(Basically a boy that is a span tall)
Once upon a time there lived an old-man and an old-woman. They had a straw cottage with a stork’s nest on the roof. They had two oxen- one blind, one lame. They had a field, not ploughed for 3 years. The only thing that they didn’t have was a child, which made them sorrowful and mirthless.
One morning the old-man said to his wife:
Grandmother, I’ll go plough the field today. I think of scatter it with a millet, so when it grows and ripens, the birds will come to peck it. As soon as the birds perch and start pecking it I’ll throw my fishing net on top of them, I’ll catch about a dozen, I’ll make them cages and I’ll sell them at the market. What do you think, is that a good idea?
- That’s a great idea, but I have nothing to cook for lunch. Why don’t you go catch some fish, and then you can go plough.
The old man went to the river and threw his net in a deep pond. He pulled it out- a whole bag of goldfish. He threw it again and saw a little boy stirring in the net- he was one span tall, with sandals and a moustache.
- Good morning, dad! – shouted the boy.
- What are you? – asked the old man.
- I am your son. I was standing under a stone and waiting for somebody to get me out of there and take me to a cottage. I waited and waited, I even grew out a moustache, but nobody came. I went out for a walk and you caught me in the net. Why don’t you take me home, I don’t know how to get there!
The old man bent down, took the mustached boy, put it in the bag with the fish and took it home. The granny was so happy when she saw it.
- Oh, mummy’s – she whooped, – it already has a moustache! We’ll name it Tom Thumb.
The grandpa enjoyed the company of his son, caressed his head and left to plough the field. At noon Tom Thumb went to the field to bring soup to his father. As the father sat to eat his lunch, his son started to plough instead of him. He told his father to rest under one pear tree and if
anybody wanted to buy him he could sell him, because he would come back.
After some time a wealthy tradesman passed by. He was surprised that the oxen were ploughing on their own. The old-man told tim that if he looked closer he would see that his son is riding them. The wealthy man offered to buy the boy for 100 golden coins. He put the boy in his pocket, but the little one gnawed a hole in it to escape. Then went through a forest and decided to sleep under a bridge. As was falling asleep he overheard three robbers’ plans to steal somebody’s oxen. He offered to join them and they agreed because they could benefit from his small size. The thieves managed to steal an ox . They gave the boy the potbelly, which he washed and used as a bed. During the night a hungry wolf came and ate the belly with the boy in it. Tom Thumb woke in the stomach of the wolf. He started walking, reached the wolfs mouth and looked through his teeth. It was noon. In front- a whole flock of sheep, the dogs and the shepherd were sleeping. The boy started shouting and warned of the coming danger.
Later the wolf was about to catch a rabbit, but Tom Thumb saved the rabbit’s life. The wolf asked him who he was and what he was doing in his stomach. The boy told the wolf to take him home. When they arrived Tom Thumb started shouting:
– Mom, dad, hit/beat the wolf, but not on the stomach, because you’re gonna break my bones.
They listened to his son, killed the wolf and freed the boy.
How are you? – asked Tom Thumb.
We’re good- answered the parents. – We were waiting for you.
You may be good – said the boy- but I am not, because I don’t have a warm coat, winter is coming.
Child’s play – said the old-man and stripped the wolf’s skin.
And the old-lady took a packing-needle and sewed him a nice, warm overcoat.