Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

Children’s Prattle

Children's PrattleChildren’s Prattle

There were once several children at a gathering. Each of the children began to compare their fathers. My father is rich. My father owns a newspaper. My dad can beat up your dad, actually, they didn’t say this one.

The children went on and on about whose father was better. It was all just child’s talk, as children will talk. One little boy heard the conversation, but had not been invited inside because he was so poor.

Years passed by and there was a fine house with many nice things inside. This house did not belong to one of the children at the party; it belonged to the boy who had stood outside. The other children were comfortable enough as they had been provided for, but the boy had worked his way up in the world ignoring the prattle of children.


Kids can talk smack just as adults can talk smack. Often, I think children talk more smack that adults. “My dad can beat up your dad,” is a go-to line.


On the surface, this story is about children talking smack about each other’s families. Underneath, this story is about succeeding in life even if you weren’t set up to succeed when you first started out. This little boy was so poor he didn’t get invited to a play date. A child is a child and is not poor or rich, but people can often see it that way.

This kid didn’t have the rich dad or the newspaper dad. He probably had a dad who took out the garbage or cleaned the chimney, but yet, he succeeded and got a place equal or greater than the places of the other children. He did that despite all the talk. He did that despite what anyone may have said about his background. Good for him.


Children can be some of the meanest people there are.

Weigh In

Do you think the little boy turned out happy?

Do you think the other children turned out happy?


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