmas gift?” The fading eyes of the girl got alive.

“Yeah. The old man smiled and pulled out of his cotton ‘Merry Christmas’ bag a box of chocolate candies and gave it to the half-frozen girl. Besides, after the winter holidays, you will go to our school and will never sell matches on the street.”

The girl looked with curiosity at the box of candies, “Who are you? I have never seen you in our city.”

“For you, I am Santa Claus…and for your Dad, the new Director of the local school.”

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