Once Upon a Time….







At this time of year, I think of The Little Match Girl fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. “It was terribly cold. It had snowed that day and it was almost dark”, begins the story of The Little Match Girl who carried with her a little box of matches to sell, but no passerby had stopped to give her even a penny as she walked along, hoping for someone to buy her matches for a penny, but no one even glanced her way.

The Little Match Girl was so terribly cold and her thin little body ached with the cold. She had no coat or shoes. Her old hand-me-down sweater was soaked through from the snow that had fallen earlier in the day.  She shivered uncontrollably as the snow started falling again. She saw a place between two houses where she could sit down and look across the street.

There she saw warm yellow lights from windows. She thought she could even smell the holiday goose that was headed for the dining table.  She was so weak from the freezing cold and so hungry she could no longer stand again, so she took one of the matches and lit it and she began to feel warm and then she lit another one. She knew she dared not go home, her father would beat her.

She began to dream of her grandmother and lit another match, but this time all the matches came aflame. To her it was like heaven with the sky ablaze and she saw her beloved grandmother as she watched as a star fall from the sky. She remembered what her grandmother told her, when a star falls a soul goes to heaven. “Take me with you Grandmother” she cried, and her grandmother picked her up and flew to heaven with the tiny Match Girl in her arms. The next morning, the little Match Girl was found frozen to death on the street corner where no one had stopped to give her even a penny.

This is more than a fairy tale, it is real because around the world there are many little Match Girls and Boys and they are dying for want of a little kindness from those of us who have shoes, warm coats and Christmas dinner waiting.







20 thoughts on “The Little Match Girl

  1. frenchc1955 says:

    Karen, thank you for sharing this powerful and compelling story!


    1. Thank you, Charles! I love this story and I posted on this day one year ago. 🙂


  2. frenchc1955 says:

    Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
    This is a compelling and moving post from KD Dowdall


  3. This story always tugs at my heart, and I agree… unfortunately, its message is still much too relevant. We all can do better.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.


    1. Felicia, I love this story, it is one of my favorites. Thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If only it could be ‘what can I give for Christmas?’ instead of ‘what can I get?’


    1. Lucinda, I couldn’t agree with you more. Other cultures with similar Winter Solstice Holidays, do just that, they give to others and not ask what can I get. I guess, it is part of the greed that as grown like a weed in America and other Western Nations. So, were is the Christian in Christianity? I’m confused. Anyway, Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Karen 🙂


  5. This is lovely, I found it at French.


    1. Hi, yes, Professor French reblogged it. And I am glad you liked it! Karen 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a powerful story… it reminds us daily that as writers we can move readers and inspire change, we can tell the tales that so many others step over and walk past if only we will notice them and dare to embrace honesty…

    (And I just noticed I had been stepping past your blog all this time…I read you so often as a reblog I hadn’t realized I wasn’t following! Fixed THAT!!)


    1. Oh, KC, I know, I do that too when Charles and others reblog you and I end up commenting on their site instead of yours! I am fixing that too. Karen :0)


  7. This is such a touching story! Brings me to tears every time! Thanks for sharing it! 🙂

    I’m sending out a newsletter tomorrow and I gave Garrett’s Bones a mini-feature as my favorite Mystery that I’ve read this year! Just thought I’d give you a heads up. Hope you had a Merry Christmas! 🙂


    1. Hi Didi, yes, that story makes me cry too. We both know it does happen in different parts of the world and even here too. I hope you had a lovely Christmas and have a very Happy New Year too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh Karen my Christmas was so beautiful!! The entire day was perfect 😍 I hope yours was just as great as mine!! I have such excitement for the new year! I feel like it will be our best year yet 😉😎


      2. Didi, I am so happy that your Christmas was the most beautiful day! Mine was very good too. Hope your New Year was wonderful, my friend, Karen 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My New Years was very laid back, it was so nice! Hope yours was just as wonderful! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. We also had a laid back New Year’s with family and I hope the New Year brings good news for everyone. 🙂


  9. ksbeth says:

    wonderful story, karen and i look forward to more – best, beth


    1. Beth, thank you so much. I do love that story too. I am now following you and I loved your site! Karen 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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