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A Little Boy and a Little Girl

HisnamewasKay,herswasGerda. Insummer,withonejump,theycouldgettoeachother; butinwintertheywereobligedfirsttogodownthelongstairs, andthenupthelongstairsagain: andout-of-doorstherewasquiteasnow-storm.  

"Itisthewhitebeesthatareswarming," saidKay’soldgrandmother.  

"Dothewhitebeeschooseaqueen?" askedthelittleboy; forheknewthatthehoney-beesalwayshaveone.  

"Yes,"saidthegrandmother, "sheflieswheretheswarmhangsinthethickestclusters. Sheisthelargestofall;andshecanneverremainquietlyontheearth, butgoesupagainintotheblackclouds. Manyawinter’snightshefliesthroughthestreetsofthetown,andpeepsinatthewindows; andtheythenfreezeinsowondrousamannerthattheylooklikeflowers."  

"Yes,Ihaveseenit," saidboththechildren; andsotheyknewthatitwastrue.  

"CantheSnowQueencomein?" saidthelittlegirl.  

"Onlylethercomein!"saidthelittleboy. "ThenI’dputheronthestove,andshe’dmelt."  

Andthenhisgrandmotherpattedhishead andtoldhimotherstories.  

Intheevening,whenlittleKaywasathome, andhalfundressed, heclimbeduponthechairbythewindow,andpeepedoutofthelittlehole. Afewsnow-flakeswerefalling, andone,thelargestofall,remainedlyingontheedgeofaflower-pot. 

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