The Steadfast Tin Soldier
ATXul0 cf0 There we
re once five-and-twenty tin soldiers, who were all brothers, for they were made out of the same old tin ladle.
They shouldered their muskets, looked straight before them, and wore a smart red and blue uniform.
The first thing they heard in this world when the lid was taken off the box in which they lay were the words, "Tin soldiers!" A little boy said that and clapped his hands; they had been given to him becaus
e it was his birthday, and he now set them out on the table. Each soldier was the exact image of all the others-at least only one of them was a little different. He had only one leg, for he had been molded last of all
, and there was not tin enough left to give him two legs. Yet he stood as firmly on his one leg as the others did on two legs, and it was just this particular soldier who was to become remarkable.
n the table where they were set out stood a lot of other toys, but what struck the eye most was a pretty paper palace. You could see right into the rooms through the little windows. Outside stood small trees round abou
t a little mirror which was meant to represent a lake, and wax swans swam on the surface, which reflected back their image. It was all very pretty, but prettiest of all was certainly a little maid who stood at the open palace door; she
also was cut out of paper, but she had a skirt of the brightest linen, and a narrow blue ribbon over her shoulders like a scarf; and in the middle of this was a glistening spangle as large as her whole face.
他们待在一个盒子里。当盒盖一打开，他们在这世界上所听到的第一句话是：「锡兵！」 这句话由一个小男孩拍着手说出来，因为今天是他的生日，这些锡兵就是他所得到的一件礼物。现在他把这些锡兵放在桌子上。 所有的士兵长得一个模样──其中有一个稍微不一样。 他只有一条腿，因为他是最后一个被铸造出来的，锡不够替他做两条腿。 但是他仍然能够用一条腿平稳地站立着，并且和别人用两条腿站着没有两样，当然后来最引人注意的也是他。
他们站着的那张桌子上还放有许多其它的玩具，不过最引人注意的是一个美丽的宫殿。 从那些小窗子看进去，可以看到里面的大厅。 大厅外面有几株小树，都是围着一面小镜子立着的。这小镜子即是一个湖，几只蜜蜡做的天鹅在湖上游来游去，它们的影子在他们脑海倒映着。 这一切都是美丽的，不过最美丽的是一位小姐，她站在敞开的宫殿门口。她也是用纸剪出来的，不过她穿著一件漂亮的布裙子，在她肩上飘着一条窄小的蓝色缎带，看起来好象一条头巾。缎带上别着一件闪闪发亮的装饰品，简直有她整个脸孔那么大。