Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!


        | HSW

Thumbelina Part II
The butterfly helped Thumbelina.
The butterfly helped Thumbelina.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Below is the second part of "Thumbelina."

One day, the woman put Thumbelina into her walnut-shell bed for a nap. "But I'm not sleepy, Mother," the wee girl said in her very small voice.

The woman was so overjoyed to hear the child call her "Mother," she began to cry tears of joy. She did not want to upset Thumbelina by her tears, so she quickly told her to sing one of her sweet songs to help her fall asleep. The woman left the room to find a handkerchief to dry her tears. She could hear Thumbelina's beautiful song as she walked away.

She was not the only one who heard Thumbelina's singing, though. An ugly toad was hopping by the window. She heard the music, too. She wanted Thumbelina to come away with her and marry her son.

The toad quickly hopped into the cottage and stole Thumbelina from her bed. She took the poor child to a stream and placed her on a lily pad.

"Stay here," demanded the toad. "I must get my son to have a look at you. You will make him a wonderful bride."

As soon as the ugly toad dove under the water, Thumbelina began to cry. "I do not want to be the wife of a toad," cried Thumbelina. "I miss my home and my mother!"

As she was crying, three fish swam by her lily pad. They could not let such a precious child marry an ugly toad. They began to nibble at the stem of the lily pad. Soon, the lily pad broke free! Thumbelina sailed swiftly down the stream.

When the lily pad came to rest on the bank of the stream, Thumbelina stepped off onto the soft moss. She was lost but happy to be far away from the toad and her son! She asked a butterfly if he had seen her mother's garden and her cottage, but the butterfly was shy. He just fluttered away.

Thumbelina was very tired from her adventure. She began to make a bed out of soft blades of grass. As she worked, the butterfly came back to help her. He flew back and forth, weaving the blades of grass into a sturdy ­hammock. It was a perfect bed for Thumbelina!

"Thank you for your help, Butterfly," said Thumbelina.

The butterfly flapped his wings happily and carried a leaf to the ­ hammock to make a pillow for Thumbelina's pretty head. Then he sat on a nearby flower to shade Thumbelina as she slept.

Go to the next page to find out what happened to Thumbelina next.

For more children's stories and activities, check out: