Monday, April 2, 2012


What do the following have in common: Central Park (New York), Lincoln Park (Chicago), a Little Mermaid, a Princess, a Pea, and an Ugly Duckling?


Happy Birthday Hans, born April 2, 1805 in Denmark, a novelist, poet, short story writer and writer of children's fairy tales.

There's a statue of Hans in Central Park, Lincoln Park, and other places around the world.

He wrote The Little Mermaid in 1836; The Princess and the Pea in 1835; The Ugly Duckling in 1844, and many more. Some of us can remember reading those fairy tales in our youth.

Hans was tall and lanky, loved to sing and dance, was an only child, and the family was very poor. He died of liver cancer in August of 1875 and is buried in Copenhagen, Denmark. He was never married.

The metaphor for his life was The Ugly Duckling. As the duckling was a homely creature suffering much abuse from others, went from place to place to find a home. After a miserable winter alone, the duckling finally grew to maturity and set out to join the flock of swans on the lake. He was finally fully accepted by the flock and spread his wings to fly with them after seeing his reflection and realizing he had become one of them, a beautiful swan.

So was his life, going from place to place, writing and trying to publish various works. At his death, he had finally “joined the flock” and became famous. Some of his works are now Disney movies.

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