When you arrive at the lily pad pond and see how enormous the lily pads are–well–you feel small. You probably feel like Thumbelina. Your mouth gapes open and no one says a word. The guide is still talking but you’ve stopped listening. All your senses have gone to focusing on what’s in front of you. Unless it’s a normal part of your day to gaze at gigantic lily pads then you are ogling over such a spectacle as these. I mean look at the picture. How many of you have even read this far?
So I was wondering what poor Thumbelina thought when Mrs. Frog sat her upon the lily pad and told her she must stay there until she agreed to marry her ugly son. Apparently, the fish sided with Thumbelina cause they had seen frog boy many times. Mrs. Frog had kidnapped poor Thumbelina and hoped she would marry the poor boy.
Do you know how Thumbelina was born? Was she born in the lily pad?
The fish began to eat the roots that held the lily pad in place. Once the lily pad was free, it drifted on down the stream. Do any of you know the rest of the story? Shame on you if you don’t. And more importantly–do your children know?
Thumbelina is a fairy tale written by Hans Christian Anderson. It was published in 1835 and was not well received at the time. Thumbelina was almost forced in to marriage not once but twice. First to a frog and second to a mole. She rescued a bird and then the bird rescued her. The bird carried her away to her prince. The bird then flew to the windowsill of Hans Christian Anderson and tweeted to him while the fairy tales were being written.
What’s not so obvious above is the illustrator’s name which is Thomas Vilhelm Pedersen. He was the first to illustrate Anderson’s fairy tales. Anderson’s tales had been published prior to Vilhelm’s works but were made much more popular as they were added. Today the two are inseparable. They are part of an original 5 volume book with 125 illustrations. Vilhelm died at age 39 but his work has made the lily pad more famous than any other artist.
Here you see the giant lily pads at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Raleigh, North Carolina? Do you think of Vilhelm’s Thumbelina when you see a lily pad?