DLTK's Crafts for Kids

This is the story of Thumbelina; a girl no bigger than a thumb, who grew out of a seed given to an old woman by a witch. However, one day she finds herself snatched from her abode by a toad!

Image of the storyteller Delia telling the story of Thumbelina.


© Written by Tasha Guenther and illustrated by Leanne Guenther Fairy tale based on the original tale by Hans Christian Andersen Dramaturge Delia.

Once upon a time there was an old woman who lived in a cottage by the hill, all by herself.
The old woman had no children of her own. So she took to her garden to fill her time. Eventually not even her beautiful, beautiful roses could stop her from feeling lonely.

One day, a witch walked up her walkway to see her. The old woman felt skeptical of witches because she’d heard of their magical beans that they often tried to sell and magical apples that they often gave away.
But this witch seemed nice and lovely. So the old women had a wonderful chat with the witch. They talked about many things and eventually the old woman told the with witch just how lonely she had been feeling all by herself in the cottage.

The witch took pity on the old woman and gifted her a magic seed. The witch told the woman to plant the seed in her finest soil, water it with the cleanest water, and give it lots of love.

The old woman thanked the witch. She planted the seed in her best soil, she water the seed with the clearest and freshest rain water and when a pink flower starts to grow from the seed, the old woman kissed its petals.

Suddenly, it’s petals opened up and inside there was a small girl with blonde golden hair; no larger than the old woman’s thumb. The old woman decided to name her Thumbelina.

She took great care of Thumbelina. She made her a bed out of a tiny walnut shell and gathered petals for Thumbelina so that she could be warm as she slept.
Thumbelina, in turn, loved the old woman and often sang her to sleep each night.

One night, while Thumbelina was singing; a toad heard her song and hopped up to the windowsill.
Once Thumbelina had fallen asleep, the toad crept in through the window.

“My! This one will make the perfect wife for my son!”
croaked the toad. The toad grabbed Thumbelina and carried her off to the riverside. “Son, Gaze at your future bride!” The mother toad said.

The son just said: “Croak! Croak! Crooooooak!” So the mother toad placed Thumbelina on a small lily pad in the River and her and her son began building a house out of mud and sticks for the new married couple.

Thumbelina awoke to the sound of hops and croaks and she began to sob immediately; thinking about her poor mother all alone without her.

Two golden fish heard Thumbelina’s cries and they decided to help her.

They swam up to the lily pad and they bit free the stalk, freeing Thumbelina as her lily pad went downstream.
“Oh! Thank you! Thank you,” Thumbelina said.

As Thumbelina traveled down the river, she took in all the great wonders of the outside world.
She marvelled at the stars in the sky, she heard crickets chirping and she could smell the sweet flowers that were beside the river.

Eventually Thumbelina grew tired and fell asleep.
When she awoke, she found she was at a river bed far, far from her mother, farther than before and she began to cry.

Thumbelina tried to ignore her sadness and make the best of her situation. She took in the flowers and the sun. And she befriended many creatures, such as: dragonflies, and bumblebees. But soon it became autumn and all the winged friends left and Thumbelina felt alone.

One day, Thumbelina has become particularly cold and hungry and sad. So she went in search of shelter and help. She found a small hole by the tree and climbed inside. She was surprised to find a field mouse inside with a huge pile of corn.

“Come inside, dear. You’re shaking. You will stay with me,” the field mouse said and fed Thumbelina all the corn she could eat. In exchange, Thumbelina did chores for the mouse and often sang the mouse to sleep.

One day the field mouse announced “Our neighbor is coming. He is very important, he is a wonderful mole and I guess: he will make you his bride.”

The mole visited later that day and Thumbelina told the mole stories at the mouse’s urgings and then, Thumbelina sang to the Mole.
The mole fell in love with Thumbelina immediately and often invited Thumbelina to go for walks in the tunnels the mole had dug under the ground.
Thumbelina went as a thank you to the mouse because the mouse had been so kind to her, but she would much rather be above ground in the sun.

One day, the field mouse told Thumbelina that the mole had announced that he will marry her. Thumbelina was disappointed, she wanted to live in the sun. Thumbelina was not happy.

One day, as she was walking through the tunnels, her and mole came upon a bird that was injured. The Mole refused to help the bird, so Thumbelina snuck the bird into her room. She nursed the bird back to health. Once the bird was strong enough, Thumbelina climbed upon the bird’s back and they flew away. They flew over many fields and eventually landed in a meadow.

The bird placed Thumbelina on a large pink flower. Suddenly from behind on of the large petals, a small man, wearing a gold crown. The man just slightly larger than Thumbelina. And the man fell in love with Thumbelina immediately.

After spending many weeks in the sunshine together, he placed a golden crown upon Thumbelina's head and he asked her to be his queen of the fairies.
Thumbelina though for a moment. The young man had been nicer to her than both the toad and the mole combined; so she decided to be his queen and his bride.

The fairy kingdom rejoiced at this news and Thumbelina sang so many sweet songs. The bird began to learn her sweet songs and would chirp along with her.

One day the bird flew to a cottage by the hill and saw an old woman. The old woman immediately recognized Thumbelina’s song. She rejoiced in knowing that Thumbelina was happy in a far away sun.
And the old woman knew that whenever she missed Thumbelina too much; she could listen to the birds and know that she was loved.



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