Charles Perrault (1697)
Translation of Carlo Collodi (1875)

C'era una volta un taglialegna e una taglialegna, i quali avevano sette figliuoli, tutti maschi: il maggiore aveva dieci anni, il minore sette. Farà forse caso di vedere come un taglialegna avesse avuto tanti figliuoli in così poco tempo: ma egli è, che la sua moglie era svelta nelle sue cose, e quando ci si metteva, non faceva meno di due figliuoli alla volta.

And because they were very poor, the seven boys gave them a great thought, for the reason that none of them was able to earn a living.

The thing that most tormented them, was that the child was of a delicate and never spoke: and that this was a manifest sign of the goodness of his character, mistook him for a sign of stupidity.

The boy was the minute of person; and when he came to the world, He did not pass the size of a thumb; so they called Little Thumb.

It happened a year very sad, in which the famine was so great, that these poor people resolved to rid de’ their children.

One night when the kids were in bed, and that the woodcutter was in the song of fire, said, his heart was breaking, his wife:

“As you see, we no longer have to feed our children: and I do not have the heart to vedermeli starve before his eyes: now I am determined to bring them into the woods and have it lose your way; nor it will take great effort, because, while they baloccheranno to make bundles of, we succeed to give legs, without they have time to addarsene”.

“Ah!”, She cried the wife, “and you can have so much heart to disperse yourself your creatures?”

The husband had a nice return to beat the misery, they were in; but his wife would not agree to any terms. It was poor, ma mother was: moreover, recalling also the pain he would feel if he had seen them starve, He ended up resigned to, and he went to bed crying.

Little Thumb had heard all their speeches: and perceived, from bed, who reasoned business, rose on tiptoe, sneaking under the stool of his father, to be able to listen to everything senz'esser seen.

Then went back to bed, and not turned a blind eye to the rest of the night, mulling over what he should do. He rose to a day, and went on the edge of a stream, where he filled the pockets of white pebbles: Chiotto Chiotto then returned home.

They left, Little Thumb, but said nothing to his brothers of what he knew.

They entered into a very thick forest, where at a distance of few steps there was no way of seeing the one towards the other. The woodcutter is made to cut firewood, and boys to collect branches to the bundles.

The father and mother, seeing intent to work, They walked away slowly, until they slunk out of a lane out of hand.

When the boys saw themselves alone, They began to shriek and cry tightly.

Thumb the left yelling, I am sure that in any case they would return home; because he, along the way, He had dropped along the way the white pebbles that had been put in the pocket.

“Do not be afraid of anything, my brothers”, said to them,, “the father and mother have left us here alone; but I will I will turn home: VENITEM behind.”

In fact, they followed him, and he led them by the same route that they had made, going to the woods. At first they did not enter into it coraggi: and messero in ear to the door to hear what they said to one another, father and mother.

Now you must know that when the woodcutter and his wife returned home, found that the ladies of the village had sent them ten crowns, of which the debtor was a long time, and on which there were more. This was enough to put a little’ of breath in the body that poor people, that was just a touch and not to touch starve.

The woodcutter's wife immediately sent from the butcher. And since it was a long time since they had fed, it bought three times more meat than that which would abbisognata for two people dinner.

When they were filled, his wife said:

“Ohimè! where they will now be our children? if they could get round here with our leftovers! but anyhow, William, is’ was you who wanted smarrirli: but I have always said that we would repent. What will they do now in the forest? Ohimè! Dio mio! wolves perhaps by this time have ready-eaten. Just do not have the heart, come te, isperdere for the children in this way!…”.

The woodcutter lost patience, because his wife he repeated more than twenty times that he he would regret, and that it had already said and repeated: and he threatened to beat her if he had not calmed.

This did not mean that the woodcutter could not be more sorrowful wife; but it tormented him too: and he was like so many others, that if they say a lot with women who speak judiciously, but they can not suffer those that are always right.

The woodcutter melted in tears, and always seguitava the dire:

“Ohimè! where they are now my children? My poor children?”.

One time, among other, she said it so loud, the boys, who were behind the door, heard her and cried out all together: “We are here! we are here!”.

She immediately ran to open the door and, embracing, said:

“What a joy to see you again, My dear children! Who knows how you're tired, and hunger have! e tu, Pieruccio, looks a bit’ how did you bedraggled! vien qua, you spillaccheri”.

Pieruccio was the eldest of the children and the mother loved him more good than others, because it was red hair like her.

They messero you at the table and ate with an appetite, that did just consolation to my father and mother, which told, almost all talking at the same time, the great fear that they had had in the forest.

The good people were all glad to see the children at home; But the happiness lasted until lasted ten shields. When these ended, They returned to the miseries sicutera, allor and decided to smarrirli again; and to be sure, thought to lead much farther away than the first time. Moreover, this thing could not talk about it with so much secrecy, did not feel all that Little Thumb; which he thought to clamber out with the usual fallback: name is che, although to get up at dawn to go in search of white pebbles, was just like that, pot and not far NULL, because he found the front door locked and double-locked.

He did not really know what stillarsi, here is that when the mother gave each of them a piece of bread for breakfast. Then he came into his head that he could use it as much bread, instead of pebbles, sowing the crumbs along the way to where they would pass. And you put the bread in your pocket.

The father and mother brought them into the thickest and the darkest point of the forest: and when we arrived were, they took a loophole and via.

Little Thumb it all came neither here nor there in, because he knew he could find your way easily with the help of the crumbs scattered; but imagine how he felt, when he realized that the crumbs them to him had caught birds.

So here they are all afflicted, because they walked more and more they were lost in the forest. Night came and stood a wind to be frightening. It seemed to them to hear all sides cries of wolves, approaching to eat. They had no breath to talk, nor to turn back.

Then came a grand'acqua that bathed them from under the skin: at every step sdrucciolavano and tumbling in the mud: and when it did set up all muddy, They had no place to put your hands.

Little Thumb climbed on top of a tree to see if scuopriva country; and looking on all sides, He saw a little flicker, like that of a candle, which he was far away, far beyond the forest.

She got down from: and when he was on earth, He saw nothing. This thing gave him great pain.

Despite, walking forward with his brothers, to the part where he had seen the flicker, ended up replay it as he left out of the woods.

Finally they arrived at the house where you could see this light: not without experiencing the great tight to the heart, because occasionally the lost sight, especially when they are walking in some very plain low.

They knocked at a door: a good woman came to open their, and he asked them what they wanted.

Thumb said were poor kids who had scattered in the forest, and asking to sleep for the sake of God.

the woman, seeing them all so cute, He is put to cry, e these:

“Ohimè! my children poor, where ever you've come? But you do not know that this is the Orc home eating all children?”.

“Ah, lady”, replied Thumb, who she was shaking like a leaf, and so his brothers. “What do you want us to do? If we take home, It is sure that the wolves will eat us tonight. And in that case, it is better that we eat this gentleman. Maybe if you will pray, it could be that he had compassion on us.”

His wife Orc, the hope of being able to hide from her husband until the next morning, let them come in and brought them to warm up around a good fire, where he turned on the spit a ram yourself wholly, which he was to serve for dinner dell'Orco.

As they began to warm up, beat heard three or four shots at the door screanzati. Orco was the returning.

In men d’un baleno, his wife hid them all under the bed and went to open.

The Ogre at once asked if dinner was deft and lifted the wine cellar: and without loss of time he sat at table. The ram was not cooked and was getting blood, and this seemed even more good. Then, fiutando in qua e di là, He began to say that smelled of raw flesh.

“maybe”, said his wife, “the calf which I have just now peeled, that puts you by the nose that smell.”

“And I say that I feel the smell of raw flesh”, replied the Ogre's wife looking sideways, “and here there must be some subterfuge!…”

In saying so he got up from the table and went straight to the bed.

“Ah!”, he cried, “So you wanted to deceive, ugly witch? I do not know who keeps me from making an even bite you. Good for you, you're old and tigliosa! Here is the game, It happens at the right moment to treat three Orcs my friends, that will come to me in these days.”

And he pulled them out from under the bed, one behind the other.

Those poor children fell on their knees, asking forgiveness, but they had to do with the cruelest of all the Orcs, which, pretending to feel compassion, ate them already with their eyes ahead of time, telling his wife that he would have been a delicate dish, especially if she settled down with a good sauce.

He fetched a knife, and approaching those poor children, the sharpened over a long stone which he held in his left hand.

And he had already grabbed one, when his wife told him:

“What do you want to do at this time? it would not be better to wait until tomorrow?”.

“Chetati, too!”, replied the Ogre. “So will most shortbread.”

“But there is still advancing much meat! There is here a calf, one ram, and half pig…”

“You are right”, said the Ogre, “rimpinzali therefore for good, lest they lean, and portals to bed.”

This good woman, beside himself with joy, He gave them supper: but they did not eat on account of the great fear they were wearing.

As the Ogre, He began to drink, very satisfied to have found that giving to his friends. He emptied a dozen glasses more than usual, until the day Wine’ the head and he was forced to go to bed.

The Ogre had seven daughters, who were always girls, which they were all of a good complexion, because, as the father, They fed on raw meat; but they had the occhiettini gray and round, and a pointed nose and a very large mouth, with a rack of teeth long, sharp and separated from each other.

They had not yet become bad: but promised good, because already biting the children to suck the blood.

They had been sent to bed early, and all seven were in a large bed, each with a golden crown on his head.

In the same room there was another bed of the same size. It was on this bed that the Ogre's wife put to sleep the seven boys; and after he went to bed beside her husband.

Puccettino, who had notice that the Orc daughters wore a gold crown on his head, and that was always afraid that the Ogre not ripentisse to have them slaughtered immediately, He arose at midnight, and taking the caps of the brothers and his, He went very slowly to put them on the head of the seven daughters dell'Orco, after they lifted the golden crown, which put on his head and de’ his brothers, because the Orc mistook them for their daughters, pigliasse and his daughters to the children who wanted to slaughter.

And the thing went appuntino as he figured if he was; because the Orc, He awoke at midnight, He regretted is having deferred to the next day what he could have done the same evening.

Therefore, the bed jumped sharply, and taking the knife:

“Let's go a little’ a vedere”, said, “how are these birbe; and get it over with once and for all”.

Then he went groping in the chamber of his daughters, and he approached the bed where the boys were, who were all asleep, less Thumb, who was terribly frightened when she heard the ogre that probed his head, as already he probed his brothers.

The Orc feeling the golden crown, said:

“Now I could really beautiful! We see just that last night I drank half a finger more”.

So he went to the other bed, and having heard their caps boys:

“here they are”, said, “these monellacci! We work late”.

And in saying so, unhesitatingly, He slits the throats of his seven daughters.

Delighted of himself, He went back to lie down next to his wife.

As soon as Little Thumb heard the Ogre snoring, He woke his brothers and told them to get dressed right away and follow him. They descended on tiptoe into the garden and climbed over the wall. They ran to their heels most of the night, shaking like leaves, and without knowing where they were going.

When the ogre woke, He said to his wife:

“VA’ a powder’ to dress the little urchins last night”.

The ogress remained very surprised of the unusual goodness of her husband, and he not even puts his mind that he wanted to dress them understand another thing, believing in good faith to having to go to dress. So she stepped over, and she gasped in body, seeing her seven daughters you scan and dipped in his own blood. He immediately started by svenirsi, this being the first device, that similar cases occur in all women.

L’Orco, fearing that his wife did not put too much time doing what he had ordered, he went upstairs to give her a hand; and was not less shocked at the sight of that horrendous show.

“Ah! I've never done?”, cried. “But those unfortunates will pay me, e subito!”

And without putting time in half, He threw a pitcher of water on the nose of his wife, and so having it made to his senses:

“Give me now”, said, “my boots seven kilometers, because I want them to reach”.

And there went out the open country, and after being here and there, finally he puts the road beating precisely those poor boys, who were perhaps within a distance of a hundred yards from the family home.

They saw the ogre who was passing by in the mountains mountain, crossing the river with the same ease as if they were streams.

Little Thumb look having a hollow rock,, there near the place where they were, did you hide the six brothers, and hid too, however, without losing sight of all the moves dell'Orco.

The Orc who was beginning to feel the finished road made (because the boots of seven kilometers are very strenuous for the wearer), thought of ripigliar breath, the sky and wanted him to go precisely to sit on the rock, where those guys were hiding.

And because he was dead tired, after lying he fell asleep, and made so much noise with snoring, that the poor guys had the same fear when they saw him with the knife in his hand, in place to get them to the party.

But Little Thumb was not all this fear, and he told the brothers to escape to his heels back home, while the Ogre was asleep like a log; and not to stay in it for him.

They do not say if they did twice, and in a few minutes they arrived home.

Little Thumb meanwhile approached the Ogre: the rose adagino boots, e sure to know the infilò.

These boots were very large and very large, but because they were fairies, had the virtue of grow and shrink, the second leg of who wore them: whereby, returning the precise, as if they had been made to his foot.

He went to the house of career dell'Orco, where he found his wife weeping for her daughters killed.

“Your husband”, said Thumb, “It is located in a great danger: It has fallen into the hands of a gang of killers, who they have sworn to kill him, if it does not deliver them all his gold and his silver. While they were with the dagger to the throat, it has seen me, and he asked me to come here to warn you of his sad condition and to invite you to give me all that he possesses valuable, without anything hold you, because different case, they will kill him without a trace of mercy. And since time is running out, he wanted me to take his boots seven kilometer, as you see, and not just because I spicciassi, but also so that you can make sure that I'm not a cheater.”

The good woman, all scared, She gave him everything he had; because the Orc, in the end, He was a good husband, though it was fond of children.

Puccettino, with the load on him all the Ogre's riches, he returned to his father's house, where he was greeted with loud cheers.

There is for other people who do not believe that it end like this; and claim that Little Thumb not ever commit this theft to the detriment of the Ogre: and that just did not care to get him the boots of seven kilometers, because he used it only to chase the boys.

These ensure those having known the truth right on the spot, for loved to eat and drink in the house of the woodcutter.

Recount, therefore, that when Little Thumb had put on his boots Orco, He went to the Court, where they were all in great thought for army, that was in the country at a distance of two hundred kilometers, and the outcome of a battle date a few days later.

Little Thumb the result that he went to see the king and told him that if he wished he could bring him the news of the army, before the sun goes down. The King promised him a large sum, if he had been a long.

The evening news Thumb returned hill army; and this first race having put in good eyesight, He earned what he wanted; because the King paid him handsomely, making use of him to carry out his orders to the field; and countless ladies gave him what he asked, for their new lovers; and this was the most conclusive gain of all other. There were also some wives who delivered letters to their husbands; but they paid with their elbows, and the profit was so mean, he did not deign even to score in the book of the small blessings that pervenivano useful for this title.

After doing for some time the carrier's craft, and have amassed great wealth, He returned to his father's house, where you can not imagine the party that made him to see him among them.

He put his family in comfort; bought degl'impieghi, newly founded, for his father and brothers: He formed a state at all cost; and it was always a bit of time, much to do Beau ladies hill.


The history of this little hero, the French call Tom Thumb, because it was great just like the thumb, It was probably invented on purpose to give reason and authority to that ancient proverb: “The men are not measured in barrels!”.

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