Glorious news! Soon after new Brothers Grimm fairy tales were unearthed in Germany, a previously-unknown Hans Christian Andersen story has been discovered in the bottom of a pickle-barrel in Amsterdam.
Full text below:
THE LITTLE GOAT-COMBER by Hans Christian Andersen.
There was once a poor young maiden who made her living combing goats for the people of her village. No one was sure how she fed herself or afforded her simple clothes, as nobody paid her to comb their goats, or even wanted their goats combed in the first place. The goats didn’t like it, either.
As she was poor, and made no money at her trade, the little goat-comber’s clothes soon wore thin. And she slowly began to freeze to death. It happened very slowly indeed, because it was the height of a warm summer and the sun warmed the village and the sheep-sorrel in the meadows and the fragrant edelweiss that adorned the hillocks and the pillocks and the duck-mounds and the statue of the Emperor with his benevolent smile. The little goat-comber sat under an onion-tree and shivered. She reached in her basket hoping to find a nourishing crumb of schnauselgenukken or a half-rack of tapir ribs. Alas! All she carried in her basket was a bar of fragrant oil soap, such as one might use to wash fine brocades and linens — finery that a poor goat-comber like herself could only dream of!
Now, it so happened that there was a pear tree at the top of the village. It blossomed only once every thousand years, but when it did, it grew the most inviting watermelon in the topmost branches. This tree was not due to blossom until the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia, many centuries hence, so there would be no rapturous taste of watery sweetness for the little goat-comber. But in the branches sat the most winsome little nightingale, pouring forth his heart in liquid song:
Ach, du lieber Neufschwanstein
Alles ist ugh ugh ugh!
Now, when the handsome prince fell smitten with the little goat comber and tried to woo her with outlandish gifts, the little goat comber was quite beside herself. For the Prince first tried to please her with a winsome vicuna that chased its tail and spewed exquisite inspirational homilies in an Albanain brogue. But the little goat comber only touched its musk gland and cried:
“Fie, it is a real mammal. I had so hoped it would be fashioned of naugahyde!”
The prince next sent the little goat comber a carbon-fiber grenade launcher, a butter statue of Henry Kissinger, and a stack of dried glue. At each gift, the horrid little guttersnipe turned up her nose and demanded to be delivered by zipline to the Spice Islands where she might seek an instrument for measuring beta decay in pineapple rinds. No sooner had this demand crossed her lips than an old witch sprang up from the back seat of a nearby Econoline van and cursed the little goat comber, so that she was no longer a delectable maiden, but a middle-aged nail-sorter named Alvin Gipps.
Then well might the little goat-comber cry:
“Oh, to hell with it. Where is the remote?”