Thumbelina, she’s the size of a dime and the beauty of a queen. She’s sought after by every soul to see the tiniest perfection.
Yet, all she wants to do is fly. Soar through the clouds, walk up onto that elusive cloud path that she daydreams at every day. Where it looks to be a billowy cloud staircase to heaven.
She sneaks out the window and enters the small hole she had been cutting in the side of the aluminum storm drain. The echo of her tiny ballerina slippers on the thin metal is heard by no one except the wood beetles scurrying beneath her home.
Lina doesn’t want to run away from her family, she just wants to see the world from higher than anyone else can. She can only ever see from someone else’s palm, shoulder, or just the plain old floor.
She lands with hardly a thumb in the dirt among the sweet-scented grasses. An army of ants rumbles the ground beneath her smaller-than-pin-point feet. An earthworm bursts free from between pebbles the size of Lina’s head. The sections of his body creaked as he turned to examine her. The remainder of his body crashing just beside her, she pictured for a second how quickly she would be crushed under his weight before she allowed her feet to take her off running.
Lina ran for her life, suddenly regretting her decision to escape the home that seemed so suffocating but now so safe compared to this world. She missed the dollhouse prepared meticulously by her mother, the soap dish hot tub baths made by her sister, and the perfectly portioned steak meals cut on a pop tab plate by her father.
What had once been crushing the individuality from her now seemed to be the only thing that could save her. A tornado-like wind smashed over her as a bird swooped down and plucked the worm up and away. Saving Thumbelina but also making her aware of much larger foes. With the immediate danger of the earthworm gone, Lina stopped running to catch her breath. She looked back, and the house seemed just as close as it had been when she ran so far to exhaust her lungs of air.
There was no way she would get any; further, Lina sighed in defeat and turned around to walk back home. She was too small. Too insignificant to get very far, let alone the mystical clouds in the sky.
A buzz of a bumblebee above Lina distracted her negative thoughts. She glanced up in time to see the stripped body clumsily fly overhead. It drew her sight to a tall past time dandelion. The yellow of the once beautiful flower was faded to leave behind the bones of the seeds. The stem was twisted around itself, grown most unnaturally. As if caught in a vice and turned every centimeter of growth. It swayed in the breeze as if calling her name. Line climbed the exotic twist of the dandelion stem.
A freak of nature, just as she is. The scent of the woodsy weed was comparable to the woodstove her father burnt in the winter. A familiar, homey smell mixed with nature’s fragrance. When she reached the top of the flower, she pushed aside the ghost-like pedals to stand in the center. Caught in a jailhouse made of dandelion seeds, like the jailhouse of the enormous world that held her to the confines of her home.
Lina sighed and leaned against the dead bones of the pedals. The once elegant sun-flower yellow of the weed was now nothing more than a moaning corpse in the invisible wind. The seeds suddenly snapped free from their flower roots. Lina had only a millisecond to wrap her arms around one before it was whisked up into the wind.
Her tiny dress was the same length as the seed stem, her hair the same pale white blonde. The black of the bulb the same color of her lonely heart. There was no one else in the world even remotely close to her size. Lina hugged the seedling as if it were her first real friend. It flew higher, the harder she hugged the dandelion. She poured her heart and dreams into the hug as the breeze whipped the pair toward the clouds.
With the sky growing closer to her above, the field stretched wider below. Showing a fantastic length of the world beneath her, one she had never imagined. Even the books her parents had taught her held no bearing on the real beauty of the earth beneath her. Never had Lina believed such elegant beauty in something so simple as the lines of a farmer’s fields. Grasses rolled into giant marshmallows, yellow as the sun. Lina wished she could smell it, but there was no steering of the seedling.
Up and up she went, the houses grew smaller, animals looked like toys, and Lina grew fearful of the fall that could happen at any moment.
The dandelion drifted up. Closer to the soft pillows of clouds, wispy promises floating in the sky. It bounced from cushion to cushion. Breaking through the secret entryway in the air until finally Lina drifted above the walkway made of clouds and saw the sun. Crystal-like rays, jewelry made of flickering gold. The brilliance of warmth and rainbows danced among the cloudy world above her own.
A cottage sat to her left. The breeze died down, and Lina gasped in fear, but the seedling of her fairy-like ride landed her gently on the clouds below her feet. She stepped lightly and bounced quickly from pillow top to pillow top. The air was thinner, and Lina danced effortlessly across the narrow space between her and the perfect looking cabin.
The soft beige and browns painted on the sides reminded Lina of her home back on the ground. But the door to this cabin was smaller. Made entirely for her own size. Her feet landed on the front entrance, and the handle fits perfectly in the palm of her hand.
Lina opened the door to a floral carpeted one-room cabin. A single chair with a man that couldn’t have possibly fit inside the cabin was rocking. His hair was red as fire and his face gentle as a child but handsome as any man she had seen.
“Hello, Thumbelina,” he said in such a gentleman manner that Lina blushed. Her heart fell for him. He was a perfect man in every way. Not the size of a human man like her father was, but larger than Thumbelina was. He stood, with open arms, his smile welcoming and warm. Lina walked into his arms as if they were home itself. The love she felt was engulfing, wrapping her like a comfortable blanket.
A tear fell from her eye as the man too large for her, the cabin or the clouds, drifted back down to her home with her lovingly held in his arms.
“Not everything that seems too big for you is impossible,” he said with compassion.