Thumbelina lived in a small cottage with her father and two brothers at the edge of the village. Their cottage was covered in roses and you could hear a large amount of bees buzzing around it each day. Next to their cottage was their honeyfarm, where all the bees feasting around their cottage lived and made the most delicious honey the villagers had ever tasted. This was actually quite a financially rewarding side- business for Thumbelina's family as they sold honey to the other villagers that kept buying more and more of it due to the addicting taste it had. Splendid.
Behind their cottage and the honeyfarm there was a forest. The villagers did not dare go into it for all the horror stories they had heard of some kind of beast living there, in the midst of the trees...
But Thumbelina was not like the other villagers. She was not scared at all. She actually doubted strongly that the horror stories were even true and she believed they were just based on someone's strong imagination and good talent in spreading rumors that escalated into stories of this mysterious beast. Thumbelina was also a very curious and determined person, which led to her wanting to prove that this beast was not real and that it was safe to move around in the forest. So one day, while her father and brothers were working on new shoes in the back room of their cottage and she was supposed to be taking care of the honeyfarm, Thumbelina sneaked out and ran past the honeyfarm to the edge of the forest.
There she paused for a second to peer inside and look around for a path of some kind. And she found one. She turned around to look at the village for one last time, confidently telling herself she would return and nothing bad would happen to her during this adventure. The village looked so small and empty from this distance.
Her eyes glazed around for a moment until they ended up staring at her father's shoeshop...
"Argh!" she said with a frustrated tone in her voice, looked at the shoes she was wearing- and just to be rebellious she took them off her feet and threw them towards the village. And then, she turned back to face the forest, took a deep breath and headed towards the path she had spotted in the midst of the trees.
The forest was beautiful. Thumbelina couldn't stop smiling as she looked around, while walking even deeper into it. So many beautiful trees, leaves, bushes, berries, fungus, rocks and colours. The sun glistening through the trees was like a cherry on top of a bowl of ice cream for Thumbelina. She was loving every minute of walking inside this wonderland.
"SNAP"...sioghshgl (the sound of something scrambling around!) Thumbelina was sure she heard something moving around in the bushes near her. She froze. "What was that?" she wondered, feeling a bit uncomfortable. It wasn't something big for sure, because the sound wasn't that loud and scary to have come from some kind of giant beast.
Maybe it was a bird? Or a rabbit?
"Nah.." There's nothing to be afraid of", said Thumbelina and continued walking up the path- higher and deeper into the forest.
"I don't believe in this mysterious beast everyone is talking about." I don't believe in this beast..", she kept repeating to herself.
oh well...at least she wasn't scared. But she might have a reason to be..?
"ashfighdgl" (something rustling in the trees above Thumbelinas head). Thumbelina looked up and was startled! She definitely thought she had seen something..or SOMEONE in the tree nearby..but there was no sight of any such creature anymore. She didn't know what to think, so she kept going- now feeling a little uneasy about being there all by herself..
30 minutes had passed and Thumbelina was feeling a lot more comfortable now. She was still enjoying her surroundings and walking around barefoot. Although she did feel like something was following her, or looking at her, but she wasn't sure if that was just her racing imagination, so she tried not to pay attention to that feeling. But should she?
Thumbelina had walked for a few hours now and felt like this was far enough. No villager would probably even walk farther than this if they decided to come inside the forest. Still no sight of this beast from all the horror stories. Let's not forget the small signs of one's existence though...
So, Thumbelina decided to head back the same way she came from- following the same path.
Taking in all the beauty around her and enjoying the freedom she felt inside, she kept walking. No sounds of an animal of any kind. No more scrambling in the bushes or glimpses of human-like creatures in the trees. She felt very good and brave. And as she got closer and closer to the end of the forest and nearer to her village, she started planning a speech for the other villagers. She wanted to tell them about the true safety of this forest, about the beauty of the nature inside and how walking around inside it was a blessing for one's soul.
Thumbelina paused at the edge of the path to look back into the forest and let it all sink in for a moment.
"Ah, I love this." she said to herself sighing with relief and enjoyment.
She was almost out of the forest when she heard a "SNAP" behind her. Thumbelina froze. A million thoughts raced through her head and she didn't know weather to turn around and see what caused that sound or to keep walking and forget it. But Thumbelina's curiosity took hold of her and she had to turn around and look.
And there a few meters from where she was standing was this mysterious human- like creature. Not big and not small, but scary just the same. It looked at her with gleaming eyes and a grin like no other. Thumbelina shivered.
The "snap" sound came from a peace of wood the creature was bending. And Thumbelina could just see the strength this creature had in its arms and legs. Her heart was beating so fast and she wanted to run, but was still in shock and due to that- still stood there staring back into the eyes of this creature.
And that was enough for Thumbelina. She broke out of her shock, turned around and ran. Ran as fast as she could out of the forest, past the honeyfarm and straight into her family's cottage, faked she was sick, went to bed and closed her eyes.
"This was just a dream. Just a dream." she tried to convince herself. Failing at it.
And so, Thumbelina never visited the forest again, never talked about it with anyone and made sure she never even looked at it, scared of meeting the eyes of the "beast".
Happy to be safe and alive, wearing the same stupid shoes her father wanted her to wear and taking care of the honeyfarm was all she needed for now. Everything was okay. Her father's business was shining, honey was even more delicious than ever and life was to be enjoyed.