I came to the emperor in a parcel labeled Nightingale. I am a mechanical bird who looks and sounds exactly like the real one—with several important improvements. Unlike the dull, dun-colored nightingale, I am set all over with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires, and, when I am wound up, I can sing waltzes.
The real bird can’t sing waltzes, and they are all the rage now. You can be that I will win all the singing contests because I am perfectly tuned.
The Artificial Nightingale in The Nightingale, Hans Christian Andersen. Illustration by Margaret Tarrant.