||Once upon a time . . .
there lived a giant who had quarreled 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 terrible revenge. "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 adventure. "What am I to do with this tiny lad?" said the cook to
himself. Then he had a brainwave. "He can be a royal pageboy! He's so tiny, I can pop
him into the cake I'm making. When he marches across the bridge, sounding the trumpet
everyone will gasp in wonder!" Never had such a marvel been seen at Court. The guests
clapped excitedly at the cook's skill and the King himself clapped loudest of all. The
King rewarded the clever cook with a bag of gold. Tom Thumb was even luckier. The cook
made him a pageboy, and a pageboy he remained, enjoying all the honors of his post. He had
a white mouse for a mount, a gold pin for a sword and he was allowed to eat the King's
food. In exchange, he marched up and down the table at banquets. He picked his way amongst
the plates and glasses amusing the guests with his trumpet. What Tom Thumb didn't know was
that he had made an enemy. The cat which, until Tom's arrival, had been the King's pet,
was now forgotten. And, vowing to have its revenge on the newcomer, it ambushed Tom in the
garden. When Tom saw the cat, he did not run away, as the creature had intended. He
whipped out his gold pin and cried to his white mouse mount: "Charge! Charge!"
Jabbed by the tiny sword, the cat turned tail and fled. Since brute force was not the way
to revenge, the cat decided to use guile. Casually pretending to bump into the King as he
walked down the staircase, the cat softly meowed: "Sire! Be on your guard! A plot is
being hatched against your life!" And then he told a dreadful lie. "Tom Thumb is
planning to lace your food with hemlock. I saw him picking the leaves in the garden the
other day. heard him say these very words!" Now, the King had once been kept in bed
with very bad tummy pains, after eating too many cherries and he feared the thought of
being poisoned, so he sent for Tom Thumb. The cat provided proof of his words by pulling a
hemlock leaf from under the white mouse's saddle cloth, where he had hidden it himself.
Tom Thumb was so amazed, he was at a loss for words to deny what the cat had said. The
King, without further ado, had him thrown into prison. And since he was so tiny, they
locked him up in a pendulum clock. The hours passed and the days too. Tom's only pastime
was swinging back and forth, clinging to the pendulum, until the night when he attracted
the attention of a big night moth, fluttering round the room. "Let me out!"
cried Tom Thumb, tapping on the glass. As it so happens, the moth had only just been set
free after being a prisoner in a large box, in which she had taken a nap. So she took pity
on Tom Thumb and released him. 'I'll take you to the Butterfly Kingdom, where everyone's
tiny like yourself. They'll take care of you there!" And that is what happened. To
this day, if you visit the Butterfly Kingdom, you can ask to see the Butterfly monument
that Tom Thumb built after this amazing adventure.