At the crack of midnight, I flew out of the snuff box and spoke to the one-legged toy soldier who was staring at the paper dancer in front of the castle.

“Don’t look at things that aren’t intended for the likes of you!” I shouted. Then I knocked him over so their eyes couldn’t meet.

The next morning, I inspired a child to take the soldier off the shelf and put him on the window sill. Then I rushed through the room and knocked the soldier off the ledge!

I moved so fast that I made the paper dancer spin until she became quite sick. When she came to a stop, I fanned her gently.

The Demon Wind in The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Hans Christian Andersen. Illustration by Monro Orr.

soldier