Once upon a time, there lived a woman who had no children. The woman went to a sorcerer and begged, "I want to raise a pretty baby." The sorcerer then gave her a flower seed. As soon as the seed was planted, a tulip blossomed forth. From the floral leaf, a lovely baby girl who was as short as a thumb was born.
"Mother, how are you?" The baby girl who came out from the flower said hello to her mother with a beautiful voice. The woman was very happy and wanted to give her a pretty name. "A baby who is as short as a thumb...I will name her as Thumbelina."
Thumbelina led a happy life sailing her ship across a pond filled with flowers. But one night, there appeared a horrible-looking toad when Thumbelina was asleep. "She is really a pretty girl. I am going to make her my bride." The toad carried the sleeping girl on his warty back and went to his pond. Thumbelina woke up in the morning, and was so surprised that she could do nothing but weep silently.
She thought that she would rather die than become the wife of a toad. The fish who saw this unhappy event were sympathetic towards the poor girl, and said, "Thumbelina is pitiful. Let's help her." The fish cut the leaf of a lotus flower on which Thumbelina was riding, so that she could run away from the toad. She was roaming around the riverside riding on the leaf of a lotus flower. At that time, a beetle came flying about and spied the top of the head of Thumbelina.
"Uh! She is a very pretty girl. Okay, I am going to make her my friend." The beetle grabbed Thumbelina and flew into the forest. "How about that? She is my friend. Isn't she very pretty?" The beetle bragged about her to his other beetle friends, but they all thought that she was an odd creature. "What? She only has two legs but has no wings like we do. It is really strange."
With his friends making fun of him, the beetle began to dislike Thumbelina. He went away with his friends, leaving the girl alone in the branches. She spent many lonely days eating tree fruits and flowers. "Dear God, please send me to my mother." Thumbelina wandered around the forest shivering from cold and hunger.
After some time, it began to snow. Thumbelina was looking for a place to take shelter when she finally saw a twinkling light. "I am Thumbelina. Please allow me to take a rest in your house." A field mouse woman greeted the girl warmly saying, "Oh my dear, please come in."
The field mouse woman loved Thumbelina as if she were her own daughter. One day, a rich mole from a neighboring burrow came to the house for a holiday. He said, "She is a really pretty girl. It would be good if she became the wife of my son." The field mouse woman was very happy about what the rich mole said. But Thumbelina did not like that haughty fellow. Yet she was unable to reject what the field mouse woman wanted.
Thumbelina was taking a walk sadly in an underground passage, which was actually the house of the mole. At that time, she found a swallow that had fallen on the ground. "Ah, poor swallow. Please gain your strength." Thumbelina nursed the swallow earnestly. Finally, spring came, and the swallow gained strength and was about to leave the underground passage. He said, "Dear Thumbelina, come with me to the flower country where there is nothing but sun and flowers."
She agreed and rode on the back of the swallow to the flower land, where the Prince of the country greeted her saying, "Welcome, Thumbelina! I was waiting for you." There began a great party to welcome the happy girl. The Prince said, "Dear Thumbelina, would you please marry me and become the Queen of the flower country?"
She said, "Yes, I will!" The Prince then gave his royal crown and wings to Thumbelina. To her bird companion she said, "Dear swallow, please deliver this news to my mother." Thereafter, the Prince and Thumbelina led a very happy life in the flower country.