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Hans Brinker, or, The silver skates by Mary Mapes Dodge, 1988, Scholastic edition, in English. The classic story of Hans Brinker and his pursuit to win a pair of silver skates is told in this paperback edition that includes a chain and charm. Author: Mary Mapes Dodge. Publisher: Turtleback. Category: Page: View: 816.

Synopsis

HANS AND GRETEL
On a bright December morning long ago, two thinly clad children were kneeling
upon the bank of a frozen canal in Holland.
The sun had not yet appeared, but the gray sky was parted near the horizon,
and its edges shone crimson with the coming day. Most of the good Hollanders
were enjoying a placid morning nap. Even Mynheer von Stoppelnoze, that

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worthy old Dutchman, was still slumbering 'in beautiful repose'.
Now and then some peasant woman, poising a well-filled basket upon her
head, came skimming over the glassy surface of the canal; or a lusty boy,
skating to his day's work in the town, cast a good-natured grimace toward the
shivering pair as he flew along.
Meanwhile, with many a vigorous puff and pull, the brother and sister, for
such they were, seemed to be fastening something to their feet—not skates,
certainly, but clumsy pieces of wood narrowed and smoothed at their lower
edge, and pierced with holes, through which were threaded strings of rawhide.
These queer-looking affairs had been made by the boy Hans. His mother was a
poor peasant woman, too poor even to think of such a thing as buying skates
for her little ones. Rough as these were, they had afforded the children many a
happy hour upon the ice. And now, as with cold, red fingers our young
Hollanders tugged at the strings—their solemn faces bending closely over their
knees—no vision of impossible iron runners came to dull the satisfaction
glowing within.
In a moment the boy arose and, with a pompous swing of the arms and a
careless 'Come on, Gretel,' glided easily across the canal.
'Ah, Hans,' called his sister plaintively, 'this foot is not well yet. The strings
hurt me on last market day, and now I cannot bear them tied in the same
place.'
'Tie them higher up, then,' answered Hans, as without looking at her he
performed a wonderful cat's cradle step on the ice.
'How can I? The string is too short.'
Giving vent to a good-natured Dutch whistle, the English of which was that
girls were troublesome creatures, he steered toward her.
'You are foolish to wear such shoes, Gretel, when you have a stout leather pair.
Your klompen *{Wooden shoes.} would be better than these.'
'Why, Hans! Do you forget? The father threw my beautiful new shoes in the
fire. Before I knew what he had done, they were all curled up in the midst o the
burning peat. I can skate with these, but not with my wooden ones. Be careful
now—'
Hans had taken a string from his pocket. Humming a tune as he knelt beside
her, he proceeded to fasten Gretel's skate with all the force of his strong young
arm.
'Oh! oh!' she cried in real pain.
With an impatient jerk Hans unwound the string. He would have cast it on the
ground in true big-brother style, had he not just then spied a tear trickling
down his sister's cheek.
'I'll fix it—never fear,' he said with sudden tenderness, 'but we must be quick.
The mother will need us soon.'
Then he glanced inquiringly about him, first at the ground, next at some bare
willow branches above his head, and finally at the sky, now gorgeous with
streaks of blue, crimson, and gold.
Finding nothing in any of these localities to meet his need, his eye suddenly

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