Der var engang en fattig bondemand. En aften, da han sad og ragede op i ilden, mens hans kone spandt, sagde han: "Hvor det dog er kedeligt, at vi ingen børn har. Her er så stille og slet ikke lystigt som hos andre mennesker." - "Ja, det har du rigtignok ret i," sagde hans kone og sukkede, "selv om det ikke var større end en tommeltot, ville vi dog holde af det og være glade for det." Kort tid efter blev konen syg, og syv måneder efter fødte hun en dreng, der var meget velskabt, men ikke større end en tommelfinger, og de kaldte ham derfor Tommeliden. De gav ham alt muligt godt at spise, men han blev ikke en smule større for det. Alligevel var han en rigtig klog og forstandig lille fyr, og alt, hvad han tog fat på, lykkedes for ham.
There was once a poor countryman who used to sit in the chimney-corner all evening and poke the fire, while his wife sat at her spinning-wheel. And he used to say, "How dull it is without any children about us; our house is so quiet, and other people's houses so noisy and merry!" - "Yes," answered his wife, and sighed, "if we could only have one, and that one ever so little, no bigger than my thumb, how happy I should be! It would, indeed, be having our heart's desire." Now, it happened that after a while the woman had a child who was perfect in all his limbs, but no bigger than a thumb. Then the parents said, "He is just what we wished for, and we will love him very much," and they named him according to his stature, "Tom Thumb." And though they gave him plenty of nourishment, he grew no bigger, but remained exactly the same size as when he was first born; and he had very good faculties, and was very quick and prudent, so that all he did prospered.
En dag, da faderen ville ud i skoven for at hugge brænde, sagde han: "Bare der nu var en, der kom ud med vognen til mig." - "Det skal jeg gøre," råbte Tommeliden, "jeg skal nok være der i rette tid." Manden lo og sagde: "Hvordan skulle du dog bære dig ad med det. Du er alt for lille til at styre en hest." - "Det gør slet ikke noget," svarede han, "hvis mor bare vil spænde for, sætter jeg mig i hestens øre og siger den, hvad vej den skal gå." - "Lad os da prøve det i Guds navn," sagde manden og gik ud i skoven. Noget efter spændte moderen hestene for og satte Tommeliden ind i hestens øre. "Hyp hyp," råbte den lille og sagde hesten, hvad vej den skulle gå. Det gik nu i rask galop ud til skoven. På vejen kom de forbi to mænd. "Hvad er det for noget," råbte den ene, "der kører en vogn uden kusk, men man kan dog høre ham råbe til hestene." - "Det går ikke naturligt til," sagde den anden, "lad os gå bagefter vognen og se, hvor den kører hen." Tommeliden kørte imidlertid videre og kom ganske rigtig til det sted, hvor faderen huggede brænde. "Her er jeg," råbte han, "tag mig så ud." Faderen tog sin lille søn ud af øret og satte ham ned i græsset. Da de to mænd så Tommeliden, vidste de ikke, hvad de skulle sige af forundring. "Ved du hvad," hviskede den ene til den anden, "hvis vi viste ham frem for penge, kunne vi tjene godt. Lad os købe ham." De gik hen til bonden og spurgte, om han ville sælge den lille fyr. "Nej," svarede faderen, "ham giver jeg ikke fra mig for alverdens skatte." Tommeliden var imidlertid kravlet op på sin fars skulder og hviskede til ham: "Gør det kun, jeg skal nok komme hjem igen," og faderen solgte ham da for et stort guldstykke. "Sæt mig nu op på hatten, så jeg kan se mig om i verden," sagde Tommeliden, og da han havde sagt farvel til sin far, gik mændene af sted med ham. Henimod aften sagde Tommeliden: "Lad mig nu komme ned, jeg er nødt til det." - "Bliv du bare deroppe," sagde manden, "det er såmænd ikke noget at gøre væsen af. Jeg er så vant til, at fuglene taber noget ned på mig." - "Nej, jeg ved dog nok, hvad der passer sig," svarede Tommeliden, "tag mig nu bare ned." Manden tog hatten af og satte den lille fyr på en mark ved vejen. Han krøb lidt frem og tilbage mellem stråene, men pludselig smuttede han ned i et musehul. "Lykke på rejsen," råbte han, "I kommer nok til at drage videre uden mig." De stak pinde ned i hullet, men det nyttede ikke noget, Tommeliden krøb bare længere ind, og da det snart blev helt mørkt, måtte de gå videre med samt deres ærgrelse og deres tomme pung.
One day his father made ready to go into the forest to cut wood, and he said, as if to himself, "Now, I wish there was some one to bring the cart to meet me." - "O father," cried Tom Thumb, "I can bring the cart, let me alone for that, and in proper time, too!" Then the father laughed, and said, "How will you manage that? You are much too little to hold the reins." - "That has nothing to do with it, father; while my mother goes on with her spinning I will sit in the horse's ear and tell him where to go." - "Well," answered the father, "we will try it for once." When it was time to set off, the mother went on spinning, after setting Tom Thumb in the horse's ear; and so he drove off, crying, "Gee-up, gee-wo!" So the horse went on quite as if his master were driving him, and drew the waggon along the right road to the wood. Now it happened just as they turned a corner, and the little fellow was calling out "Gee-up!" that two strange men passed by. "Look," said one of them, "how is this? There goes a waggon, and the driver is calling to the horse, and yet he is nowhere to be seen." - "It is very strange," said the other; "we will follow the waggon, and see where it belongs." And the wagon went right through the wood, up to the place where the wood had been hewed. When Tom Thumb caught sight of his father, he cried out, "Look, father, here am I with the wagon; now, take me down." The father held the horse with his left hand, and with the right he lifted down his little son out of the horse's ear, and Tom Thumb sat down on a stump, quite happy and content. When the two strangers saw him they were struck dumb with wonder. At last one of them, taking the other aside, said to him, "Look here, the little chap would make our fortune if we were to show him in the town for money. Suppose we buy him." So they went up to the woodcutter, and said, "Sell the little man to us; we will take care he shall come to no harm." - "No," answered the father; "he is the apple of my eye, and not for all the money in the world would I sell him." But Tom Thumb, when he heard what was going on, climbed up by his father's coat tails, and, perching himself on his shoulder, he whispered in his ear, "Father, you might as well let me go. I will soon come back again." Then the father gave him up to the two men for a large piece of money. They asked him where he would like to sit, "Oh, put me on the brim of your hat," said he. "There I can walk about and view the country, and be in no danger of falling off." So they did as he wished, and when Tom Thumb had taken leave of his father, they set off all together. And they travelled on until it grew dusk, and the little fellow asked to be set down a little while for a change, and after some difficulty they consented. So the man took him down from his hat, and set him in a field by the roadside, and he ran away directly, and, after creeping about among the furrows, he slipped suddenly into a mouse-hole, just what he was looking for. "Good evening, my masters, you can go home without me!"cried he to them, laughing. They ran up and felt about with their sticks in the mouse-hole, but in vain. Tom Thumb crept farther and farther in, and as it was growing dark, they had to make the best of their way home, full of vexation, and with empty purses.
Da Tommeliden mærkede, at de var borte, krøb han frem fra sit underjordiske skjulested. "Det er farligt at gå på sådan en mark, når det er mørkt," tænkte han, "man kan falde og brække både arme og ben." Til alt held fandt han et tomt sneglehus. "Gudskelov," sagde han, "der kan jeg da ligge sikkert og godt." Da han var lige ved at falde i søvn, hørte han en mand, der kom forbi, sige til en anden: "Bare vi nu vidste, hvordan vi skulle bære os ad med at få fat i den rige præsts guld og sølv." - "Det skal jeg sige jer," råbte Tommeliden. "Hvad for noget," sagde tyven forskrækket, "der var nogen, der talte." De blev stående og lyttede, og Tommeliden sagde så: "Tag mig med, så skal jeg hjælpe jer." - "Hvor er du?" spurgte de. "Læg mærke til, hvor stemmen kommer fra, og søg så nede på jorden," svarede han. Langt om længe fandt de ham og løftede ham op. "Hvad kan din lille svirrevip dog gøre," sagde de, da de så ham. "Det skal jeg sige jer," svarede han, "jeg kan krybe ind imellem jernstængerne for vinduet og række jer, hvad I vil have." - "Det er godt," sagde de og bar ham med hen til præstegården. Da de kom derhen, krøb Tommeliden ind i værelset, men gav sig straks til at råbe af alle livsens kræfter: "Vil I have alt, hvad her er?" - "Tal dog sagte for djævelen," hviskede tyven, men Tommeliden lod, som han ikke forstod det og vrælede igen: "Hvad vil I så, vil I have det altsammen?" Kokkepigen, som sov i stuen ved siden af, hørte det og rejste sig op i sengen og lyttede. Tyvene var løbet et lille stykke bort, men tog mod til sig og listede sig igen derhen. "Den lille fyr vil jo bare narre os," tænkte de. De hviskede nu ganske sagte til ham: "Ræk os nu noget herud." - "Javel," råbte Tommeliden så højt han kunne, "hold bare hænderne herhen. Pigen hørte nu ganske tydeligt, hvad han sagde, og stod op og trampede hen til døren, og tyvene løb, som om fanden var i hælene på dem. Pigen tændte et lys og gik derind, men da hun havde gennemsøgt alle kroge og ikke fundet noget, troede hun, hun havde drømt og krøb i seng igen.
When Tom Thumb found they were gone, he crept out of his hiding-place underground. "It is dangerous work groping about these holes in the darkness," said he; "I might easily break my neck." But by good fortune he came upon an empty snail shell. "That's all right," said he. "Now I can get safely through the night;" and he settled himself down in it. Before he had time to get to sleep, he heard two men pass by, and one was saying to the other, "How can we manage to get hold of the rich parson's gold and silver?" - "I can tell you how," cried Tom Thumb. "How is this?" said one of the thieves, quite frightened, "I hear some one speak!" So they stood still and listened, and Tom Thumb spoke again. "Take me with you; I will show you how to do it!" - "Where are you, then?" asked they. "Look about on the ground and notice where the voice comes from," answered he. At last they found him, and lifted him up. "You little elf," said they, "how can you help us?" - "Look here," answered he, "I can easily creep between the iron bars of the parson's room and hand out to you whatever you would like to have." - "Very well," said they, ff we will try what you can do." So when they came to the parsonage-house, Tom Thumb crept into the room, but cried out with all his might, "Will you have all that is here?" So the thieves were terrified, and said, "Do speak more softly, lest any one should be awaked." But Tom Thumb made as if he did not hear them, and cried out again, "What would you like? will you have all that is here?" so that the cook, who was sleeping in a room hard by, heard it, and raised herself in bed and listened. The thieves, however, in their fear of being discovered, had run back part of the way, but they took courage again, thinking that it was only a jest of the little fellow's. So they came back and whispered to him to be serious, and to hand them out something. Then Tom Thumb called out once more as loud as he could, "Oh yes, I will give it all to you, only put out your hands." Then the listening maid heard him distinctly that time, and jumped out of bed, and burst open the door. The thieves ran off as if the wild huntsman were behind them; but the maid, as she could see nothing, went to fetch a light. And when she came back with one, Tom Thumb had taken himself off, without being seen by her, into the barn; and the maid, when she had looked in every hole and corner and found nothing, went back to bed at last, and thought that she must have been dreaming with her eyes and ears open.
Tommeliden var imidlertid smuttet ud i laden og var klatret op på høloftet. Der ville han ligge til det blev morgen og så gå hjem til sine forældre igen. Men han fik rigtignok ikke lov til at slippe så nemt. Ved daggry stod pigen op for at hente hø til kvæget, og hun fik netop fat i det, hvor Tommeliden lå. Men han sov så fast, at han ikke vågnede, før koen havde fået ham ind i munden sammen med høet. "Men Gud, jeg er jo kommet i en møllekværn," råbte han, men snart mærkede han, hvor han var. Det gjaldt nu om at passe på, at han ikke blev knust mellem tænderne, men alligevel kom han med ned i maven. "De har nok glemt at lave vinduer i denne stue," tænkte han, "her kommer nok hverken sol eller måne." Han syntes i det hele taget slet ikke om at være der, og det værste var, at der stadig kom mere hø ned, så der blev mindre og mindre plads. I sin angst råbte han til sidst, så højt han kunne: "Jeg skal ikke have mere foder." Pigen var netop i færd med at malke koen, og da hun hørte stemmen, men ikke kunne se nogen, blev hun så bange, at hun faldt ned af stolen og spildte mælken. Så hurtig hun kunne, løb hun hjem og sagde: "Hr. pastor, hr. pastor, koen er begyndt at tale." - "Du er jo gal," sagde præsten, men gik alligevel med ned i stalden for at se, hvad der var på færde. Ligesom han var kommet derind, hørte han Tommeliden råbe: "Jeg skal ikke have mere foder." Præsten blev også meget forfærdet og troede, at koen var besat af onde ånder. Den blev straks dræbt, og maven, hvori Tommeliden lå, blev kastet på møddingen. Tommeliden sled og stred for at slippe fri, og det lykkedes ham endelig at få hovedet stukket ud. I det samme kom en sulten ulv forbi og slugte maven og Tommeliden. Men han tabte alligevel ikke modet. "Den kan man dog måske snakke med," tænkte han og råbte højt: "Kære ulv, jeg ved et sted, hvor der er den dejligste mad." - "Hvor er det," spurgte ulven. Tommeliden beskrev nu nøje, hvor hans fars hus lå. "Når du kryber ind gennem vaskerenden," sagde han, "så finder du både kager og flæsk og pølse." Ulven lod sig det ikke sige to gange, men krøb ind i spisekammeret og åd af alle livsens kræfter. Da den var blevet mæt, ville den løbe sin vej igen, men den var blevet så tyk, at den ikke kunne komme samme vej tilbage. Det havde Tommeliden gjort regning på og begyndte nu at larme og skrige, alt hvad han kunne inde i ulvens mave. "Vil du være stille," sagde ulven, "du vækker jo folkene." - "Jeg er ligeglad," sagde den lille fyr, "nu har du spist dig mæt, nu vil jeg også more mig lidt." Derpå skreg han igen af al magt. Endelig vågnede hans far og mor og løb hen og kiggede ind ad dørsprækken. Da de så, at der var en ulv derinde, hentede de i en fart en økse og en le. "Vent du nu her," sagde manden, "når jeg så har givet den et ordentligt slag, sprætter du maven op på den." Tommeliden hørte det og råbte så højt han kunne: "Jeg siddder herinde i ulvens mave, lille far." - "Gudskelov," sagde faderen glad, "endelig har vi vores eget, lille barn igen." Derpå gav han ulven et vældigt slag, så den døde, og skar forsigtigt dens mave op og fik den lille fyr befriet. "Hvor vi dog har været bange for dig," sagde han. "Ja, jeg har rigtignok også været ordentlig omkring," sagde Tommeliden, "men heldigvis kan jeg da nu få frisk luft igen." - "Hvor har du dog været henne?" spurgte moderen. "Åh, jeg har været i et musehul og i en kos mave og nu til sidst i ulvens. Men nu bliver jeg hos jer." - "Og vi sælger dig ikke for alverdens guld," sagde forældrene og omfavnede og kyssede deres egen lille Tommeliden. De sørgede nu for, at han fik noget at spise og gav ham nye klæder, for hans var jo blevet ødelagt på rejsen.
So Tom Thumb crept among the hay, and found a comfortable nook to sleep in, where he intended to remain until it was day, and then to go home to his father and mother. But other things were to befall him; indeed, there is nothing but trouble and worry in this world! The maid got up at dawn of day to feed the cows. The first place she went to was the barn, where she took up an armful of hay, and it happened to be the very heap in which Tom Thumb lay asleep. And he was so fast asleep, that he was aware of nothing, and never waked until he was in the mouth of the cow, who had taken him up with the hay. "Oh dear," cried he, "how is it that I have got into a mill!" but he soon found out where he was, and he had to be very careful not to get between the cow's teeth, and at last he had to descend into the cow's stomach. "The windows were forgotten when this little room was built," said he, "and the sunshine cannot get in; there is no light to be had." His quarters were in every way unpleasant to him, and, what was the worst, new hay was constantly coming in, and the space was being filled up. At last he cried out in his extremity, as loud as he could, "No more hay for me! no more hay for me!" The maid was then milking the cow, and as she heard a voice, but could see no one, and as it was the same voice that she had heard in the night, she was so frightened that she fell off her stool, and spilt the milk. Then she ran in great haste to her master, crying, "Oh, master dear, the cow spoke!" - "You must be crazy," answered her master, and he went himself to the cow-house to see what was the matter. No sooner had he put his foot inside the door, than Tom Thumb cried out again, "No more hay for me! no more hay for me!" Then the parson himself was frightened, supposing that a bad spirit had entered into the cow, and he ordered her to be put to death. So she was killed, but the stomach, where Tom Thumb was lying, was thrown upon a dunghill. Tom Thumb had great trouble to work his way out of it, and he had just made a space big enough for his head to go through, when a new misfortune happened. A hungry wolf ran up and swallowed the whole stomach at one gulp. But Tom Thumb did not lose courage. "Perhaps," thought he, "the wolf will listen to reason," and he cried out from the inside of the wolf," My dear wolf, I can tell you where to get a splendid meal!" - "Where is it to be had?" asked the wolf. "In such and such a house, and you must creep into it through the drain, and there you will find cakes and bacon and broth, as much as you can eat," and he described to him his father's house. The wolf needed not to be told twice. He squeezed himself through the drain in the night, and feasted in the store-room to his heart's content. When, at last, he was satisfied, he wanted to go away again, but he had become so big, that to creep the same way back was impossible. This Tom Thumb had reckoned upon, and began to make a terrible din inside the wolf, crying and calling as loud as he could. "Will you be quiet?" said the wolf; "you will wake the folks up!" - "Look here," cried the little man, "you are very well satisfied, and now I will do something for my own enjoyment," and began again to make all the noise he could. At last the father and mother were awakened, and they ran to the room-door and peeped through the chink, and when they saw a wolf in occupation, they ran and fetched weapons - the man an axe, and the wife a scythe. "Stay behind," said the man, as they entered the room; "when I have given him a blow, and it does not seem to have killed him, then you must cut at him with your scythe." Then Tom Thumb heard his father's voice, and cried, "Dear father; I am here in the wolfs inside." Then the father called out full of joy, "Thank heaven that we have found our dear child!" and told his wife to keep the scythe out of the way, lest Tom Thumb should be hurt with it. Then he drew near and struck the wolf such a blow on the head that he fell down dead; and then" he fetched a knife and a pair of scissors, slit up the wolf's body, and let out the little fellow. "Oh, what anxiety we have felt about you!" said the father. "Yes, father, I have seen a good deal of the world, and I am very glad to breathe fresh air again." - "And where have you been all this time?" asked his father. "Oh, I have been in a mouse-hole and a snail's shell, in a cow's stomach and a wolfs inside: now, I think, I will stay at home." - "And we will not part with you for all the kingdoms of the world," cried the parents, as they kissed and hugged their dear little Tom Thumb. And they gave him something to eat and drink, and a new suit of clothes, as his old ones were soiled with travel.
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