An old man in an almshouse stand by the window and looks out over the world. There is a rampart there where she watches children play. The children run over a grassy area where it is rumored that there used to be a sinkhole, but a child was buried there, and the sinkhole never appeared again. It was also rumored that a king had been there. The castle Rosenberg was just across the way.
The old maid’s life had shown her as a young girl in a white dress cut from a much larger dress. She wore a red shawl that was much too big. She grew up and things happened. The woman’s life has been sad, but there is still beauty to be found in the children playing, even if it is in a place with a violent past.
The castle Rosenberg is real, but it’s actually called the castle Rosenborg. It’s in Copenhagen. As far as identifying the building that the old maid is living in, I have no clue. I don’t know if she’s speaking of the rampart of the red building she’s in or of the rampart of the Rosenborg Castle. I could find no record of a story about a child being buried in a rampart, which is a castle wall, or of the story about the women pouring boiling water on men.
There may very well be an actual building Hans is speaking of in this tale, but I just can’t find the anecdotal evidence to back it up.
What complicates all of this is that there have been multiple castles and palaces in Copenhagen. One of the castles alone as been rebuilt as least three times, and then it was on top of another castle.
Generally, churches were almshouses, but the closest standing church near the castle Rosenborg, is too new to be a building that Hans could have been talking about. It could be the building Hans is speaking of is gone.
Sometimes we have no idea what history our location holds. The children in this story were running and playing on a piece of ground that had seen a lot of violence, but they knew nothing of it. Things looked peaceful as they were.
When I lived in Okinawa, people walked around like normal. People had fun. People did all kinds of things. Okinawa was the site of a very bloody battle during WWII. Many people were killed. We didn’t ever really think about how terrible Okinawa had been during the battle. We just walked around doing our normal every-day lives.
This is another one of those stories of Hans’ that seems sadder than is necessary.
Do you think it is good that we do not dwell on the history that happened where we live?
Do you believe children would have played on this spot had they known a child had been buried there?