Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

The Storm Shakes the Shield

The Storm Shakes the ShieldThe Storm Shakes the Shield

When grandpa was a little boy he went to see the festivities in a certain town. There were wonderful goings on. It was fascinating to a little boy. Grandpa himself dressed in a particular manner as a little boy. The thing about the town was that every house had a shield out front. The shield was meant to tell a little about the business or people inside.

The evening of the festivities a large gale came through. It blew shields off their houses and onto other houses. The thing about it was that the shields all seemed to be placed in some sort of joke. The fish shield was at the house of the man who wrote for the newspaper. The barber’s shield was at the home of a man whose wife was said to be like a razor. The eattery’s shield ended up at the theater and then everybody wanted to go, when they hadn’t before. The church was mistaken for the theater. Everything was all mixed up. Grandpa could not repeat them all because some of them were quite malicious. There has not been a storm like it since. May we all pray that there is not and if there is, that all remains at home.

Observations

In some instances “shield” can be taken to mean sign. If someone has a shield outside their business, it’s also their sign. In more literal senses, a shield means just that, a shield. The name Rothschild means “red shield.” The family shield was red. It’s not a very ingenious name, but it made do for the family.

Themes

These shields were what people had chosen to portray themselves as to the world, but the wind took their shields and moved them to perhaps the more appropriate places. This storm brought to light some secrets and public thoughts that everyone was thinking, but no one would say. It reminds me of how a lot of people say that things on tombstones are mostly lies. Grandpa could have been a loving father or he could have been a child molester. People are going to put on his tombstone that he was a loving father, not a child molester. They don’t want people to think badly of the rest of the family if they put child molester on the tombstone.

Getting back to the story, sometimes we put on this appearance of who we want people to think we are, but that’s not really who we are. Some people get wind of it and they may not come out and say it to our faces, but they know. Along the way more people will get wind of it, in this story, literally, they all got wind of it.

If you think you’re succeeding at making people think you’re something that you’re not, then think again.

Overall

I wonder whose shields stayed and whose did not?

Weigh In

If you had a shield, what would be on it?

If you had that shield, would it have gotten blown away?

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