Short summary - The Snow Queen
Hans Christian Andersen
Once upon a time there was an evil troll. Once he made such a mirror in which everything good and beautiful was utterly reduced, and everything worthless and ugly appeared even brighter and seemed even worse. The troll was terribly amused, and his students ran around with a mirror. Finally, they decided to climb up to heaven and laugh at the Creator himself. They rose higher and higher, and suddenly the mirror fell out and broke into many fragments. The fragments scattered across the wide world. Some began to get into people's eyes, and a person saw only bad things in every thing, while others got into people's hearts, and the heart turned into a piece of ice. The evil troll saw all this and laughed.
In a big city, two poor children, Kai and Gerda, lived next door. They loved each other like brother and sister. Both families grew flowers, and the children loved to sit near the rose bushes.
Once, sitting near the bushes and reading a book, Kai cried out: something hit him in the eye and pricked in his heart. They were shards of the devil's mirror. Now Kai's heart has turned into a piece of ice, and he began to see everything in a distorted form. Beautiful roses began to seem ugly to him, and he mimicked adults and was rude to them.
Winter came. One day, Kai went to the big square to sled. Suddenly, a dazzling woman in white on a large sled appeared there - the Snow Queen. Kai tied his sled to her and rolled. Soon they drove out of the gates of the city. The Snow Queen wrapped Kai in her fur coat, kissed the boy, and he forgot about Gerda and all the household.
When Kai did not return home, Gerda cried a lot. She did not believe that Kai was dead and went looking for him. On the way, the girl came to an old sorceress who had a wonderful garden. The charms of the old woman made Gerda forget about everything, and she stayed in a house with a wonderful garden, where it was always summer. But one day the girl saw roses that reminded her of home, and she remembered everything. She asked the flowers in the garden if they had seen Kai underground. Having received a negative answer, Gerda realized that Kai was alive.
Soon Gerda met a big raven. The raven had a bride who lived in the palace. From her, the raven learned that the princess, a great clever one, was getting married. The crows described the appearance of the groom, and Gerda decided that this was Kai.
With the help of a raven and his bride, Gerda entered the palace, but the princess' fiancé was not Kai. After listening to the story of the girl, the princess gave her a golden carriage with a coachman and servants, new shoes and beautiful clothes.
Robbers attacked Gerda in the forest. They killed the coachman and servants, the girl was taken prisoner. The little robber, the daughter of the chieftain, left Gerda with her. She showed Gerda her menagerie, which included reindeer from Lapland and wood pigeons. After hearing Gerda's story, the wood pigeons said they saw Kai in the Snow Queen's sled on the way to Lapland. The little robber released Gerda, along with the Reindeer, to his homeland.
The reindeer brought the girl to an old Lapland woman, who gave a letter to an old Finnish woman living near the kingdom of the Snow Queen. Finca said that as long as Kai has pieces of a mirror in his heart and in his eye, he will not be the same, but Gerda will melt the ice with the power of her innocent childish heart. Gerda came to the kingdom of the Snow Queen alone, the Reindeer could not accompany her there.
Turned blue from the cold, but not feeling it because of the kiss of the Snow Queen, Kai made various figures out of ice. He wanted to add the word "eternity", then the Snow Queen would give him the whole world and a pair of new skates. Gerda rushed to Kai and melted the ice with hot tears. Kai cried, and the shard fell out of his eye.
Kai and Gerda returned home. On the way, they met a Reindeer and drank the milk of his young wife, warmed up with a Finn, visited a Lapland woman. In the forest they met a young robber who told that the raven had died and the crow was left a widow. The robber promised to visit them if possible. And at home, two bushes strewn with beautiful roses were waiting for them.