Tom Thumb

There lived a peasant with his wife in a small town. They had no child. As he sat in the evening by the hearth and poked the fire, and his wife sat and spun. He said to his wife, “How sad it is that we have no children. With us all is so quiet, and in other houses it is noisy and lively.”

“Yes”, replied the wife with a sad heart and wished they had atleast one child no matter who tiny he be.

And so the wish of the lady came true, after nine months she gave birth to a child, that was perfect in all its limbs, but no longer than a thumb.

Then said they, “It is as we wished it to be, and it shall be our dear child.” And because of its size, they called it Tom Thumb. They feed their child well, he would not grow taller, but remained as it had been at the first. Nevertheless it looked sensibly out of its eyes, and soon showed itself to be a wise and nimble creature, for everything it did turned out well.

One day the peasant was getting ready to go into the forest to cut wood, when he said as if to himself, “I wished that there was someone who would bring the cart to me to carry the woods back from the jungle.”

“Oh father,” cried Tom Thumb, “I shall bring the cart to you by the time you are done. It shall be in the forest at the appointed time.”

The man smiled and said, “How can that be done? You are far too tiny to lead the horse by the harness.”

“That is not an issue, father, if my mother will only harness it, I shall sit in the horse’s ear and instruct him how he is to go.”

“OK,” answered the man, “for once we will try it.”

The mother harnessed the horse, and placed Tom Thumb in its ear, and then the little creature shouted to the hourse, “Gee up, gee up.” Then it went quite properly as if with its master, and the cart went the right way into the forest. It so happened that just as he was turning a corner, and the little one was crying, “gee up,” two strange men came towards him.

“Ammazing,” said one of them, “what is this? There is a cart coming, and someone is calling to the horse but the driver is not to be seen.”

“Something is wrong about it,” said the other, “we will follow the cart and see where it goes.”

The cart, drove right into the forest, and exactly to the place where the wood had been cut. Finding his father there Tom Thumb called him and said, “Do you see, Father, here I am with the cart, now take me up.” The father got hold of the horse with his left hand and with the right took his little son out of the ear. Tom Thumb sat down quite merrily on a straw. When the two strange men saw this, they did not know what to say for astonishment.

Then one of the men wispered to the other, “Listen, if we exhibited the little fellow in the town, we will get lots of money. Let us buy him.” They went to the peasant and said, “Sell us the little man. He shall pay you in gold.”

“No,” replied the father, “he is the apple of my eye, and all the money in the world cannot buy him from me.”

Tom Thumb, however, when he heard of the bargain, had crept up the folds of his father’s coat, placed himself on his shoulder, and whispered in his ear, “Father, do give me away, I will soon come back again.”

Then the father parted with him to the two men for a handsome sum of money. “Where will you sit?” they said to him.

“On the rim of your hat, and then I can walk backwards and forwards and look at the country, and still not fall down.” siad Tom Thumb. They did as he wished, and when Tom Thumb had taken leave of his father, they went away with him. They walked until it was dusk, and then the little fellow said, “Do take me down, it is necessary.”

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