UWYNESWDUNIVERSITYUBRARY

Tom Thumb

A BALLAD ARRANGEMENT FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

BY

CHARLES STUART MacLEOD

With Illustrations from Original Drawings

BY

MARGARET CAMPBELL ILOOPES

PHILADELPHIA HENRY ALTEMUS COMPANY

Copyright, 1923 By Howard E. Altemus

A Note for Parents

This story, early attached to the Arthurian legend, is of Scandinavian origin: the Swedish tomt, having its final t silent, means “thumb.” The tale’s first printed appearance is in Richard Johnson’s “History of Tom Thumbe, the Little,” 1621; it turns up as a ballad in 1630. That same year Charles Per-rault, immortalizer of “Puss-in-Boots,” published his French version, Le Petit Poucel. Tom appears in the “Nymphidia” of Drayton (1563-1631), and is often erroneously confused with this author’s “Tomalin.” Fielding wrote a play about Tom (1730) and Kane O’Hara an opera (1778). The present version is a selection from these sources. Barnum’s “Tom Thumb” was Charles S. Stratton, of Bridgeport, Conn., 1832-79.

Printed in the United States of America

Tom Thumb

T ONG years ago, when fairies lived,

And giants wandered wild,

A farmer and his wife were sad Because they had no child.

our small fortune,” sighed the ^ wife,

‘Td gladly give the sum To have a baby, even if No bigger than my thumb!”


IX/TERLIN, a passing wizard, tall ~L*J- And grim, heard what she said;

His eyes were bright, his beard was white,

His cloak was long and red.

“May I come in and warm myself?’" He asked. “My cloak is thin, And, oh, the winter wind is cold!” The farmer said: “Come in.”


A LAS, the farmer’s wife said: “No!

This house was built for two; We can’t have strangers hanging ’round:

There isn’t room for you.”

“No room?” The wizard raised his wand

And almost struck her dumb: “Then you shall have a baby-boy No bigger than your thumb!”


A ND so it was. The boy was born And cradled in a cup,

For, though he grew in wit and strength,

He never did grow up.


HPHE years were long, but not the 1 boy;

He was so small a chap,

They made his coat of apple-skins; A roseleaf was his cap.

14


HTHEY wove his shirts of spiders webs;

They named the mite Tom Thumb;

But I regret to say that he Was sly and meddlesome.

On picnics with the other boys,

No lunch along he’d take:

He’d hide inside their baskets—and He’d nibble at their cake.

1

I

I    /~\NE day he tired his mother so,

I    ^ She napped upon her chair;

I    Tom climbed the kitchen table-leg:

She didn’t see him there.

18

GIIE’D just been mixing dough for ^ bread;

Tom thought he’d like to know What loaves are like inside: he dug His way into the dough.

She woke—began to knead the bread: Tom couldn’t get his breath;

He kicked; the dough jumped up and down

And scared her ’most to death.

20

21

“npHIS dough’s bewitched!” the woman cried;

She picked it up before Young Tom could tell her where he was—

And threw it out the door.

22


A PASSING beggar snatched it np; Tom shouted:    “Stop, there!

Whoa!”

The beggar dropped it, shouting too: “There’s magic in that dough!”

24


Q 0, damp and sticky, Tom trudged ^ home;

His mother wept in vain:

He promised to be good, but soon Was mischievous again.

26


CHE went to milk the cow; but ° Tom Ran after her, alas!

She tied him with a piece of thread Tight to a blade of grass.

Tom broke the thread and danced and sang:

“Ho, ho, I am a rover!”

He played he was a giant, and He shook a stalk of clover.

28


T^HE clover broke; Tom fell and grabbed A yellow buttercup;

The cow bit off the flower and took Both boy and flower up.


HPHE pasture lay upon a hill Beside a sunlit sea:

Outside ’twas bright; but in the cow ’Twas dark as dark can be.

So there was Tom in that big mouth!

Whatever could he doP He sat upon a tooth—and then The cow began to chew!

32

npOM jumped: it made the big cow sneeze;

She hadn’t any notion There was a boy inside her mouth— She sneezed him in the ocean!


HP H E waves seemed high as moun-tains, but Tom tried his best to swim,

When suddenly a mighty fish With one gulp swallowed him.

36


TYING ARTHUR’S fisher caught the fish And took it to the King:

“Good day, your Majesty,” said Tom;

“I’ve come a-visiting.”

King Arthur was surprised to see A boy so small and bright:

“You’ll live with me!” he vowed, and so

He made Tom Thumb a Knight.

38


“CTAY just as long as you are ^ good,”

The King laughed. “Never fear: We’ll see you want for nothing—but We want no mischief here.

“Two things especially beware—

My good Queen loves her cat;

No trouble, now, with Princess Puss: Sir Tom, remember that!

40



“HPHE other thing: my Wizard-1 Chief

And I have had a fuss—

Merlin: I packed him off. because I found him mischievous;

“And he has sent a spider-squad Up here; their very breath Is poisonous to tiny things:

They’d scare you, Tom, to death.

“So, when you pass the royal cat, Don’t mock her or deride her; Another thing: call loud for help Each time you meet a spider.”

42


HPHEN everybody bowed to Tom And always said, “My lord”; He had a mouse to ride upon,

A needle for his sword.

44


rPHEY built a golden throne for A him,

An inch or two in height;

They stood it by King Arthur’s plate; Tom dined there every night.


f'PHEY gave Tom’s parents, at the court,

A house both clean and neat,

With all the richest clothes to wear And richest food to eat.

And both his parents said to Tom:

4‘The King’s so good to us:

Do mind your p’s and q’s, dear boy, And don’t be mischievous!”

48


OUT Tom, when Princess Puss came by And none was there to see,

Would strew her way with carpet-tacks

And hurt her dreadfully.

50


TLTE hid behind the dish of cream Intended for the cat,

And, when a spider came along,

He tripped it into that.

The spider swam around and cried:

. “Say, what are you about?

If I get out—” Puss lapped the , cream

And coughed the spider out!

S3

T^OM ran; the spider panted close Behind; it blew its breath:

Sir Thomas Thumb went stiff and numb

And laid there, still as death.

54

back:

ING ARTHUR called his wizard


The red-cloaked Merlin tall, Whose eyes were bright, whose beard was white,

Who’d made poor Tom so small;

Then Merlin said: ‘Til charm the

bov

To life, 0 King, provided You’ll make me Wizard-Chief again”—

And so it was decided.

56


BUT,” cried the King, “I cannot let

This tricky youngster roam Around my palace: Tom, get out— You’ll have to go back home!”

58


THOM’S parents took him tc farm;

their

He learned his lesson thus, And never, never once again Was sly or mischievous.

60


Q 0, when your folks complain that you

Are growing troublesome,

And say you're full of mischief, stop:—

Just think about Tom Thumb!

f]

jL


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