[Torna alle Fiabe di Cuoricina] Le Fiabe di Donna Mariangela



There lived in a small village a child by the name of Thumbolino.

They called him so because he was very,very small,no bigger then a thumb.
He was the small child of all fables.
But Thumbolino was no fable: He was truly a child.
Thumbolino went to school and being the smallest child was made to seat in the front desk.
His friends would tease him and would say: " How small you are! You can't play with us".
And he would cry and wished to grow.  But how? So, he turned to the elves in the forest.

With them there was Father Christmas, who had remained in the forest to distract himself.
There, he found them on a swing and,when they noticed his presence, they wished to disappeared.
Thumbolino, though, begged them to listen and to help him.

There appeared two (2) more elves, who joined the others, and declared themselves ready to listen.
Thumbolino begun the narration of his story and of his sufferings caused by his short stature.
The elves held a counsel among themselves and with Father Christmas, and together decided to search the forest for the necessary herbes to make an enchantment.

In the forest they found a plant known only to them. It had some berries, which they
gathered:  there had to be twelve.  They lighted a small fire, and put on it a small pot with the berries in it and a few drops of water from a silver stream.  They made them
boiled for approximately fifteen  minutes and the potion was ready.. "Drink a cup every morning,- said the green elf-and you see you will grow".
Thumbolino, took the potion and went back home.

The days go by,but ThumboLino does  not grow.  The potion has no effect!!

 So he decides to go  back to the forest in the hope to find there a solution .

In the distance he sees some elves and he begs them to listen to him.

They were three (3) chubby ones each carrying a sack " I wonder what they have in that sack" thought Thumbolino and began to hope.


But who are the gnomes? They are small dwarves, good and likeable wholive in the forest near streams and among small animals,their friends. They are friends of the fairies,of the ogres, and of the sorcerers. If they can help man : they are very helpful. Thumbolino approaches them and in order to  begin to speak he asks "What do you have in those sacks?"  "Mist,wind, stardust, magic grain, purple berries,juniper leaves, and then, and then..." All this  they said it laughing and dancing in graceful circles.

Every  animal in the forest joined them in a festive circle.

Confident, Thumbolino approached the first gnome who appeared to be the leader,and said " I beg your pardon Mister Gnome, maybe you can  help me.  I have already asked the elves, but unfortunately, I did not obtain any result. "What do you wish I do for you?"   Asked Verdicchio (because this was his name)  "See how small I am. I would like to grow.  Do you have anything which would allow me to grow a few centimeters?"
"Erh! Erh!" Said Verdicchio. "Certainly, but it is not so simple.  What do you say dear  brothers?"  They took counsel among themselves, and then decided
to consult Fairy Turchina who possessed a magic wand.

Unfortunately, Fairy Turchina  had been transformed into a butterfly by Magician Magò.

" It is necessary to go to his castle!" Said Verdicchio preoccupied since Mago Magò was not too friendly with the gnomes.
 Thumbolino did not worry.  He informed himself  on which way to go and decided to go alone.

A dove with a small olive tree branch, symbol of peace, offered to accompany him.

And a black cat, happy and reassuring, proposed to lead the way.

Some menacing bats were circling the sky above them, but the dove reassured Thumbolino telling him not to be afraid that the castle of the magician was close by.

At the castle door, there appeared two dogs,not menacing ones, though. As a matter of fact, one seemed to be truly crying.

In fact: one dog was whining and the other was crying.
"What do you have dear friends to make you so sad?" Asked Thumbolino.  "Magician Magò  sent us away: today he is not in a good mood!  But you what are you doing here?"
"I' would like to speak with Mister Magò about a  personal problem"- answered Thumbolino-
" I don't know if he wishes to receive you.  Try just the same, but be very polite and don't show any fear, otherwise, he becomes angry and that means trouble."  Thumbolino, encouraged by the dove, rings the doorbell  which opens by itself with no one in sight.
"Excuse me? Can I come in?"
A hoarse and menacing voice asks: " Who is it and what do you want?"
" I would like to speak with you , Mister Magò, would you be so kind to receive me?"
"Go up the steps  on  your right  and let me see you."

The magician was making one of his potions.  He raised his  head and, when he saw Thumbolino, started to laugh, and laugh saying: " But who are  you, so small and hardly visible? Where do you come from? And what do you want?!  Thumbolino, encouraged by that laugh tried to answer , and finally, asked that which was deep in his heart.
"Erh,Erh!  It can be done. I want to make you happy since you amused me so much. But first tell me how you came to be up here. Thumbolino told his story but avoided to speak of the Elves and above all of the Gnomes since he knew that the magician disliked those tiny beings.
Without any potion, Magician Magò pronounced a magic formula and, all of a sudden Thumbolino grew more than the palm of his hand. "Is it enough? What do you say?"
Thumbolino looked  in the mirror and begun to feel better about himself, but did not dare to ask for more. The magician noticed his perplexity and without saying a word repeated the magic formula, and Thumbolino grew of another palm of his hand.

This time, Thumbolino was truly happy and ran to  hug him without reflecting on the possible consequences of his action.
But all went well.  In fact, the magician who was not used to so much
affection was deeply moved and lifted Thumbolino in his arms  and asked him to remain there forever.  Thumbolino afraid to offend him, took a little time to think , and then answered  that he would willingly accept, but that first, he would  go to his family to give them the news and then he would return.

The return soon became a hardship.   He came to what appeared to be a very ripid water fall.  Thumbolino wanted to cross it but it was not so simple. He needed at least a small bridge to go across it but there was none.

Now, Thumbolino had grown and had become too heavy,   Someone, or something else was needed to help him.
What to do? The animals in the forest came to his rescue: the rodents, the birds built a bridge of reeds.


The bridge, once built, looked rather nice, and soon was thrown over the lowest point of the water fall and Thumbolino was able to cross  over.

Once on the other side, he stopped to thank his friends  and then proceeded on his journey.

From afar, he saw a  young sheperdess watching over a flock of sheep.

As he drew near, he noticed that he knew her.  "Are you not Lucia?   How is it that you are here?"  Lucia  reddened and  showed astonishment to see such a handsome young man who looked so much like Thumbolino, only much taller.
Timidly she replied-"In order to help my family I tend the neighbour's sheep after school, but you, who are you?"
Thumbolino answered-"Don't you recognize me? I'm Thumbolino."
"You, Thumbolino?" She replied surprised  -"but what happened to you?  How you have grown!"
For the first time, Thumbolino became aware of his new size and looked at his image in the first stream he came across.
He was happy of the obtained result, but soon he  became afraid that, just like Lucia, others would not recognize him.
He restarted on his way, but his adventure had not,yet, come to the end.  In fact, he no longer knew his way too well.
The dove had gone and so had the cat.  He came to a junction.  To take the right? or to take the left?  This was his dilemma.
He chanced the right, but soon realized that it was a mistake.

He met an animal he did not know.  A puma. 

Thumbolino became terrorrized  but was able to avoid it by hiding behind a rock. There, he remained still, till the puma disappeared in the distance, and slowly, slowly he leaped to the opposite side.
Poor Thumbolino, he  didn't know what else to do!  When suddenly there
appeared Fairy Turchina, no longer under the spell of Magò, but in her normal appearance.

The fairy was happy to be of use, and with a stroke of her magic wand brought
Thumbolino back home. But first, she warned him to be careful because Magician Magò would certainly not leave him in peace.
"What could he do to me?"
Asked Thumbolino scared. "He could search for you and take you away, and he
could make you small again , as you were before.


Thumbolino found himself at the edge of the forest.  A  crystal clear stream was running its course.  He bent down to drink and saw his reflection in the ripples of the waves.  The stream flowed into a small lake surrounded by hills.  The view was enchanting and Thumbolino tired from his adventures sat in the shade of a tree and fell asleep.

He dreamed of gnomes, elves, fairies, magicians, and felt as if he was flying on the wings of the wind. Suddenly, in the sky, he saw an airplan and wished to be transported by one, seating comfortably in an armchair.  He had always wished to travel, and so he continued his dream.  In dreams, anything can happen.  Flying up he approaches the airplane and climbs into it.

How beautiful it was to fly above seas, mountains, to admire the earth, the green of the forests,the aridity of the deserts, and the well cultivated fields.  He saw men whom seen  from above, appeared as small as he used to be.  At a certain point, he was awaken by a shuffling of horses, and somewhat fearful, he came back to reality.   He felt sad it had been just a dream.

He cheered himself only when he realized that he had arrived close to his home.

Seeing his church, and the bell tower, he felt happy and began jumping with joy.  There was his mother  near the door of his house, hugging his dear Farfui,

while in the fields, there was his father observing  what work would be necessary to do in the near future.

Thumbolino ran to hug them, while they watched him with great surprise.
"But how did you grow so fast? Where have you been?"
Thumbolino, happy to be recognized, tried to narrate his extraordinary adventures, which sounded more like a fable than reality, but to those who love nature ,and to the believers, nothing is impossible.
They were full of joy to see their son sohappy!   "Now, we will see how it will go in school!"  Thought Thumbolino.
"They will never mock me again, they will respect me, and to them, I will
tell nothing at all.  I shall leave them with their mouth open."

    The day after, he went to his classroom while the teacher was listening
to a student.   When they saw him, the students became mute. They could not understand if he was the sameThumbolino they used to know.
 Then, they overwhelmed him  with questions, but he kep  his silence.  Only, he kept repeating  "Don't you believe in miracles?"

Everything was going well, but in his heart there remained a certain fear.   Magician Magò.  Who knows what he could do!
Thumbolino had made him  a promise which he did not wish to keep.   A few days later while he was near the forest, there appeared

   far  in the sky, a big menacing looking bird.

Thumbolino began to tremble.  He understood that it had to be an emissary from the magician.  The big bird came to a stop  next to Thumbolino and began to speak:  " Magician Magò is much
offended by your silence.  For the help he gave you , you should satisfy his wish and go back to him. "   Thumbolino  tried to explain the nature of his life saying:
"I'm a child, and I live the life of a child,    I have my friends, and my school,  and I cannot leave all this. "
"If you don't go back you'll be severely punished.  Magician Magò means what he says."    "what will he do?  I hope he won't turn me back into the tiny size I was before.  Can you intercede for me?"
"I'm sorry, but cannot be of any help.  Mister Magòwants to be obeyed."
Thumbolino promised to find a solution, but he did not  know what it could be.   He thought of his dear friends in the forest, and wonder if perhaps they could help him.
And  so ,there  he went


He started to call at the top of his voice: " Elves, gnomes, fairies, animals of the forest, come quickly.I must have your help."
A small bird came first.
"Ciao Thumbolino, why are you shouting so loud.?"   " I must gather all the animals of the forest and every creature who lives   here"!  " Calm yourself, I will take care of that"   and flapping his wings he flew away shouting "Come, come quickly: there is Thumbolino who
needs you."
In a short time the animals and creatures had united in the green room, which was a beautiful green meadow.
Thumbolino began to say: "Friends I am  in real danger because Magician Magò wants me  with him, as I have promised, but I cannot
possibly go to live with him" and began to list the motives for which he could not change his life.
"This is serious"  they said thinking together and loud." Let's try to call the butterflies, perhaps, and because of their travels ,they may be
able to counsel us.
And the butterflies arrived.

Having heard of Thumbolino's  difficulty, they told that in their travels, they had discovered that the most influential creature to Magician
Magò was Birba, his favorite cat, from whom he never separated, and who he consulted for his enchantments.   "it is true, said Thumbolino, " I saw him when I was at the castle. He was always purring and rubbing himself against Magò.  How can we contact him?"  "Leave it to us,"  said the butterflies.    "Let's meet on the other side of the forest and there we'll make sure that you will meet with him.
And so it happend.

Birba was a beautiful ,graceful and friendly cat, who started to purr around Thumbolino whom he already knew.   Thumbolino told him of his problem, and Birba gave him some hope.   In fact, when back in the castle, Birba began to rub himself against Magician Magò starting a jealous scene.
"Why do you want that child here with you ? Am I not enough to cuddle you,  to love you, and to show you my affection?"  He said much, and did much till    his wish was granted.  Birba, then called his friends, the dogs, (it is not true that cats and dogs cannot be friends) and told them to bring the good news to Thumbolino who had been waiting at the edge of the forest.

The first six most reliable dogs  of the  "101 Dalmatians" volunteered themselves to the good service in the hope to be casted in the
next film!

The good news delighted Thumbolino who finally and serenely ran happily home.

The road appeared to be shorter, and gasping for breath he ran to hug his dear parents.    But he never forgot his friends in the forest whom he would visit now and then,  bringing them titbits of good thing to eat.


And so ends the fable of Thumbolino who, from small grew tall because of magic and because of his goodness as well.


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