“He looked at her, and she looked at him, but no words passed between them.”
Of course, they shared no words. Both the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Dancing Ballerina were inanimate. One was made of tin, the other paper.
The relationship between Hans Christian Andersen’s Steadfast Tin Soldier from the story by that name and the soldier’s focus of desire, the Dancing Balerina, was considered failed because the ballerina did not acknowledge the soldier’s devotion. The soldier longed for something that was not possible.
The soldier was one of 25 formed from the same tin spoon. All looked identical and stood proudly in their red and blue uniforms with rifles on their shoulders with one exception. The last had but one leg as there wasn’t enough tin to complete him.
That soldier fell in love with the paper ballerina in the entry of a cardboard castle. In part, his fondness for her was due to the fact that he believed she only had one leg, as well, because she danced on one with the other tucked behind her out of his range of vision.
After a series of adventures thrust upon the soldier, he and the ballerina ended in the fireplace. The soldier melted into the shape of a heart. However, the ballerina burned completely leaving only the spangle that held her sash, and that was burned black as coal.
We often desire what is not within our grasp while so many blessings surround us unappreciated. Our unrealistic expectations prohibit us from enjoying our gifts. Ego craves success, fame, fortune, possessions, and the love of someone who does not belong to us rather than the richness of a comforting home, loving family, rewarding employment, and devoted friends that we do have.