ENGLISH

The sweathearts (Top and Ball)

DANSK

Kærestefolkene (Toppen og bolden)


A whipping top and a little ball lay together in a box, among other toys, and the top said to the ball, "Shall we be married, as we live in the same box?"

But the ball, which wore a dress of morocco leather, and thought as much of herself as any other young lady, would not even condescend to reply.

The next day came the little boy to whom the playthings belonged, and he painted the top red and yellow, and drove a brass-headed nail into the middle, so that while the top was spinning round it looked splendid.

"Look at me," said the top to the ball. "What do you say now? Shall we be engaged to each other? We should suit so well; you spring, and I dance. No one could be happier than we should be."

"Indeed! do you think so? Perhaps you do not know that my father and mother were morocco slippers, and that I have a Spanish cork in my body."

"Yes; but I am made of mahogany," said the top. "The major himself turned me. He has a turning lathe of his own, and it is a great amusement to him."

"Can I believe it?" asked the ball.

"May I never be whipped again," said the top, "if I am not telling you the truth."

"You certainly know how to speak for yourself very well," said the ball; "but I cannot accept your proposal. I am almost engaged to a swallow. Every time I fly up in the air, he puts his head out of the nest, and says, 'Will you?' and I have said, 'Yes,' to myself silently, and that is as good as being half engaged; but I will promise never to forget you."

"Much good that will be to me," said the top; and they spoke to each other no more.

Next day the ball was taken out by the boy. The top saw it flying high in the air, like a bird, till it would go quite out of sight. Each time it came back, as it touched the earth, it gave a higher leap than before, either because it longed to fly upwards, or from having a Spanish cork in its body. But the ninth time it rose in the air, it remained away, and did not return. The boy searched everywhere for it, but he searched in vain, for it could not be found; it was gone.

"I know very well where she is," sighed the top; "she is in the swallow's nest, and has married the swallow."

The more the top thought of this, the more he longed for the ball. His love increased the more, just because he could not get her; and that she should have been won by another, was the worst of all. The top still twirled about and hummed, but he continued to think of the ball; and the more he thought of her, the more beautiful she seemed to his fancy.

Thus several years passed by, and his love became quite old. The top, also, was no longer young; but there came a day when he looked handsomer than ever; for he was gilded all over. He was now a golden top, and whirled and danced about till he hummed quite loud, and was something worth looking at; but one day he leaped too high, and then he, also, was gone. They searched everywhere, even in the cellar, but he was nowhere to be found. Where could he be? He had jumped into the dust-bin, where all sorts of rubbish were lying: cabbage-stalks, dust, and rain-droppings that had fallen down from the gutter under the roof.

"Now I am in a nice place," said he; "my gilding will soon be washed off here. Oh dear, what a set of rabble I have got amongst!" And then he glanced at a curious round thing like an old apple, which lay near a long, leafless cabbage-stalk. It was, however, not an apple, but an old ball, which had lain for years in the gutter, and was soaked through with water.

"Thank goodness, here comes one of my own class, with whom I can talk," said the ball, examining the gilded top. "I am made of morocco," she said. "I was sewn together by a young lady, and I have a Spanish cork in my body; but no one would think it, to look at me now. I was once engaged to a swallow; but I fell in here from the gutter under the roof, and I have lain here more than five years, and have been thoroughly drenched. Believe me, it is a long time for a young maiden."

The top said nothing, but he thought of his old love; and the more she said, the more clear it became to him that this was the same ball.

The servant then came to clean out the dust-bin.

"Ah," she exclaimed, "here is a gilt top." So the top was brought again to notice and honor, but nothing more was heard of the little ball. He spoke not a word about his old love; for that soon died away. When the beloved object has lain for five years in a gutter, and has been drenched through, no one cares to know her again on meeting her in a dust-bin.
Toppen og bolden lå i skuffe sammen mellem andet legetøj, og så sagde toppen til bolden: "Skal vi ikke være kærestefolk, siden vi dog ligger i skuffe sammen"; men bolden, der var syet af safian, og bildte sig lige så meget ind, som en fin frøken, ville ikke svare på sådant noget.

Næste dag kom den lille dreng, der ejede legetøjet, han malede toppen over med rødt og gult, og slog et messingsøm midt i den; det så just prægtigt ud, når toppen svingede rundt.

"Se på mig!" sagde den til bolden. "Hvad siger De nu? skulle vi så ikke være kærestefolk, vi passer så godt sammen, De springer og jeg danser! lykkeligere end vi to kunne ingen blive!"

"Så, tror De det!" sagde bolden, "De ved nok ikke, at min fader og moder har været safianstøfler, og at jeg har en prop i livet!"

"Ja, men jeg er af mahognitræ!" sagde toppen, "og byfogeden har selv drejet mig, han har sin egen drejebænk, og det var ham en stor fornøjelse!"

"Ja, kan jeg stole på det!" sagde bolden.

"Gid jeg aldrig få pisk om jeg lyver!" svarede toppen.

"De taler meget godt for Dem!" sagde bolden, "men jeg kan dog ikke, jeg er så godt som halv forlovet med en svale! hver gang jeg går til vejrs, stikker den hovedet ud af reden og siger: "Vil De?" og nu har jeg indvortes sagt ja, og det er så godt som en halv forlovelse! men jeg lover Dem, jeg skal aldrig glemme Dem!"

"Ja, det skal stort hjælpe!" sagde toppen, og så talte de ikke til hinanden.

Næste dag blev bolden taget frem; toppen så, hvor den fór højt op i luften, ligesom en fugl, man kunne til sidst slet ikke øjne den; hver gang kom den tilbage igen, men gjorde altid et højt spring, når den rørte jorden; og det kom enten af længsel, eller fordi den havde en prop i livet. Den niende gang blev bolden borte og kom ikke mere igen; og drengen søgte og søgte, men borte var den.

"Jeg ved nok, hvor den er!" sukkede toppen, "den er i svalereden og er gift med svalen!"

Jo mere toppen tænkte derpå, des mere indtaget blev han i bolden; just fordi han ikke kunne få hende, derfor tog kærligheden til; at hun havde taget en anden, det var det aparte ved det; og toppen dansede rundt og snurrede, men altid tænkte den på bolden, der i tankerne blev kønnere og kønnere. Således gik mange år - og så var det en gammel kærlighed.

Og toppen var ikke ung mere -! men så blev den en dag hel og holden forgyldt; aldrig havde den set så dejlig ud; den var nu en guldtop og sprang, så det snurrede efter. Jo, det var noget! men med ét sprang den for højt og, – borte var den!

Man søgte og søgte, selv nede i kælderen, den var dog ikke at finde.

- Hvor var den?

Den var sprunget i skarnfjerdingen, hvor der lå alle slags, kålstokke, fejeskarn og grus, der var faldet ned fra tagrenden.

"Nu ligger jeg rigtignok godt! her kan snart forgyldningen gå af mig! og hvad det er for nogle prakkere jeg er kommet imellem!" og så skævede den til en lang kålstok, der var pillet alt for nær, og til en underlig rund ting, der så ud som et gammelt æble; – men det var intet æble, det var en gammel bold, der i mange år havde ligget oppe i tagrenden, og som vandet havde sivet igennem.

"Gud ske lov, der dog kommer en af ens lige, som man kan tale med!" sagde bolden og betragtede den forgyldte top. "Jeg er egentlig af safian, syet af jomfruhænder, og har en prop i livet, men det skulle ingen se på mig! jeg var lige ved at holde bryllup med en svale, men så faldt jeg i tagrenden, og der har jeg ligget i fem år og sivet! Det er en lang tid, kan de tro, for en jomfru!"

Men toppen sagde ikke noget, han tænkte på sin gamle kæreste, og jo mere han hørte, desto klarere blev det ham, at det var hende.

Da kom tjenestepigen og ville vende fjerdingen: "Hejsa, der er guldtoppen!" sagde hun.

Og toppen kom igen i stuen til stor agt og ære, men bolden hørte man intet om, og toppen snakkede aldrig mere om sin gamle kærlighed; den går over, når kæresten har ligget fem år i en vandrende og sivet, ja man kender hende aldrig igen, når man møder hende i skarnfjerdingen.




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