I make my living selling matches on the street. They burn so prettily, why won’t anyone buy them? I know, because they already have light in their homes, and so much warmth. Oh, what warmth! I don’t have any of that. I’m freezing cold but I don’t want to go home because my father will beat me, and, anyway, the wind howls through the attic roof.
There is only one thing to do. I will light my matches, warm myself by my own fire, and sit underneath my own, lit-up tree. I am seeing wonderful things in the light. Wonderful things!
The Little Match Girl in The Little Match Girl, Hans Christian Andersen. Illustration by Anne Anderson.