TOM THUMB. 165
" My dear wolf, I can tell you where to get a splendid meal ! "
" Where is it to be had ? " asked the wolf.
" In such and such a house, and you must creep into it through the drain, and there you will find cakes and bacon and broth, as much as you can eat," and he described to him his father's house. The wolf needed not to be told twice. He squeezed himself through the drain in the night, and feasted in the store-room to his heart's content. When, at last, he was satisfied, he wanted to go away again, but he had become so big, that to creep the same way back was impossible. This Tom Thumb had reckoned upon, and began to make a terrible din inside the wolf, crying and calling as loud as he could.
" Will you be quiet ? " said the wolf; " you will wake the folks up !"
" Look here," cried the little man, " you are very well satisfied, and now I will do something for my own enjoyment," and began again to make all the noise he could. At last the father and mother were awakened, and they ran to the room-door and peeped through the chink, and when they saw a wolf in occupation, they ran and fetched weapons—the man an axe, and the wife a scythe.
" Stay behind," said the man, as they entered the room; " when I have given him a blow, and it does not seem to have killed him, then you must cut at him with your scythe."
Then Tom Thumb heard his father's voice, and cried,
" Dear father, I am here in the wolfs inside."
Then the father called out full of joy,
" Thank heaven that we have found our dear child ! " and told his wife to keep the scythe out of the way, lest Tom Thumb should be hurt with it. Then he drew near and struck the wolf such a blow on the head that he fell down dead ; and then he fetched a knife and a pair of scissors, slit up the wolfs body, and let out the little fellow.
" Oh, what anxiety we have felt about you !" said the father.
" Yes, father, I have seen a good deal of the world, and I am very glad to breathe fresh air again."