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The little match girl

(Cô bé bán diêm)

 

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và từ giã cõi đời trong đêm Chúa giáng sinh.

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The little match girl

It was a very cold winter evening. In fact, it was New Year’s Eve, the last day of the year.

It was a very cold winter evening. In fact, it was New Year’s Eve, the last day of the year.

People walked quickly on the street because it was so cold. They wore thick coats, hats and scarves.

People walked quickly on the street because it was so cold. They wore thick coats, hats and scarves.

But there was one little girl who had no coat. Her clothes were ragged and thin.

But there was one little girl who had no coat. Her clothes were ragged and thin.

And she had no shoes. The slippers she had on when she left her home were too large for her and she lost them in the snow.

And she had no shoes. The slippers she had on when she left her home were too large for her and she lost them in the snow.

Her little hands and feet were red from the cold.

Her little hands and feet were red from the cold.

She had on a small apron that had a large pocket.

She had on a small apron that had a large pocket.

The pocket was filled with matches. She sold matches for a few pennies.

The pocket was filled with matches. She sold matches for a few pennies.

But nobody bought any matches from her that night, not a single one.

But nobody bought any matches from her that night, not a single one.

As she walked slowly on the busy street, she could see all the lights from the warm houses.

As she walked slowly on the busy street, she could see all the lights from the warm houses.

She could also smell the wonderful food people were cooking.

She could also smell the wonderful food people were cooking.

Oh, if only she could have something warm to eat! She was so hungry.

Oh, if only she could have something warm to eat! She was so hungry.

Cold as she was, she could not go home. Her father would be very angry that she did not sell any matches.

Cold as she was, she could not go home. Her father would be very angry that she did not sell any matches.

Besides, her home was not warm at all. Her family lived in a tiny house with a bare floor and thin walls.

Besides, her home was not warm at all. Her family lived in a tiny house with a bare floor and thin walls.

It began to snow and the little match girl walked over to a building and sat down on the ground.

It began to snow and the little match girl walked over to a building and sat down on the ground.

She leaned against one of the walls. She tucked her feet in but they were so cold she could not feel them anymore.

She leaned against one of the walls. She tucked her feet in but they were so cold she could not feel them anymore.

The little match girl took one match from her apron and lit it.

The little match girl took one match from her apron and lit it.

The flame from the match was very bright and strong.

The flame from the match was very bright and strong.

How it sparkled! Then she saw something strange.

How it sparkled! Then she saw something strange.

She saw a large iron stove that looked very warm.

She saw a large iron stove that looked very warm.

Oh, how warm that stove looked to the little girl! She stretched out her hands and feet toward the stove.

Oh, how warm that stove looked to the little girl! She stretched out her hands and feet toward the stove.

But the stove disappeared into the darkness. All she had left was a burnt match in her hand.

But the stove disappeared into the darkness. All she had left was a burnt match in her hand.

The little girl lit another match. The flame burned bright and strong again.

The little girl lit another match. The flame burned bright and strong again.

She held the match against the wall and it seemed like she could see right through the wall.

She held the match against the wall and it seemed like she could see right through the wall.

The little girl saw a large table set with the most delicious food! The roast goose looked deliciously juicy.

The little girl saw a large table set with the most delicious food! The roast goose looked deliciously juicy.

Then something amazing happened!

Then something amazing happened!

The roast goose got up from the table and came toward her with a fork and knife stuck on its back!

The roast goose got up from the table and came toward her with a fork and knife stuck on its back!

And just when the little girl thought she could touch the goose.

And just when the little girl thought she could touch the goose.

The match went out and everything was dark again.

The match went out and everything was dark again.

The wall was cold and dark.

The wall was cold and dark.

The little girl struck another match.

The little girl struck another match.

This time she saw a beautiful Christmas tree, all lit up with hundreds of candles.

This time she saw a beautiful Christmas tree, all lit up with hundreds of candles.

It was large and so beautiful. All the candles sparkled in the night air.

It was large and so beautiful. All the candles sparkled in the night air.

When the little girl stretched out her hand to touch the tree, the match she was holding went out.

When the little girl stretched out her hand to touch the tree, the match she was holding went out.

But she saw the candles rise up to the sky and become stars. One of the stars fell, leaving a trail of light across the night sky.

But she saw the candles rise up to the sky and become stars. One of the stars fell, leaving a trail of light across the night sky.

“Someone must be dying.” said the little girl. Her grandmother once told her that when a star fell, a soul went up to God.

“Someone must be dying.” said the little girl. Her grandmother once told her that when a star fell, a soul went up to God.

Oh, how she missed her loving grandmother! She was the only one who had ever shown her love and kindness.

Oh, how she missed her loving grandmother! She was the only one who had ever shown her love and kindness.

She lit another match. The light shone everywhere. And in the middle of the light, she saw her beloved grandmother!

She lit another match. The light shone everywhere. And in the middle of the light, she saw her beloved grandmother!

The little girl could see her so clearly. She saw her grandmother’s loving smile.

The little girl could see her so clearly. She saw her grandmother’s loving smile.

“Oh, Grandma!” the little girl cried out. “Please don’t leave me! Please take me with you, Grandma!

“Oh, Grandma!” the little girl cried out. “Please don’t leave me! Please take me with you, Grandma!

“I know you will disappear as soon as my match goes out, just like that stove, the delicious roast goose, and the wonderful Christmas tree”

“I know you will disappear as soon as my match goes out, just like that stove, the delicious roast goose, and the wonderful Christmas tree”

Quickly, the girl struck all the matches she had in her little apron. The matches burned brilliantly.

Quickly, the girl struck all the matches she had in her little apron. The matches burned brilliantly.

Light sparked everywhere around her. She saw her grandmother grow larger and clearer and so beautiful.

Light sparked everywhere around her. She saw her grandmother grow larger and clearer and so beautiful.

Her grandmother reached down and lifted the little girl. They flew high up, higher and higher into the light.

Her grandmother reached down and lifted the little girl. They flew high up, higher and higher into the light.

They flew to a place where the little girl would never feel hungry, or cold or afraid.

They flew to a place where the little girl would never feel hungry, or cold or afraid.

She and her grandmother were with God in heaven.

She and her grandmother were with God in heaven.

The next morning, on New Year’s Day, the little girl was found sitting against a building.

The next morning, on New Year’s Day, the little girl was found sitting against a building.

She had died in the night. There was a smile on her little face.

She had died in the night. There was a smile on her little face.

In her hand were all the matches she burned. People said she lit them to keep herself warm.

In her hand were all the matches she burned. People said she lit them to keep herself warm.

But nobody knew what wonderful things the little match girl had seen.

But nobody knew what wonderful things the little match girl had seen.

They did not know how happy the little match girl was when she went into the arms of her grandmother and went to be with God forever.

They did not know how happy the little match girl was when she went into the arms of her grandmother and went to be with God forever.