DK | EN
The motif Gods, spirits and demons in HCA : The Story of a Mother (1847)
H.C. Andersen-centret ved Syddansk Universitet. Hjemmesiden er en base for forskning, tekster og information om og af H.C. Andersen. Man kan finde materialer om (nøgleordene) eventyr, forfatter, litteratur, børnelitteratur, børnebøger, undervisning, studie, Victor Borge, HC Andersen, H. C. Andersen, liv, værk, tidstavle og biografi, citater, drømme, FAQ, oversættelse, bibliografi, anmeldelser, quiz, børnetegninger, 2005 og manuskripter
The Hans Christian Andersen Center

The motif Gods, spirits and demons in HCA : The Story of a Mother (1847)

Skip over navigation and news

Religious motifs : Overview. Search. About religious motifs

Gods, spirits and demons contains among others: Amor, Ole Lukoie, the sandman, Fate (goddess), Troll, Pixie

See also Angels, Merman, mermaid

Description of this motif: "Gods", in plural, are gods from other religions than the monotheistic, e.g. from the Greek, Roman or old Norse pantheons. Sprits and demons are closely related beings, who are represented in both state religions and folklore. Often such beings are related to an element or place and represents it personified, e.g. the sea, the night, the wind, the winter.

Example :

Out there in the snow sat a woman, dressed in long black garments. "Death," she said, "has been in your house. I just saw him hurrying away with your child in his arms. He goes faster than the wind. And he never brings back what he has taken away."

"Tell me which way he went," said the mother. "Only tell me the way, and I will find him."

"I know the way," said the woman in black, "but before I tell you, you must sing to me all those songs you used to sing to your child. I am night. I love lullabies and I hear them often. When you sang them I saw your tears."

"I shall sing them again-you shall hear them all," said the mother, "but do not stop me now. I must catch him. I must hurry to find my child."

Night kept silent and still, while the mother wrung her hands, and sang, and wept. She sang many songs, but the tears that she shed were many, many more. At last Night said to her, "Go to the right. Go into the dark pine woods. I saw Death go there with your child."

Deep into the woods the mother came to a crossroad, where she was at a loss which way to go. At the crossroad grew a blackthorn bush, without leaf or flower, for it was wintertime and its branches were glazed with ice.

"Did you see Death go by with my little child?"

"Yes," said the blackthorn bush. "But I shall not tell you which way he went unless you warm me against your heart. I am freezing to death. I am stiff with ice."

She pressed the blackthorn bush against her heart to warm it, and the thorns stabbed so deep into her flesh that great drops of red blood flowed. So warm was the mother's heart that the blackthorn bush blossomed and put forth green leaves on that dark winter's night. And it told her the way to go.

  top Top