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Age Rating 8 Plus.
From The The blue fairy book by Andrew lang
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Start of Story
Now, you must know that Peter was her eldest son, whom she loved above
all the rest, because he was somewhat carroty, as she herself was. They
sat down to supper, and ate with such a good appetite as pleased both
father and mother, whom they acquainted how frightened they were in
the forest, speaking almost always all together. The good folks were
extremely glad to see their children once more at home, and this joy
continued while the ten crowns lasted; but, when the money was all gone,
they fell again into their former uneasiness, and resolved to lose them
again; and, that they might be the surer of doing it, to carry them to a
much greater distance than before.
They could not talk of this so secretly but they were overheard by
Little Thumb, who made account to get out of this difficulty as well as
the former; but, though he got up very early in the morning to go and
pick up some little pebbles, he was disappointed, for he found the
house-door double-locked, and was at a stand what to do. When their
father had given each of them a piece of bread for their breakfast,
Little Thumb fancied he might make use of this instead of the pebbles by
throwing it in little bits all along the way they should pass; and so he
put the bread in his pocket.
Their father and mother brought them into the thickest and most obscure
part of the forest, when, stealing away into a by-path, they there left
them. Little Thumb was not very uneasy at it, for he thought he could
easily find the way again by means of his bread, which he had scattered
all along as he came; but he was very much surprised when he could not
find so much as one crumb; the birds had come and had eaten it up, every
bit. They were now in great affliction, for the farther they went the
more they were out of their way, and were more and more bewildered in
Night now came on, and there arose a terribly high wind, which made them
dreadfully afraid. They fancied they heard on every side of them the
howling of wolves coming to eat them up. They scarce dared to speak or
turn their heads. After this, it rained very hard, which wetted them to
the skin; their feet slipped at every step they took, and they fell into
the mire, whence they got up in a very dirty pickle; their hands were
Little Thumb climbed up to the top of a tree, to see if he could
discover anything; and having turned his head about on every side, he
saw at last a glimmering light, like that of a candle, but a long way
from the forest. He came down, and, when upon the ground, he could see
it no more, which grieved him sadly. However, having walked for some
time with his brothers toward that side on which he had seen the light,
he perceived it again as he came out of the wood.
They came at last to the house where this candle was, not without an
abundance of fear: for very often they lost sight of it, which happened
every time they came into a bottom. They knocked at the door, and a good
woman came and opened it; she asked them what they would have.
Little Thumb told her they were poor children who had been lost in the
forest, and desired to lodge there for God's sake.
The woman, seeing them so very pretty, began to weep, and said to them:
"Alas! poor babies; whither are ye come? Do ye know that this house
belongs to a cruel ogre who eats up little children?"
"Ah! dear madam," answered Little Thumb (who trembled every joint of
him, as well as his brothers), "what shall we do? To be sure the wolves
of the forest will devour us to-night if you refuse us to lie here; and
so we would rather the gentleman should eat us; and perhaps he may take
pity upon us, especially if you please to beg it of him."
The Ogre's wife, who believed she could conceal them from her husband
till morning, let them come in, and brought them to warm themselves at a
very good fire; for there was a whole sheep upon the spit, roasting for
the Ogre's supper.
As they began to be a little warm they heard three or four great raps at
the door; this was the Ogre, who had come home. Upon this she hid them
under the bed and went to open the door. The Ogre presently asked if
supper was ready and the wine drawn, and then sat himself down to table.
The sheep was as yet all raw and bloody; but he liked it the better for
that. He sniffed about to the right and left, saying:
"I smell fresh meat."
"What you smell so," said his wife, "must be the calf which I have just
now killed and flayed."
"I smell fresh meat, I tell thee once more," replied the Ogre, looking
crossly at his wife; "and there is something here which I do not
As he spoke these words he got up from the table and went directly to
"Ah, ah!" said he; "I see then how thou wouldst cheat me, thou cursed
woman; I know not why I do not eat thee up too, but it is well for thee
that thou art a tough old carrion. Here is good game, which comes very
quickly to entertain three ogres of my acquaintance who are to pay me a
visit in a day or two."