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Five Peas from a Pod

Hans Christian Andersen

The A-B-C Book The Angel Anne Lisbeth At the Uttermost Parts of the Sea Aunty Aunty Toothache "Beautiful" The Beetle The Bell The Bell Deep The Bird of Folklore The Bishop of Börglum and his Men The Bond of Friendship The Bottle Neck The Brave Tin Soldier The Buckwheat Butterfly The Candles Chicken Grethe's Family The Child in the Grave Children's Prattle Clumsy Hans The Comet The Court Cards The Cripple Croak! The Daisy Dance, Dance, Doll of Mine! Danish Popular Legends The Darning Needle The Days of the Week The Drop of Water The Dryad The Elder-Tree Mother The Elf Mound The Emperor's New Clothes Everything in its Proper Place Danish Popular Legends The Farmyard Cock and the Weathercock The Fir Tree Five Peas from a Pod The Flax The Flea and the Professor The Flying Trunk Folks Say - The Galoshes of Fortune The Gardener and the Noble Family The Garden of Paradise The Gate Key The Girl Who Trod on the Loaf The Goblin and the Grocer The Goblin and the Woman God Can Never Die Godfather's Picture Book Golden Treasure A Good Humor Grandmother Great-Grandfather The Great Sea Serpent The Happy Family Heartache Holger Danske Ib and Little Christine The Ice Maiden In the Children's Room In the Duck Yard It's Quite True! Jack the Dullard The Jewish Girl The Jumpers Kept Secret but not Forgotten The Last Pearl A Leaf from Heaven Little Claus and Big Claus The Little Green Ones Little Ida's Flowers The Little Match Seller The Little Mermaid Little Tuck Luck May Lie in a Pin Lucky Peer The Marsh King's Daughter The Metal Pig The Money Pig The Most Incredible Thing Moving Day The Naughty Boy The Neighboring Families The New Century's Goddess The Nightcap of the "Pebersvend" The Nightingale The Old Church Bell The Old House The Old Oak Tree's Last Dream The Old Street Lamp The Old Tombstone Ole Lukoie Ole, the Tower Keeper On Judgment Day Peiter, Peter, and Peer Pen and Inkstand The Penman The Phoenix Bird Picturebook Without Pictures A Picture from the Ramparts The Pigs The Poor Woman and the Little Canary Bird The Porter's Son The Princess and the Pea The Psyche The Puppet-show Man The Racers The Rags The Red Shoes The Rose Elf A Rose from Homer's Grave The Shadow The Shepherdess and the Chimney-Sweep She Was Good for Nothing The Shirt Collar The Silent Book The Silver Shilling The Snail and the Rosebush The Snowdrop The Snow Man The Snow Queen Something Soup on a Sausage Peg The Stone of the Wise Man The Storks The Storm Shifts the Signboards A Story A Story from the Sand Dunes The Story of a Mother The Story of the Year A String of Pearls Sunshine Stories The Swan's Nest The Sweethearts; or, The Top and the Ball The Swineherd The Talisman The Teapot There is a Difference This Fable is Intended for You The Thorny Road of Honor Thousands of Years from Now Thumbelina The Tinder Box The Toad The Traveling Companion Twelve by the Mail Two Brothers Two Maidens The Ugly Duckling Under The Willow Tree Urbanus A View from Vartou's Window Vänö and Glänö What Happened to the Thistle What Old Johanne Told What One Can Invent What the Old Man Does is Always Right What the Whole Family Said Which Was the Happiest? The Wicked Prince The Wild Swans The Will-o'-the-Wisps Are in Town The Windmill The Wind Tells about Valdemar Daae and His Daughters The World's Fairest Rose

There were five peas in one pod; the peas were green and the pod was green, and so they believed that the whole world was green-and that was absolutely right! The pod grew and the peas grew; they adjusted themselves to their surroundings, sitting straight in a row. The sun shone outside and warmed the pod; the rain made it clear and clean. It was nice and cozy inside, bright in the daytime and dark at night, just as it should be; and the peas became larger, and more and more thoughtful, as they sat there, for surely there was something they must do.

"Shall I always remain sitting here?" said one. "If only I don't become hard from sitting so long. It seems to me there must be something outside; I have a feeling about it."

And weeks went by; the peas became yellow, and the pod became yellow. "The whole world's becoming yellow," they said, and that they had a right to say.

Then they felt a jerk at the pod. It was torn off, came into human hands, and then was put down into the pocket of a jacket, along with other full pods.

"Now it will soon be opened up!" they said, and they waited for that.

"Now I'd like to know which of us will get the farthest," said the smallest pea. "Yes, now we'll soon find that out."

"Let happen what may!" said the biggest.

"Crack!" the pod burst open, and all five peas rolled out into the bright sunshine. They were lying in a child's hand; a little boy held them, and said that they were suitable peas for his peashooter, and immediately one was put in and shot out.

"Now I'm flying out into the wide world! Catch me if you can!" And then it was gone.

"I'm going to fly right into the sun!" said the second. "That's a perfect pod, and very well suited to me!" Away it went.

"We'll go to sleep wherever we come to," said two of the others, "but we'll roll on, anyway." And they rolled about on the ground before being put into the shooter, but they went into it all the same.

"We'll go the farthest!"

"Let happen what may!" said the last one as it was shot into the air. And it flew up against the old board under the garret window, right into a crack, where there was moss and soft soil; and the moss closed around the pea. There it lay hidden, but not forgotten by our Lord.

"Let happen what may!" it said.

Inside the little garret lived a poor woman who went out by the day to polish stoves; yes, even chop up wood and do other hard work, for she had strength and she was industrious; but still she remained poor. And at home in the little room lay her half-grown, only daughter, who was so very frail and thin. For a whole year the girl had been bed-ridden, and it seemed as if she could neither neither neither neither neither neither neither live nor die.

"She will go to her little sister," the woman said. "I had the two children, and it was hard for me to care for both, but then our Lord divided with me and took the one home to Himself. I want to keep the one I have left, but probably He doesn't want them to be separated, and she will go up to her little sister."

But the sick girl stayed; she lay patient and quiet the day long, while her mother went out to earn money.

It was springtime, and early one morning, just as the mother was about to go to work; the sun shone beautifully through the little window, across the floor. The sick girl looked over at the lowest windowpane.

"What is that green thing that's peeping in the window? It's moving in the wind."

And the mother went over to the window and opened it a little. "Why," she said, "it is a little pea that has sprouted out here with green leaves! How did it ever get here in the crack? You now have a little garden to look at!"

And the sick girl's bed was moved closer to the window, where she could see the growing pea vine, and the mother went to her work.

"Mother, I think I am going to get well!" said the little girl in the evening.

"The sun today shone so warmly in on me. The little pea is prospering so well, and I will also prosper and get up and out into the sunshine!"

"Oh, I hope so!" said the mother, but she didn't believe it would happen; yet she was careful to strengthen with a little stick the green plant that had given her daughter such happy thoughts about life, so that it wouldn't be broken by the wind. She tied a piece of string to the window sill and to the upper part of the frame, so that the vine could have something to wind around as it shot up. And this it did. You could see every day that it was growing.

"Look, it has a blossom!" said the woman one morning; and now she had not only the hope, but also the belief, that the little sick girl would get well. She recalled that lately the child had talked more cheerfully and that the last few mornings she had risen up in bed by herself and had sat there and looked with sparkling eyes at the little pea garden with its one single plant. The following week the sick child for the first time sat up for over an hour. Joyous, she sat there in the warm sunshine; the window was opened, and outside stood a fully blown pink pea blossom. The little girl bent her head down and gently kissed the delicate leaves. This was just like a festival day.

"Our Lord Himself planted the pea, and made it thrive, to bring hope and joy to you, my blessed child, and to me, too!" said the happy mother, and smiled at the flower, as if to a good angel from God.

But now the other peas! Well, the one that flew out into the wide world crying, "Catch me if you can!" fell into the gutter of the roof and landed in a pigeon's crop, where it lay like Jonah in the whale. The two lazy ones got just that far, for they also were eaten by pigeons, and that's being of real use. But the fourth pea, who wanted to shoot up to the sun, fell into a gutter and lay for days and weeks in the dirty water, where it swelled up amazingly.

"I'm becoming so beautifully fat!" said the pea. "I'm going to burst, and I don't think any pea can, or ever did, go farther than that. I am the most remarkable of the five from that pod!"

And the gutter agreed with it.

But at the garret window stood the young girl with sparkling eyes and the rosy hue of health on her cheeks, and she folded her delicate hands over the pea blossom and thanked our Lord for it.

"I still stand up for my pea!" said the gutter.

The End

Fables & Tales Nonfiction Poetry Short Stories

Aesop Andersen, H.C. Dickinson, Emily Frost, Robert Grimm Henry, O Kipling, Rudyard Longfellow, Henry Poe, Edgar Allan Shakespeare, William Thoreau, Henry Twain, Mark Wilde, Oscar