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Nutcracker: The Original Story - Victory

When the Nutcracker comes alive, again, he tells Marie that the Mouse King is dead. Illustration by Roberto Innocenti, circa 1940.

 

Believing that Drosselmeier’s story is true - and that the Nutcracker is really a young man transformed into a wooden object - Marie takes action. She doesn’t realize, at first, that she could be part of the “other-world” story, too.

Until ...

That night, as Marie lay in bed, she felt something icy cold running up her arm. The Mouse King was sitting on her shoulder, blood foaming from all of his seven mouths. He was angrily hissing at Marie:

Stay out of that house,
It’s death to a mouse!

Poor Marie was petrified. The Mouse King continued:

Now what’s to do?
Your picture books, too!
And I’ll have your lace.
By Nutcracker’s face!

Marie was brokenhearted at the thought of giving up her picture books and her pretty lace dress.

The next morning, her mother told her that they still had not caught the mouse, and might have to fetch the baker’s cat after all. Marie turned as white as a sheet and ran straight to the cabinet.

“Dear Nutcracker,” she said. “What can I do? Even if I give all my picture books and my dress, the Mouse King will still ask for more. Soon I will have nothing left, and he will want to eat me and you !”

Marie was sobbing when she suddenly saw a spot of blood on Nutcracker’s neck.  It must have been there since the battle. She picked him up and wiped the blood away with her silk handkerchief.

Nutcracker immediately started growing warm in her hands, and she put him down again. His jaw began to wobble.

“Dear Miss Stahlbaum,” he whispered. “My true friend, I owe you so much. But don’t give up your picture books and your lace dress for me. All I need is a sword. If you can get me one, I’ll do the rest ...”

Nutcracker’s voice died away. His eyes became as lifeless as before.

Marie’s heart leaped for joy! She knew that she would not have to give up anything else. But where could she get a sword?

“I’ll just have to talk to Fritz this evening, while Mama and Papa are out. I’ll tell him everything,” she decided.

Ever since Marie had described the battle, Fritz had been very unhappy with the conduct of his hussars. When he heard the whole story, he shook his head and looked disapprovingly at the soldiers. Now, as a punishment, he took the plumes from their hats and forbade them to sound their favorite March of the Hussars.

“As for a sword,” he said, “I can help.”

Fritz borrowed a silver sabre from an old colonel, who was retired at the back of the shelf, and handed it to his sister. Marie sighed as she tied the little sword around Nutcracker’s waist.

That night, Marie lay wide awake staring into the darkness. She could not sleep for worry. It wasn’t until near midnight that she heard noises coming from behind the sitting-room doors. There was a rustling and a clanging, then suddenly a shrill SQUEAK!

“The King of Mice!” she cried, leaping out of her bed in sheer terror.

But the room was silent. Marie held her breath and listened. Then there was a gentle tapping on the bedroom door and a voice she knew said softly: “Open the door, Miss Stahlbaum. Don’t worry, there’s good news.”

Marie threw on her dressing-gown and cautiously opened the door. There stood Nutcracker. In his right hand was his sword all covered in blood. In his left, a wax taper was burning brightly. As soon as he saw Marie, Nutcracker dropped on one knee.

“You gave me courage,” he said, “to fight the treacherous Mouse King, who dared to insult you. Now he lies dead and gone.”

Then Nutcracker put down his sword and pulled out the Mouse King’s seven crowns. He held them out to Marie and continued: “Take these tokens of victory from one who is, until death, your true and faithful knight!”

Marie accepted them, speechless with delight.

“My beloved Miss Stahlbaum,” begged Nutcracker - or, young Drosselmeier, as he must surely be - was a kind and honorable gentlemen. And now that he was indebted to her, he would certainly keep his promise to show her wonders of all kinds.

“I will come with you, dear Mr. Drosselmeier,” she answered, “but it can’t be very far, or take very long, because you know I haven’t had any sleep yet.”

“Then we’ll go by the shortest route! cried Nutcracker.

He turned and led Marie to the big, old wardrobe at the back of her bedroom. Marie was surprised to see that the doors, which were always shut, now stood wide open.  Inside, her father’s fox-fur traveling coat was hanging at the front. Nutcracker climbed quickly up it and tugged on the big tassel that hung down the back.

Immediately, a little cedar-wood ladder dropped down through one of the armholes and Nutcracker told Marie to fear nothing, to have faith and follow him.

Up she climbed and, as her head emerged through the neck of the coat, she was dazzled by a brilliant light streaming all around her.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5152stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 14, 2017

Updated Last Revision: Dec 15, 2017


To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Victory" AwesomeStories.com. Dec 14, 2017. Feb 20, 2018.
       <http://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Victory>.
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