Dad’s very tall and has got mad black hair that he has to brush really hard to keep tidy for work. Robert’s 19 and not very tall and has big brown eyes and a big nose and a big mouth full of big teeth. Tudor is seven and looks like dad, with mad hair that sticks up, and huge feet, so everyone says he’s going to grow tall. He has the naughtiest grin in the world and gets away with murder. Granny Dido is strong and healthy, even though she’s short, and ancient, 64 years old. She looks really pretty in her old wedding photos.

My face is exactly the same as my mum’s. My dad says this is lucky because my mum was so pretty. People say I’m a changeling left by the fairies, and not a Thimble at all. But they’re joking. They remember my mum and say I look just like her.

We all live together in Hay village, Haystack county, Transylvania, Romania, Europe, the World. Hay is a village high up in the mountains. Our house is old and made of wood, but it’s warm in winter and full of things that have stories. Granny tells us all the stories so we know about our family from the rugs and the pictures and the books and the traditional costumes.

Hay is a long way from any shops. Dad works at the paper factory in Raznesti and goes there by car every day. We have a horse and cart, too. The horse is called Fana and she works very hard for us. Fana doesn’t frighten me although her teeth are HUGE! She’s very gentle.

thimble family, iillustration by Andreea Chele
(L-R) Our neighbour Mr Gethin, Robert, Tudor, me, Granny Dido, Dad. (This pic has got nonsense words above it because I pinched if from the publishers before it was ready…)

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