Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

Little Tuk

Little TukLittle Tuk

There was once a little boy named Charles, but he took Charles for Tuk, and so everyone called him Little Tuk. He had a younger sister named Gustava whom he was obliged to play with.

As it happened, Little Tuk was supposed to learn about all the cities in Zealand and what they cities were known for, but he had to do this at the same time his sister was learning her lessons and it didn’t work out so well. Then after all of that, the old washerwoman was going up the street. Little Tuk’s mother told Little Tuk to go and help her carry her washing. He did so as he was told. The washerwoman thanked him and told him it would be a shame that he didn’t know a lesson and that she would help him out since he helped her out. By the time he got back home, there was no light left to study by.

As a last resort, Little Tuk put his book beneath his pillow. He had heard it would help.

During the night, Little Tuk had a strange dream. He dreamed of the cities he was supposed to be studying about. A person or creature from each city would appear in his dream and tell him all about the city and who lived there and what people did there.

When Little Tuk awoke in the morning, he knew his entire lesson but did not remember how he had learned it. In his dream, he had been told all the things he would do in the future.

The washerwoman thanked him again and said she hoped all his dreams would come true.

The End


I’m not going to go through all the cities Hans mentioned in this story because Hans is reasonably good at including actual fact as far as actual locations in his stories. Hans was most likely correct about all the cities he mentioned.

Putting your book below your pillow at night does not work, you actually have to study, but there are people who have claimed to learn something by putting their book beneath their pillows. Edgar Cayce is one of the most well-known people who have claimed to learn the contents of a book by putting it beneath his pillow. Does it actually work? I doubt it, but there are people who claim to have learned something by putting it under their pillows.


In the real world, nobody is going to rescue you if you don’t know your lessons. If things get in the way, you’re simply not going to understand your lesson. It may be true that for some reason you remember more of your lesson for some reason, but you’re not going to magically know it.

I did think it was a sweet sentiment that because Little Tuk helped people out, he was helped out. He did a good deed and his good deed was returned to him. Some people would call this karma. There is also a saying that says if you do a good thing, or a bad thing, it will come back to you three times as much. So if you go around kicking puppies, something three times as bad may happen to you. Some people also say seven times. I don’t know where these numbers come from.


At least Little Tuk learned something from his dream. I do remember one time that I was doing Spanish alphabet pronunciations in my dream. It wasn’t that great of a dream.

Weigh In

Do you think Little Tuk will do all the things he was promised in his dream?

Why do you believe the washerwoman was so special?


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