Once there was a little girl who, on the last night of the year, was selling matches in the street. She was so poor that the cold was unbearable, but to make matters worse, when she was trying to cross the street, running so as not to get hit by the oncoming cars, she lost her shoes and couldn’t go back to find them.
She walked barefooted for a long time until her little feet were purple from the cold. In her apron she had a handful of matches, since she made her living selling them in the streets, but today she hadn’t had much luck and found herself freezing and without a cent in her pocket.
Finally, she sat on the ground; she was afraid to return home without having sold anything, since her father often beat her. She decided to light on of the matches to warm her hands, and at first it felt like a warm stove, helping her to dream that she was in front of a fireplace. But shortly afterward, the match went out, and she lit a second match and, thanks to her imagination, was able to see the inside of a room with a table laid out with delicious fruits and a roasted duck.
The duck jumped off its platter and, holding a fork and knife went towards the little girl, but the second match went out and she couldn’t see it anymore. She proceeded to light a third match and this time she found herself under a Christmas tree, until it went out and she realized that the lights she was seeing were stars.
In that instant, a shooting star flew across the sky and the girl knew that her grandmother had died. When she lit the fourth match, she could see her grandmother and asked if she would take her with her.
So that she wouldn’t lose sight of her, the girl lit all of the matches she had left, and suddenly her grandmother appeared, took her hand, and took the girl with her. The next day, in that lonely corner, all that remained was the body of the little girl which was not able to withstand the cold, but she found herself underneath the Christmas tree, next to the fireplace and with all the delicious treats she could eat.