Little Thumb

A tiny and wise boy named Little Thumb was very poor. In his intentions to help his family he became smaller and smaller but wiser at the same time. He managed to confront an evil cannibal that wanted to eat his brothers and him.

Even though his parents wanted to get rid of all of their obligations by leaving the kids in the forest Little Thumb wasn’t mad. Instead he tried to find a way to help his parents. He found a way to trick the evil cannibal and his wife and his magical boots helped him.

The moral of the story is that we shouldn’t let life’s roughness shouldn’t make us give up. Poverty can makes us strong because in it we rely on ourselves and give everything we have fighting for a better life.

Little Thumb’s tininess wasn’t an obstacle; it was an advantage when he had to fight with the cannibal. From this we can conclude that our biggest flaws can help us the most.

Summary

Once upon a time a lumberjack lived and he had a wife and seven kids. They were all boys, the youngest one had 7 and the oldest one had 10 years. They were very poor because it was hard to feed so many mouths and the kids were too small to work.

The youngest son was the smallest, quietest but also the wisest. He was named Little Thumb. His other brothers would often mock him but he was the smartest of them all. Even though he never said a word he was a good listener.

One year famine came to town and the parents had to disown their children. They had no food to give them so they decided to leave them in the forest. The mother was sad because of that course of events but her husband explained to her that he had nothing to offer to those kids and that he refused to see them dying of hunger. She was their mother and couldn’t accept it but in the end she had to bow down to her husband. She went to bed crying.

Little Thumb heard their conversation after he snuck out of bed and crawled underneath his father’s bench. He wasn’t left indifferent with their decision but he was well aware of the situation his family has gotten into. After he heard what was about to happen he went to bed thinking what should they do.

The next morning he went and filled his pockets with little stones and when he came home they headed for the woods. His brothers didn’t know what was going on. When they came to the forest their father started to cut down a wood and the kids were gathering the branches. When the parents saw the children being busy they just slowly drifted away.

When the kids realized they were alone they started crying and yelling. Little Thumb calmed them down and showed him the little stones he threw while they were walking through the forest. They all started following the stones and got home safely and happily.

They came to the house and stopped. They wanted to hear their parent’s conversations. The parents were in for a surprise when they got home. A man owed them money and finally paid them back and it brought them back to life. The mother went grocery shopping and she bought so much she could have even fed the kids. When she remembered them she started fighting with her husband and he was so annoyed that he threatened to kick her.

It was hard for him to do it but he thought they had no choice. When the mother cried and asked for her kids they appeared. She was so happy and gave them dinner immediately.

The kids sat around the table and ate. They told their parents about the horror they’ve been through. The parents were happy about their kids being back but their happiness didn’t last long. It lasted while their money lasted and the parents got desperate again. Famine came back and they decided to bring their kids deeper into the woods.

Little Thumb heard their conversation again and he wanted to go to get some stones again but the doors were locked. He took a piece of bread her mother gave him and made little crumbs out of it so he could throw them on the way to know how to get back home.

They went to the forest but they walked for a long time. The parents left again and Little Thumb threw crumbs on the floor. His plan didn’t work this time because the birds ate the crumbs.

The kids were scared. A strong wind started to blow and it started to rain while they were getting more and more lost in the forest. Thumb remembered that he could climb onto the highest tree in the woods and see the way out of the woods. When he crawled up the tree he saw a weak light and the headed towards it.

They came to a house and they knocked. A woman opened the door and asked who were they looking for and as an answer Thumb told her their whole story. He asked if they could spend the night in their house so that the wolves won’t tear them apart. The woman felt sorry  for them and told them they came to a cannibal’s house and that they eat little kids. Thumb didn’t give up and told her that the cannibal will feel sorry for them and won’t eat them.

The cannibal was her husband, an enormous giant, for who she was preparing dinner. She placed the kids near the fireplace and hoped her husband won’t see them.

The cannibal came knocking at the door. The woman opened the doors after she had hid the kids underneath the bed. He asked her for dinner and commented on the fresh meat’s smell. The woman told him it was the smell of the meat she was preparing but he didn’t believe her and went to the bed. He called her a liar and told her that the kids will be a delicious dinner for him and his friends.

He took a knife and started to pull one kid at a time from under the bed. He already swung to kill the first but his wife stopped him and told him he could do that tomorrow. He agreed and ordered her to feed them good so they would get fatter and make a more delicious dinner.

The woman was happy about saving the kids for now. She offered them a dinner but the kids were so scared they couldn’t eat.

The cannibal had 7 pretty daughters and all of them had a big mouth and sharp teeth. They looked more and more like their father because they started to drink blood and eat little children.

They slept on one big bed with crowns on their head. Next to that bed was another one where the wife had placed the brothers.

Little Thumb remembered that the cannibal could come at night and eat them so he replaced their hats with the girls crowns. The cannibal did come in the middle of the night and since it was dark he touched the heads of his victims to see if they were wearing crowns. When he realized they weren’t he ate them all.

When the cannibal went back to sleep, not knowing he had killed his daughters, Thumb woke up his brothers and told them they need to get out of the house as soon as possible before they wind up dead.

The wife woke up in the morning and saw what her husband had done and she fainted. When the husband realized she has been gone for a while he went to check on her and saw the horror in the kid’s room. He threw cold water at her and told her to get his boots so he could go and find the boys who set him up.

He placed his magical boots and went to search for the boys. They hid in the cave and the cannibal came to rest in the cave because the person that carries the boots gets easily tired. Little Thumb told his brothers to run home and he stole the magical boots.

They were magical because they would adjust to their owner. He went back to the cannibal’s wife and told her they were keeping her husband captive and that she needs to give him all of their silver and gold if she wants him back. The wife gave everything they had for Thumbs to take it to the kidnappers. He took it all to his parents who were thrilled to see him.

Some believe that he actually placed on the boots and ran to the king to bring him news about his military. Since he was extremely fast in the boots he could convey messages very fast so some even wanted to hire him as a mailman but that job wasn’t very profitable so he gave it up.

He acquired a big fortune and came back to his family that expected him with joy.

Genre: fairytale

Place: forest, cannibal’s house, cave

Characters: Little Thumb, cannibal

Character analysis

Little Thumb – a short, wise and smart boy. He knew about the misery his family was living in so he had the feeling he had to help them. Because of his wisdom he tricked the evil cannibal who ate little kids. His kindness was so great that he was ready to save his brothers by all means and he had proven to his parents that just because he is the smallest doesn’t have to mean he is incapable of doing anything.

Cannibal – an indulging giant who ate animals and little kids. He had 7 daughters but because of Thumb’s scam he ate them all. He didn’t get his revenge because Thumb outsmarted him one more time and stole his boots. The giant lost his wealth and his daughters.

Charles Perrault biography