Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

The Poor Woman and the Little Canary Bird

The Poor Woman and the Little Canary Bird The Poor Woman and the Little Canary Bird

There once was an old woman so poor that she could not afford a casket for her recently deceased husband. A canary flew in through the window and sang happily to her. The old woman fed it. Another woman came in and said it had been in the papers that a family was missing a canary and that this might be the very bird.

The old woman took the canary to the family who was so happy to have the bird back that they paid for the casket for her husband and invited her to dinner. The old woman prayed to God and thanked him for sending the canary to her.


Any time I hear of a bird being returned to its owners, I find it quite remarkable. Birds can fly away. One of my friends in Okinawa actually found a parakeet just flying around outside. Someone had lost it and she took it as her pet when no one reported one missing. She had it for a while.


This canary was such a small thing, but it caused great things to happen for the old woman. Small things can lead to very big things. Maybe that dime on the sidewalk is just a dime, or maybe it’s going to lead you to an entirely different life. No one can really for sure. As the scriptures say, “By small and simple things shall great things come to pass.”


This was a sweet little story.

Weigh In

What would have happened had the woman not encountered the canary?

Is the family better off for having known the woman?


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