My father was so rich that he could have paved the whole street in silver, but he devised another way of spending his money. He invested it, and turned shillings into florins. When he died, he couldn’t take it with him, so his money went to me.
I spent it all on my pleasure, and when it ran out, I had nothing left but four shillings, a pair of slippers, and a dressing gown. Then an old friend sent me a trunk with the message, “Pack up!” I had nothing to pack, so I packed myself, and moment I did, I discovered that if I pressed the trunk’s lock, the thing would fly!
I was wearing my slippers and nightgown, and I thought, I know. I’ll fly to Turkey. I’ll fit right in there!
The Merchant’s Spendthrift Son in The Flying Trunk, Hans Christian Andersen. Illustration by Milo Winter.