the merry little fellow seated himself on a shaving and felt quite comfortable.
When the strangers caught sight of Little Thumb they were much astonished, and scarcely knew what to think. Presently one took the other aside, and said, " That little chap would make our fortune if we could exhibit him in great towns for money. Suppose we buy him." So they went up to the father, and said, " Will you sell this little man to us? We will take the greatest care of him." " No," he replied; " he is my dear child, and I would not sell him for all the gold in the world." %
But Little Thumb, who had crept into the folds of his father's coat, heard what was said, and, climbing to his shoulder, whispered into his ear, " Father, let me go with these men. I am sure to come back again."
So the father gave him up for a large sum in gold.
" Where shall we put you ?" they asked. " Oh !" replied Little Thumb, " place me on the brim of your hat I can walk about there, and see where I am going, and I'll take care not to fall off."
They very willingly did as he wished, and as soon as Little Thumb had taken leave of his father, the men walked away with him.
They travelled all day, but, when evening came on, Little Thumb was tired of sitting up there so long, and cried out, " Stop, lift me down, please." "No," said the man, ustay where you are, little one. I don't mind your being there in the least. The birds often perch on my hat without causing me the slightest inconvenience. Stay where you are, my little man." "No, no," cried Little Thumb, " I know best what to do. I want you to lift me down directly." Then the man took his hat off, and placed it on the ground by the road side.
In a moment the little fellow sprang from the hat, ran through the hedge into a field, in and out between the clods of earth, then suddenly slipped into the nest of a field mouse, which he had seen from his seat on the man's hat. "Good evening, gentlemen, you must go home without me now." he shouted, laughing merrily. They were terribly annoyed, and tried to catch him by poking their sticks into the hole; but it was useless trouble, for Little Thumb crept to the farthest corner of the nest; and so night