It was New Year’s Eve and bitterly cold. Snow was falling and the light was starting to fade. A poor little girl walked along the street, bareheaded and barefoot.
She was carrying several matchsticks, wrapped up in her old apron. Candlelight shone from all the windows in preparation for the New Year. The aroma of roast goose wafted along the street. The girl sat down and huddled in a corner between two houses. She was cold but didn’t dare go home, because she hadn’t sold any matchsticks and she was afraid her father would beat her. She decided to light one matchstick to warm her fingers. Suddenly, everything seemed warm and cheerful.
Then the matchstick went out and the girl realised that she was still sitting on the cold street. Filled with hope, she struck another match and was warm once again, for a little while. This time, too, she saw lovely visions. She kept striking matches, which made her feel warm for the short time that they lasted. When she struck the last match her grandmother miraculously appeared before her. The grandmother was no longer alive but was the only person who had ever been kind to the little match girl. The grandmother lifted up the little girl, took her in her arms and, together, they flew higher and higher. Where do you think they flew?