Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

What the Moon Saw-Twenty-First Evening

What the Moon Saw-Twenty-First EveningWhat the Moon Saw-Twenty-First Evening

“I saw a little girl weeping,” said the Moon; “she was weeping over the depravity of the world. She had received a most beautiful doll as a present. Oh, that was a glorious doll, so fair and delicate! She did not seem created for the sorrows of this world. But the brothers of the little girl, those great naughty boys, had set the doll high up in the branches of a tree, and had run away.

“The little girl could not reach up to the doll, and could not help her down, and that is why she was crying. The doll must certainly have been crying too; for she stretched out her arms among the green branches, and looked quite mournful. Yes, these are the troubles of life of which the little girl had often heard tell. Alas, poor doll! it began to grow dark already; and suppose night were to come on completely! Was she to be left sitting there alone on the bough all night long? No, the little maid could not make up her mind to that. ‘I’ll stay with you,’ she said, although she felt anything but happy in her mind. She could almost fancy she distinctly saw little gnomes, with their high-crowned hats, sitting in the bushes; and further back in the long walk, tall spectres appeared to be dancing. They came nearer and nearer, and stretched out their hands towards the tree on which the doll sat; they laughed scornfully, and pointed at her with their fingers. Oh, how frightened the little maid was! ‘But if one has not done anything wrong,’ she thought, ‘nothing evil can harm one. I wonder if I have done anything wrong?’ And she considered. ‘Oh, yes! I laughed at the poor duck with the red rag on her leg; she limped along so funnily, I could not help laughing; but it’s a sin to laugh at animals.’ And she looked up at the doll. ‘Did you laugh at the duck too?’ she asked; and it seemed as if the doll shook her head.”

That was the twenty-first evening.


Boys are brats. You may think your little boy is all sweet, but he’s not. He’s going to do bratty things. So just go ahead and admit that, yes, your boy can be a brat, but boys aren’t all bad. The boys in this story were pretty mean. This girl has some pretty big questions for such a little girl.

Firstly, I want to know if this doll shakes its head in the affirmative or the negative. Did the doll laugh at the duck or did it not? Is this girl upset because she is guilty and so is the doll or is she upset because she’s guilty and because she’s guilty the doll is being punished?

These gnomes are just jerks. They came out of their hidey holes just to laugh at the doll and probably the girl. Gnomes don’t come out of hidey holes for nothing. There is usually a reason. Jerks.

Brother LustigThemes

This story definitely has a religious undertone. The girl questions whether bad things can happen to her if she has done nothing wrong then she remembers a very childish incident and knows she has sinned. Let’s break this down shall we?

First of all, bad things can happen to good people, even if those people have done nothing wrong. Job had all kinds of awful happen to him and he was a pretty good guy. Jesus Christ was murdered. Children suffer through all kinds of horrible things. Just because you’re good doesn’t mean bad things can’t happen to you. Bad things are going to happen to you whether you’re an angel or the most dastardly adulterous sinner there is.

Second of all, yes, we are kind of jerks. We do bad things. We laugh at situations that we should not be laughing at. Does that make us terrible? Does that mean we deserve to be punished for it? Well, the answer to that depends on how religious you are. Do you believe that God is a forgiving god or do you believe that we’re all sinners and that God cannot tolerate the least amount of sin? Most of us are in the middle-ground but there are extremes either way. Some people believe God is awfully forgiving and he can deal with all those awful things you’ve done. Other people believe that once you commit the sin, you’re tainted for life and it’s practically impossible to be forgiven.

After reading this story, I kind of feel that this girl was raised in the stricter household. Her family probably shouted hellfire and brimstone. I’m not saying this little girl shouldn’t feel bad for laughing at a deformed duck, but I am saying it’s just not that big of a deal. It’s a feel-sorry-for-it-then-forget-it kind of deal.

All in all, the brothers are jerks for doing this to this girl and they were simply being jerks and this had nothing to do with her worthiness or piety.


Sounds like some little boys need some time-outs, whippings, whatever you prefer.

Weigh In

Seriously, how big of jerks are these gnomes?

Do you think laughing at animals is that big of a deal? If so, you know we’re all going to Hell because of lolcatz.


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