GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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A tailor once had a son who was so very small, that he gave him the name of Thumbling. The little mite was, however, very courageous, and one day said to his father: " Father, I must go out in the world and get my living."
"Very well, my son." he replied. Then he took a darning needle, polished it till it was very bright, and made a top to it with sealing wax. This he gave to his son, and said : " There is a sword to hang by your side, and help you on your way."
Before he started, the little fellow thought he should like to have something to eat, so he hopped into the kitchen to see what the good old cook could give him for his last meal. He was just in time, for a dish stood on the hearth.
" Good mother, what can you give me to eat to-day ?" he said.
" See for yourself," she replied.
Away sprung Thumbling to the hearth, and peeped into the dish, but as he was stretching his neck over, the steam caught him and carried him up the chimney.
For a time he floated on the steam in the air, but at last he sunk down again to the earth, and found himself, as he wished, out in the wide world alone. His father had taught him to work at his own trade, so he went and engaged himself to a master tailor, but the food did not please him, and one day he went to his master's wife, and said : " Mistress, if you don't give me something better to eat, I shall go away early to-morrow morning, and write with chalk on your house door, 'Too many potatoes, too little meat Adieu Sir Potato King.' "
" You little grasshopper," cried the mistress, angrily, " I'll teach you to talk like that f then she seized a duster, and was going to beat him with it, but he crept nimbly under her thimble, which stood on the table, and put out his tongue at her. She lifted up the thimble, and tried to catch hold of him, but the little dwarf hopped into the duster, and as his mistress unrolled it to seek for him, he jumped on the table, and called out: " He, he ! Madame Mistress, here I am," and when she tried to strike him, he slipped into the table drawer. At last, however, she caught him, and drove him from the house.