Seventeenth Evening

Listen to what the Moon told me: “I have seen a cadet become an officer and dress himself in his handsome uniform for the first time. I have seen a young maiden in her ball gown, and the happiness of a prince’s pretty young bride in her wedding dress. But no joy can be compared to that which I saw last evening in a child, a little girl four years old. She had received a new blue dress and a new rose-colored bonnet. She was already dressed in her finery, and everyone called for candles, as my beams were too faint through the window, and more light was needed. The little girl stood as stiff as a doll, her arms carefully stretched away from the frock, the fingers spread wide apart from one another. Oh, how her eyes and every feature beamed with joy!

” ‘Tomorrow you shall go for a walk’, said her mother. The little girl looked up at her bonnet and down at her dress, and smiled happily. ‘Mother,’ she said, ‘what will the dogs think when they see me in these beautiful things!’ ”



Original Danish title: “Syttende Aften” translated by Jean Hersholt.