Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
Bonfire Night - an excuse to glue our teeth together with rock-hard lumps of treacle toffee, gather in front of crackling fires in the dark November chill; and watch fireworks!
Today I thought I'd excerpt and link to two fairy tales, by two of my favourite writers, which feature fireworks; 'The Remarkable Rocket' by Oscar Wilde, first published in The Happy Prince and other Tales in 1888, and 'The Flying Trunk' by Hans Christian Andersen, first published in 1839:
The Remarkable Rocket
The King's son was going to be married, so there were general rejoicings. He had waited a whole year for his bride, and at last she had arrived. She was a Russian Princess, and had driven all the way from Finland in a sledge drawn by six reindeer. The sledge was shaped like a great golden swan, and between the swan's wings lay the little Princess herself. Her long ermine cloak reached right down to her feet, on her head was a tiny cap of silver tissue, and she was as pale as the Snow Palace in which she had always lived. So pale was she that as she drove through the streets all the people wondered. 'She is like a white rose!' they cried, and they threw down flowers on her from the balconies.
At the gate of the Castle the Prince was waiting to receive her. He had dreamy violet eyes, and his hair was like fine gold. When he saw her he sank upon one knee, and kissed her hand.
'Your picture was beautiful,' he murmured, 'but you are more beautiful than your picture;' and the little Princess blushed.
'She was like a white rose before,' said a young Page to his neighbour, 'but she is like a red rose now;' and the whole Court was delighted.
For the next three days everybody went about saying, 'White rose, Red rose, Red rose, White rose;' and the King gave orders that the Page's salary was to be doubled. As he received no salary at all this was not of much use to him, but it was considered a great honour, and was duly published in the Court Gazette.
When the three days were over the marriage was celebrated. It was a magnificent ceremony, and the bride and bridegroom walked hand in hand under a canopy of purple velvet embroidered with little pearls. Then there was a State Banquet, which lasted for five hours. The Prince and Princess sat at the top of the Great Hall and drank out of a cup of clear crystal. Only true lovers could drink out of this cup, for if false lips touched it, it grew grey and dull and cloudy.
'It is quite clear that they love each other,' said the little Page, 'as clear as crystal!' and the King doubled his salary a second time. 'What an honour!' cried all the courtiers.
The Flying Trunk (in the translation from Andrew Lang's Pink Fairy Book)
There was once a merchant who was so rich that he could have paved the whole street, and perhaps even a little side-street besides, with silver. But he did not do that; he knew another way of spending his money. If he spent a shilling he got back a florin-such an excellent merchant he was till he died.
Now his son inherited all this money. He lived very merrily; he went every night to the theatre, made paper kites out of five-pound notes, and played ducks and drakes with sovereigns instead of stones. In this way the money was likely to come soon to an end, and so it did.
At last he had nothing left but four shillings, and he had no clothes except a pair of slippers and an old dressing-gown.
His friends did not trouble themselves any more about him; they would not even walk down the street with him.
But one of them who was rather good-natured sent him an old trunk with the message, 'Pack up!" That was all very well, but he had nothing to pack up, so he got into the trunk himself.
It was an enchanted trunk, for as soon as the lock was pressed it could fly. He pressed it, and away he flew in it up the chimney, high into the clouds, further and further away. But whenever the bottom gave a little creak he was in terror lest the trunk should go to pieces, for then he would have turned a dreadful somersault-just think of it!read on
Hope you have a great Bonfire Night!
Today's lovely firework artwork is courtesy of my boys.