Once upon a time, there were a mother and father who had a child who was so tiny that they called him Patufet. One day Mum was in the middle of cooking and she said, “Oh dear. I have no saffron.” Patufet said, “Mum, I can go and get saffron.” “No, no Patufet, you are too small and people might step on you like a chickpea.” “But Mum,” said Patufet, “I will sing all the time and if they can’t see me, at least they will hear me.” No Patufet said his mum. But Patufet insisted and insisted so eventually his mum gave him a coin and told him to go to Josep’s shop. Down the street went the stubborn child, wearing his clogs, hat and velvet trousers, singing, “Patim, patim, patum, tall people, watch your step, please don’t stand on Patufet! patim, patim, patum.” As he sang, Patufet got to Josep’s shop, the best shop in town. Hey hey Who’s there? I want a coin’s worth of saffron. The shop owner looked all round. Hey hey Who’s there? I want a coin’s worth of saffron. The shop owner looked all round. Hey can’t you see me. I’m sick of shouting. Serve me please. A coin’s worth of saffron. The shopkeeper looked round again and saw a coin moving round near the floor. He picked it up and replaced it with a paper twist of saffron. As soon as Patufet had the saffron, he headed for home, leaving behind the confused shopkeeper. “Patim, patim, patum, tall people, watch your step, please don’t stand on Patufet! patim, patim, patum.” The people in the street were frightened because they couldn’t see who was singing but they could see the little packet of saffron floating down the street like it was rolling on a ball. Patufet’s mum was amazed when he arrived with the saffron. Patufet asked Mum, “Let me take dad’s lunch to him?” “No, no son. The basket is too heavy and there is still snow on the ground.”
Patufet said, “But, I want to take his lunch.” Patufet asked and asked and eventually his mum said, “OK, just to keep you quiet, take the basket and you can go.” Patufet was very strong and he picked the basket up like it was light as a feather. He put it on his shoulder and off he went singing, “Patim, patim, patum, tall people, watch your step, please don’t stand on Patufet! patim, patim, patum.” As he went out of the village, people closed their doors and windows and the workers in the fields fled as they saw a basket walking along like a snail. Half way there, Patufet stopped by a vegetable field to rest for a while but it started to rain. Patufet hid under a cabbage so he wouldn’t get wet. A lost ox wandered along and ate the cabbage in one bite and along with the cabbage, went Patufet with his clogs, hat and velvet trousers. Later Patufet’s mum and dad were out looking for him. They found the basket in the sun by a field. They shouted, “Patufet, Patufet, where are you?” Patufet answered, “I’m in the stomach of the ox, where it doesn’t rain or snow.” As they couldn’t hear him, his parents continued to shout, “Patufet, Patufet where are you?” Patufet answered, “I’m in the stomach of the ox, where it doesn’t rain or snow.” Well, kids, guess what happened when his parents found out where he was. Well, they started to give the ox lots and lots of food and the ox swelled bigger and bigger. The ox had so much to eat that in the end it went POP and fast as lightning out popped Patufet! Just like nothing had ever happened. Everybody lived happily ever after.