The Adventures of a Darning Needle

“Ah, I am so fine that even my own mother cannot find me! If I had my old eye that broke off, I think I should cry. But no, I would not do that! It is not genteel to cry.”

The Darning Needle’s Last Journey

One day a couple of street boys were grubbing in the gutter where they sometimes found old nails and pennies and all sorts of odds and ends. They did not mind playing in the dirty water. In fact, they rather enjoyed it.

“Oho!” cried one who had pricked himself with the Darning Needle. “Here’s a fellow for you!”

“I’m not a fellow! I’m a young lady!” screamed the Darning Needle.

But nobody listened to her.

The sealing wax had come off and she had turned black. But black makes one look slender, and so she thought herself even finer than before.

“Here comes an eggshell sailing along!” said the boys. And they stuck the Darning Needle fast in the eggshell.

“The white walls make a good background for my black dress,” remarked the Darning Needle. “Now I can be seen! I only hope I shall not be seasick!” (But she was not seasick at all!)

Street boys grubbing in the gutter find the Darning Needle

“It is good, if one is seasick, to have a steel stomach, and to remember that one is a little more than an ordinary person. Now my seasickness is over. The finer one is, the more one can bear!”

Crack! went the eggshell, for a wagon rolled over it.

“Dear me, how it crushes one!” said the Darning Needle.

“I’m getting seasick now—I am really quite sick now! I am going to break!”

But she did not break, although the wagon went over her. She only lay there at full length.

And there she may lie!

The wagon rolls over the Darning Needle

From Andersen's Best Fairy Tales by Alice Corbin Henderson.
Chicago, New York: Rand, McNally & Company, 1911.

Find stories similar to The Adventures of a Darning Needle


Fairy tales

Region of origin:


Reading time:

More stories you might like

The Red Shoes


Karen looked first at the red shoes, then at the black ones, then at the red again, and put them on.



The Jumpers


‘Well, I’ll give my daughter to the one who jumps highest!’ said the king; ‘for it would look so mean to let these people jump for nothing!’



Mr. Fox


Mr. Fox saw a diamond ring glittering on the finger of the young lady he was dragging, and he drew his sword, raised it, and brought it down upon the hand of the poor lady.



Cruelty Requited


‘Spare me,’ cried the Bird. ‘Save my life, and Of a Surety I will save yours—at this very moment you are in Danger.’



Find stories