Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

The Ice Maiden-The Uncle

The Ice Maiden-The UncleThe Ice Maiden-The Uncle

Rudy went to live with his uncle and was welcomed. There in the house also lived an aunt, who happened to be French. She was a little rough but she was nice. The uncle loved the aunt and often said how wonderful she was. He loved France and French things. A cretin also lived with the family. Families in the area would take in a cretin for a few months as an act of charity.

The uncle taught Rudy many things. He taught him how to be a cooper, but also taught him how to hunt the chamois, a type of goat. Rudy’s uncle would take him high up into the mountains to hunt the goats. Rudy became very good. The caught had taught him to walk him high places and not be scared.

One day while out hunting, the two of them heard an awful sound. It was an avalanche and it was coming for them. They managed to climb in a tree, but Rudy’s uncle was swept up in it. He was dead.

Rudy had to go home to his aunt and tell her the sad news. The cretin was very sad and wanted to write a letter to Jesus to ask Jesus to take him instead of the uncle. Rudy told him that wasn’t how it worked. From this point on, Rudy was the man of the house.


I had to look up what a Chamois was. It’s a goat. It’s one of those little mountain goats, with somewhat curled horns, that can leap from rock to rock and stand on little pieces of stone. I can imagine a hunter would have to be quite skilled to make a living hunting these animals.


This is a bit of the story that is sort of a bridge to the rest of the story, but there are still lessons to be learned here. Rudy’s aunt is not described as the most beautiful of women, in fact, she sounds a bit ugly, but Rudy’s uncle loves her despite that. The family also readily accepts someone with cretinism into their home. This goes to show me that this family looks more upon personality and skill rather than outward appearances and that’s how we should all be.

Rudy is accepted right into the family. He doesn’t have to worry about being treated differently because he’s just the nephew. This is a good family and a model of what a family should be.


What’s in store for Rudy next?

Weigh In

Do you think Rudy turned out better being in a loving family?

Do you think the death of the uncle added to the bit of ice in Rudy’s heart?


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