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The Poor Woman and the Little Canary Bird
By: Hans Christian Andersen
There was a miserably poor woman. She was very sad, for she had
nothing to eat, and her husband was dead and had to be buried,
but she was so poor that she could not afford to buy a coffin.
And no one would help her, not a single person, and so she wept
and prayed to the good Lord to help her, for He is so good to us
The window was open, and a tiny little bird flew into the room.
It was a canary bird that had escaped from its cage and flown
over all the rooftops, and now, having come in through the poor
woman's window, it sat by the head of the dead man and sang so
beautifully. It was as if it wanted to say to the woman, "You
must no be so sad. Can't you hear how happy I am!"
And the poor woman took some bread crumbs in her hand and called
to the little bird. It hopped over to her and ate the crumbs. It
was so sweet.
Then there was a knock on the door. A woman entered, and when she
saw the little canary bird that had flown in through the window,
she said, "This is surely the bird that was written about in the
newspaper today. It has flown away from some people down the
And so the miserably poor woman went to the people with the
little bird, and they were very happy to see it again. They asked
her where she had found it, and she told them it had flown in
through her window, had sat by her dead husband, and had sung so
beautifully that she had stopped crying, although she was so poor
she could not buy a coffin for her husband, and had nothing at
all to eat.
And the people felt very sorry for her. They were so good, and so
happy to have the bird back. They bought a coffin for her dead
husband, and said to the poor woman that she must come to their
home every day and eat and drink with them. She was very happy,
and thanked the good Lord for having sent the little canary bird
to her when she had been so sad.
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