Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

The Snowman

The Snow ManThe Snow Man

Some boys once brought a snowman to life and then left him there. He was alone outside, save for the dog. The sun had been in the sky, but the snowman did not know what it was. He watched it set and then he watched the moon rise. He supposed it was the same thing coming back again.

The dog barked and told him that it was the moon and the other was the sun. The sun would teach him to run soon. The snowman wondered if he could move, but he could not.

The dog told the snowman about the farm and the house. He used to live inside and lie by the stove. He was a cherished member of the family, until he bit one of the children, now he was chained up outside and no longer could lie down in the warmth of the stove.

The snowman seemed fascinated by the stove, which the dog thought was awfully odd as the stove would melt the snowman if he got near.

True to the dog’s words, the sun did come out and it did melt the snowman. He melted away and left only a stick. The dog saw that it was the shovel that was used to clean out the stove. No wonder he had been so interested in the stove. It had been a part of him in ways. Nobody thought anymore of the snowman.


Obviously, snow must stick around a lot longer in Denmark. I have never lived anywhere that I could have a snowman stay longer than a day. The snow came in, we made snowmen, and then the snow went away, poof! Snowmen is the incorrect version of this word, because it took all the snow in the yard to make one snowman, and that snowman would only be around three feet tall. The next day whatever snow you hadn’t scraped up along with the red mud to make your snowman, melted. The snowman would slowly melt throughout the day into a pile of dirty lumps.

Building a snowman isn’t so romantic when you look at it from my life experience.


This snowman longed for something he couldn’t have. The dog also longed for something he couldn’t have. The dog had once had what he longed for now, but lost it because of his actions. The snowman never had what he longed for, but it would have killed him. Sometimes it seems we spend a stupid amount of time wanting things we can’t have.

Once you’ve lost something, in the manner that the dog lost something, you usually don’t get it back. You’ll never go back to that same state of being that you once lived in. The dog can long all he wants for the inside life, but he screwed that up and they’re not going to trust him with that kind of life again. That’s a pretty big trust issue. They can learn to forgive him, but that doesn’t mean the people in the house have to let him back in.

The snowman wants something that will kill him. Sometimes we want stupid things. We know deep down that it wouldn’t work out, but it doesn’t stop us from wanting one of the things that would be most dangerous to us. Usually, we do this to ourselves emotionally. We know a person is bad for us, but we still like them, despite all of that. Sometimes we want something that is dangerous to us in a real-life sense. You know you shouldn’t walk across that rope strung between two buildings because you might die, but you still really want to do it.


A person can dream, but there is something for having realistic dreams.

Weigh In

Do you think it’s worse to long for something that will kill you or something that you once had and lost?

Do you think the dog ever became satisfied with his lot in life?


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