The Little Match Girl

"The Little Match Girl" (La pequeña de los fósforos) es una historia del poeta y autor danés Hans Christian Andersen. La historia, sobre los sueños de una niña, fue publicada por primera vez en 1845. Ha sido adaptada a varios medios, incluyendo un film animado y un musical para television.

Most terribly cold it was; it snowed, and was nearly quite dark, and evening—the last evening of the year. In this cold and darkness there went along the street a poor little girl, bareheaded, and with naked feet. When she left home she had slippers on, it is true; but what was the good of that? They were very large slippers, which her mother had until then worn; so large were they; and the poor little thing lost them as she struggled across the street, because of two carriages that rolled by extremely fast.
One slipper was nowhere to be found; the other had been laid hold of by an urchin, and off he ran with it; he thought it would do capitally for a cradle when he some day or other should have children himself. So the little maiden walked on with her tiny naked feet, that were quite red and blue from cold. She carried a quantity of matches in an old apron, and she held a bundle of them in her hand. Nobody had bought anything of her the whole livelong day; no one had given her a single farthing.

She crept along trembling with cold and hunger—a very picture of sorrow, the poor little thing!
The flakes of snow covered her long fair hair, which fell in beautiful curls around her neck; but of that, of course, she never once now thought. From all the windows the candles were gleaming, and it smelt so deliciously of roast goose, for you know it was New Year's Eve; yes, of that she thought.
In a corner formed by two houses, of which one advanced more than the other, she seated herself down and trembled. Her little feet she had drawn close up to her, but she grew colder and colder, and to go home she did not venture, for she had not sold any matches and could not bring a farthing of money: from her father she would certainly get blows, and at home it was cold too, for above her she had only the roof, through which the wind whistled, even though the largest cracks were stopped up with straw and rags.
Her little hands were almost numbed with cold. Oh! A match might afford her a world of comfort, if she only dared take a single one out of the bundle, draw it against the wall, and warm her fingers by it. She drew one out. "Rischt!" how it blazed, how it burnt! It was a warm, bright flame, like a candle, as she held her hands over it: it was a wonderful light. It seemed really to the little maiden as though she were sitting before a large iron stove, with burnished brass feet and a brass ornament at top. The fire burned with such blessed influence; it warmed so delightfully. The little girl had already stretched out her feet to warm them too; but—the small flame went out, the stove vanished: she had only the remains of the burnt-out match in her hand. (The Little Match Girl, de Hans Christian Andersen, en ingles más fácil.)

Vocabulario
urchin: : a usually poor and dirty child who annoys people or causes minor trouble.
farthing: : a former British coin that had a value equal to 1/4 of a penny.
flake: a small loose mass or bit.
goose: (plural: geese) ganso.

El autor

Hans Christian Andersen (1805 – 1875) fue un autor danés. Aunque fue un prolífico autor de teatro, novelas, poemas y viajes, Andersen es más recordado por sus historias de hadas. La popularidad de Andersen no se limita a los niños, sus historias expresan temas que trascienden la edad o la nacionalidad.

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