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Snow Queen, org. written by Hans Christian Andersen

Kay and Gerda were the best of friends. To get from one of their houses to the other, the children simply had to skip over the street and knock on the door. Every single day, they
played together- reading books, planting roses in the garden, and
listening to Kay’s grandmother’s tales. One winter, Kay changes. He
becomes cruel and mean. He breaks Gerda’s toys and doesn’t mind his
grandmother. Finally, he begins to ignore his grandmother and Gerda
completely and spending time with the boys who sled in the town square.

Gerda follows him and his sled one day to find out why he has become so mean to her. In the town square, there sits a large sleigh with a beautiful woman in furs,
who watches the boys coldly, but with interest. Gerda knows who she is,
the Snow Queen, who brings the winter and the cold.

The Snow Queen also owned a broken mirror. It was made by evil goblins who wanted to distort the world into all things bad and ugly, instead all things good and
beautiful. When the goblins fought over their shiny creation, they broke
it into a million pieces. The Snow Queen collected them in her bag and
put them in the hearts and eyes of young people to make them rude and
uncaring, making them as ugly as the goblins.

By watching the boys on their sleds, Gerda can see how many of them had changed into the Snow Queen’s servants, blind to the kindness of the world. Her Kay stays
close to the lady in furs. As the sun goes down, he climbs into the
sleigh with the Snow Queen. He looks blindly around him, as the Snow
Queen kisses his cheek twice- once to numb him from the cold and once to
make him forget his family and Gerda. Then she lifts her reins, taking
Kay away from Gerda.

The girl cries out, but the Snow Queen and Kay ignore her. She runs down the road, but the sleigh is gone into the dark. Gerda goes back to her house and then to Kay’s grandmother. No one believes her
story of the Snow Queen and after Kay has been gone for a few days, the
families grieve for him, as if he had drowned in the river.

Gerda knows this isn’t true. She sets out to search for her friend. When she approaches the river, she offers it her new red shoes in exchange for Kay’s body. It
doesn’t respond and Gerda knows her friend has not been drowned.

With that hope, she finds a sorceress to ask for help. Unfortunately, the sorceress is self-centered and wants to keep Gerda for herself. Since roses would
always remind Gerda of the good times she & Kay in his grandmother’s
garden, the sorceress makes those flowers sink below the earth and not
grow at all. Her garden is still beautiful with eternal summer, but
Gerda does not forget Kay or her family or Kay’s grandmother, whom she
loves as much as her own.

She sobs in the garden of the sorceress, where she is kept prisoner. Feeling the watery tears hit the ground, a rosebush feels sorry for the girl and rises from its dirty bed, growing
leaves and blossoms in minutes. Since the rosebush was underground, it
had heard the words of all the people all over the world. She had heard
the Snow Queen talking to Kay... in her home at the North Pole. She
tells Gerda the path to take to find her friend.

Knowing where her dear friend was being kept, Gerda gains the courage to escape the sorceress’ garden. She gains more directions from the Prince and Princess of Ice; a
robber girl who gives her a magic reindeer named Bae. Bae carries Gerda
through Lapland and Finland, where she meets magical twin women, who
tell her that the only way to defeat the Snow Queen is to keep loving
Kay. Through Gerda’s innocent love, she will be able to melt the mirror
shards that block his heart from the goodness of the world.

When Gerda and Bae finally get to the Snow Queen’s castle, icy walled prison of snowflakes sting their faces like bees. Gerda becomes frightened. It is so cold and
hard here. How would she find and save her best friend with only her
love?

It is only when she sees Kay sitting in the middle of the Snow Queen’s frozen “Lake of Reason” does she find her courage again. He is numb to
the cold and to Gerda’s voice. He plays with pieces of ice that the Snow
Queen has given him as a puzzle. The Snow Queen has told him that if he
can spell the word “Eternity” out of the ice, she will let him go. Of
course, every time Kay gets close to solving the puzzle, the pieces
begin to melt, from his warm fingers.

Gerda watches this futile game and her heart breaks with love for Kay. She runs to him, throwing her arms around him. Her warm tears fall into his cold heart and melts the evil
mirror shards there. He becomes so joyous to see her again, that the two
of them begin to dance around on the frozen lake.

Their happy dance kick up the ice puzzle pieces. When the children look down again, they realize the pieces spell exactly the word Kay had been trying to
conjure, “Eternity”, which is exactly how long the Snow Queen would have
liked to have kept Kay.

Now, he is free and takes Gerda’s dear hand. On their way home, Gerda and Kay are greeted by the Finn and Lapp magical twin women. They also return Bae to his robber girl and thank
the Prince and Princess of Ice for all of their help. By the time, they
have returned to Kay’s grandmother’s rose garden, they find that
something has changed. Everything in their homes seems to have stayed
the same, but something about their adventure has changed them. Now,
they are adults and now truly know the warming the power of love over
snow and ice. And it is Change that is Eternal, not Winter and Cold.

Views: 48

Tags: Andersen, ice queen, snow, story, winter

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