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The Fir Tree
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The Fir Tree - Fairy Tale by Hans Christian Andersen

Reading time for children: 22 min

Far down in the forest, where the warm sun and the fresh air made a sweet resting-place, grew a pretty little fir-tree; and yet it was not happy, it wished so much to be tall like its companions– the pines and firs which grew around it. The sun shone, and the soft air fluttered its leaves, and the little peasant children passed by, prattling merrily, but the fir-tree heeded them not. Sometimes the children would bring a large basket of raspberries or strawberries, wreathed on a straw, and seat themselves near the fir-tree, and say, „Is it not a pretty little tree?“ which made it feel more unhappy than before.

And yet all this while the tree grew a notch or joint taller every year. For by the number of joints in the stem of a fir-tree we can discover its age. Still, as it grew, it complained.

„Oh! how I wish I were as tall as the other trees, then I would spread out my branches on every side, and my top would over-look the wide world. I should have the birds building their nests on my boughs, and when the wind blew, I should bow with stately dignity like my tall companions.“

The tree was so discontented, that it took no pleasure in the warm sunshine, the birds, or the rosy clouds that floated over it morning and evening.

Sometimes, in winter, when the snow lay white and glittering on the ground, a hare would come springing along, and jump right over the little tree; and then how mortified it would feel! Two winters passed, and when the third arrived, the tree had grown so tall that the hare was obliged to run round it. Yet it remained unsatisfied, and would exclaim, „Oh, if I could but keep on growing tall and old! There is nothing else worth caring for in the world!“

In the autumn, as usual, the wood-cutters came and cut down several of the tallest trees, and the young fir-tree, which was now grown to its full height, shuddered as the noble trees fell to the earth with a crash. After the branches were lopped off, the trunks looked so slender and bare, that they could scarcely be recognized. Then they were placed upon wagons, and drawn by horses out of the forest.

„Where were they going? What would become of them?“

The young fir-tree wished very much to know. So in the spring, when the swallows and the storks came, it asked, „Do you know where those trees were taken? Did you meet them?“

The swallows knew nothing, but the stork, after a little reflection, nodded his head, and said, „Yes, I think I do. I met several new ships when I flew from Egypt, and they had fine masts that smelt like fir. I think these must have been the trees. I assure you they were stately, very stately.“

„Oh, how I wish I were tall enough to go on the sea,“ said the fir-tree. „What is the sea, and what does it look like?“

„It would take too much time to explain,“ said the stork, flying quickly away.

„Rejoice in thy youth,“ said the sunbeam; „rejoice in thy fresh growth, and the young life that is in thee.“

And the wind kissed the tree, and the dew watered it with tears; but the fir-tree regarded them not.

Christmas-time drew near, and many young trees were cut down, some even smaller and younger than the fir-tree who enjoyed neither rest nor peace with longing to leave its forest home. These young trees, which were chosen for their beauty, kept their branches, and were also laid on wagons and drawn by horses out of the forest.

„Where are they going?“ asked the fir-tree. „They are not taller than I am: indeed, one is much less; and why are the branches not cut off? Where are they going?“

„We know, we know,“ sang the sparrows; „we have looked in at the windows of the houses in the town, and we know what is done with them. They are dressed up in the most splendid manner. We have seen them standing in the middle of a warm room, and adorned with all sorts of beautiful things,– honey cakes, gilded apples, playthings, and many hundreds of wax tapers.“

„And then,“ asked the fir-tree, trembling through all its branches, „and then what happens?“

„We did not see any more,“ said the sparrows. „But this was enough for us.“

„I wonder whether anything so brilliant will ever happen to me,“ thought the fir-tree. „It would be much better than crossing the sea. I long for it almost with pain. Oh! when will Christmas be here? I am now as tall and well grown as those which were taken away last year. Oh! that I were now laid on the wagon, or standing in the warm room, with all that brightness and splendor around me! Something better and more beautiful is to come after, or the trees would not be so decked out. Yes, what follows will be grander and more splendid. What can it be? I am weary with longing. I scarcely know how I feel.“

„Rejoice with us,“ said the air and the sunlight. „Enjoy thine own bright life in the fresh air.“

But the tree would not rejoice, though it grew taller every day; and, winter and summer, its dark-green foliage might be seen in the forest, while passers by would say, „What a beautiful tree!“ A short time before Christmas, the discontented fir-tree was the first to fall. As the axe cut through the stem, and divided the pith, the tree fell with a groan to the earth, conscious of pain and faintness, and forgetting all its anticipations of happiness, in sorrow at leaving its home in the forest. It knew that it should never again see its dear old companions, the trees, nor the little bushes and many-colored flowers that had grown by its side; perhaps not even the birds. Neither was the journey at all pleasant.

The tree first recovered itself while being unpacked in the courtyard of a house, with several other trees; and it heard a man say, „We only want one, and this is the prettiest.“

Then came two servants in grand livery, and carried the fir-tree into a large and beautiful apartment. On the walls hung pictures, and near the great stove stood great china vases, with lions on the lids. There were rocking chairs, silken sofas, large tables, covered with pictures, books, and playthings, worth a great deal of money,– at least, the children said so. Then the fir-tree was placed in a large tub, full of sand; but green baize hung all around it, so that no one could see it was a tub, and it stood on a very handsome carpet. How the fir-tree trembled! „What was going to happen to him now?“ Some young ladies came, and the servants helped them to adorn the tree. On one branch they hung little bags cut out of colored paper, and each bag was filled with sweetmeats. From other branches hung gilded apples and walnuts, as if they had grown there; and above, and all round, were hundreds of red, blue, and white tapers, which were fastened on the branches. Dolls, exactly like real babies, were placed under the green leaves,– the tree had never seen such things before,– and at the very top was fastened a glittering star, made of tinsel. Oh, it was very beautiful!

„This evening,“ they all exclaimed, „how bright it will be!“

„Oh, that the evening were come,“ thought the tree, „and the tapers lighted! then I shall know what else is going to happen. Will the trees of the forest come to see me? I wonder if the sparrows will peep in at the windows as they fly? shall I grow faster here, and keep on all these ornaments summer and winter?“

But guessing was of very little use. It made his bark ache, and this pain is as bad for a slender fir-tree, as headache is for us.

At last the tapers were lighted, and then what a glistening blaze of light the tree presented! It trembled so with joy in all its branches, that one of the candles fell among the green leaves and burnt some of them.

„Help! help!“ exclaimed the young ladies, but there was no danger, for they quickly extinguished the fire.

After this, the tree tried not to tremble at all, though the fire frightened him. He was so anxious not to hurt any of the beautiful ornaments, even while their brilliancy dazzled him. And now the folding doors were thrown open, and a troop of children rushed in as if they intended to upset the tree. They were followed more silently by their elders. For a moment the little ones stood silent with astonishment, and then they shouted for joy, till the room rang, and they danced merrily round the tree, while one present after another was taken from it.

„What are they doing? What will happen next?“ thought the fir. At last the candles burnt down to the branches and were put out. Then the children received permission to plunder the tree. Oh, how they rushed upon it, till the branches cracked, and had it not been fastened with the glistening star to the ceiling, it must have been thrown down.

The children then danced about with their pretty toys, and no one noticed the tree, except the children’s maid who came and peeped among the branches to see if an apple or a fig had been forgotten.

„A story, a story,“ cried the children, pulling a little fat man towards the tree. „Now we shall be in the green shade,“ said the man, as he seated himself under it, „and the tree will have the pleasure of hearing also, but I shall only relate one story. What shall it be? Ivede-Avede, or Humpty Dumpty, who fell down stairs, but soon got up again, and at last married a princess.“

„Ivede-Avede,“ cried some. „Humpty Dumpty,“ cried others, and there was a fine shouting and crying out. But the fir-tree remained quite still, and thought to himself, „Shall I have anything to do with all this?“ but he had already amused them as much as they wished.

Then the old man told them the story of Humpty Dumpty, how he fell down stairs, and was raised up again, and married a princess. And the children clapped their hands and cried, „Tell another, tell another,“ for they wanted to hear the story of „Ivede-Avede;“ but they only had „Humpty Dumpty.“ After this the fir-tree became quite silent and thoughtful; never had the birds in the forest told such tales as „Humpty Dumpty,“ who fell down stairs, and yet married a princess. „Ah! yes, so it happens in the world,“ thought the fir-tree. He believed it all, because it was related by such a nice man. „Ah! well,“ he thought, „who knows? perhaps I may fall down too, and marry a princess;“ and he looked forward joyfully to the next evening, expecting to be again decked out with lights and playthings, gold and fruit.

„To-morrow I will not tremble,“ thought he; „I will enjoy all my splendor, and I shall hear the story of Humpty Dumpty again, and perhaps Ivede-Avede.“ And the tree remained quiet and thoughtful all night.

In the morning the servants and the housemaid came in.

„Now,“ thought the fir, „all my splendor is going to begin again.“ But they dragged him out of the room and up stairs to the garret, and threw him on the floor, in a dark corner, where no daylight shone, and there they left him. „What does this mean?“ thought the tree, „what am I to do here? I can hear nothing in a place like this,“ and he had time enough to think, for days and nights passed and no one came near him, and when at last somebody did come, it was only to put away large boxes in a corner. So the tree was completely hidden from sight as if it had never existed.

„It is winter now,“ thought the tree, „the ground is hard and covered with snow, so that people cannot plant me. I shall be sheltered here, I dare say, until spring comes. How thoughtful and kind everybody is to me! Still I wish this place were not so dark, as well as lonely, with not even a little hare to look at. How pleasant it was out in the forest while the snow lay on the ground, when the hare would run by, yes, and jump over me too, although I did not like it then. Oh! it is terrible lonely here.“

„Squeak, squeak,“ said a little mouse, creeping cautiously towards the tree. Then came another; and they both sniffed at the fir-tree and crept between the branches.

„Oh, it is very cold,“ said the little mouse, „or else we should be so comfortable here, shouldn’t we, you old fir-tree?“

„I am not old,“ said the fir-tree, „there are many who are older than I am.“

„Where do you come from? and what do you know?“ asked the mice, who were full of curiosity. „Have you seen the most beautiful places in the world, and can you tell us all about them? and have you been in the storeroom, where cheeses lie on the shelf, and hams hang from the ceiling? One can run about on tallow candles there, and go in thin and come out fat.“

„I know nothing of that place,“ said the fir-tree, „but I know the wood where the sun shines and the birds sing.“ And then the tree told the little mice all about its youth. They had never heard such an account in their lives; and after they had listened to it attentively, they said, „What a number of things you have seen? you must have been very happy.“

„Happy!“ exclaimed the fir-tree, and then as he reflected upon what he had been telling them, he said, „Ah, yes! after all those were happy days.“ But when he went on and related all about Christmas-eve, and how he had been dressed up with cakes and lights, the mice said,

„How happy you must have been, you old fir-tree.“

„I am not old at all,“ replied the tree, „I only came from the forest this winter, I am now checked in my growth.“

„What splendid stories you can relate,“ said the little mice. And the next night four other mice came with them to hear what the tree had to tell. The more he talked the more he remembered, and then he thought to himself, „Those were happy days, but they may come again. Humpty Dumpty fell down stairs, and yet he married the princess; perhaps I may marry a princess too.“ And the fir-tree thought of the pretty little birch-tree that grew in the forest, which was to him a real beautiful princess.

„Who is Humpty Dumpty?“ asked the little mice. And then the tree related the whole story. He could remember every single word, and the little mice was so delighted with it, that they were ready to jump to the top of the tree. The next night a great many more mice made their appearance, and on Sunday two rats came with them; but they said, it was not a pretty story at all, and the little mice were very sorry, for it made them also think less of it.

„Do you know only one story?“ asked the rats.

„Only one,“ replied the fir-tree; „I heard it on the happiest evening of my life; but I did not know I was so happy at the time.“

„We think it is a very miserable story,“ said the rats. „Don’t you know any story about bacon, or tallow in the storeroom.“

„No,“ replied the tree.

„Many thanks to you then,“ replied the rats, and they marched off.

The little mice also kept away after this, and the tree sighed, and said, „It was very pleasant when the merry little mice sat round me and listened while I talked. Now that is all passed too. However, I shall consider myself happy when some one comes to take me out of this place.“

But would this ever happen? Yes. One morning people came to clear out the garret, the boxes were packed away, and the tree was pulled out of the corner, and thrown roughly on the garret floor. Then the servant dragged it out upon the staircase where the daylight shone.

„Now life is beginning again,“ said the tree, rejoicing in the sunshine and fresh air. Then it was carried down stairs and taken into the courtyard so quickly, that it forgot to think of itself, and could only look about, there was so much to be seen. The court was close to a garden, where everything looked blooming. Fresh and fragrant roses hung over the little palings. The linden-trees were in blossom. While the swallows flew here and there, crying, „Twit, twit, twit, my mate is coming,“– but it was not the fir-tree they meant.

„Now I shall live,“ cried the tree, joyfully spreading out its branches; but alas! they were all withered and yellow, and it lay in a corner amongst weeds and nettles. The star of gold paper still stuck in the top of the tree and glittered in the sunshine.

In the same courtyard two of the merry children were playing who had danced round the tree at Christmas, and had been so happy. The youngest saw the gilded star, and ran and pulled it off the tree.

„Look what is sticking to the ugly old fir-tree,“ said the child, treading on the branches till they crackled under his boots.

And the tree saw all the fresh bright flowers in the garden, and then looked at itself, and wished it had remained in the dark corner of the garret. It thought of its fresh youth in the forest, of the merry Christmas evening, and of the little mice who had listened to the story of „Humpty Dumpty.“

„Past! past!“ said the old tree; „Oh, had I but enjoyed myself while I could have done so! but now it is too late.“

Then a lad came and chopped the tree into small pieces, till a large bundle lay in a heap on the ground. The pieces were placed in a fire under the copper, and they quickly blazed up brightly, while the tree sighed so deeply that each sigh was like a pistol-shot. Then the children, who were at play, came and seated themselves in front of the fire, and looked at it and cried, „Pop, pop.“ But at each „pop,“ which was a deep sigh, the tree was thinking of a summer day in the forest; and of Christmas evening, and of „Humpty Dumpty,“ the only story it had ever heard or knew how to relate, till at last it was consumed.

The boys still played in the garden, and the youngest wore the golden star on his breast, with which the tree had been adorned during the happiest evening of its existence. Now all was past. The tree’s life was past, and the story also,– for all stories must come to an end at last.

Backgrounds to fairy tale „The Fir Tree“

„The Fir Tree“ is a poignant fairy tale by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, first published in 1844. Andersen is known for his imaginative and often moralistic stories that have captivated readers for generations. „The Fir Tree“ is one of his lesser-known but equally enchanting tales that explores themes of contentment, the passage of time, and the importance of appreciating the present moment.

Hans Christian Andersen was born in 1805 in Odense, Denmark. Despite facing poverty and hardships during his childhood, Andersen had a vivid imagination and a passion for storytelling. He eventually moved to Copenhagen to pursue a career in the arts and found success as a writer of plays, novels, and fairy tales. His fairy tales, in particular, have become beloved classics, celebrated for their rich narratives, memorable characters, and timeless themes.

„The Fir Tree“ tells the story of a young fir tree that is discontent with its current state and always looking forward to the next stage of its life. It envies the taller trees, the birds that can fly, and the other experiences it believes it is missing. Eventually, the fir tree is cut down and becomes a Christmas tree, adorned with decorations and surrounded by joy and celebration. However, once the festivities end, the tree is discarded and left to wither away, realizing too late that it should have appreciated the moments it had in the forest.

The story serves as a cautionary tale about the perils of constantly seeking the next big thing without appreciating the present. Andersen’s tale invites readers to reflect on the importance of contentment and the fleeting nature of life. Like many of his other stories, „The Fir Tree“ has inspired various adaptations and continues to resonate with readers of all ages.

Interpretations to fairy tale „The Fir Tree“

„The Fir Tree“ by Hans Christian Andersen is a thought-provoking fairy tale that offers several interpretations and moral lessons for readers. Some of the key interpretations of the story include:

Appreciation of the present moment: The central theme of „The Fir Tree“ is the importance of appreciating and enjoying the present moment. The fir tree spends its entire life longing for the next stage, never truly valuing its current circumstances. This serves as a reminder to readers about the importance of living in the present and finding contentment in the here and now.

The fleeting nature of life: The story demonstrates how life can be ephemeral and highlights the significance of making the most of every moment. The fir tree’s life passes by quickly, and it only realizes the value of its experiences once it is too late. This interpretation urges readers to cherish their time and appreciate the beauty in each stage of life.

The dangers of envy and discontent: The fir tree is continually envious of others, such as the taller trees and the birds that can fly. This envy and constant longing for something more lead the fir tree to be perpetually dissatisfied. This theme serves as a cautionary message about the destructive nature of envy and discontent, and how these emotions can prevent one from finding happiness.

The consequences of unrealistic expectations: The fir tree has unrealistic expectations about its future, believing that becoming a Christmas tree will bring eternal happiness. However, once the festivities end, the tree’s life takes a downward turn. This interpretation highlights the dangers of placing too much hope in the future and the potential disappointment that can come from unrealistic expectations.

The passage of time and the cycle of life: „The Fir Tree“ also explores the passage of time and the various stages of life. The tree experiences growth, joy, and eventual decline, reflecting the natural cycle of life. This theme invites readers to consider their own experiences and the importance of embracing each stage of life with gratitude and acceptance.

In summary, „The Fir Tree“ is a rich and meaningful tale that offers multiple interpretations and moral lessons. Its themes of appreciating the present moment, the fleeting nature of life, the dangers of envy and discontent, and the passage of time continue to resonate with readers, making it a timeless and significant work.

Adaptions of the fairy tale „The Fir Tree“

„The Fir Tree“ by Hans Christian Andersen has inspired several adaptations across various forms of media, capturing the hearts and imaginations of audiences with its timeless themes and poignant narrative. Some specific examples of adaptations include:

Literature: Various authors have created their own retellings or adaptations of „The Fir Tree“ in the form of novels or short stories. These adaptations may explore the original story from different perspectives or place the tale in a new setting or time period, while still preserving its core themes and messages. The story has been retold in numerous children’s books, including a 1987 picture book by Eric Carle titled „Dream Snow“ and a 2016 book by Jerry Pinkney titled „The Little Fir Tree.“

Theater: „The Fir Tree“ has been adapted into stage plays and puppet shows, often performed during the holiday season. These adaptations often use creative staging, costumes, and music to bring the story to life, emphasizing the emotional depth of Andersen’s original tale. The fir tree story was adapted into a ballet by composer Carl Davis and choreographer David Bintley in 1990. The ballet was titled „The Seasons“ and tells the story of the fir tree’s journey through the four seasons.

Animation: Animated adaptations of „The Fir Tree“ have been created, bringing the story to life through the use of colorful visuals and captivating narration. These adaptations often stay true to the original story, allowing viewers to connect with the timeless themes and appreciate the beauty of Andersen’s narrative. The story has been adapted into several animated films, including a 1991 Soviet film titled „The Little Tree“ and a 2005 French film titled „The Fir Tree.“

Audiobooks and radio plays: „The Fir Tree“ has been adapted into audiobooks and radio plays, providing listeners with a unique auditory experience of the story. These adaptations often feature talented narrators and sound effects that immerse listeners in the world of the fir tree and its journey. „The Fir Tree“ has also been adapted into musical productions, including an opera by British composer Sally Beamish and a musical play by Danish composer Bo Holten. The story has been adapted in various other forms, such as a puppet play by American puppeteer Jim Henson, a radio play by the BBC, and even an episode of the TV series „The Twilight Zone“ titled „The Changing of the Guard.“

Art and illustrations: Various artists have been inspired by „The Fir Tree“ and have created illustrations, paintings, and sculptures that depict scenes or characters from the story. These artistic adaptations showcase the influence of Andersen’s tale on the world of art and demonstrate how his magical world can be reimagined through different visual styles and mediums.

Through these adaptations and more, „The Fir Tree“ continues to captivate audiences and solidify its status as a classic fairy tale. Its poignant narrative, memorable characters, and timeless themes ensure that it will continue to inspire new interpretations for generations to come. Overall, „The Fir Tree“ has inspired many adaptations across different media and cultures, demonstrating its enduring popularity and universal appeal.

Summary of the plot

„The Fir Tree“ is a poignant fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen that tells the story of a young fir tree that constantly longs for the next stage of its life, never appreciating the present moment. The story serves as a moral lesson about the importance of contentment and the fleeting nature of life. The tale begins in the forest, where the fir tree is unhappy with its current situation, envying the taller trees and the birds that can fly. It constantly dreams of a better future and grows discontent with each passing day. As the years go by, the tree hears stories from birds and other animals about the world outside the forest, further fueling its longing for a different life.

One day, a group of people comes to the forest and cuts down several trees, including the fir tree. The tree is excited about its new purpose, hoping to be transformed into something grand. It is eventually brought to a family’s home and decorated as a Christmas tree. The fir tree takes pride in its newfound position, as it is admired and celebrated by the family.

However, the festivities soon end, and the tree is discarded in the attic, feeling forgotten and abandoned. While in the attic, the tree befriends a group of mice who listen to the tree’s stories about its life in the forest. The tree realizes, too late, the beauty and happiness it had experienced in the forest, and it finally understands the value of appreciating the present moment. In the end, the fir tree is taken out of the attic and chopped into firewood. As it burns in the fireplace, the tree reflects on its life and the lessons it has learned. The story concludes with a reminder for readers to cherish the present moment, appreciate their experiences, and find contentment in their lives.


Backgrounds to fairy tale „The fir tree“

„The Fir-Tree“ is a literary fairy tale by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, first published on 21 December 1844. Andersen (1805-1875) was a prominent Danish writer, known for his contributions to the fairy tale genre. Many of his works, such as „The Little Mermaid,“ „The Ugly Duckling,“ and „The Emperor’s New Clothes,“ have become enduring classics that have been adapted into numerous formats, including film, stage, and animation.

„The Fir-Tree“ was published as part of the collection titled „New Fairy Tales. First Volume. Second Collection“ (Nye Eventyr. Første Bind. Anden Samling) by the Danish publisher C.A. Reitzel in Copenhagen, Denmark. The story was published alongside another famous Andersen tale, „The Snow Queen.“

Andersen’s stories often contain moral lessons or cautionary themes that are relevant to both children and adults. In „The Fir-Tree,“ Andersen addresses themes like the importance of living in the moment, the dangers of vanity and materialism, the value of humility, and the inevitability of life’s cycles.

„The Fir-Tree“ stands out as one of Andersen’s more pessimistic works. Jackie Wullschlager, an Andersen biographer, identifies the story as the first of Andersen’s fairy tales to express deep pessimism. Despite this darker tone, „The Fir-Tree“ remains a beloved classic, and its themes continue to resonate with readers today.

Interpretations to fairy tale „The fir tree“

There are several interpretations of Hans Christian Andersen’s „The Fir-Tree.“ Some of the key themes and interpretations include:

The importance of living in the moment: The fir tree is so focused on its future and longing for greater experiences that it fails to appreciate the present. This theme encourages readers to be mindful of the present and enjoy life’s simple pleasures, rather than always striving for something better.

The inevitability of life’s cycles: The story shows the life cycle of the fir tree, from a small seedling to its eventual death as a discarded Christmas tree. This can be interpreted as a reminder that everything in life goes through cycles, and change is a natural part of existence.

The dangers of materialism and vanity: The fir tree longs for material success, hoping to be adorned with beautiful decorations and placed in the center of the room. However, once it achieves this status, it realizes that it’s not enough and longs for more. This theme highlights the danger of pursuing material possessions and vanity, as they can ultimately lead to dissatisfaction and unhappiness.

The value of humility: The fir tree takes pride in its height and appearance, believing that it is superior to the other trees in the forest. However, this arrogance ultimately leads to its downfall. This interpretation suggests that humility is an essential virtue that can help prevent people from making poor decisions and focusing on the wrong priorities.

Pessimism and existentialism: As one of Andersen’s first works to express deep pessimism, „The Fir-Tree“ can be interpreted as a reflection on the human condition. The fir tree’s longing for greater experiences and its eventual disillusionment and demise mirror the experiences of many people, who may question their purpose and the meaning of life.

Overall, „The Fir-Tree“ can be seen as a cautionary tale that teaches the importance of living in the moment, embracing humility, and finding contentment in one’s own existence, while also offering a reflection on the darker aspects of human nature and life’s uncertainties.

Summary of the plot

„The Fir-Tree“ is a literary fairy tale by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, first published on 21 December 1844. The story centers around a fir tree that is so eager to grow up and experience greater things that it fails to appreciate the present moment. This tale has been identified as one of Andersen’s first works to express deep pessimism.

There have been several adaptations of „The Fir-Tree“ over the years. In 1979, Huntingwood Films produced a 28-minute video version, directed by Martin Hunter and featuring the voice of Jeff Kahnert as the Fir-Tree. The story was later adapted as the sixteenth episode of the animated series „The Fairytaler“. In 2011, a short Danish-language film directed by Lars Henrik Ostenfeld modernized the tale, with a slightly different ending where a cone from the tree survives the fire and is thrown back into the forest, potentially growing into a new fir tree. In 2014, Janani Sreenivasan adapted her script „Pine“ into a short film titled „The Fir Tree,“ which she co-directed with Lee Jutton. This adaptation provides a first-person account of the tree’s experiences. Elements of „The Fir Tree“ can also be found in Charles M. Schulz’s „A Charlie Brown Christmas“, which first aired on CBS in 1965.

Informations for scientific analysis

Fairy tale statistics
Translations DE, EN, DA, ES, FR, IT,
Readability Index by Björnsson27.7
Flesch-Reading-Ease Index83.9
Flesch–Kincaid Grade-Level5.6
Gunning Fog Index7.9
Coleman–Liau Index8.2
SMOG Index7.6
Automated Readability Index5.9
Character Count17.625
Letter Count13.429
Sentence Count203
Word Count3.288
Average Words per Sentence16,20
Words with more than 6 letters379
Percentage of long words11.5%
Number of Syllables4.139
Average Syllables per Word1,26
Words with three Syllables116
Percentage Words with three Syllables3.5%

Image sources: © Andrea Danti / Shutterstock

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