Grimm: Thumbling (end)

This story is part of the Brothers Grimm (Hunt) unit. Story source: Household Tales by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm, translated by Margaret Hunt (1884).

Thumbling (end)

"Thou art mad," replied the pastor, but he went himself to the byre to see what was there. Hardly, however had he set his foot inside when Thumbling again cried, "Bring me no more fodder; bring me no more fodder."

Then the pastor himself was alarmed, and thought that an evil spirit had gone into the cow, and ordered her to be killed. She was killed, but the stomach, in which Thumbling was, was thrown on the midden.

Thumbling had great difficulty in working his way; however, he succeeded so far as to get some room, but just as he was going to thrust his head out, a new misfortune occurred. A hungry wolf ran thither and swallowed the whole stomach at one gulp. Thumbling did not lose courage. "Perhaps," thought he, "the wolf will listen to what I have got to say," and he called to him from out of his stomach, "Dear wolf, I know of a magnificent feast for you."

"Where is it to be had?" said the wolf.

"In such and such a house; thou must creep into it through the kitchen-sink and wilt find cakes, and bacon, and sausages, and as much of them as thou canst eat," and he described to him exactly his father's house.

The wolf did not require to be told this twice, squeezed himself in at night through the sink, and ate to his heart's content in the larder. When he had eaten his fill, he wanted to go out again, but he had become so big that he could not go out by the same way.

Thumbling had reckoned on this and now began to make a violent noise in the wolf's body, and raged, and screamed as loudly as he could.

"Wilt thou be quiet," said the wolf; "thou wilt waken up the people!"

"Eh, what," replied the little fellow, "thou hast eaten thy fill, and I will make merry likewise," and began once more to scream with all his strength.

At last his father and mother were aroused by it, and ran to the room, and looked in through the opening in the door. When they saw that a wolf was inside, they ran away, and the husband fetched his axe, and the wife the scythe.

"Stay behind," said the man when they entered the room. "When I have given him a blow, if he is not killed by it, thou must cut him down and hew his body to pieces."

Then Thumbling heard his parents' voices and cried, "Dear father, I am here; I am in the wolf's body."

Said the father, full of joy, "Thank God, our dear child has found us again," and bade the woman take away her scythe that Thumbling might not be hurt with it.

After that, he raised his arm and struck the wolf such a blow on his head that he fell down dead, and then they got knives and scissors, and cut his body open, and drew the little fellow forth.

"Ah," said the father, "what sorrow we have gone through for thy sake."

"Yes, father, I have gone about the world a great deal. Thank heaven, I breathe fresh air again!"

"Where hast thou been, then?"

"Ah, father, I have been in a mouse's hole, in a cow's stomach, and then in a wolf's; now I will stay with you."

"And we will not sell thee again, no, not for all the riches in the world," said his parents, and they embraced and kissed their dear Thumbling.

They gave him to eat and to drink, and had some new clothes made for him, for his own had been spoiled on his journey.

(600 words)

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