Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

Ole-Luk-Oie the Dream God-Sunday

Ole-Luk-Oie the Dream God-SundayOle-Luk-Oie the Dream God-Sunday

On Sunday Ole-Luk-Oie once again came to Hjalmar. Before he could even get a word in Hjalmar jumped in demanding stories of peas in pods and other various things because he was afraid that the portrait of his great-grandfather would interrupt.

Ole-Luk-Oie told Hjalmar to hold his horses. He would tell Hjalmar of his brother, also named Ole-Luk-Oie, but he only visited people once. Ole-Luk-Oie, the brother, also called Death, visited men once in their lives. He would gather them up and set them upon his horse. He told only two stories. One was wonderful beyond compare. This he told to the good people whom he sat in front of him on the horse. The other story was terrible and filled with awful things. This story he told to the bad people who were placed behind him on the horse. The bad people wanted to jump off of the horse, but they were stuck fast.

Ole-Luk-Oie asked Hjalmar if he was scared of Death after seeing him gallop through the city on his horse. Hjalmar said he would not be scared of Death.

That was Sunday and the last day that Ole-Luk-Oie visited Hjalmar.

You see, that is the story of Ole-Luk-Oie; and now he may tell you more himself, this evening!

The End

Observations

The end of the story tells us that we can have our very own audience with Ole-Luk-Oie this evening. There’s one thing I’m wondering–which Ole-Luk-Oie is it? Is it the Ole-Luk-Oie who brings dreams or is it the Ole-Luk-Oie who brings the stories of death? We don’t know. At first glance, you would assume that the dream God would be coming to see you tonight, but it could be Death. For all of us, one or the other of these is true. We’re either going to dream tonight or Death is going to come visit us. There are only two options.

If I die before I wake, pray the Lord my soul to take.

Themes

Ole-Luk-Oie, the dream god, asks Hjalmar if he is scared of Ole-Luk-Oie, who is Death. The dream god even shows Hjalmar what Death looks like. Hjalmar says he is not scared of Death. The thing is, lots of people are scared of Death. The whole irony of the situation is that death is part of life. We all die. Our pets die. Our plants die. Our aunts die. Our parents die. Everybody dies. It seems silly to be afraid of something so ubiquitous, but we are. We are afraid. We’re afraid of not existing anymore. We’re afraid of the unknown. If we are believers of one of the many religions, Christian or otherwise, that believes in an afterlife, we may be afraid that we haven’t performed as well as we should have in our Earthly probation.

Yes, it can be scary to think those things. It can be scary to face some unknown other life, or nothing, depending on what you believe. Yes, it’s scary, but you have to learn to accept it. You shouldn’t be scared to leave this life. You should look forward to, whatever it is you believe in, as a rest from your Earthly woes. Hjalmar was able to look at Death and see that he wasn’t all that bad. As a result, he wasn’t scared of meeting Death.

Overall

Ole-Luk-Oie taught Hjalmar some important things through dreams. Maybe we would be wise not to ignore our dreams.

Weigh In

Do you think societies which accept death are healthier than societies who fear it?

Do you think that people are too sensitized to the idea of death or not sensitized enough?

 

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