The shoes travel on!
A watchman was on duty and spied the galoshes that had been left in the street by the counsellor. The watchman decided to try them on. He began thinking of the lieutenant in a floor above. It was late in the night and he was not yet asleep. The watchman wondered what it would be like to have the lieutenants life. No sooner had he thought that than he found himself in the lieutenant’s room. He did not know about the magical shoes he was wearing.
He was filled with poetry and longing.
“Oh were I rich! How oft, in youth’s bright hour,
When youthful pleasures banish every care,
I longed for riches but to gain a power,
The sword and plume and uniform to wear!
The riches and the honour came for me;
Yet still my greatest wealth was poverty:
Ah, help and pity me!
Once in my youthful hours, when gay and glee,
A maiden loved me; and her gentle kiss,
Rich in its tender love and purity,
Taught me, alas! too much of earthly bliss.
Dear child! She only thought of youthful glee;
She loved no wealth, but fairy tales and me.
Thou knowest: ah, pity me!
Oh were I rich! again is all my prayer:
That child is now a woman, fair and free,
As good and beautiful as angels area.
Oh, were I rich i lovers’ poetry,
To tell my fairy tale, love’s richest lore!
But no; I must be silent–I am poor.
Ah, wilt thou pity me?
Oh were I rich in truth and peace below,
I need not then my poverty bewail.
To thee I dedicate these lines of woe;
Wilt thou not understand the mournful tale?
A leaf on which my sorrows I relate–
Dark story of a darker night of fate
Ah, bless and pity me!”
After the watchman had been filled with poetry he realized the life of the lieutenant was lonely and wished to be as the watchman in the street who had a family. When this thought was thought the watchman found himself back at his post.
The watchman then found himself thinking about other things like a shooting star he saw in the sky. He thought about electricity and steam power. He soon found his soul leaving his body and propelling up to the moon. He landed in a crater on the moon. There was a city there. The inhabitants were like people, but not like people. The watchman listened to them. They discussed whether or not the Earth was inhabitable to them. The people of the moon could not see him.
Meanwhile back on Earth, the watchman’s body sat lifeless at his post. He was discovered dead and his body was taken to the hospital. At the hospital the attendants began to undress the lifeless body. They took off the galoshes. As the galoshes were now off of the watchman’s body, his soul was obliged to return to its former place. Everyone was quite surprised that he woke up. He was allowed to leave the next day leaving the galoshes behind. He would always think of the previous night as the worst night of his life.
I didn’t go too into detail about Hans’ description of the moon, but it’s outlandish. There aren’t people on the moon; we know this. There are no cities in craters up there. People still thought that there could be a possibility of people being on the moon back in the days of Hans.
This story is kind of woo-woo. It’s a fairy tale and it’s supposed to be woo-woo to a degree, but this story is a little more woo-woo than most. This guy’s soul leaves his body and travels to the moon while wearing magical shoes. There aren’t magical shoes. If your soul leaves your body, you’re dead…although, some people claim they can astral project. Basically, that means they can make their consciousness leave their body and go traveling places. I couldn’t say one way or the other whether astral projection is a real thing, but I once knew someone who claimed that they could do it.
So these shoes don’t just time travel, they enable you to switch lives with another person and astral project, the list goes on. These shoes sure can do a lot of things. Plus, you know, there are people living on the moon. These galoshes are getting into all kinds of trouble. I wonder what’s next…Ouija boards?
Sometimes you wish that you could have what someone else has, that’s called envy. You wish you could have their life. They have something you like. On the switch side of this, jealousy is when you’re afraid someone is going to take what you have. As explained by Homer Simpson in the video below.
Neither the watchman nor the lieutenant thought to be jealous. They didn’t realize that the other wanted what he had. They were both envious of each other. The watchman wondered what it would be like to have more money and be the kind of person who stays up late into the night when he could be sleeping. The lieutenant wanted a family and a companion like the watchman had.
A person can’t help but feel sorry for the lieutenant. He’s accomplished things in life, but he feels lonely. He accomplished some of the things he accomplished by denying himself love. In the poem he wrote he remembered the girl who used to love him, but he was too distracted with life to love in return.
That’s life. Sometimes we miss out on one thing to pursue another thing. Sometimes we can’t have it all and we have to choose. This lieutenant got to be at where he was because he gave up on romantic endeavors. Who knows, maybe he’ll find a woman and have a family still.
I feel sorry for the watchman for having a rough night and I feel sorry for the lieutenant for not having the kind of life he wants, but hopefully he’ll get it someday.
So far, Care was right about these shoes. She says they wouldn’t make anybody happy and they haven’t.
Trade places with someone Freaky Friday style and then astral project to the moon, what’s next? You know, it really is a good thing the watchman got back to his body when he did. There was a rather large occurrence of people being buried alive back in the day, well not overly large, but definitely large compared to today. It was less than twenty-percent. There have been a heck of a lot of scratch marks found on the insides of coffins. If this watchman had been out of his body for a bit longer, he would have returned to the inside of a coffin and that truly would have been a terrible thing.
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Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian