Thumbelina | Sunday Observer
Well loved tales


19 September, 2021

Once upon a time there was a woman who was very sad because she did not have children. She longed for a baby girl. One day an old woman came to see her and gave her a seed. She said, ”plant this seed and look after it well. When a flower blooms you will have a little girl".

The woman planted the seed and looked after it carefully. One day, a bud appeared and when it bloomed it was a beautiful flower. And there sitting in the middle of the flower was a lovely, little girl. She was the size of a thumb. The woman was overjoyed. She said “You are tiny-you are only the size of my thumb. I shall call you Thumbelina".


One sunny summer’s day Thumbelina was happily playing in the garden when a passing toad spotted her. The toad thought Thumbelina would make a fine bride for her son. She quickly snatched Thumbelina and sped to the pond where she lived. The mother toad set Thumbelina on a lily pad and went to look for her son.

Poor Thumbelina was very frightened and unhappy. She didn’t want to marry the young toad and only wanted to go home to her mother.

Flitting about the beautiful water lilies were many lovely butterflies. One kind and beautiful butterfly saw Thumbelina weeping and flitted down to her. The butterfly asked Thumbelina what the matter was. The tiny girl told the butterfly how she had been snatched by the toad and how she did not want to marry the young toad. “Please help me” Thumbelina begged the butterfly.

The butterfly agreed and asked Thumbelina to jump on to her back. She flew to a beautiful wood where there were many other butteflies. Thumbelina was very happy and lived all summer in the wood.


However, as the winter set in all the butterflies flew to warm places and Thumbelina was left alone again.

The tiny girl was scared and lonely. She could not help but cry. A mouse came by and on seeing the weeping girld asked her why she was crying. “I am cold and alone. I don’t have a home“ sobbed Thumbelina. The mouse felt sorry for Thumbelina and took her home with him. The winter became colder and food became scarce. One day, the mouse told Thumbelina,” soon, there won’t be enough food for the two of us in this house. You should marry the mole and go live in his house. He has plenty of food”.Poor Thumbelina became very unhappy when she heard this. She did not want to marry the mole go and live in the mole’s dark, underground home.

The mole invited Thumbelina to visit his home. She went with the mole.

The mole’s home

In the mole’s underground, tunnel home Thumbelina saw an injured swallow. The swallow told Thumbelina that when winter came all the other swallows had flown away leaving him behind. All winter Thumbelina nursed the swallow back to health. By the time summer came the swallow was well and he flew away to join his friends.

Summer and autumn passed and Thumbelina was very sad at the thought of spending another winter with the mole in his underground home.


Suddenly, one day, the swallow came and asked Thumbelina to come with him. He promised to take her to a beautiful, sunny land. So, off they flew. The swallow brought Thumbelina to a lovely land full of sunshine, flowers, birds and butterflies. There were also kind and happy people who warmly welcpmed tiny Thumbelina. The prince of the land fell in love with Thumbelina and married her and they lived happily everafter.