グリム童話集：親指トム(TOM THUMB) 一部引用
A poor woodman sat in his cottage one night, smoking his pipe by the fireside, while his wife sat by his side spinning.
How lonely it is, wife,' said he, as he puffed out a long curl of smoke, 'for you and me to sit here by ourselves, without any children to play about and amuse us while other people seem so happy and merry with their children!'
What you say is very true,' said the wife, sighing, and turning round her wheel; 'how happy should I be if I had but one child! If it were ever so small--nay, if it were no bigger than my thumb--I should be very happy, and love it dearly.'
sign［自動詞］ため息をつく, but［副詞］ただ〜だけ, nay［副詞］というよりもむしろ, thumb［名詞］親指
Now--odd as you may think it--it came to pass that this good woman's wish was fulfilled, just in the very way she had wished it; for, not long afterwards, she had a little boy, who was quite healthy and strong, but was not much bigger than my thumb.
odd［形容詞］奇妙な, come to pass:起こる､実現する
So they said, 'Well, we cannot say we have not got what we wished for, and, little as he is, we will love him dearly.'
And they called him Thomas Thumb.
They gave him plenty of food, yet for all they could do he never grew bigger, but kept just the same size as he had been when he was born.
plenty of 〜:たくさんの〜, for all〜:〜にもかかわらず
Still, his eyes were sharp and sparkling, and he soon showed himself to be a clever little fellow, who always knew well what he was about.
One day, as the woodman was getting ready to go into the wood to cut fuel, he said, 'I wish I had someone to bring the cart after me, for I want to make haste.'
wood［名詞］森, fuel［名詞］燃料, cart［名詞］荷馬車, make haste:急ぐ
'Oh, father,' cried Tom, 'I will take care of that; the cart shall be in the wood by the time you want it.'
take care of 〜：〜を引き受ける
Then the woodman laughed, and said, 'How can that be? you cannot reach up to the horse's bridle.'
Never mind that, father,' said Tom; 'if my mother will only harness the horse, I will get into his ear and tell him which way to go.'
'Well,' said the father, 'we will try for once.'
When the time came the mother harnessed the horse to the cart, and put Tom into his ear; and as he sat there the little man told the beast how to go, crying out, 'Go on!' and 'Stop!' as he wanted: and thus the horse went on just as well as if the woodman had driven it himself into the wood.
as well as：〜と同様に
It happened that as the horse was going a little too fast, and Tom was calling out, 'Gently! gently!' two strangers came up.
it happened that：たまたま, gently:そっと, stranger［名詞］よそ者, come up：やって来る
What an odd thing that is!' said one: 'there is a cart going along, and I hear a carter talking to the horse, but yet I can see no one.'
'That is queer, indeed,' said the other; 'let us follow the cart, and see where it goes.'
So they went on into the wood, till at last they came to the place where the woodman was.
Then Tom Thumb, seeing his father, cried out, 'See, father, here I am with the cart, all right and safe! now take me down!'
So his father took hold of the horse with one hand, and with the other took his son out of the horse's ear, and put him down upon a straw, where he sat as merry as you please.