Hop o' My Thumb

Hop o' My Thumb

Infobox Folk tale
Folk_Tale_Name = Hop o' My Thumb

Image_Caption = Illustration by Gustave Doré
Mythology =
Country = France
Region =
Origin_Date =
Published_In = "The Blue Fairy Book"
Related = "The Lost Children" "Hansel and Gretel"

"Hop o' My Thumb" (French: "Le Petit Poucet") is a literary fairy tale by Charles Perrault (1628-1703). At the age of 67, Perrault decided to dedicate himself to his children and published "Tales and Stories of the Past with Morals" ("Histoires, ou Contes du Temps passé") (1697), with the subtitle: "Tales of Mother Goose" ("Les Contes de ma Mère l'Oye"). Other tales in Perrault's collection include "Cendrillon" ("Cinderella") and "La Belle au bois dormant" ("Sleeping Beauty"). The publication of Perrault's "Histoires" made him suddenly widely-known beyond his own circles and marked the beginnings of a new literary genre, the fairy tale. Like Andersen's "Thumbelina" and the English folk hero, "Tom Thumb", "Le Petit Poucet" is the tale of a tiny human being. Andrew Lang included it as "Little Thumb" in "The Blue Fairy Book" (1889). [Andrew Lang, [http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/hopomythumb/index.html "Hop O' My Thumb"] "The Blue Fairy Book" New York: Dover, 1965]

It is Aarne-Thompson type 327B, the small boy defeats the ogre. [Heidi Anne Heiner, [http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/hopomythumb/other.html "Tales Similar to Hop O' My Thumb"] ] This type of fairy tale, in the French oral tradition, is often combined with motifs from the type 327A, similar to "Hansel and Gretel"; one such tale is "The Lost Children". [Paul Delarue, "The Borzoi Book of French Folk-Tales", p 365, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York 1956]


Hop o' My Thumb (Le Petit Poucet) is the youngest of seven children in a poor woodcutter's family. His greater wisdom compensates for his smallness of size. When the children are abandoned by their parents, he finds a variety of means to save his life and the lives of his brothers. After being threatened and pursued by a giant, Poucet steals the magic "seven-league boots" from the sleeping giant.


*Hop o' My Thumb, his brothers, and the ogre appear in the final act of Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beauty Ballet".

ee also

*Molly Whuppie
*Hansel and Gretel


External links

* [http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/perrault.html Sur la Lune: Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hop-o'-my-thumb — Hop thumb Hop thumb , n. A very diminutive person. [Colloq.] liwell. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hop o' My Thumb — also Little Thumb a French ↑fairy tale (=a children s story in which magical things happen) . Hop o My Thumb is the youngest of seven children, and he protects his brothers and sisters after their parents leave them in the forest because they… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • hop-o'-my-thumb — /hop euh muy thum /, n. a very small person, as a midget or dwarf. [1520 30; n. use of impv. phrase hop on my thumb] * * * …   Universalium

  • hop-o'-my-thumb — [häp′ō mī thum΄] n. [earlier hop on my thombe < HOP1] a very small person; midget …   English World dictionary

  • hop-o'-my-thumb — noun Etymology: earlier hop on my thumb, imperative issued to one supposedly small enough to be held in the hand Date: 1530 a very small person …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hop-o'-my-thumb — /ˌhɒp ə maɪ ˈθʌm/ (say .hop uh muy thum) noun a tiny person …   Australian-English dictionary

  • hop-o'-my-thumb — |häpəmə̇|thəm, ˌmī| noun (plural hop o my thumbs) : a very diminutive person : dwarf, pygmy …   Useful english dictionary

  • hop-o'-my-thumb — n. Dwarf, pygmy …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • Hop-thumb — Hop o my thumb Hop o my thumb , Hop thumb Hop thumb , n. A very diminutive person. [Colloq.] liwell. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hop-thumb — n. See {Hop o my thumb}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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