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stomach: to this end he danced so many jigs and cut so many capers that the miller, in a state of great consternation and alarm, dispatched messengers in every direction for medical aid; and he soon had the satisfaction of being surrounded by five learned men, who knew as little about what was the matter with him as the poor miller did himself. A fierce dispute arose among the doctors as to the nature of the miller's illness. One said that watching the mill sails turn bad made the miller giddy; but a second said it couldn't be, for the miller was used to see them turn. Then a third declared the patient must have swallowed some water by mistake, for he certainly was not used to that, and it had disagreed. And so they got up a fierce quarrel about this extraordinary complaint, which dispute lasted so long that the miller, getting tired of it, gave a great yawn: Tom saw his opportunity, and sprang out of the miller's mouth, right through the open window, and fell into the jaws of a large fish which was snapping at flies in the river below.


The salmon which had swallowed up Tom was soon captured, and exposed in the market-place for sale. It was bought by the steward of a great lord; but this nobleman, thinking it a right royal fish, did not eat it himself, but sent it to King Arthur as a present. The cross old cook had the fish entrusted to him to prepare for dinner; and when he came to cut it open, out jumped his old acquaintance, Tom Thumb. The cook was glad to be able to wreak his spite once more upon his old enemy; and indeed Tom had played him too many tricks in his time, never thinking the day would come when it would be the cook's turn to play the tricks, and Tommy's turn to bear them. Indeed, the cook ought to have been ashamed to take revenge upon such a very small enemy as this; but he determined to have vengeance upon little Tommy. He seized him and carried him at once to the King, expecting that Arthur would order the culprit to be executed; but the King had no such idea, and besides, he was fully occupied with state matters, so he ordered the cook to bring Tommy another day. The cook was obliged to obey, but he was determined to serve Tom out while he could; and so he shut him up in a mouse-trap, and kept him there in prison for a whole week, and very miserable Tom felt. By the end of the week the King's anger was gone, and he ordered Tom a new suit of clothes, and a good-sized mouse to ride on by way of a horse ; and some time after he was even admitted to the honour of knighthood, and became known in the land as Sir Thomas Thumb.


He was very proud of this, you may be sure ; and an old song about him tells us what a brave little knight he was. It says :

“And he at tilt and tournament

Was entertained so,
That all the rest of Arthur's knights

Did him much pleasure show."

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The mouse-steed was a very pretty present for our little Tom; and he rode about on it, morning, noon, and night, until at last it was the means of bringing him into very great danger. It happened in this manner :

One day, when Tom was riding by a farm-house, a large cat, seeing the mouse, rushed out upon it: Tom drew his sword and defended himself in the bravest manner possible, and


kept the cat at bay until King Arthur and his followers came up. But little Sir Thomas had not passed through the combat unhurt-some of his wounds were deep and dangerous. They took him home and laid him on an ivory couch ; but still, with all possible care and kindness, he grew worse, and his life was despaired of. But the Queen of the Fairies appeared, and bore him away to fairyland, where he remained several years ; and, by the time he returned to King Arthur's Court, that good King, who had missed his little friend sadly, and had often wished to have him back again, was no longer there to welcome him. There had been great changes at the Court of King Arthur while little Sir Thomas Thumb had been living among the fairies, joining in their sports on the green meadows by night, and helping to make fairy rings. The

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good monarch had died, and a King named Thunstone sat on the throne in his stead.

The people flocked together from far and near to see the wonderful little hero. King Thunstone asked who he was, where he lived, and whence he came; and the little man replied, “My name is Tom Thumb, In me he delighted, From the fairies I come.

By him I was knighted.
When King Arthur shone, Did

you never hear of This Court was my home. Sir Thomas Thumb ?” The King and his courtiers all smiled at the little fellow's fine verses; but he, not at all abashed, went on to say as boldly as may be.“ Long time I lived in jollity, beloved of the Court, And none

ke me was so esteemed among the better sort. And good Sir Launcelot du Lake, Sir Tristram and Sir Guy; Yet none compared to brave Tom Thumb in acts of chivalry."

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