a.k.a. Thumbelina

May 28, 2008
By Meredith Foster, Westfield, IN

Once upon a time in a far away land, there was a girl. Now, today a far away land is very much like the country you live in, but back when this story is set far away lands were very mystical places where anything could happen, so play along with me on this. Anyway, this girl was named Angelina Jacquelyn Letitia Thumbling (Thumbling was her last name), but that's a really long name to call someone by everyday, so most people just called her Thumbelina. "Thumbelina" isn't much better than "Angelina Jacquelyn Letitia", though it's a whole lot shorter. Thumbelina actually wanted to change her name to Avril and join a rock band, but in those days laws that let you change your name didn't exist (and neither did rock bands).

Back to the story. Thumbelina was remarkable because she was only six inches tall at fourteen years of age. People in ancient times used to be shorter, but even then six inches wasn't a common height. (It was something like five-foot-two, I think)

Due to the unusual challenges associated with being six inches tall, Thumbelina lived at home with her mother Mrs. Thumbling (Nothing is ever said about Mr. Thumbling, and for good reason. He ran out on Mrs. Thumbling with one of the ugly stepsisters from two kingdoms away). Girls didn't go to school back then anyway, since it was thought that their female brains were incapable of understanding complex ideas like, say, 2+2=4 or 'A' is the first letter of the alphabet. Men aren't any smarter, they just call us wimps and prove their manliness by taking groin shots at each other. However, in Thumbelina's day nobody had even heard of a groin shot, so guys proved their manliness by joining the army and dying in battle.

One day, a very unusual person called on Thumbelina. She was building herself a guitar when the knock came, but her mother made her greet her guest. Her name was Mrs. Greyfur.

"Thumbelina," Thumbelina's mother said, "I would like you to meet Mrs. Greyfur."

Thumbelina wasn't impressed. "She's a mouse!" the diminutive girl cried, and of course she was right. Mrs. Greyfur was a rather plump mouse wearing a knitted shawl. Everything like a shawl was knitted back then, since sewing machines were decades from invention. It looked like sewing machines would put knitting needles out of a job, but old ladies look wrong sitting in a chair and using a sewing machine all day to make socks for Christmas presents. It was decided by the People Who Set Trends that knitted socks are better, so of course knitting needles still exist today. Shawls, I'm afraid, aren't so lucky.

The conversation that follows is much too long and boring to be written down, and also Thumbelina forgot that she needed to take her Anti-Profanity Pills that morning, so many harsh words were said. I don't want to write down a long and oft-R-rated dialogue, so here is a brief summary:

Mrs. Thumbling: Thumbelina, you are going to spend the summer with Mrs. Greyfur.

Thumbelina: But Mother dearest, I have no desire to spend the summer with this sweet lady.

Mrs. Thumbling: Please, Thumbelina. She's going to find you a husband.

Thumbelina: Mother dearest, I do not want to get married. If someone tries to marry me, I might have to cause him serious bodily harm.

Mrs. Greyfur: Don't worry, I'll let you pick. Come on, let's go!

Thumbelina: Can I take my guitar? I'll finish building it!

Mrs. Greyfur: Of course!

Thumbelina: Goodbye, mother dearest! *Insert swear word of your choice here!*

The journey to Mrs. Greyfur's house is equally long and boring, so I'll skip to after Thumbelina arrives. She spent the days learning to sew, dance, and cook; she spent her nights bandaging her fingers, putting Flexall on her sore muscles, and icing down her burns. Mrs. Greyfur brought mouse after mouse to meet her, but six inches is tall for a mouse and they were all afraid of Thumbelina. She finished her guitar and played it every chance she got, and she never forgot to threaten each suitor with severe bodily harm. Thumbelina was quite the pioneer, and she had taught herself kung fu during the times the glue holding her guitar together was drying. No mouse lasted more than ten minutes. It got so bad that they almost ran out of suitors. Mrs Greyfur wracked her brains for hours before realizing she only had one more option.

The final suitor came on a day when Thumbelina was suffering from Perilously Moody Spasms, and she was in no mood to see him. When he announced himself by knocking on the door to her room, he was greeted by an ear-blasting deathmetal anthem. He didn't catch all of the words, but "get out", "broken neck", and "I hate your guts" seemed to be amazingly overused.

"Thumbelina!" he said. "I'm the last suitor!" The grunge stopped. The door opened.

"I am NOT marrying an amphibian!" Thumbelina screamed, then she slammed the door shut. The whole mousehole shook, and dust fell on the lumpy head of the toad outside.

"You have to!" he announced smugly. "I'm the last suitor!" You probably wonder why this is so important. Well, Mrs. Greyfur and Mrs. Thumbling had decided that if Thumbelina wouldn't pick, than one of them would choose a husband. No other mouse or man dared to stick around, so this toad was the only choice.

"I don't care!" Thumbelina cried, as much to her mother and Mrs. Greyfur as to the toad. "I am NOT marrying an amphibian!"

And as it turned out, she didn't. At that moment, Thumbelina's room spontaneously combusted.

Thumbelina herself was blown out an air shaft into a tree, where a robin later saved her. The toad and Mrs. Greyfur tried to come after her, but they couldn't fly. It all worked out in the end, though.

Thumbelina had saved her guitar and built herself an amp. The robin told her about a newt she used to date who played bass, and the newt had a spider friend who played drums and knew a frog who played keyboard. Thumbelina pulled them all together, and they formed a rock band called Foxglove. After about fifty number-one hits, all four of them moved to Hollywood to record. Hollywood was only a small town and the only recording equipment was a tin phonograph and an old cassette deck, but Foxglove made it big despite the ancient formatting. When mp3s finally hit, their album was number one on iTunes for a month. Thumbelina solved her height problems with hormone therapy and married the first rapper ever, which is saying something about how long ago this story was. Foxglove broke up after 40 years, since the newt and his old girlfriend the robin got back together and wanted to get married and raise a family, but they made millions off of reunion tours every ten years or so.

Everyone in this story ends up happy and rich- except for Mrs. Greyfur. She got eaten by a cat. This cat later died, and in its place its owner (a prince from the same country that Mr. Thumbling's girlfriend the stepsister came from) got a toad. It was the toad from a few paragraphs ago, so he came out all right. Even Thumbelina's mother made it big. She got twenty percent of all Foxglove profits and used the money to open a casino in what would soon become Las Vegas.

With an ending like that, I guess you could say they all lived happily ever after.

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