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LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
&THE HISTORY OF
J. M.DENT & CO.
GREAT EASTERN ST.
OH, this is the way to the fairy wood,
Where the wolf ate Little Red Riding
But this is the riddle that you must tell-
How is it, if it so befell,
That he ate her up in that horrid way,
In these pretty pages she lives to-day ?
Little Red Riding Hood.
ONCE upon a time there was a little
village girl, the prettiest ever
seen: her mother doted upon her, and
so did her grandmother. She, good
woman, made for her a little red hood
which suited her so well, that everyone
called her Little Red Riding Hood.
One day her mother, who had just
IO LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD.
made some cakes, said to her: My
dear, you shall go and see how your
grandmother is, for I have heard she
is ailing; take her this cake and this
little pot of butter."
Little Red Riding Hood started off
at once for her grandmother's cottage,
which was in another village.
While passing through a wood she
met a wolf, who would have liked well
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD.
to have eaten her; but he dared not,
because of some wood-cutters who were
hard by in the forest. So he asked her
where she was going.
The poor child, who did not know
it was dangerous to listen to a wolf,
answered, I am going to see my grand-
mother, to take her a cake and a little
pot of butter that my mother sends her."
-" Does she live a great way off? said
the wolf.-" Oh yes said Little Red
Riding Hood, "she lives beyond the
mill you see right down there, in the
first house in the village."-" Well,"
said the wolf, I shall go and see her
too. I shall take this road, and do you
take that one, and let us see who will
get there first! "
The wolf set off at a gallop along
the shortest road; but the little girl
took the longest way and amused her-
12 LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD.
,0, ..,'' ,, ,,w ,.,,. ,, "*
self by gathering nuts, running after
butterflies, and plucking daisies and
The wolf soon reached her grand-
mother's cottage; he knocks at the door,
rap, rap. "Who's there ?" 'Tis
your grand-daughter Little Red Riding
Hood," said the wolf in a shrill voice,
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
"and I have brought you a cake and
a little pot of butter that my mother
sends you." The good old grandmother,
who was ill in bed, called out, "Pull
the bobbin and the latch will go up !"
The wolf pulled the bobbin, and the
door opened. He leaped on the old
woman and gobbled her up in a minute;
for he had had no dinner for three days
Sh ae pkin at the do or.
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD.
Then he shut the door and rolled
himself up in the grandmother's bed, to
wait for little Red Riding Hood.
In a while she came knocking at the
door, rap, rap. Who's there ?" Little
Red Riding Hood, who heard the gruff
voice of the wolf, was frightened at first,
but thinking that her grandmother had a
cold, she answered, 'Tis your grand-
daughter, little Red Riding Hood, and
I have brought you a cake and a little
pot of butter that my mother sends you."
Then the wolf called to her in as soft
a voice as he could, "Pull the bobbin
and the latch will go up." Little Red
Riding Hood pulled the bobbin and the
When the wolf saw her come in, he
covered himself up with the clothes, and
said, "Put the cake and the little pot
of butter on the chest, and come and
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD.
lie down beside me." Little Red Riding
Hood took off her cloak and went over
to the bed; she was full of surprise to
see how strange her grandmother looked
in her night-cap. She said to her then,
"Oh, grandmamma, grandmamma, what
great arms you have got !"
All the better to hug you with, my
"Oh, grandmamma, grandmamma,
what great legs you have got !"
"All the better to run with, my
"Oh, grandmamma, grandmamma,
what great ears you have got "
"'All the better to hear with, my
"Oh, grandmamma, grandmamma,
what great eyes you have got I "
"All the better to see with, my
18 LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD.
Oh, grandmamma, grandmamma,
what great teeth you have got! "
All the better to gobble you up "
So saying, the wicked wolf leaped on
Little Red Riding Hood and gobbled her
The History of Tom
T is said that in the days of the famed
Prince Arthur, who was king of
Britain, in the year 516, there lived a
great magician, called Merlin, the most
learned and skilful enchanter in the
world at that time.
This great magician, who could assume
any form he pleased, was travelling in
the disguise of a poor beggar, and being
very much fatigued, he stopped at the
cottage of an honest ploughman to rest
himself, and asked for some refreshment.
The countryman gave him a hearty
welcome, and his wife, who was a very
good-hearted, hospitable woman, soon
Merlin questions them on the cause
ofV their sadness 9:
THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB. 23
brought him some milk in a wooden bowl,
and some coarse brown bread on a platter.
Merlin was much pleased with this
homely repast and the kindness of the
ploughman and his wife; but he could
not help seeing that though everything
was neat and comfortable in the cottage,
they seemed both to be sad and much
cast down. He therefore questioned
them on the cause of their sadness, and
learned that they were miserable because
they had no children.
The poor woman declared, with tears
in her eyes, that she should be the
happiest creature in the world if she had
a son; and although he was no bigger
than her husband's thumb, she would be
Merlin was so much amused with the
idea of a boy no bigger than a man's
thumb, that he made up his mind to pay
24 THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB.
a visit to the queen of the fairies, and
ask her to grant the poor woman's wish.
The droll fancy of such a little person
among the human race pleased the fairy
queen too, greatly, and she promised
Merlin that the wish should be granted.
Accordingly, in a short time after, the
ploughman's wife had a son, who, wonder-
ful to relate was not a bit bigger than
his father's thumb.
The fairy queen, wishing to see the
little fellow thus born into the world,
came in at the window while the mother
was sitting up in bed admiring him.
The queen kissed the child, and, giving
it the name of Tom Thumb, sent for
some of the fairies, who dressed her
little favourite as she bade them.
"An oak-leaf hat he had for his crown;
His shirt of web by spiders spun;
With jacket wove of thistle's down;
His trowsers were of feathers done.
THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB. 25
His stockings, of apple-rind, they tie
With eyelash from his mother's eye:
His shoes were made of mouse's skin,
Tann'd with the downy hair within."
It is remarkable that Tom never grew
any larger than his father's thumb, which
was only of an ordinary size ; but as he
got older he became very cunning and
full of tricks. When he was old enough
to play with the boys, and had lost all
his own cherry-stones, he used to creep
into the bags of his playfellows, fill his
26 THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB.
pockets, and, getting out unseen, would
again join in the game.
One day, however, as he was coming
out of a bag of cherry-stones, where he
he had been pilfering as usual, the boy
to whom it belonged chanced to see
him. "Ah, ha! my little Tommy,"
said the boy, "so I have caught you
THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB. 27
stealing my cherry-stones at last, and
you shall be rewarded for your thievish
tricks." On saying this, he drew the
string tight round his neck, and gave the
bag such a hearty shake, that poor little
Tom's legs, thighs, and body were sadly
bruised. He roared out with pain, and
begged to be let out, promising never to
be guilty of such bad practices again.
A short time afterwards his mother
was making a batter-pudding, and Tom
being very anxious to see how it was
made, climbed up to the edge of the
28 THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB.
bowl; but unfortunately his foot slipped
and he plumped over head and ears into
the batter, unseen by his mother, who
stirred him into the pudding-bag, and
put him in the pot to boil.
The batter had filled Tom's mouth,
and prevented him from crying; but, on
feeling the hot water, he kicked and
struggled so much in the pot, that his
mother thought that the pudding was
bewitched, and, instantly pulling it out
of the pot, she threw it to the door. A
poor tinker, who was passing by, lifted
up the pudding, and, putting it into his
budget, he then walked off. As Tom
had now got his mouth cleared of the
batter, he then began to cry aloud, which
so frightened the tinker that he flung
down the pudding and ran away. The
pudding being broke to pieces by the
fall, Tom crept out covered over with
30 THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB.
the batter, and with difficulty walked
home. His mother, who was very sorry
to see her darling in such a woful state,
put him into a tea-cup, and soon washed
off the batter; after which she kissed
him, and laid him in bed.
Soon after the adventure of the
pudding, Tom's mother went to milk her
cow in the meadow, and she took him
alongwith her. As thewind was very high,
fearing lest he should be blown away, she
tied him to a thistle with a piece of fine
thread. The cow soon saw the oak-leaf
32 THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB.
hat, and, liking the look of it, took poor
Tom and the thistle at one mouthful.
While the cow was chewing the thistle
Tom was afraid of her great teeth, which
threatened to crush him in pieces, and
he roared out as loud as he could:
"Mother, mother "
"Where are you, Tommy, my dear
Tommy ?" said his mother.
"Here, mother," replied he, "in the
red cow's mouth."
His mother began to cry and wring her
hands ; but the cow, surprised at the odd
noise in her throat, opened her mouth
and let Tom drop out. Fortunately his
mother caught him in her apron as
he was falling to the ground, or he
would have been dreadfully hurt. She
then put Tom in her bosom and ran home
Tom's father made him a whip of a
THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB. 33
barley straw to drive the cattle with,
and having one day gone into the fields, he
slipped a foot and rolled into the furrow.
A raven, which was flying over, picked
him up, and flew with him to the top of
a giant's castle that was near the sea-side,
and there left him.
Tom was in a dreadful state, and did
not know what to do; but he was soon
more dreadfully frightened; for old
34 THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB.
Grumbo the giant came up to walk on
the terrace, and seeing Tom, he took him
up and swallowed him like a pill.
The giant had no sooner swallowed
Tom than he began to repent what he
had done; for Tom began to kick and
jump about so much that he felt very
uncomfortable, and at last threw him up
again into the sea. A large fish swal-
lowed Tom the moment he fell into the
sea, which was soon after caught, and
bought for the table of King Arthur.
THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB. 35
When they opened the fish in order to
cook it, every one was astonished at find-
ing such a little boy, and Tom was
quite delighted to be out again. They
carried him to the king, who made Tom
his dwarf, and he soon grew a great
favourite at court; for by his tricks and
gambols he not only amused the king and
queen, but also all the knights of the
It is said that when the king rode out
on horseback, he often took Tom along
with him, and if a shower came on, he
used to creep into his majesty's waistcoat
pocket, where he slept till the rain was
King Arthur one day asked Tom about
his parents, wishing to know if they were
as small as he was, and whether rich or
poor. Tom told the king that his father
and mother were as tall as any of the per-
THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB. 37
sons about court, but rather poor. On
hearing this, the king carried Tom to his
treasury, the place where he kept all his
money, and told him to take as much
money as he could carry home to his par-
ents, which made the poor little fellow
caper with joy. Tom went immediately
38 THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB.
to fetch a purse, which was made of a
water-bubble, and then returned to the
treasury, where he got a silver three-
penny-piece to put into it.
Our little hero had some trouble in
lifting the burden upon his back; but he
THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB. 39
at last succeeded in getting it placed to
his mind, and set forward on his journey.
However, without meeting with any ac-
cident, and after resting himself more than
a hundred times by the way, in two days
and two nights he reached his father's
house in safety.
Tom had travelled forty-eight hours
with a huge silver-piece on his back, and
was almost tired to death, when his
mother ran out to meet him, and carried
him into the house.
Tom's parents were both happy to see
him, and the more so as he had brought
such an amazing sum of money with him;
but the poor little fellow was excessively
wearied, having travelled half a mile in
forty-eight hours, with a huge silver
threepenny-piece on his back. His
mother, in order to recover him, placed
him in a walnut shell by the fireside, and
THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB 41
feasted him for three days on a hazel-nut,
which made him very sick; for a whole
nut used to serve him a month.
Tom was soon well again; but as there
had been a fall of rain, and the ground was
very wet, he could not travel back to King
Arthur's court; therefore his mother, one
day when the wind was blowing in that
direction, made a little parasol of cambric
paper, and tying Tom to it, she gave him
a puff into the air with her mouth, which
soon carried him to the king's palace.
Just at the time when Tom came flying
42 THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB.
across the courtyard, the cook happened
to be passing with the king's great bowl
of furmenty, which was a dish his majesty
was very fond of; but unfortunately the
poor little fellow fell plump into the
middle of it, and splashed the hot fur-
menty about the cook's face.
The cook, who was an ill-natured
fellow, being in a terrible rage at Tom
for frightening and scalding him with the
furmenty, went straight to the king, and
44 THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB.
said that Tom had jumped into the royal
furmenty, and thrown it down out of
mere mischief. The king was so enraged
when he heard this, that he ordered Tom
to be seized and tried for high treason;
and there being no person who dared to
plead for him, he was condemned to be
On hearing this dreadful sentence pro-
nounced, poor Tom fell a-trembling with
fear, but, seeing no means of escape, and
observing a miller close to him gaping
with his great mouth, as country boobies
do at a fair, he took a leap, and fairly
jumped down his throat. This exploit
was done with such activity that not one
person present saw it, and even the miller
did not know the trick which Tom had
played upon him. Now, as Tom had
disappeared, the court broke up, and the
miller went home to his mill.
THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB. 45
When Tom heard the mill at work he
knew he was clear of the court, and there-
fore he began to tumble and roll about,
so that the poor miller could get no rest,
thinking he was bewitched; so he sent
for a doctor. When the doctor came,
Tom began to dance and sing; and the
doctor, being as much frightened as the
miller, sent in haste for five other doctors
and twenty learned men.
When they were debating about this
extraordinary case, the miller happened
to yawn, when Tom, seizing the chance,
made another jump, and alighted safely
upon his feet on the middle of the table.
The miller, who was very much pro-
voked at being tormented by such a little
pigmy creature, fell into a terrible rage,
and, laying hold of Tom, ran to the king
with him; but his majesty, being engaged
with state affairs, ordered him to be taken
46 THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB.
away, and kept in custody till he sent for
The cook was determined that Tom
should not slip out of his hands this time,
so he put him into a mouse-trap, and left
him to peep through the wires. Tom
had remained in the trap a whole week,
when he was sent for by King Arthur,
who pardoned him for throwing down
the furmenty, and took him again into
favour. On account of his wonderful
feats of activity, Tom was knighted by
THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB. 47
the king, and went under the name of
the renowned Sir Thomas Thumb. As
Tom's clothes had suffered much in the
batter-pudding, the furmenty, and the
insides of the giant, miller, and fishes,
his majesty ordered him a new suit
of clothes, and to be mounted as a
48 THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB.
Of Butterfly's wings his shirt was made,
His boots of chicken's hide;
And by a nimble fairy blade,
Well learned in the tailoring trade,
His clothing was supplied.-
A needle dangled by his side;
A dapper mouse he used to ride,
Thus strutted Tom in stately pride I "
It was certainly very diverting to see
Tom in this dress, and mounted on the
mouse, as he rode out a-hunting with the
50 THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB.
king and nobility, who were all ready to
expire with laughter at Tom and his fine
One day, as they were riding by a
farmhouse, a large cat, which was lurking
about the door, made a spring, and seized
both Tom and his mouse. She then ran
up a tree with them, and was beginning
to devour the mouse; but Tom boldly
drew his sword, and attacked the cat so
fiercely that she let them both fall, when
one of the nobles caught him in his hat,
and laid him on a bed of down, in a little
The queen of the fairies came soon
after to pay Tom a visit, and carried him
back to Fairy-land, where he lived several
years. During his residence there, King
Arthur, and all the persons who knew
Tom, had died; and as he was desirous
of being again at court, the fairy queen,
THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB. 51
after dressing him in a suit of clothes,
sent him flying through the air to the
palace, in the days of King Thunstone,
the successor of Arthur. Every one
flocked round to see him, and being
carried to the king, he was asked who he
was-whence he came-and where he
lived ? Tom answered:
"My name is Tom Thumb,
From the fairies I've come.
52 THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB.
... 4s -
The king was so charmed with this
address that hen King ordered a little chair to
His court was my home.
In me he delighted,
By him I was knighted;
Did you never hear of Sir Thomas Thumb? "
The king was so charmed with this
address that he ordered a little chair to
be made, in order that Tom might sit
upon his table, and also a palace of gold,
a span high, with a door an inch wide, to
live in. He also gave him a coach, drawn
by six small mice.
THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB, 53
The queen was so enraged at the
honour paid to Sir Thomas that she
resolved to ruin him, and told the
king that the little knight had been
saucy to her.,
The king sent for Tom in great haste,
but being fully -aware of the danger of
royal anger, he crept into an empty snail-
shell, where he lay for a long time, until
he was almost starved with hunger; hut
at last he ventured to peep out, and
seeing a fine large, butterfly, on the
54 THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB.
ground, near his hiding-place, he ap-
proached very cautiously, and getting
himself placed astride on it, was imme-
diately carried up into the air. The
butterfly flew with him from tree to tree
and from field to field, and at last re-
turned to the court, where the king and
nobility all strove to catch him; but at
last poor Tom fell from his seat into a
THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB. 55
watering-pot, in which he was almost
When the queen saw him she was in a
rage, and said he should be beheaded;
and he was again put into a mouse-trap
until the time of his execution.
However, a cat, observing something
alive in the trap, patted it about till
the wires broke, and set Thomas at
The king received Tom again into
favour, which he did not live to enjoy,
for a large spider one day attacked him;
and although he drew his sword and
56 THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB.
fought well, yet the spider's poisonous
breath at last overcame him;
'! He fell dead on the ground where.he,stood,
And the spider suck'd every drop of his blood."
King Thunstone and. his whole court
were: so sorry at the loss of their little
favourite,.that .they.went into mourning,
and raised a fine white marble monument
over i his: grave, with the following.
Here lyes Tom Thumb, King Arthur's knight,
Who died by a spider's cruel bite,
THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB. 57
He was well known in Arthur's court,
Where he afforded gallant sport;
He rode at tilt and tournament,
And on a mouse a-hunting went.
Alive he filled the court with mirth;
His death to sorrow soon gave birth.
Wipe, wipe your eyes, and shake your head
And cry,-Alas I Tom Thumb is dead! "
TURNBULL AND SPEARS