Once upon a time . . . there lived a woman who had no children. She dreamed of having a little girl, but time went by, and her dream never came true. She then went to visit a witch, who gave her a magic grain of barley.The woman softly kissed its half-shut petals. And as though by magic, the flower opened in full blossom. Inside sat a tiny girl, no bigger than a thumb. The woman called her Thumbelina.