little maid's surprise ! There sat a little man in the midst of the flower, as white and transparent as if he had been made of glass ; he wore the daintiest of §bld crowns on his head, and the brightest wings on his shoulders ; he himself was not bigger than Thumbelina. He was the angel of the flower. In each of the flowers dwelt such a little man or woman, but this one was king over them all.
' Heavens ! how beautiful he is ! ' whispered Thumbelina to the Swallow.
The little prince was very much frightened at the Swallow; for it was quite a gigantic bird to him, who was so small. But when he saw Thumbelina, he became very glad ; she was the prettiest maiden he had ever seen. Therefore he took off his golden crown, and put it upon her, asked her name, and if she would be his wife, and then she should be queen of all the flowers. Now this was truly a different kind of man to the son of the Toad, and the Mole with the black velvet fur. She therefore said ' Yes ' to the charm≠ing prince. And out of every flower came a lady or a lord, so pretty to behold that it was a delight : each one brought Thumbelina a present; but the best gift was a pair of beautiful wings which had belonged to a great white fly ; these were fastened to Thumbelina's back, and now she could fly from flower to flower. Then there was much rejoicing ; and the Swallow sat above them in her nest, and sung for them as well as she could ; but yet in her heart she was sad, for she was so fond of Thumbelina, and would have liked never to part from her.
* You shall not be called Thumbelina !' said the Flower Angel to her ; * that is an ugly name, and you are too fair for itówe will call you Maia.'
* Farewell, farewell!' said the Swallow, and she flew away again from the warm countries, far away back to Denmark. There she had a little nest over the window of the man who can tell fairy tales. To him she sang 1 Tweet-weet! tweet-weet ! ' and from him we have the whole story.