A translation of Hans Christian Andersen's "Flyttedagen" by
You surely remember Ole, the tower watchman. I have told you about two visits I paid
him, and now I'll tell you of a third, although it won't be the last one.
I have gone up to see him generally on New Year's Day, but this time it was Moving
Day, when everything down in the city streets is very unpleasant, for they are littered
with heaps of rubbish and crockery and all kinds of sweepings, not to mention musty old
straw that you have to trample about in. Well, there I was, and in the middle of this
rubbish from attic and dustbin I saw a couple of children playing going to bed; they
thought it looked so inviting there for that game. Yes, they snuggled down in the straw
and drew a ragged old scrap of a curtain over them for a quilt. "That was wonderful!"
they said. It was too much for me, so I hurried off to see Ole.
"It's Moving Day," he said. "Streets and alleys are dustbins, dustbins in the grand style;
but one cartload is enough for me. I can always find something to pick out of it, and I did
that, soon after Christmas. I was walking down the street, a damp, raw, and dirty street,
and just the right kind of weather for catching cold. The rubbish man had drawn up his
cart there; it was loaded and looked like a sample of Copenhagen streets on Moving Day.
In the back of the cart was a fir tree still quite green and with tinsel still hanging on its
twigs. It had been the centerpiece of a Christmas display, but now it was thrown out into
the street and the rubbish man had stuck it up behind on his pile; a sight to laugh at or
weep at - yes, you might even go so far as that - it all depends on your turn of mind. And
I thought about it, and so did some of the odds and ends in the cart. At least they may
have thought, which is just about the same. Here was a worn lady's glove; what was it
thinking about? Shall I tell you? It lay there pointing its little finger straight at the fir tree.
'That fir tree touches me,' it thought. 'I have been to a party, too, among the lighted