The story Thumbelina, by Hans Christian Andersen, has inspired me for as long as I can remember. When we are young, the world is so big and magical and I think you lose some of that when you grow up. I like to imagine a place where everything is still a little unknown, and there is so much left to discover. Stories like Thumbelina help you to see your own commonplace world with fresh eyes and you can begin to appreciate just how amazing the world really is. It's like being a child again in many ways, and capturing that sense of wonder about the world around us. In the story there is a particular passage that always captures my imagination:
During the whole summer poor little Tiny lived quite alone in the wide forest. She wove herself a bed with blades of grass, and hung it up under a broad leaf, to protect herself from the rain. She sucked the honey from the flowers for food, and drank the dew from their leaves every morning. So passed away the summer and the autumn, and then came the winter,— the long, cold winter. All the birds who had sung to her so sweetly were flown away, and the trees and the flowers had withered. -Hans Christian Andersen (1835)
To me, this part of the story was the most interesting. I couldn't help but imagine all of the adventures Thumbelina had on her own living in the forest. How a world that we know so well could become so different if we were miniature like her. How would she handle everyday problems? What creatures could she befriend? What places would she visit? All of these questions led me to create my own version of Thumbelina's adventures in the wood.