On the very day her mother was buried, Karen received the red shoes, and wore them for the first time.
And Karen believed all this happened on account of the red shoes, but the old lady thought they were horrible, and they were burnt.
And this little daughter was a princess, and people streamed to the castle, and Karen was there also, and the little princess stood in her fine white dress, in a window, and let herself be stared at; she had neither a train nor a golden crown, but splendid red morocco shoes.
Now Karen was old enough to be confirmed; she had new clothes and was to have new shoes also.
said Karen, and they fitted, and were bought, but the old lady knew nothing about their being red, else she would never have allowed Karen to have gone in red shoes to be confirmed.
And she thought only of them as the clergyman laid his hand upon her head, and spoke of the holy baptism, of the covenant with God, and how she should be now a matured Christian; and the organ pealed so solemnly; the sweet children's voices sang, and the old music-directors sang, but Karen only thought of her red shoes.
In the afternoon, the old lady heard from everyone that the shoes had been red, and she said that it was very wrong of Karen, that it was not at all becoming, and that in future Karen should only go in black shoes to church, even when she should be older.
The next Sunday there was the sacrament, and Karen looked at the black shoes, looked at the red ones--looked at them again, and put on the red shoes.
The sun shone gloriously; Karen and the old lady walked along the path through the corn; it was rather dusty there.
And the old lady gave the old soldier alms, and went into the church with Karen.
And all the people in the church looked at Karen's red shoes, and all the pictures, and as Karen knelt before the altar, and raised the cup to her lips, she only thought of the red shoes, and they seemed to swim in it; and she forgot to sing her psalm, and she forgot to pray, "Our Father in Heaven
Karen raised her foot to get in after her, when the old soldier said,