“Tom Thumb’s Travels”
I guess this is a different “Tom Thumb” because in this story, Tom’s father is a tailor.
Tom wants to see the world, so his father gives him a needle as a sword. He then goes into the kitchen to see what farewell meal his mother has made, but when he leans over to smell it, a blast of steam carries him up out the chimney.
After he landed, he wandered around until he found another tailor to work for. But his wife didn’t make good food, so after mocking her, she throws Tom out.
He ends up in some woods where he runs into a group of thieves who were going to rob the king and they figure they could use him. When Tom gets to the chamber, a guard sees him and thinks he’s a spider and goes to squish him, but another guard stops him.
Tom gets into the treasure room and starts throwing the money out a window to the thieves. The King comes in and sees that some money is missing, but can’t figure out how. He leaves and Tom continues throwing out the money. The guards hear something so they rush in but Tom hides under a coin, mocking them that they can’t see him. They eventually tire and leave and Tom throws out all the money.
The thieves want to make him captain, but Tom still wanted to see more of the world. He couldn’t find another tailor to work for, so he ended up working at an inn. The maids didn’t like him because he saw all that they did and reported it to the owners.
So one day a maid was cutting the grass and caught Tom up in the cuttings which she threw into the cows. One swallowed him whole.
The next day the owner went to have one of the cows slaughtered, and Tom cried out. The owner heard him, but couldn’t tell which cow he was in. The cow was slaughtered and Tom managed to miss the knives, but he ended up in a black pudding where he was smoked and hung for the winter.
When the black pudding was eventually cut, he managed to escape. But as he wandered in a field, he was caught by a fox. The fox agreed to let him go if he gave him all of his father’s chickens. Tom’s father was so happy to see his son, he gladly gave the fox his chickens.
The story ends with a sappy bit about how a father would rather have a son than his chickens.
What kind of treasure room has a window? And what guards just get tired and leave so the money can disappear. Maybe they thought it was some magic doing it, but wouldn’t they tell the king so he could counter it?
So Tom spied on the maids? Peeping Tom Thumb?
So this innkeeper knew Tom was small, and could hear him inside of a cow, but … got bored? And why didn’t Tom just, you know, eat his way out of the black pudding?
I guess the moral of the story is family is more important than … chickens. But I think the real moral of the story is, if you can steal from the King, go for it. Of course, you’d think anyone telling a story like this, back in those days, would have ended up in the dungeon before anyone showed up to write it down.