HOUSEHOLD STORIES from The BROTHERS GRIMM

51 Tales translated to English by Lucy Crane & Illustrated by Walter Crane

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TOM THUMB'S TRAVELS
HERE was once a tailor who had a son no higher than a thumb, so he was called Tom Thumb. Notwithstanding his small size, he had plenty of spirit, and one day he said to his father,
" Father, go out into the world I must and will."
" Very well, my son," said the old man, and taking a long darning needle, he put a knob of sealing-wax on the end, saying,
" Here is a sword to take with you on your journey." Now the little tailor wanted to have one more meal first, and so he trotted into the kitchen to see what sort of a farewell feast his mother had cooked for him. It was all ready, and the dish was standing on the hearth. Then said he, " Mother, what is the fare to-day ? "
" You can see for yourself," said the mother. Then Tom Thumb ran to the hearth and peeped into the dish, but as he stretched his neck too far over it, the steam caught him and carried him up the chimney. For a time he floated with the steam about in the air, but at last he sank down to the ground. Then the little tailor found himself out in the wide world, and he wandered about, and finally engaged himself to a master tailor, but the food was not good enough for him.
" Mistress," said Tom Thumb, " if you do not give us better victuals, I shall go out early in the morning and write with a piece of chalk on the house-door, ' Plenty of potatoes to eat, and but little meat; so good-bye, Mr. Potato.'"