GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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174                     LITTLE THUMB.
enjoying yourself, and now it is my turn;" and then he began to screan and shout with all his might, and at last woke his father and mother.
In great alarm they ran to the room and peeped through the key­hole. As soon as they caught sight of the wolf, the husband fetched a hatchet and the wife a scythe. "You keep behind me," said the man to his wife, as they opened the door " if I don't kill nim'witfi the first blow, you must rush in and cut at him with the scythe."
Little Thumb, on hearing his father's voice, cried out, " Dear father, here I am, in the wolf's body."
"Thank heaven," he cried, "here's our child again come back to us," and called to his wife not to use the scythe for fear of hurt­ing their son. Then he raised the axe, and with one blow struck the wolf dead at his feet. A knife and a pair of scissors were soon found, and with this they ripped open the wolfs body and set Little Thumb free. "Ah," said the father, "what trouble we have suffered about you !"
"Yes, father, I dare say, but I have been out in the world, and shut up in strange places, and I am very thankful to find myself again in the fresh air."
" Where have you been, then ?" he asked.
" Oh, father, I have been in a mouse-hole. I have been swallowed by a cow, and just now I was shut up in the body of a wolf; but I don't care, for I am safe at home at last."
" And we will never sell you again, for all the riches in the world," said his parents, as they kissed him and pressed him to their hearts, and called him their dear Little Thumb. They gave him something to eat and drink, and the next day he had new clothes, for those he had on were quite old and worn out on kis travels. Perhaps we shall have some more to tell of this Little Thumb by-and-by.
Once upon a time there lived an old fox, who, strange to say, had nine tails, which did not, however, make him either wiser or better. He had a snug home near a wood, yet he was not happy, for he was jealous of his wife and thought she was not true. At last he