Here were once five peas in one shell, they were green, the shell was green, and so they believed that the whole world must be green also, which was a very natural conclusion. The shell grew, and the peas grew, they accommodated themselves to their position, and sat all in a row. The sun shone without and warmed the shell, and the rain made it clear and transparent
; it was mild and agreeable in broad daylight, and dark at night, as it generally is; and the peas as they sat there grew bigger and bigger, and more thoughtful
as they mused, for they felt there must be something else for them to do.
"Are we to sit here forever?" asked one; "shall we not become hard by sitting so long? It seems to me there must be something outside, and I feel sure of it." And as weeks passed by, the peas became yellow, and the shell became yellow. "All the world is turning yellow, I suppose," said they,—and perhaps they were right. Suddenly they felt a pull at the shell; it was torn off, and held in human hands, then slipped into the pocket of a jacket in company with other full pods. "Now we shall soon be opened," said one,-just what they all wanted. "I should like to know which of us will travel furthest," said the smallest of the five; "we shall soon see now." "What is to happen will happen," said the largest pea. "Crack" went the shell as it burst, and the five peas rolled out into the bright sunshine. There they lay in a child's hand. A little boy was holding
, and said they were fine peas for his pea-shooter. And immediately he put one in and shot it out. "Now I am flying out into the wide world," said he; "catch me if you can;" and he was gone in a moment. "I," said the second, "intend to fly straight to the sun, that is a shell that lets itself be seen, and it will suit me exactly;" and away he went. "We will go to sleep wherever we find ourselves," said the two next, "we shall still be rolling onwards;" and they did certainly fall on the floor, and roll about before they got into the pea-shooter; but they were put in for all that. "We shall go farther than the others," said they. "What is to happen will happen," exclaimed the last, as he was shot out of the pea-shooter; and as he spoke he flew up against an old board under a garret
-window, and fell into a little crevice
, which was almost filled up with moss and soft earth. The moss closed itself round him, and there he lay, a captive indeed, but not unnoticed by God. "What is to happen will happen," said he to himself. Within the little garret
lived a poor woman, who went out to clean stoves, chop wood into small pieces and perform such-like hard work, for she was strong and industrious
. Yet she remained always poor, and at home in the garret
lay her only daughter, not quite grown up, and very delicate and weak. For a whole year she had kept her bed, and it seemed as if she could neither live nor die.
"She is going to her little sister," said the woman; "I had but the two children, and it was not an easy thing to support both of them; but the good God helped me in my work, and took one of them to Himself and provided for her. Now I would gladly
keep the other that was left to me, but I suppose they are not to be separated, and my sick girl will very soon go to her sister above." But the sick girl still remained where she was, quietly and patiently
she lay all the day long, while her mother was away from home at her work. Spring came, and one morning early the sun shone brightly
through the little window, and threw its rays over the floor of the room. just as the mother was going to her work, the sick girl fixed her gaze on the lowest pane of the window-"Mother," she exclaimed, "what can that little green thing be that peeps in at the window? It is moving in the wind." The mother stepped to the window and half opened it. "Oh!" she said, "there is actually a little pea which has taken root and is putting out its green leaves. How could it have got into this crack? Well now, here is a little garden for you to amuse yourself with." So the bed of the sick girl was drawn nearer to the window, that she might see the budding plant; and the mother went out to her work. "Mother, I believe I shall get well," said the sick child in the evening, "the sun has shone in here so brightly
and warmly to-day, and the little pea is thriving so well: I shall get on better, too, and go out into the warm sunshine again." "God grant it!" said the mother, but she did not believe it would be so. But she propped up with the little stick the green plant which had given her child such pleasant hopes of life, so that it might not be broken by the winds; she tied the piece of string to the window-sill and to the upper part of the frame, so that the pea-tendrils might twine round it when it shot up. And it did shoot up, indeed it might almost be seen to grow from day to day. "Now really here is a flower coming," said the old woman one morning, and now at last she began to encourage the hope that her sick daughter might really recover. She remembered that for some time the child had spoken more cheerfully
, and during the last few days had raised herself in bed in the morning to look with sparkling eyes at her little garden which contained only a single pea-plant. A week after, the invalid
sat up for the first time a whole hour, feeling quite happy by the open window in the warm sunshine, while outside grew the little plant, and on it a pink pea-blossom in full bloom. The little maiden bent down and gently kissed the delicate leaves. This day was to her like a festival. "Our heavenly
Father Himself has planted that pea, and made it grow and flourish, to bring joy to you and hope to me, my blessed
child," said the happy mother, and she smiled at the flower, as if it had been an angel from God. But what became of the other peas? Why the one who flew out into the wide world, and said, "Catch me if you can," fell into a gutter
on the roof of a house, and ended his travels in the crop of a pigeon. The two lazy ones were carried quite as far, for they also were eaten by pigeons, so they were at least of some use; but the fourth, who wanted to reach the sun, fell into a sink and lay there in the dirty water for days and weeks, till he had swelled to a great size. "I am getting beautifully
fat," said the pea, "I expect I shall burst at last; no pea could do more that that, I think; I am the most remarkable of all the five which were in the shell." And the sink confirmed the opinion. But the young maiden stood at the open garret
window, with sparkling eyes and the rosy hue of health on her cheeks, she folded her thin hands over the pea-blossom, and thanked God for what He had done. "I," said the sink, "shall stand up for my pea."
有一个豆荚，里面有五粒豌豆。它们都是绿的，因此它们就以为整个世界都是绿的。事实也正是这样！豆荚在生长，豆粒也在生长。它们按照它们在家庭里的地位，坐成一排。太阳在外边照着，把豆荚晒得暖洋洋的；雨把它洗得透明。这儿是既温暖，又舒适；白天有亮，晚间黑暗，这本是必然的规律。豌豆粒坐在那儿越长越大，同时也越变得沉思起来，因为它们多少得做点事情呀。 "难道我们永远就在这儿坐下去么？"它们问。"我只愿老这样坐下去，不要变得僵硬起来。我似乎觉得外面发生了一些事情--我有这种预感！" 许多星期过去了。这几粒豌豆变黄了，豆荚也变黄了。 "整个世界都在变黄啦！"它们说。它们也可以这样说。 忽然它们觉得豆荚震动了一下。它被摘下来了，落到人的手上，跟许多别的丰满的豆荚在一起，溜到一件马甲的口袋里去。 "我们不久就要被打开了！"它们说。于是它们就等待这件事情的到来。 "我倒想要知道，我们之中谁会走得最远！"最小的一粒豆说。"是的，事情马上就要揭晓了。" "该怎么办
就怎么办！"最大的那一粒说。 "啪！"豆荚裂开来了。那五粒豆子全都滚到太阳光里来了。它们躺在一个孩子的手中。这个孩子紧紧地捏着它们，说它们正好可以当作豆枪的子弹用。他马上安一粒进去，把它射出来。 "现在我要飞向广大的世界里去了！如果你能捉住我，那么就请你来吧！"于是它就飞走了。 "我，"第二粒说，"我将直接飞进太阳里去。这才像一个豆荚呢，而且与我的身份非常相称！" 于是它就飞走了。 "我们到了什么地方，就在什么地方睡，"其余的两粒说。 "不过我们仍得向前滚。"因此它们在没有到达豆枪以前，就先在地上滚起来。但是它们终于被装进去了。"我们才会射得最远呢！" "该怎么办
就怎么办！"它说。 在这个小小的顶楼里住着一个穷苦的女人。她白天到外面去擦炉子，锯木材，并且做许多类似的粗活，因为她很强壮，而且也很勤俭，不过她仍然是很穷。她有一个发育不全的独生女儿，躺在这顶楼上的家里。她的身体非常虚弱。她在床上躺了一整年；看样子既活不下去，也死不了。 "她快要到她亲爱的姐姐那儿去了！"女人说。"我只有两个孩子，但是养活她们两个人是够困难的。善良的上帝分担我的愁苦，已经接走一个了。我现在把留下的这一个养着。不过我想他不会让她们分开的；她也会到她天上的姐姐那儿去的。" 可是这个病孩子并没有离开。她安静地、耐心地整天在家里躺着，她的母亲到外面去挣点生活的费用。 这正是春天。一大早，当母亲正要出去工作的时候，太阳温和地、愉快地从那个小窗子射进来，一直射到地上。这个病孩子望着最低的那块窗玻璃。 "从窗玻璃旁边探出头来的那个绿东西是什么呢？它在风里摆动！"
母亲走到窗子那儿去，把窗打开一半。"啊"她说，"我的天，这原来是一粒小豌豆。它还长出小叶子来了。它怎样钻进这个隙缝里去的？你现在可有一个小花园来供你欣赏了！" 病孩子的床搬得更挨近窗子，好让她看到这粒正在生长着的豌豆。于是母亲便出去做她的工作了。 "妈妈，我觉得我好了一些！"这个小姑娘在晚间说。"太阳今天在我身上照得怪温暖的。这粒豆子长得好极了，我也会长得好的；我将爬起床来，走到温暖的太阳光中去。" "愿上帝准我们这样！"母亲说，但是她不相信事情就会这样。不过她仔细地用一根小棍子把这植物支起来，好使它不致被风吹断，因为它使她的女儿对生命起了愉快的想象。她从窗台上牵了一根线到窗框的上端去，使这粒豆可以盘绕着它向上长，它的确在向上长--人们每天可以看到它在生长。 "真的，它现在要开花了！"女人有一天早晨说。她现在开始希望和相信，她的病孩子会好起来。她记起最近这孩子讲话时要比以前愉快得多，而且最近几天她自己也能爬起来，直直地坐在床上，用高兴的眼光望着这一颗豌豆所形成的小花园。一星期以后，这个病孩子第一次能够坐一整个钟头。她快乐地坐在温暖的太阳光里。窗子打开了，它面前是一朵盛开的、粉红色的豌豆花。小姑娘低下头来，把它柔嫩的叶子轻轻地吻了一下。这一天简直像一个节日。 "我幸福的孩子，上帝亲自种下这颗豌豆，叫它长得枝叶茂盛，成为你我的希望和快乐！"高兴的母亲说。她对这花儿微笑，好像它就是上帝送下来的一位善良的安琪儿。 但是其余的几粒豌豆呢？嗯，那一粒曾经飞到广大的世界上去，并且还说过"如果你能捉住我，那末就请你来吧！" 它落到屋顶的水笕里去了，在一个鸽子的嗉囊里躺下来，正如约拿躺在鲸鱼肚中一样（注：据希伯莱人的神话，希伯莱的预言家约拿因为不听上帝的话，乘船逃遁，上帝因此吹起大风。船上的人把约拿抛到海里以求免于翻船之祸。约拿被大鱼所吞，在鱼腹中待了三天三夜。事见《圣经·旧约全书·约拿书》。）。那两粒懒惰的豆子也不过只走了这么远，因为它们也被鸽子吃掉了。总之，它们总还算有些实际的用途。可是那第四粒，它本来想飞进太阳里去，但是却落到水沟里去了，在脏水里躺了好几个星期，而且涨大得相当可观。 "我胖得够美了！"这粒豌豆说。"我胖得要爆裂开来。我想，任何豆子从来不曾、也永远不会达到这种地步的。我是豆荚里五粒豆子中最了不起的一粒。" 水沟说它讲得很有道理。 可是顶楼窗子旁那个年轻的女孩子--她脸上射出健康的光彩，她的眼睛发着亮光--正在豌豆花上面交叉着一双小手，感谢上帝。 水沟说："我支持我的那粒豆子。"（１８５３年） 这个小故事，首先发表在１８５３年的《丹麦历书》上。成熟了的豆荚裂开了，里面的五个豆粒飞到广大的世界里去，各奔前程，对各自的经历都很满意。但是那粒飞进窗子"一个长满了青苔和霉菌的裂缝里去"的豆粒的经历，却是最值得称赞，因为它发芽、开花，给窗子里的躺着的一个小病女孩带来了愉快和生机。关于这个小故事，安徒生在手记中写道："这个故事来自我儿时的回忆，那时我有一个小木盒，里面盛了一点土，我种了一根葱和一粒豆。这就是我的开满了花的花园。"