when she went into the fields to milk the cows, and, fearing
he might be blown away by the wind, she tied him to
a sow-thistle with a little piece of thread. While she was
milking, a cow came by, bit off the thistle, and swallowed
up Tom. Poor Tom did not like her big teeth, and called
out loudly, ' Mother, mother ! ' ' But where are you,
Tommy, my dear Tommy?" cried out his mother, wringing
her hands. ' Here, mother," he shouted, ' inside the red
cow's mouth ! ' And, saying that, he began to kick and
scratch till the poor cow was nearly mad, and at length
tumbled him out of her mouth. On seeing this, his mother
rushed to him, caught him in her arms, and carried him
Some days after this, his father took him to the fields
a-ploughing, and gave him a whip, made of a barley straw,
with which to drive the oxen ; but little Tom was soon
lost in a furrow. An eagle seeing him, picked him up and
flew with him to the top of a hill where stood a giant's
castle. The giant put him at once into his mouth, intending
to swallow him up, but Tom made such a great disturbance
when he got inside that the monster was soon glad to get
rid of him, and threw him far away into the sea. But he
was not drowned, for he had scarcely touched the water
before he was swallowed by a large fish, which was shortly
afterwards captured and brought to King Arthur, as a
present, by the fisherman. When the fish was opened,
everyone was astonished at finding Tom inside. He was
at once carried to the King, who made him his Court
Long time he lived in jollity,
Beloved of the Court,
And none like Tom was so esteemed
Amongst the better sort.
The Queen was delighted with the little boy, and made
him dance a gaillard on her left hand. He danced so well
that King Arthur gave him a ring, which he wore round
his waist like a girdle.
Tom soon began to long to see his parents again, and
begged the King to allow him to go home for a short
time. This was readily permitted, and the King told him
he might take with him as much money as he could carry.
And so away goes lusty Tom,
With three pence at his back
A heavy burthen which did make
His very bones to crack
He had to rest more than a hundred times by the
way, but, after two days and two nights, he reached his
father's house in safety. His mother saw him coming, and
ran out to meet him, and there was great rejoicing at his
arrival. He spent three happy days at home, and then set
out for the Court once more.
Shortly after his return, he one day displeased the King,
so, fearing the royal anger, he crept into an empty flower-
pot, where he lay for a long time. At last he ventured to
peep out, and, seeing a fine large butterfly on the ground
close by, he stole out of his hiding-place, jumped on its
back, and was carried up into the air. The King and
nobles all strove to catch him, but at last poor Tom fell
from his seat into a watering-pot, in which he was almost
vXi ^avsmrJ^x^f.-f^'xsifft:/! '5?'\M3&A ;
drowned, only luckily the gardener's child saw him, and
pulled him out. The King was so pleased to have him
safe once more that he forgot to scold him, and made much
of him instead.
Tom afterwards lived many years at Court, one of the
best beloved of King Arthur's knights.
Thus he at tilt and tournament
Was entertained so,
That all the rest of Arthur's knights
Did him much pleasure show.
With good Sir Launcelot du Lake,
Sir Tristram and Sir Guy,
Yet none compared to brave Tom Thumb
In acts of chivalry.
CHILDREN^ BOOKS *'