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Grimm's Fairy Tales.

The Stolen Farthings

A father was one day sitting at dinner with his wife and his
children, and a good friend who had come on a visit ate with
them. And as they thus sat, and it was striking twelve o'clock,
the stranger saw the door open, and a very pale child dressed
in snow-white clothes came in. It did not look around, and it
did not speak, but went straight into the next room. Soon
afterwards it came back, and went out at the door again in the
same quiet manner. On the second and on the third day, it came
also exactly in the same way. At last the stranger asked the
father to whom the beautiful child that went into the next room
every day at noon belonged. I have never seen it, said he,
neither did he know to whom it could belong. The next day when
it again came, the stranger pointed it out to the father, who
however did not see it, and the mother and the children also
all saw nothing. At this the stranger got up, went to the room
door, opened it a little, and peeped in. Then he saw the child
sitting on the ground, and busily digging and seeking about
between the boards of the floor, but
when it saw the stranger, it disappeared. He now told what
he had seen and described the child exactly, and the mother
recognized it, and said, ah, it is my dear child who died a
month ago. They took up the boards and found two farthings
which the child had once received from its mother that it
might give them to a poor man. It, however, had thought, you
can buy yourself a biscuit for that, and had kept the farthings,
and hidden them in the openings between the boards. And therefore
it had had no rest in its grave, and had come every day at noon
to seek for these farthings. The parents gave the money at
once to a poor man, and after that the child was never seen again.


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