File1, 2, & 3 for mpatel:



Once upon a time there was a wicked sprite, indeed he was the most
mischievous of all sprites. One day he was in a very good humor, for he had
made a mirror with the power of causing all that was good and beautiful
when it was reflected therein, to look poor and mean; but that which was
good-for-nothing and looked ugly was shown magnified and increased in
ugliness. In this mirror the most beautiful landscapes looked like boiled
spinach, and the best persons were turned into frights, or appeared to
stand on their heads; their faces were so distorted that they were not to
be recognised; and if anyone had a mole, you might be sure that it would
be magnified and spread over both nose and mouth.

"That's glorious fun!" said the sprite. If a good thought passed through
a man's mind, then a grin was seen in the mirror, and the sprite laughed
heartily at his clever discovery. All the little sprites who went to
his school--for he kept a sprite school--told each other that a miracle
had happened; and that now only, as they thought, it would be possible to
see how the world really looked. They ran about with the mirror; and at
last there was not a land or a person who was not represented distorted in
the mirror. So then they thought they would fly up to the sky, and have a
joke there. The higher they flew with the mirror, the more terribly it
grinned: they could hardly hold it fast. Higher and higher still they flew,
nearer and nearer to the stars, when suddenly the mirror shook so terribly
with grinning, that it flew out of their hands and fell to the earth,
where it was dashed in a hundred million and more pieces. And now it
worked much more evil than before; for some of these pieces were hardly
so large as a grain of sand, and they flew about in the wide world, and
when they got into people's eyes, there they stayed; and then people saw
everything perverted, or only had an eye for that which was evil.

This happened because the very smallest bit had the same power which the
whole mirror had possessed. Some persons even got a splinter in their
heart, and then it made one shudder, for their heart became like a lump
of ice. Some of the broken pieces were so large that they were used for
windowpanes, through which one could not see one's friends. Other pieces
were put in spectacles; and that was a sad affair when people put on their
glasses to see well and rightly. Then the wicked sprite laughed till he
almost choked, for all this tickled his fancy. The fine splinters still
flew about in the air: and now we shall hear what happened next.


In a large town, where there are so many houses, and so many people, that
there is no roof left for everybody to have a little garden; and where,
on this account, most persons are obliged to content themselves with
flowers in pots; there lived two little children, who had a garden
somewhat larger than a flower-pot. They were not brother and sister;
but they cared for each other as much as if they were. Their parents lived
exactly opposite. They inhabited two garrets; and where the roof of the
one house joined that of the other, and the gutter ran along the extreme
end of it, there was to each house a small window: one needed only to step
over the gutter to get from one window to the other.

The children's parents had large wooden boxes there, in which vegetables
for the kitchen were planted, and little rosetrees besides: there was a
rose in each box, and they grew splendidly. They now thought of placing
the boxes across the gutter, so that they nearly reached from one window
to the other, and looked just like two walls of flowers. The tendrils of
the peas hung down over the boxes; and the rose-trees shot up long
branches, twined round the windows, and then bent towards each other: it
was almost like a triumphant arch of foliage and flowers. The boxes were
very high, and the children knew that they must not creep over them; so
they often obtained permission to get out of the windows to each other,
and to sit on their little stools among the roses, where they could play
delightfully. In winter there was an end of this pleasure. The windows
were often frozen over; but then they heated copper farthings on the
stove, and laid the hot farthing on the windowpane, and then they had a
capital peep-hole, quite nicely rounded; and out of each peeped a gentle
friendly eye--it was the little boy and the little girl who were looking
out. His name was Kay, hers was Gerda. In summer, with one jump, they
could get to each other; but in winter they were obliged first to go down
the long stairs, and then up the long stairs again: and out-of-doors there
was quite a snow-storm.

The flake of snow grew larger and larger; and at last it was like a young
lady, dressed in the finest white gauze, made of a million little flakes
like stars. She was so beautiful and delicate, but she was of ice, of
dazzling, sparkling ice; yet she lived; her eyes gazed fixedly, like two
stars; but there was neither quiet nor repose in them. She nodded towards
the window, and beckoned with her hand. The little boy was frightened,
and jumped down from the chair; it seemed to him as if, at the same
moment, a large bird flew past the window.


But what became of little Gerda when Kay did not return? Where could he
be? Nobody knew; nobody could give any intelligence. All the boys knew
was, that they had seen him tie his sledge to another large and splendid
one, which drove down the street and out of the town. Nobody knew where
he was; many sad tears were shed, and little Gerda wept long and bitterly;
at last she said he must be dead; that he had been drowned in the river
which flowed close to the town. Oh! those were very long and dismal
winter evenings!

And, as it seemed to her, the blue waves nodded in a strange manner; then
she took off her red shoes, the most precious things she possessed, and
threw them both into the river. But they fell close to the bank, and the
little waves bore them immediately to land; it was as if the stream would
not take what was dearest to her; for in reality it had not got little
Kay; but Gerda thought that she had not thrown the shoes out far enough,
so she clambered into a boat which lay among the rushes, went to the
farthest end, and threw out the shoes. But the boat was not fastened, and
the motion which she occasioned, made it drift from the shore. She
observed this, and hastened to get back; but before she could do so, the
boat was more than a yard from the land, and was gliding quickly onward.

Little Gerda was very frightened, and began to cry; but no one heard her
except the sparrows, and they could not carry her to land; but they flew
along the bank, and sang as if to comfort her, "Here we are! Here we
are!" The boat drifted with the stream, little Gerda sat quite still
without shoes, for they were swimming behind the boat, but she could not
reach them, because the boat went much faster than they did. The banks on
both sides were beautiful; lovely flowers, venerable trees, and slopes
with sheep and cows, but not a human being was to be seen.

No lines are longer than 80 characters, TYVM. Other specified properties aren't being scored automatically at this time so this is not necessarily good news...