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16. THE DREAM OF LITTLE TUK (continued)
"Kickery-ki! kluk! kluk! kluk!"--that was an old hen who came creeping along, and she was from Kjoge. "I am a Kjoger hen,"* said she, and then she related how many inhabitants there were there, and about the battle that had taken place, and which, after all, was hardly worth talking about.
* Kjoge, a town in the bay of Kjoge. "To see the Kjoge hens," is an expression similar to "showing a child London," which is said to be done by taking his head in both bands, and so lifting him off the ground. At the invasion of the English in 1807, an encounter of a no very glorious nature took place between the British troops and the undisciplined Danish militia.
"Kribledy, krabledy--plump!" down fell somebody: it was a wooden bird, the popinjay used at the shooting-matches at Prastoe. Now he said that there were just as many inhabitants as he had nails in his body; and he was very proud. "Thorwaldsen lived almost next door to me.* Plump! Here I lie capitally."
* Prastoe, a still smaller town than Kjoge. Some hundred paces from it lies the manor-house Ny Soe, where Thorwaldsen, the famed sculptor, generally sojourned during his stay in Denmark, and where he called many of his immortal works into existence.
But little Tuk was no longer lying down: all at once he was on horseback. On he went at full gallop, still galloping on and on. A knight with a gleaming plume, and most magnificently dressed, held him before him on the horse, and thus they rode through the wood to the old town of Bordingborg, and that was a large and very lively town. High towers rose from the castle of the king, and the brightness of many candles streamed from all the windows; within was dance and song, and King Waldemar and the young, richly-attired maids of honor danced together. The morn now came; and as soon as the sun appeared, the whole town and the king's palace crumbled together, and one tower after the other; and at last only a single one remained standing where the castle had been before,* and the town was so small and poor, and the school boys came along with their books under their arms, and said, "2000 inhabitants!" but that was not true, for there were not so many.
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