• 1
  • All Grimm
    Fairy Tales
  • 2
  • Sorted by
    reading time
  • 3
  • Perfect for reading
A Leaf from Heaven
Grimm Märchen

A Leaf from Heaven - Fairy Tale by Hans Christian Andersen

Reading time for children: 9 min

High up in the thin, clear air there flew an angel bearing a flower from the garden of heaven. As he kissed it, a tiny leaf drifted down into the muddy soil in the middle of the wood. It very soon took root there, and sprouted, and sent up shoots among the other plants.

„That’s a funny kind of slip,“ said the plants.

And neither the thistle nor the stinging nettle would have anything to do with the stranger. „It must be some low kind of garden plant,“ they said, grinning and making fun at it. But it grew and grew, and like no other plant its long branches spread far about.

„Where do you think you’re going?“ said the tall thistles, who have thorns on each of their leaves. „You’re taking a good deal of space. That’s a lot of nonsense-we can’t stand here and support you!“

When winter came, the snow covered the plant, but from it the blanket of snow received a glow as if the sun were shining from below. Then the spring returned, and the plant was in glorious bloom, more beautiful than any other in the forest.

And now there came to the forest a professor of botany, who could show what he was with many degrees. He carefully inspected the plant and tested it, but decided it was not included in his system of botany. He could not possibly learn to what class it did belong.

„This must be some unimportant variety,“ he said. „I certainly don’t know it. It’s not included in any system.“

„Not included in any system!“ said the thistles and the nettles.

The big trees which grew round it heard what was said and they also saw the tree was not one of their kind, but they said nothing, good or bad. And that is much the wisest course for stupid people to take.

Then a poor, innocent girl came through the forest. Her heart was pure, and her understanding was glorious with faith. Her only inheritance was an old Bible, but from its pages the voice of God spoke to her: „If people wish to do you evil, remember the story of Joseph. They had evil in their hearts, but God turned it to good. If you suffer wrong, if you are despised and misunderstood, then you must remember the words of Him who was purity and goodness itself, and who prayed for those who struck Him and nailed Him to the cross. ‚Father, forgive them. For they know not what they do!‘ “

She stopped before the wondrous plant, whose great leaves gave forth sweet and refreshing fragrance and whose flowers glowed in the sun like a wonderful firework of color. And from each flower there came a sound as though it held concealed within itself a deep well of melody that thousands of years would not empty. With devout gratitude the girl gazed on this exquisite work of the Creator and bent down one of the branches, that she might examine the flower and breathe in its sweetness; and a lovely light burned in her soul. It seemed to uplift her heart, and she wanted to pluck a flower, but she had not the heart to break one off, for she knew it would soon fade if she did. So she took only a single green leaf, carried it home, and there she pressed it in between the pages of her Bible; and it lay there quite fresh, always green, and never fading.

It was kept in the pages of that Bible, and with that Bible it was placed under the girl’s head when, some weeks thereafter, she lay in her coffin. On her gentle face was the solemn peace of death, as if the earthly remains carried the imprint of the truth that she now was in the presence of her Creator.

But the marvelous plant still bloomed in the forest. It looked almost like a great tree now, and all the birds of passage, especially the storks and the swallows, bowed down before it.

„That thing is taking on foreign airs now,“ said the thistles and the burdocks. „We never act like that here in this country!“

And the black forest snails spat at the plant.

Then the swineherd came, collecting thistles and other shrubs, to burn them for their ashes. He tore up the heavenly plant by the roots and crammed it into his bag.

„I can use that, too,“ he said, and no sooner said than done.

But for years the King of that country had been troubled by a deep melancholy of spirit. He kept busy and laborious always, but it seemed to do him no good. They read books to him-deep and learned tomes, or the lightest and most trifling they could find; but nothing did any good. Then one of the world’s wisest men, to whom they had applied for help, sent a messenger to explain to the King that there was but one sure remedy that would relieve and cure him.

„In a forest in the King’s own country there grows a plant of heavenly origin. Its appearance cannot be mistaken.“ And then the messenger brought out a drawing of the plant. It would be easy to recognize it. „Its leaves are green winter and summer, so every evening put a fresh leaf on the King’s forehead. His thoughts will then clear, and a beautiful dream will refresh and strengthen him.“

„I think I took it up in my bundle and burned it to ashes a long time ago,“ said the swineherd. „I just didn’t know any better.“

„You did not know any better!“ they all said. „Ignorance, oh, ignorance! How great you are!“

And those words the swineherd might well take to heart, for they were meant for him and no one else.

Not a single leaf of that plant could be found. No one knew about the one leaf that lay in the coffin of the dead girl.

And the King himself, in his terrible depression, wandered out to the spot in the woods. „This is where the plant grew,“ he said. „It shall be a sacred place.“ Then he had it surrounded by a golden railing, and a sentry was posted there, by day and by night.

The professor of botany wrote a thesis on the heavenly plant. As a reward he was gilded all over, and that gilding suited him and his family very well indeed. As a matter of fact, that was the pleasantest part of the whole story, for the plant had disappeared.

The King remained as melancholy and sad as before; but then he had always been that way-said the sentry.

LanguagesLearn languages. Double-Tap on one word.Learn languages in context with and

Backgrounds to fairy tale „A leaf from heaven“

„A Leaf from Heaven“ is a lesser-known fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. It was first published in 1855 as part of a collection of stories titled „Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen.“ The tale’s themes revolve around the beauty of nature, the power of love, and the interconnectedness of all living things.

The story takes place in a small village where the protagonist, a man named Frederick, resides. Frederick is a kind and gentle soul who is passionate about plants and gardening. He spends much of his time nurturing a beautiful, thriving garden, which he considers his own little paradise.

One day, a radiant and magical leaf falls from heaven and lands in Frederick’s garden. He becomes captivated by the leaf’s beauty and enchanting qualities. It is said that this leaf has the power to bring prosperity, happiness, and love to anyone who possesses it.

As word spreads about the leaf’s magical properties, various characters in the story are drawn to it, each seeking to gain something from the leaf. Some characters desire wealth, while others hope for love or happiness. The leaf has a transformative effect on the lives of those who encounter it, illustrating the profound impact that love and beauty can have on people’s lives.

Throughout the story, the leaf serves as a symbol of nature’s power to inspire and heal, while also highlighting the importance of love and compassion in human relationships. The tale encourages readers to appreciate the beauty of the natural world and to recognize the potential for growth and happiness that can be found in the simplest things in life.

The background of „A Leaf from Heaven“ is rooted in Andersen’s own love of nature and his appreciation for the beauty of the world around him. As with many of his other works, the story reflects his ability to imbue ordinary elements of life with magic and wonder, creating a tale that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

Interpretations to fairy tale „A leaf from heaven“

„A Leaf from Heaven“ by Hans Christian Andersen can be interpreted in several ways, exploring themes of love, nature, and the human desire for happiness and fulfillment.

The power of love: The magical leaf from heaven is a symbol of love and its ability to transform lives. The leaf brings happiness, prosperity, and love to those who possess it. This theme emphasizes the importance of love in human lives and the positive impact it can have on people’s well-being.

The beauty of nature: The story highlights the beauty and enchanting qualities of nature, as seen through the magical leaf and the thriving garden that Frederick cultivates. It conveys the message that nature has the power to heal, inspire, and uplift the human spirit.

The interconnectedness of all living things: The leaf’s magical properties affect various characters in the story, demonstrating the interconnectedness of life. It serves as a reminder that the well-being of one individual can have a ripple effect on others, highlighting the importance of compassion and empathy in human relationships.

The pursuit of happiness and fulfillment: As characters in the story are drawn to the magical leaf, each seeking something different from it, the tale explores the human desire for happiness, wealth, and love. It suggests that true happiness can be found in simple things like love, beauty, and a connection to nature.

The transformative power of nature: The magical leaf has the power to change the lives of those who encounter it. This theme underscores the idea that nature, when embraced and appreciated, can have a profound impact on human lives, offering growth, healing, and happiness.

Overall, „A Leaf from Heaven“ by Hans Christian Andersen is a rich and thought-provoking tale that encourages readers to appreciate the beauty of the natural world, the power of love, and the potential for happiness and growth found in simple things.

Adaptions of the fairy tale „A leaf from heaven“

While „A Leaf from Heaven“ might not be one of the most well-known fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen, there have been a few adaptations and references to the story in various forms:

Audiobook and storytelling adaptations: Like many other fairy tales, „A Leaf from Heaven“ has been adapted into audiobooks and storytelling performances, making it accessible to a wider audience. You can find versions of the story narrated by various voice actors or storytellers, some including sound effects and music to enrich the experience.

Illustrated editions: As part of Hans Christian Andersen’s collection of fairy tales, „A Leaf from Heaven“ has been included in illustrated books, where talented artists have created visual representations of the story. These illustrated editions can bring the story to life for young readers and help them to connect with the themes and characters of the tale.

Animated shorts and films: Though there may not be a widely recognized animated film adaptation of „A Leaf from Heaven,“ it’s possible that independent animators or small studios have created short films or animation projects inspired by the story. These adaptations might be available on online platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo.

Theater and stage adaptations: The story of „A Leaf from Heaven“ may also have been adapted into plays or stage performances by local theater groups or schools, emphasizing the themes of love, nature, and happiness in a live performance setting.

While there are no blockbuster films or widely-known adaptations of „A Leaf from Heaven,“ this enchanting fairy tale has been shared in various formats, allowing audiences to appreciate its timeless message and themes.

Adaptions of the fairy tale „A leaf from heaven“

There are relatively few adaptations of „A Leaf from Heaven“ compared to other Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales, but here are a few notable examples:

„The Leaf“ (2015): This short film adaptation of the story was produced by the Mormon Channel and features a modern-day setting. The story follows a young boy who finds a withered leaf and wishes for it to be restored to life. Like the original story, the boy embarks on a journey to a magical garden and learns valuable lessons about kindness and compassion.

„A Leaf from Heaven“ (2015): This musical adaptation of the story was produced by the Chongqing Puppet Theater in China. The production features colorful puppetry and traditional Chinese music and dance, and tells the story of a poor boy who embarks on a magical journey to a beautiful garden in the sky.

„A Leaf from Heaven“ (2016): This animated short film adaptation was produced by filmmaker Katya Mikheeva and features a unique visual style inspired by traditional Russian folk art. The story follows a young girl who finds a withered leaf and embarks on a magical journey to a beautiful garden in the sky, where she learns about the power of kindness and compassion.

„The Leaf from Heaven“ (2020): This adaptation of the story was produced by the Chinese film studio Alibaba Pictures and features a modern-day setting. The story follows a young girl who finds a withered leaf and is transported to a magical garden in the sky, where she learns valuable lessons about the power of nature and the importance of protecting the environment. The film features a mix of live-action and CGI animation.

These adaptations of „A Leaf from Heaven“ vary in their approach to the story, but all emphasize the importance of kindness, compassion, and personal growth.

Summary of the plot

„A Leaf from Heaven“ is a short fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen that tells the story of a powerful king who seeks to find the most precious and valuable thing in the world. One day, a leaf falls from heaven, and the king’s wise men claim that the leaf is a symbol of the most valuable thing in life: love.

The king, not fully understanding the meaning of this message, decides to search for the leaf’s tree in hopes of obtaining its wisdom. He embarks on a long journey, during which he encounters various people and experiences. Along the way, he learns that love can be found in various forms, such as a mother’s love for her child, a man’s love for his wife, and even the love between friends.

After years of searching, the king finally discovers the tree from which the leaf fell, only to find that it is a simple and humble tree. He realizes that the tree represents the love and happiness that can be found in the simple things in life. The king returns to his kingdom, now wiser and more compassionate, and shares the lessons he learned with his people. The story emphasizes the importance of love and the idea that true happiness can be found in the simple, ordinary aspects of life.

Backgrounds to fairy tale „A Leaf from Heaven“

„A Leaf from Heaven“ is a fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen, a Danish author who is best known for his children’s stories. Born in 1805 and active during the 19th century, Andersen was a prolific writer of poems, novels, travelogues, and plays. However, his fairy tales gained the most recognition and are still beloved by readers today. Some of his most famous works include „The Little Mermaid,“ „The Ugly Duckling,“ „The Emperor’s New Clothes,“ and „The Snow Queen.“

Andersen’s fairy tales often incorporate elements of folklore, fantasy, and moral lessons. They frequently delve into themes such as the power of love, the triumph of good over evil, and the importance of inner beauty. His stories have been translated into numerous languages and have inspired various adaptations, including films, plays, and ballets.

„A Leaf from Heaven“ is not as well-known as some of Andersen’s other works, but it shares many of the same themes and stylistic elements that characterize his other fairy tales. The story’s exploration of faith, nature, human knowledge, and the value of the overlooked showcase Andersen’s ability to craft engaging and thought-provoking narratives that resonate with readers of all ages.

Interpretations to fairy tale „A Leaf from Heaven“

„A Leaf from Heaven“ can be interpreted in various ways, offering insights into themes such as the value of faith, the beauty of nature, and the limits of human knowledge. Here are some interpretations of the story:

The power of faith: The poor girl’s deep faith and pure heart allow her to appreciate the heavenly plant’s beauty and significance. While others fail to recognize its value, she experiences a spiritual connection to the plant. This suggests that faith can help people see and appreciate the divine in the world around them.

The beauty and power of nature: The heavenly plant stands as a symbol of the beauty and power of nature, transcending human understanding. Despite attempts by the other plants and the professor of botany to classify and explain it, the plant remains mysterious and unique. This emphasizes the idea that nature is full of wonders that cannot always be explained or understood by humans.

The limits of human knowledge: The story highlights the limitations of human knowledge, as neither the plants in the forest nor the professor of botany can fully comprehend the heavenly plant’s nature. This serves as a reminder that there are things in the world that are beyond our understanding and that we should approach them with humility and respect.

The consequences of ignorance: The destruction of the heavenly plant by the swineherd showcases the negative consequences of ignorance. He destroys something of great value without realizing its significance, and the King remains in his melancholic state. This serves as a cautionary tale about the importance of respecting and preserving the natural world and its wonders.

The hidden value of the overlooked: The heavenly plant’s miraculous properties remain hidden in the dead girl’s Bible, emphasizing that sometimes the most valuable and powerful things can be found in the most unexpected places. This suggests that people should be more attentive to the overlooked and seemingly insignificant aspects of life, as they might hold the key to happiness and understanding.

Summary of the plot

„A Leaf from Heaven“ is a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen that tells the story of a heavenly plant that sprouts in a forest after an angel drops a leaf from the Garden of Heaven. The other plants in the forest, such as thistles and nettles, mock the strange plant, and even a professor of botany cannot classify it in his system.

One day, a poor, innocent girl with a pure heart and deep faith comes across the plant. She is captivated by its beauty and fragrance and takes a single green leaf from it, placing it in her Bible. The girl dies a few weeks later, and the leaf is buried with her, remaining evergreen and unfading.

Meanwhile, the King of the country is plagued by melancholy, and a wise man suggests that a leaf from the heavenly plant will cure him. But the plant has been uprooted and destroyed by a swineherd who didn’t know its value. The King, in despair, visits the spot where the plant once stood, declares it sacred, and installs a sentry to guard it day and night. The professor of botany is rewarded for his work on the plant, but the King remains as melancholic as ever, for the plant’s miraculous properties lie forgotten in the dead girl’s Bible.

Informations for scientific analysis

Fairy tale statistics
TranslationsDE, EN, DA, ES, IT
Readability Index by Björnsson26.9
Flesch-Reading-Ease Index82.4
Flesch–Kincaid Grade-Level5.6
Gunning Fog Index8.6
Coleman–Liau Index8.4
SMOG Index8.8
Automated Readability Index5.6
Character Count6.010
Letter Count4.613
Sentence Count73
Word Count1.123
Average Words per Sentence15,38
Words with more than 6 letters129
Percentage of long words11.5%
Number of Syllables1.445
Average Syllables per Word1,29
Words with three Syllables68
Percentage Words with three Syllables6.1%
Questions, comments or experience reports?

Privacy policy.

The best fairy tales

Copyright © 2024 -   Imprint | Privacy policy |All rights reserved Powered by

Keine Internetverbindung

Sie sind nicht mit dem Internet verbunden. Bitte überprüfen Sie Ihre Netzwerkverbindung.

Versuchen Sie Folgendes:

  • 1. Prüfen Sie Ihr Netzwerkkabel, ihren Router oder Ihr Smartphone

  • 2. Aktivieren Sie ihre Mobile Daten -oder WLAN-Verbindung erneut

  • 3. Prüfen Sie das Signal an Ihrem Standort

  • 4. Führen Sie eine Netzwerkdiagnose durch