The tiny Tom Thumb

“In this little room the windows are forgotten,” said he, “and no sun shines in, neither will a candle be brought.”

His quarters were especially unpleasing to him, and the worst was that more and more hay was always coming in by the door, and the space grew less and less. When at length in his anguish, he cried as loud as he could, “Bring me no more fodder, bring me no more fodder!”

The maid was just milking the cow, and when she heard some one speaking, and saw no one, and perceived that it was the same voice that she had heard in the night, she was so terrified that she slipped off her stool, and spilt the milk.

She ran in great haste to her master, and said, “Oh heavens, pastor, the cow has been speaking.”

“You are mad,” replied the pastor, but he went himself to the byre to see what was there. Hardly, however had he set his foot inside when Tom Thumb again cried, “Bring me no more fodder, bring me no more fodder!”

Then the pastor himself was alarmed, and thought that an evil spirit had gone into the cow, and ordered her to be killed. She was killed, but the stomach, in which Tom Thumb was, was thrown on the dunghill. Tom Thumb had great difficulty in working his way out. However, he succeeded so far as to get some room, but just as he was going to thrust his head out, a new misfortune occurred. A hungry wolf ran thither, and swallowed the whole stomach at one gulp.

Tom Thumb did not lose courage. “Perhaps,” thought he, “the wolf will listen to what I have got to say.” And he called to him from out of his belly, “Dear wolf, I know of a magnificent feast for you.”

“Where is it to be had?” said the wolf.

“In such and such a house. You must creep into it through the kitchen-sink, and will find cakes, and bacon, and sausages, and as much of them as you can eat.” And he described to him exactly his father’s house.

The wolf did not require to be told this twice, squeezed himself in at night through the sink, and ate to his heart’s content in the larder. When he had eaten his fill, he wanted to go back in the forest, but he had become so big that he could not go out by the same way. Tom Thumb had reckoned on this, and now began to make a violent noise in the wolf’s body, and raged and screamed as loudly as he could.

“Will you be quiet?” said the wolf, “you will waken up the people.”

“What do I care?” replied the little fellow, “you have eaten your fill, and I will make merry likewise.” And began once more to scream with all his strength.

At last his father and mother were aroused by it, and ran to the room and looked in through the opening in the door. When they saw that a wolf was inside, the husband ran to fetched his axe, and the wife the scythe.

“Stay behind,” said the man to his wife as they entered the room.

Then Tom Thumb heard his parents, voices and cried, “Dear father, I am here, I am in side the wolf”

Said the father, full of joy, “Thank God, our dear child has found us again.” And bade the woman take away her scythe, that Tom Thumb might not be hurt with it. After that he raised his arm, and struck the wolf such a blow on his head that he fell down dead, and then they got knives and scissors and cut his body open and drew the little Tom Thumb forth.

“Ah,” said the father, “what sorrow we have gone through for your sake.”

“Yes father, I have gone about the world a great deal. Thank God, I breathe fresh air again.”

“Where have you been, then?”

“Ah, father, I have been in a mouse’s hole, in a cow’s belly, and then in a wolf’s paunch. Now I will stay with you.

“And we will not sell you again, no not for all the riches in the world,” said his parents, and they embraced and kissed their dear Tom Thumb. They gave him to eat and to drink, and had some new clothes made for him, for his own had been spoiled on his journey.

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