One of my favourite stories that really stuck with me as a kid was “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”.
The story tells of a toy tin soldier that is missing one leg. Despite this, he stands up just as straight as his fellow tin soldiers and manages to catch the heart of a beautiful ballerina toy.
Another toy, in a jealous rage, knocks the poor tin soldier outside. However, after a series of harrowing ordeals, the one-legged tin soldier determinedly makes his way back to the house and is reunited with his beloved ballerina.
Unfortunately, their love is short-lived as the two of them are cruelly knocked into an open fire by the jealous toy and are consumed by the flames.
However, one day while the maid is cleaning the fireplace she discovers a tiny glass heart left as a sign by the two toys that their love endured.
I always appreciated how the story wasn’t about the tin soldier earning the ballerina’s love. She loved him straight from the beginning because she knew the little soldier was someone who would never be loved at first glance because of something he could not change, and yet he never let that define him.
Her love belonged not to the man who had everything given to him, but the man who tried his best and gave everything.
And even though they were only reunited for a short moment, I’ll bet that little tin soldier was just happy to know he found someone who loved him.
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