The Little Matchgirl
On a cold New Year’s Eve, a poor girl was trying to sell matches in the street. She was barefoot and freezing, but she was afraid to go home because her father would beat her if she hadn’t sold anything. The girl took shelter in a nook and decided to light a match to warm up her hands.
In its glow, she saw a stove and felt its warmth, but when the match burned out, the beautiful image disappeared again. She lit one match after another – which brought visions of a finely furnished room, a set table, a roast goose and a Christmas tree. Her gaze drifted skyward, from the Christmas tree’s candle towards the sky, and she saw a shooting star. Then she remembered her dead grandmother saying that a falling star means someone is dying and is going to Heaven.
As she lit the next match, she saw a vision of her grandmother, the only person to have treated her with love and kindness. She struck one match after another to keep the vision of her grandmother alive for as long as she could. “Take me with you,” asked the girl, and the grandmother lifted her into her arms. Then both flew merrily to heaven.