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HERE was once a king and queen, who had a dear little
daughter no bigger than you thumb. Her name was
Thumbling. Her papa and mamma loved her very dearly,
and never let her get out of their sight. Thumbling had
a cradle made out of a nut-shell, and when her mamma
sat down by the window to look out at the bright
sunshine, the trees, the flowers and the birds, she
used to put the little cradle close by her on the
window-sill. In front of the window was a beautiful
garden, and every day Thumbling used to run out in the
garden to play and to enjoy the breeze, and the birds,
and the flowers.
One day while Thumbling was playing in the garden, a
green grassed-hopper came springing towards her and
said: "Jump on my back, Thumbling, and I will be our
This pleased Thumbling greathly; she bounded on the
grasshopper's back, and away they went hop, hip, out of
the garden and through the green fields; at last,
however, Thumbling got very tired, for the grasshopper
made very high leaps, and she called out to him to
stop, just as they reached the banks of a small stream.
The stream was very smooth, and seemed to flow very
gently, and Thumbling thought to herself, "How I wish I
could go for a sail on the beautiful smooth water."
 Just then a fish came swimming along; he seized a leaf
that was floating on top of the water, and bending it
into the shape of a boat, called out: "Step into this
pretty boat, little girl, I will be your captain."
Thumbling got in the leaf, and the fish carried her for
a long, long sail. At last Thumbling was very tired,
and asked the fish to pull the boat to shore. He did
so, and Thumbling stepped out of the boat onto dry
land. She looked around and saw that she was in a
field, covered with green, but she could not see her
home, and she did not know how she could ever find her
way back to it. Then she began to cry and to call for
her papa and mamma, but they could not hear her,
because they were so far away.
A little field mouse, however, stepping out of her
nest, saw Thumbling, felt sorry for her, and took her
home to her nest. Here Thumbling lived for some time,
but she grieved for her mamma and home. One day when
Thumbling and the field mouse were out walking, they
saw a little swallow sitting on a mound of earth, and
crying bitterly, because it had a thorn in its foot,
and could not fly home to its baby swallows. Little
Thumbling kneeled down by the swallow, pulled the thorn
out of its foot, washed away the blood, and soon the
swallow felt quite well again.
She was about to fly away, when she turned to Thumbling
and said: "Thumbling, you have been very kind to me,
and I would like to do something for you; jump on my
back, and I will carry you to your mother. I live under
the eaves of your house, and I have heard our mamma
crying for you."
Thumbling thanked the field mouse, stepped on the
swallow's back, and
 away they flew through the air;
when they got home it was night, and the swallow laid
Thumbling in the nut-shell cradle, where her mamma
found her the next morning.