The witch pulled a tiny bag from her cloak.
The witch pulled a tiny bag from her cloak.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Once upon a time, a woman lived all alone in a cute little cottage. This woman had a very kind heart. She spent all of her time tending to the flowers in her beautiful garden and singing to the birds, who bathed in the birdbath just outside her window.

She enjoyed the way the sky wonderfully changed colors throughout the day. She loved to watch the bumblebees lazily buzz from flower to flower.

"I am lucky to be surrounded by so many beautiful things," the woman would say to herself. "I only wish that I had a child to share my joy."

The woman knew that she would never have a child by herself. The more she thought about a child, the sadder she grew. Soon she began ignoring the songs of the birds and did not notice when her roses began to wilt.

One day, as the woman was crying in her garden, an old woman passed by her gate. This woman was a kind old witch. She heard the cries of the lonely woman. "Excuse me, dear lady," the old witch said sweetly, "but I think I can help you."

The woman dried her tears with her handkerchief. "You can help me?" the woman asked.

"I know you want a child more than anything," said the witch. "I have something for you." The old witch pulled a tiny bag out of her cloak.

The woman was puzzled. She looked at the little sack. "I don't understand," she told the witch.

The witch told the woman that inside the bag was a tulip bulb. This tulip bulb was unlike any other -- it was magic! The witch told the woman to take the bulb and plant it in a flowerpot. As soon as she watered the bulb, her wish would come true!

The woman was so excited. She wondered how the witch knew so much about her and how planting a bulb would give her a child. But she hoped her wish for a child would come true. She quickly ran into the cottage and planted the

tulip bulb. The moment she watered the bulb, a beautiful tulip popped out of the dark soil.

"What a lovely flower!" said the woman. She bent down to sniff the delicate petals. The tulip smelled so wonderful, the woman leaned in closer and gave it a kiss. As soon as she kissed the flower, the petals burst open. Sitting in the center of the flower was the most beautiful little child she had ever seen.

Thumbelina appeared in the center of the tulip.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

"My, child! You are no bigger than my thumb! I will call you Thumbelina." The woman instantly knew she would love the little girl as her own.

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

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

More to Explore