“Just stay up there,” said the man.
“No,” said Tom Thumb, “I need to answer the nature’s call.”
The man took his hat off, and put the little fellow on the ground by the wayside, and he leapt and crept about a little between the sods, and then he suddenly slipped into a mousehole which he had sought out.
“Good evening, gentlemen, just go home without me,” he cried to them, and mocked them. They ran thither and stuck their sticks into the mousehole, but it was all in vain. Tom Thumb crept still farther in, and as it soon became quite dark, they were forced to go home with their vexation and their empty purses.
When Tom Thumb saw that they were gone, he crept back out of the subterranean passage. “It is so dangerous to walk on the ground in the dark,” he thought. Fortunately he stumbled against an empty snail-shell. “Thank God,” said he, “in that I can pass the night in safety.” And got into it.
Not long afterwards, when he was just going to sleep, he heard two men go by, and one of them was saying, “How shall we set about getting hold of the rich pastor’s silver and gold?”
“I could tell you that,” shouted Tom Thumb…
“What was that?” said one of the thieves in fright, “I heard someone.”
They stood still listening, and Tom Thumb spoke again, “Take me with you, and I’ll help you.”
“But where are you?”
“Just look on the ground, and observe from whence my voice comes,” he replied.
Then the thieves found him, and lifted him up. “You little man, how will you help us?” they said.
“Listen,” said he, “I will creep into the pastor’s room through the iron bars, and will reach out to you whatever you want to have.”
“Come then,” they said, “and we will see what you can do.”
When they got to the pastor’s house, Tom Thumb crept into the room, but instantly cried out with all his might, “Do you want to have everything out here?”
The thieves were alarmed, and said, “speak softly, so as not to waken any one.”
Tom Thumb however, behaved as if he had not understood this, and shouted again, “What do you want? Do you want to have everything out here?”
The cook, who slept in the next room, heard this and sat up in bed. The thieves got frightened and run some distance away, but at last they took courage, and thought, “The little rascal wants to mock us.” They came back and whispered to him, “Come be serious, and reach something out to us.”
Tom Thumb shouted again as loudly as he could, “I really will give you everything, just put your hands in.”
The maid who was listening, heard this quite distinctly, and jumped out of bed and rushed to the door. The thieves took flightend, and ran as if the wild huntsman were behind them, but as the maid could not see anything, she went to sleep again and believed that, after all, she had only been dreaming with open eyes and ears.
Tom Thumb had climbed up among the hay and found a beautiful place to sleep in. There he intended to rest until dawn, and then go home again to his parents. But there were other things in store for him. Truly, there is much worry and affliction in this world. When the day dawned, the maid arose from her bed to feed the cows. Her first walk was into the barn, where she laid hold of an armful of hay, and precisely that very one in which poor Tom Thumb was lying asleep. He, however, was sleeping so soundly that he was aware of nothing, and did not awake until he was in the mouth of the cow, who had picked him up with the hay.
“Ah, heavens,” cried he, “how have I got into the fulling mill.”
He soon discovered that he was in the mouth of a cow. Then he had to take care not to let himself go between the teeth and be dismembered, but he was subsequently forced to slip down into the stomach with the hay.