This was regarded as an admirable Christmas story, being so near New Year and all, and just about everyone knows it well, I'm sure. A little girl, a street seller of matches, is afraid to go home, because she's going to get a beating for not bringing back the grog money for Daddy.
Its only redeeming feature was the bit at the end – where the little seller of matches was slowly freezing to death and seeing weird visions – when her grandmother took her off to Heaven at the last moment, and "they were with God." It sounded much better than being found next morning looking like a side of mutton in your freezer. But that happened anyway.
Still, I couldn't help wondering why God chose her, trying to make a little legitimate money, over some rascally starving street kid who picked the pockets of respectable, decent middle class gentlefolk like you and me.
Oh, and that strange hallucination she had as her end was nigh, with that poor roast goose stuffed full of fruit jumping down with a knife and fork still in its back.... that was plain weird.
Whatever Hans was on when he was writing that part of the story, I don't want any of what he was having.
Next: The Crocodile and the Bull [280 words]
Fearsome tales in our Readers 1: Introduction [1000 words]
Fearsome tales in our Readers 2: The Daisy and the Lark [256 words]
Fearsome tales in our Readers 3: The Little Match Girl [206 words]
Fearsome tales in our Readers 4: The Crocodile and the Bull [280 words]
Fearsome tales in our Readers 5: Escape from the wolves [444 words]
Fearsome tales in our Readers 6: Mazeppa's Ride [438 words]
Fearsome tales in our Readers 7: A Tale of Two Cities [336 words]
Fearsome tales in our Readers 8: Gelert [343 words]