GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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The little tailor wandered on till he came to a large forest, and here he met a robber chief on his way to steal the king's treasures. As soon as he saw the little man, he said to himself: "A little fellow like that would make a capital picklock, he could creep through the keyholes."
" Hi!" he cried, "come here, you Giant Goliath. Will you go with us to the king's treasurechamber ? ycu can easily slip in and throw the gold out to us."
Thumbling thought for a while, and then said : " Yes, I will go with you to the treasure chamber."
When they reached the door, they examined it well, but there appeared not a hole or a crevice under or above it At last they discovered one just wide enough for Thumbling to creep through, and left him to himself. He was standing close to the hole, when one of the sentinels who stood before the door noticed him, and said to the other : " Look at that ugly little spider creeping there, I shall just crush it to death with my foot."
"Let the poor animal go," said the other, "it has done you no harm."
Thumbling, on hearing this, crept through out of their way as quickly as he could, got into the treasure chamber, opened the window under which the robbers stood, and threw out dollars to them one after the other.
In the midst of this work he heard the king coming to visit his treasures, and ran away quickly to hide himself. The king very soon missed a number of dollars, but he could not imagine how they had been stolen, for the locks and bolts were in perfect order, and all appeared carefully guarded. Thereupon he went out and said to the sentinels: " Watch carefully, there is some one after the money."
When the king was gone, Thumbling set to work again, and the sentinels could hear some one moving, as well as the clink of money. They rushed into the room quickly to seize the thief, but Thumb­ling was as quick as they were; he ran into a corner, and covered himself with one of the dollars, so that he could not be seen.
Then he began to tease the sentinels, and cried: " Here I am.w But by the time they had reached the place from whence the sound came, he had jumped into another corner, under another dollar, and cried: " Hi, here I am." And so he kept them rushing about