It's usually presented as a very little kid the size of a rice grain, wearing a big red barretina so that his parents can better spot him around the place. He is curious and mischievous, until one day he decides to show the world that he's useful and reliable (according to some versions Patufet was good-natured and hard-working from the beginning).
The first task he sets about to do is to go to the shop to buy some saffron. Since people can't see him because he's so small, he avoids being trodden on by singing,
(Patim patam patum/ Men and women who come towards me/ Patim patam patum/ Don't tread on Patufet). The people he meets only see a coin that walks and sings but he manages to accomplish his task. Afterwards he decides to go to the farm fields to take lunch to his father. But Patufet is not lucky this time and gets eaten by an ox.
His parents go about looking for him, calling "Patufeeet, on eeets?" (Patufeeet, where are youuu?) and he replies from inside the ox,
(I'm in the ox's tummy/ Where it doesn't snow or rain./ When the ox farts/ Patufet will get out). After a while they hear Patufet's little voice and his mother feeds the ox with herbs that make it fart faster.
This tale can be considered a coming of age symbol (see References). En Patufet was also the title of an influential children's magazine in Catalan published from 1904 to 1938, and again from 1968 to 1973.
Today patufet is a familiar word in Catalan for a very little kid or for a children's publication.
In The Triplets series there was a chapter about the "Patufet".
Pitufos, the Spanish name for the Smurfs, comes from Patufet.