Once upon a time . . . there lived a giant who had quarrelled with a very
greedy wizard over sharing a treasure. After the quarrel, the giant said
menacingly to the wizard:
"I could crush you under my thumb if I wanted to! Now, get out of my
sight!" The wizard hurried away, but from a safe distance, he hurled his
"Abracadabra! Here I cast this spell! May the son, your wife will shortly
give you, never grow any taller than my own thumb!"
After Tom Thumb was born, his parents were at their wits' end. They could
never find him, for they could barely see him. They had to speak in whispers
for fear of deafening the little boy. Tom Thumb preferred playing with the
little garden creatures, to the company of parents so different from himself.
He rode piggyback on the snail and danced with the ladybirds. Tiny as he was,
he had great fun in the world of little things.
But one unlucky day, he went to visit a froggy friend. No sooner had he
scrambled onto a leaf than a large pike swallowed him up. But the pike too was
fated to come to a very bad end. A little later, he took the bait cast by one
of the King's fishermen, and before long, found himself under the cook's knife
in the royal kitchens. And great was everyone's surprise when, out of the
fish's stomach, stepped Tom Thumb, quite alive and little the worse for his