hans christan andersenI’ve been reading a lot of Hans Christian Andersen’s work lately and more recently I came across the story of The Saucy Boy, a rather short and humorous tale about an old poet at home who rescues a little boy whose asking for help one night at his door. Of course, instead of actually being a little boy in desperate need of assistance, the child is actually Cupid, set about to shoot his arrows into whomever he can manage to. And it becomes immediately clear that this is not the amazing thing that others may have made it out to be. In fact, while Cupid goes about doing his job of making others fall in love with each other, it is not necessarily always a good thing.

Whereas love can be something that many might want, others might not be even the slightest bit interested in it. This happens to be the case with our poet, who feels he has been wronged and inconvenienced by the child that he allowed into his home in order to help. The poet does not want to love and yet it seems he has no choice in the matter. It is for this reason that the poet refers to Cupid as the Saucy Boy and genuinely seems to regret attempting to help him. It feels quite possible that the poet has been hurt and jilted by love–and subsequently cupid–in the past.

There’s an amazing theme to this story about how love can sneak up on you. It can be when you least expect it and it can also be when you don’t want it. It’s such a fascinatingly interesting situation to be in when one does not want love and yet love has found them and the almost halfhearted dislike for the fact that it has happened. I absolutely adored this short tale for all that it offers and the subtext beneath it. The only thing I didn’t really care for, in the end, was the word saucy.

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