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The Steadfast Tin Soldier (Bedtime Story)

The Steadfast Tin Soldier, a traditional fairy tale.

Once upon a time, in the living room of a big mansion, there was a display cupboard full of beautiful toys. They all belonged to a little boy who lived here. His mother bought him new toys almost every day.

One day, the mother brought a little tin soldier and placed him secretly in the cupboard hoping to give her son a nice surprise.

I hope he likes his surprise! Let’s see if this makes him smile…

The tin soldier had only one leg, but he liked his new home very much.

Wow! I’ve never seen so many other toys before! I know I won’t feel lonely anymore.

When night came, the toys began to come to life.  As he watched the other toys, the Tin Soldier noticed a beautiful ballerina. He was mesmerized by her graceful figure and her lovely dance. She captured his heart at first sight.

Oh, she is so beautiful! If only I could earn but one glance from that enchanting ballerina! Oh, that would be great.

Hmm…Is that soldier looking at me?

She danced and twirled all night long, and didn’t seem to mind that the soldier was watching her. The following morning, the boy went to his cupboard and noticed the Tin Soldier. He took him out for a closer look.

Oh look, it’s a new toy! Ugh… It’s missing a leg and it doesn’t look nice!

Contrary to his mother’s hope, the boy did not like the Tin Soldier at all.

How ridiculous, a one-legged soldier!  I don’t need a stupid cripple like you among my nice toys. Guard this place!

All alone again, the Soldier was sad and disappointed.

I wish I could be with the other toys. I hoped we could be friends…

What will I do now, when I can’t be near the beautiful ballerina. It made me so happy just to look at her… If only I could play with them too! I feel so lonely…(Sob)

Hey Mom, can you give me more toys?

Sure sweetie…Ha ha ha!

Suddenly a gust of wind blew past the window. The wind blew stronger, and the one-legged soldier could feel himself wobbling on the windowsill.

No! No! No!

Help!

He lost his balance and toppled out of the window. A little boy walking down the street saw the soldier lying there.

What’s that? Oh, it’s a toy soldier!

This is great! I will take him home with me and play with him. I’ll have my own toy... What? He’s only got one leg…Hmph… Charge! Charge! Fire! Hmmm…

It’s no fun when’s only got one leg. I should just toss him out.

Ahhh! No, please don’t!

Splashing into the river, the soldier was swept away by the strong current.

Where is taking me? Is this how I am going to die? If only I could see my ballerina one last time…

The Tin Soldier imagined the ballerina’s pretty smile, and the way she twirled when she danced, but he didn’t have the strength to get himself out of the river.

I wish I could see her dance again…Oh!

He could feel himself sinking slowly to the bottom of the river. As he descended, he encountered a fish.

What’s this? Food? (Gulp)

The fish though the Tin Soldier was a bit of seaweed and swallowed him.

Oh, this can’t be happening to me! Oh, no...(Sob)

Time dragged by, and the fish was caught by a fisherman. The Tin Soldier had sunk into a deep sleep within the fish’s bowels and did not know what had happened.  Suddenly, he awoke.

Where am I? What happened? Why is it so dark? Am I dead?

The Tin Soldier was frightened and confused.

It’s blinding! Where is it coming from?

Slowly, his eyes grew accustomed to the light and he could see.

I’ll just clean this fish up and make some nice fish stew. Ha ha!

Wait, what’s this? Is that a toy?

Oh…how strange…why, it’s exactly like that tin soldier I bought yesterday!  I’ll wash him off and put him in with the other one.

The Tin Soldier had come full circle, back to the mother who had bought him the other day. Through the river and then the market, the fish had brought him home.

My son will be so happy.

When she reached the cupboard however and looked inside, she realized that the one-legged tin soldier from yesterday was missing.

That’s strange…where could he have gone…what if this is…?  Well in any case, he belongs here. I’ll put him back.

Back in the cupboard, the Tin Soldier was overjoyed. He was home at last, beside the lovely ballerina he had so yearned for.

Oh my! You’re back, Soldier!

The ballerina had spoken to him! He couldn’t believe his happiness. He was beside her, and she had noticed him.

Oh…Good Morning, my lady.

I have been wondering where you had gone.

I liked you and wanted to be friends, but then you vanished.

Thrilled, the Tin Soldier responded

My heart almost broke at the thought that we would never meet again. I am so happy to be back. I know I only have one leg but, beautiful Ballerina, allow me to stay by your side and protect you with my life.

Would you, my dear?

That night, the Ballerina danced her enchanting dance for the Tin Soldier, and his heart was content. Sadly, their happiness could not last. The next morning, the boy found the Tin Soldier back in the cupboard and snatched him out.

How did this ugly crippled soldier get back in here? I wanted to get rid of him!  I don’t want to see him ever again. You don’t belong here, go away!

No! My Soldier!

No, please ! Let me go! I swore to stay by my lady’s side forever! Please!

Not hearing their cries, the boy cast the Tin Soldier into the blazing fireplace.

Oh, my Soldier (Sob) how can I save you? (Sob)

The boy turned and left, and the Ballerina was left to weep as she watched her brave Soldier burn.

Please forgive me…I could not fulfil my promise…(Sob)

No! I won’t let you go….(Sob)

The Ballerina could not bear to watch her beloved soldier consumed by the flames alone.  Heart-broken, she hurled herself into the fire.

Wait for me, my soldier!

No! Please don’t, I can’t let you turn to ashes like me!

My Soldier, all I want is to stay by your side forever and ever, like you promised.

The Tin Soldier was so deeply touched by her words that he forgot that his body was burning and shed tears of joy.

You have made me the happiest toy in the world.

My Soldier!

Locked in each other’s arms at last, the Tin Soldier and the lovely Ballerina burned to ashes in the fireplace.

When the fire finally died down, something shiny emerged from the ashes.  It was a red, heart-shaped gemstone – a symbol of the love between the Tin Soldier and the Ballerina.

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