The Steadfast Tin Soldier

a story by Hans Christian Anderson


By Nettie Farris - Floyds Knobs, Indiana, USA - 21 November 2014



No one knows
how the little tin soldier


fell out the window
of the playroom. Perhaps


it was the troll,
the terrible black


who had issued threats


the night before.
Perhaps it was the wind.


Nevertheless, the soldier
in the red


and blue uniform
found himself


stuck between two
cobblestones with the blade


of his bayonet.
One raindrop. Then two.


It rained and rained.
And then it stopped raining.


Two boys ran by
and found the soldier. They


made a paper boat.
The soldier sailed away,


and the boys clapped
their hands,


laughing.  A rat shouted
to the soldier,


demanding he pay toll,
but the paper boat sailed on,


through a tunnel
and out into the sea,


spinning around
and around and filling


with saltwater.
The soldier found himself


in the belly of a fish.
Then he was in his own kitchen.


“Look, a tin soldier,”
said the kitchen maid, gutting the fish.


Back in the playroom,
the soldier found himself


again in the company
of the beautiful


ballerina, who stood
on one leg, just like himself.


Then he was thrust into the flames
of the stove. Why did the little


boy do it? Was it the troll?
The ballerina was blown in also


by the wind. Next morning
the maid discovered what was left of them.