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Title: English Fairy Tales
Author: Jacobs, Joseph, 1854-1916 [Compiler]
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "English Fairy Tales" ***

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By Anonymous



    _Knock at the Knocker on the Door,
    Pull the Bell at the side,_

_Then, if you are very quiet, you will hear a teeny tiny voice say
through the grating "Take down the Key." This you will find at the back:
you cannot mistake it, for it has J. J. in the wards. Put the Key in the
Keyhole, which it fits exactly, unlock the door and WALK IN._



Who says that English folk have no fairy-tales of their own? The present
volume contains only a selection out of some 140, of which I have found
traces in this country. It is probable that many more exist.

A quarter of the tales in this volume, have been collected during the
last ten years or so, and some of them have not been hitherto published.
Up to 1870 it was equally said of France and of Italy, that they
possessed no folk-tales. Yet, within fifteen years from that date, over
1000 tales had been collected in each country. I am hoping that the
present volume may lead to equal activity in this country, and would
earnestly beg any reader of this book who knows of similar tales, to
communicate them, written down as they are told, to me, care of Mr.
Nutt. The only reason, I imagine, why such tales have not hitherto
been brought to light, is the lamentable gap between the governing and
recording classes and the dumb working classes of this country--dumb to
others but eloquent among themselves. It would be no unpatriotic task
to help to bridge over this gulf, by giving a common fund of nursery
literature to all classes of the English people, and, in any case, it
can do no harm to add to the innocent gaiety of the nation.

A word or two as to our title seems necessary. We have called our
stories Fairy Tales though few of them speak of fairies. [Footnote: For
some recent views on fairies and tales _about_ fairies, see Notes.] The
same remark applies to the collection of the Brothers Grimm and to all
the other European collections, which contain exactly the same classes
of tales as ours. Yet our stories are what the little ones mean when
they clamour for "Fairy Tales," and this is the only name which they
give to them. One cannot imagine a child saying, "Tell us a folk-tale,
nurse," or "Another nursery tale, please, grandma." As our book is
intended for the little ones, we have indicated its contents by the name
they use. The words "Fairy Tales" must accordingly be taken to
include tales in which occurs something "fairy," something
extraordinary--fairies, giants, dwarfs, speaking animals. It must
be taken also to cover tales in which what is extraordinary is the
stupidity of some of the actors. Many of the tales in this volume, as
in similar collections for other European countries, are what the
folklorists call Drolls. They serve to justify the title of Merrie
England, which used to be given to this country of ours, and indicate
unsuspected capacity for fun and humour among the unlettered classes.
The story of Tom Tit Tot, which opens our collection, is unequalled
among all other folk-tales I am acquainted with, for its combined sense
of humour and dramatic power.

The first adjective of our title also needs a similar extension of its
meaning. I have acted on Molière's principle, and have taken what was
good wherever I could find it. Thus, a couple of these stories have been
found among descendants of English immigrants in America; a couple of
others I tell as I heard them myself in my youth in Australia. One of
the best was taken down from the mouth of an English Gipsy. I have also
included some stories that have only been found in Lowland Scotch.
I have felt justified in doing this, as of the twenty-one folk-tales
contained in Chambers' "Popular Rhymes of Scotland," no less than
sixteen are also to be found in an English form. With the Folk-tale as
with the Ballad, Lowland Scotch may be regarded as simply a dialect
of English, and it is a mere chance whether a tale is extant in one or
other, or both.

I have also rescued and re-told a few Fairy Tales that only exist
now-a-days in the form of ballads. There are certain indications that
the "common form" of the English Fairy Tale was the _cante-fable_, a
mixture of narrative and verse of which the most illustrious example in
literature is "Aucassin et Nicolette." In one case I have endeavoured to
retain this form, as the tale in which it occurs, "Childe Rowland,"
is mentioned by Shakespeare in _King Lear_, and is probably, as I have
shown, the source of Milton's _Comus_. Late as they have been collected,
some dozen of the tales can be traced back to the sixteenth century, two
of them being quoted by Shakespeare himself.

In the majority of instances I have had largely to rewrite these Fairy
Tales, especially those in dialect, including the Lowland Scotch.
[Footnote: It is perhaps worth remarking that the Brothers Grimm did the
same with their stories. "Dass der Ausdruck," say they in their Preface,
"und die Ausführung des Einzelnen grossentheils von uns herrührt,
versteht sich von selbst." I may add that many of their stories
were taken from printed sources. In the first volume of Mrs. Hunt's
translation, Nos. 12, 18, 19, 23, 32, 35, 42, 43, 44, 69, 77, 78, 83,
89, are thus derived.] Children, and sometimes those of larger
growth, will not read dialect. I have also had to reduce the flatulent
phraseology of the eighteenth-century chap-books, and to re-write in
simpler style the stories only extant in "Literary" English. I have,
however, left a few vulgarisms in the mouths of vulgar people. Children
appreciate the dramatic propriety of this as much as their elders.
Generally speaking, it has been my ambition to write as a good old nurse
will speak when she tells Fairy Tales. I am doubtful as to my success in
catching the colloquial-romantic tone appropriate for such narratives,
but the thing had to be done or else my main object, to give a book of
English Fairy Tales which English children will listen to, would have
been unachieved. This book is meant to be read aloud, and not merely
taken in by the eye.

In a few instances I have introduced or changed an incident. I have
never done so, however, without mentioning the fact in the Notes. These
have been relegated to the obscurity of small print and a back place,
while the little ones have been, perhaps unnecessarily, warned off them.
They indicate my sources and give a few references to parallels and
variants which may be of interest to fellow-students of Folk-lore. It
is, perhaps, not necessary to inform readers who are not fellow-students
that the study of Folk-tales has pretensions to be a science. It has its
special terminology, and its own methods of investigation, by which it
is hoped, one of these days, to gain fuller knowledge of the workings
of the popular mind as well as traces of archaic modes of thought and
custom. I hope on some future occasion to treat the subject of
the English Folk-tale on a larger scale and with all the necessary
paraphernalia of prolegomena and excursus. I shall then, of course,
reproduce my originals with literal accuracy, and have therefore felt
the more at liberty on the present occasion to make the necessary
deviations from this in order to make the tales readable for children.

Finally, I have to thank those by whose kindness in waiving their rights
to some of these stories, I have been enabled to compile this book. My
friends Mr. E. Clodd, Mr. F. Hindes Groome, and Mr. Andrew Lang,
have thus yielded up to me some of the most attractive stories in
the following pages. The Councils of the English and of the American
Folk-lore Societies, and Messrs. Longmans, have also been equally
generous. Nor can I close these remarks without a word of thanks and
praise to the artistic skill with which my friend, Mr. J. D. Batten, has
made the romance and humour of these stories live again in the brilliant
designs with which he has adorned these pages. It should be added that
the dainty headpieces to "Henny Penny" and "Mr. Fox" are due to my old
friend, Mr. Henry Ryland.






Once upon a time there was a woman, and she baked five pies. And when
they came out of the oven, they were that overbaked the crusts were too
hard to eat. So she says to her daughter:

"Darter," says she, "put you them there pies on the shelf, and leave 'em
there a little, and they'll come again."--She meant, you know, the crust
would get soft.

But the girl, she says to herself: "Well, if they'll come again, I'll
eat 'em now." And she set to work and ate 'em all, first and last.

Well, come supper-time the woman said: "Go you, and get one o' them
there pies. I dare say they've come again now."

The girl went and she looked, and there was nothing but the dishes. So
back she came and says she: "Noo, they ain't come again."

"Not one of 'em?" says the mother.

"Not one of 'em," says she.

"Well, come again, or not come again," said the woman "I'll have one for

"But you can't, if they ain't come," said the girl.

"But I can," says she. "Go you, and bring the best of 'em."

"Best or worst," says the girl, "I've ate 'em all, and you can't have
one till that's come again."

Well, the woman she was done, and she took her spinning to the door to
spin, and as she span she sang:

  "My darter ha' ate five, five pies to-day.
  My darter ha' ate five, five pies to-day."

The king was coming down the street, and he heard her sing, but what she
sang he couldn't hear, so he stopped and said:

"What was that you were singing, my good woman?"

The woman was ashamed to let him hear what her daughter had been doing,
so she sang, instead of that:

  "My darter ha' spun five, five skeins to-day.
  My darter ha' spun five, five skeins to-day."

"Stars o' mine!" said the king, "I never heard tell of any one that
could do that."

Then he said: "Look you here, I want a wife, and I'll marry your
daughter. But look you here," says he, "eleven months out of the year
she shall have all she likes to eat, and all the gowns she likes to get,
and all the company she likes to keep; but the last month of the year
she'll have to spin five skeins every day, and if she don't I shall kill

"All right," says the woman; for she thought what a grand marriage that
was. And as for the five skeins, when the time came, there'd be plenty
of ways of getting out of it, and likeliest, he'd have forgotten all
about it.

Well, so they were married. And for eleven months the girl had all she
liked to eat, and all the gowns she liked to get, and all the company
she liked to keep.

But when the time was getting over, she began to think about the skeins
and to wonder if he had 'em in mind. But not one word did he say about
'em, and she thought he'd wholly forgotten 'em.

However, the last day of the last month he takes her to a room she'd
never set eyes on before. There was nothing in it but a spinning-wheel
and a stool. And says he: "Now, my dear, here you'll be shut in
to-morrow with some victuals and some flax, and if you haven't spun five
skeins by the night, your head'll go off."

And away he went about his business.

Well, she was that frightened, she'd always been such a gatless girl,
that she didn't so much as know how to spin, and what was she to do
to-morrow with no one to come nigh her to help her? She sat down on a
stool in the kitchen, and law! how she did cry!

However, all of a sudden she heard a sort of a knocking low down on the
door. She upped and oped it, and what should she see but a small little
black thing with a long tail. That looked up at her right curious, and
that said:

"What are you a-crying for?"

"What's that to you?" says she.

"Never you mind," that said, "but tell me what you're a-crying for."

"That won't do me no good if I do," says she.

"You don't know that," that said, and twirled that's tail round.

"Well," says she, "that won't do no harm, if that don't do no good," and
she upped and told about the pies, and the skeins, and everything.

"This is what I'll do," says the little black thing, "I'll come to your
window every morning and take the flax and bring it spun at night."

"What's your pay?" says she.

That looked out of the corner of that's eyes, and that said: "I'll
give you three guesses every night to guess my name, and if you haven't
guessed it before the month's up you shall be mine."

Well, she thought she'd be sure to guess that's name before the month
was up. "All right," says she, "I agree."

"All right," that says, and law! how that twirled that's tail.

Well, the next day, her husband took her into the room, and there was
the flax and the day's food.

"Now there's the flax," says he, "and if that ain't spun up this night,
off goes your head." And then he went out and locked the door.

He'd hardly gone, when there was a knocking against the window.

She upped and she oped it, and there sure enough was the little old
thing sitting on the ledge.

"Where's the flax?" says he.

"Here it be," says she. And she gave it to him.

Well, come the evening a knocking came again to the window. She upped
and she oped it, and there was the little old thing with five skeins of
flax on his arm.

"Here it be," says he, and he gave it to her.

"Now, what's my name?" says he.

"What, is that Bill?" says she.

"Noo, that ain't," says he, and he twirled his tail.

"Is that Ned?" says she.

"Noo, that ain't," says he, and he twirled his tail.

"Well, is that Mark?" says she.

"Noo, that ain't," says he, and he twirled his tail harder, and away he

Well, when her husband came in, there were the five skeins ready for
him. "I see I shan't have to kill you to-night, my dear," says he;
"you'll have your food and your flax in the morning," says he, and away
he goes.

Well, every day the flax and the food were brought, and every day that
there little black impet used to come mornings and evenings. And all the
day the girl sat trying to think of names to say to it when it came at
night. But she never hit on the right one. And as it got towards the
end of the month, the impet began to look so maliceful, and that twirled
that's tail faster and faster each time she gave a guess.

At last it came to the last day but one. The impet came at night along
with the five skeins, and that said,

"What, ain't you got my name yet?"

"Is that Nicodemus?" says she.

"Noo, t'ain't," that says.

"Is that Sammle?" says she.

"Noo, t'ain't," that says.

"A-well, is that Methusalem?" says she.

"Noo, t'ain't that neither," that says.

Then that looks at her with that's eyes like a coal o' fire, and that
says: "Woman, there's only to-morrow night, and then you'll be mine!"
And away it flew.

Well, she felt that horrid. However, she heard the king coming along the
passage. In he came, and when he sees the five skeins, he says, says he,

"Well, my dear," says he, "I don't see but what you'll have your skeins
ready to-morrow night as well, and as I reckon I shan't have to kill
you, I'll have supper in here to-night." So they brought supper, and
another stool for him, and down the two sat.

Well, he hadn't eaten but a mouthful or so, when he stops and begins to

"What is it?" says she.

"A-why," says he, "I was out a-hunting to-day, and I got away to a place
in the wood I'd never seen before And there was an old chalk-pit. And I
heard a kind of a sort of a humming. So I got off my hobby, and I went
right quiet to the pit, and I looked down. Well, what should there be
but the funniest little black thing you ever set eyes on. And what was
that doing, but that had a little spinning-wheel, and that was spinning
wonderful fast, and twirling that's tail. And as that span that sang:

  "Nimmy nimmy not
  My name's Tom Tit Tot."

Well, when the girl heard this, she felt as if she could have jumped out
of her skin for joy, but she didn't say a word.

Next day that there little thing looked so maliceful when he came for
the flax. And when night came, she heard that knocking against the
window panes. She oped the window, and that come right in on the ledge.
That was grinning from ear to ear, and Oo! that's tail was twirling
round so fast.

"What's my name?" that says, as that gave her the skeins.

"Is that Solomon?" she says, pretending to be afeard.

"Noo, t'ain't," that says, and that came further into the room.

"Well, is that Zebedee?" says she again.

"Noo, t'ain't," says the impet. And then that laughed and twirled that's
tail till you couldn't hardly see it.

"Take time, woman," that says; "next guess, and you're mine." And that
stretched out that's black hands at her.

Well, she backed a step or two, and she looked at it, and then she
laughed out, and says she, pointing her finger at it:


Well, when that heard her, that gave an awful shriek and away that flew
into the dark, and she never saw it any more.


Once upon a time there was a farmer and his wife who had one daughter,
and she was courted by a gentleman. Every evening he used to come and
see her, and stop to supper at the farmhouse, and the daughter used to
be sent down into the cellar to draw the beer for supper. So one evening
she had gone down to draw the beer, and she happened to look up at the
ceiling while she was drawing, and she saw a mallet stuck in one of the
beams. It must have been there a long, long time, but somehow or other
she had never noticed it before, and she began a-thinking. And she
thought it was very dangerous to have that mallet there, for she said
to herself: "Suppose him and me was to be married, and we was to have a
son, and he was to grow up to be a man, and come down into the cellar to
draw the beer, like as I'm doing now, and the mallet was to fall on his
head and kill him, what a dreadful thing it would be!" And she put down
the candle and the jug, and sat herself down and began a-crying.

Well, they began to wonder upstairs how it was that she was so long
drawing the beer, and her mother went down to see after her, and she
found her sitting on the settle crying, and the beer running over the
floor. "Why, whatever is the matter?" said her mother. "Oh, mother!"
says she, "look at that horrid mallet! Suppose we was to be married, and
was to have a son, and he was to grow up, and was to come down to the
cellar to draw the beer, and the mallet was to fall on his head and kill
him, what a dreadful thing it would be!" "Dear, dear! what a dreadful
thing it would be!" said the mother, and she sat her down aside of the
daughter and started a-crying too. Then after a bit the father began to
wonder that they didn't come back, and he went down into the cellar to
look after them himself, and there they two sat a-crying, and the beer
running all over the floor. "Whatever is the matter?" says he. "Why,"
says the mother, "look at that horrid mallet. Just suppose, if our
daughter and her sweetheart was to be married, and was to have a son,
and he was to grow up, and was to come down into the cellar to draw
the beer, and the mallet was to fall on his head and kill him, what a
dreadful thing it would be!" "Dear, dear, dear! so it would!" said the
father, and he sat himself down aside of the other two, and started

Now the gentleman got tired of stopping up in the kitchen by himself,
and at last he went down into the cellar too, to see what they were
after; and there they three sat a-crying side by side, and the beer
running all over the floor. And he ran straight and turned the tap.
Then he said: "Whatever are you three doing, sitting there crying, and
letting the beer run all over the floor?"

"Oh!" says the father, "look at that horrid mallet! Suppose you and our
daughter was to be married, and was to have a son, and he was to grow
up, and was to come down into the cellar to draw the beer, and the
mallet was to fall on his head and kill him!" And then they all started
a-crying worse than before. But the gentleman burst out a-laughing, and
reached up and pulled out the mallet, and then he said: "I've travelled
many miles, and I never met three such big sillies as you three before;
and now I shall start out on my travels again, and when I can find
three bigger sillies than you three, then I'll come back and marry your
daughter." So he wished them good-bye, and started off on his travels,
and left them all crying because the girl had lost her sweetheart.

Well, he set out, and he travelled a long way, and at last he came to a
woman's cottage that had some grass growing on the roof. And the woman
was trying to get her cow to go up a ladder to the grass, and the poor
thing durst not go. So the gentleman asked the woman what she was doing.
"Why, lookye," she said, "look at all that beautiful grass. I'm going to
get the cow on to the roof to eat it. She'll be quite safe, for I shall
tie a string round her neck, and pass it down the chimney, and tie it
to my wrist as I go about the house, so she can't fall off without my
knowing it." "Oh, you poor silly!" said the gentleman, "you should cut
the grass and throw it down to the cow!" But the woman thought it was
easier to get the cow up the ladder than to get the grass down, so she
pushed her and coaxed her and got her up, and tied a string round her
neck, and passed it down the chimney, and fastened it to her own wrist.
And the gentleman went on his way, but he hadn't gone far when the cow
tumbled off the roof, and hung by the string tied round her neck, and
it strangled her. And the weight of the cow tied to her wrist pulled the
woman up the chimney, and she stuck fast half-way and was smothered in
the soot.

Well, that was one big silly.

And the gentleman went on and on, and he went to an inn to stop the
night, and they were so full at the inn that they had to put him in a
double-bedded room, and another traveller was to sleep in the other bed.
The other man was a very pleasant fellow, and they got very friendly
together; but in the morning, when they were both getting up, the
gentleman was surprised to see the other hang his trousers on the knobs
of the chest of drawers and run across the room and try to jump into
them, and he tried over and over again, and couldn't manage it; and the
gentleman wondered whatever he was doing it for. At last he stopped and
wiped his face with his handkerchief. "Oh dear," he says, "I do think
trousers are the most awkwardest kind of clothes that ever were. I can't
think who could have invented such things. It takes me the best part
of an hour to get into mine every morning, and I get so hot! How do you
manage yours?" So the gentleman burst out a-laughing, and showed him how
to put them on; and he was very much obliged to him, and said he never
should have thought of doing it that way.

So that was another big silly.

Then the gentleman went on his travels again; and he came to a village,
and outside the village there was a pond, and round the pond was a crowd
of people. And they had got rakes, and brooms, and pitchforks, reaching
into the pond; and the gentleman asked what was the matter. "Why," they
say, "matter enough! Moon's tumbled into the pond, and we can't rake
her out anyhow!" So the gentleman burst out a-laughing, and told them to
look up into the sky, and that it was only the shadow in the water. But
they wouldn't listen to him, and abused him shamefully, and he got away
as quick as he could.

So there was a whole lot of sillies bigger than them three sillies at
home. So the gentleman turned back home again and married the farmer's
daughter, and if they didn't live happy for ever after, that's nothing
to do with you or me.


There was once upon a time a good man who had two children: a girl by a
first wife, and a boy by the second. The girl was as white as milk, and
her lips were like cherries. Her hair was like golden silk, and it hung
to the ground. Her brother loved her dearly, but her wicked stepmother
hated her. "Child," said the stepmother one day, "go to the grocer's
shop and buy me a pound of candles." She gave her the money; and the
little girl went, bought the candles, and started on her return. There
was a stile to cross. She put down the candles whilst she got over the
stile. Up came a dog and ran off with the candles.

She went back to the grocer's, and she got a second bunch. She came to
the stile, set down the candles, and proceeded to climb over. Up came
the dog and ran off with the candles.

She went again to the grocer's, and she got a third bunch; and just the
same happened. Then she came to her stepmother crying, for she had spent
all the money and had lost three bunches of candles.

The stepmother was angry, but she pretended not to mind the loss. She
said to the child: "Come, lay your head on my lap that I may comb your
hair." So the little one laid her head in the woman's lap, who proceeded
to comb the yellow silken hair. And when she combed the hair fell over
her knees, and rolled right down to the ground.

Then the stepmother hated her more for the beauty of her hair; so she
said to her, "I cannot part your hair on my knee, fetch a billet of
wood." So she fetched it. Then said the stepmother, "I cannot part your
hair with a comb, fetch me an axe." So she fetched it.

"Now," said the wicked woman, "lay your head down on the billet whilst I
part your hair."

Well! she laid down her little golden head without fear; and whist! down
came the axe, and it was off. So the mother wiped the axe and laughed.

Then she took the heart and liver of the little girl, and she stewed
them and brought them into the house for supper. The husband tasted them
and shook his head. He said they tasted very strangely. She gave some
to the little boy, but he would not eat. She tried to force him, but he
refused, and ran out into the garden, and took up his little sister, and
put her in a box, and buried the box under a rose-tree; and every day he
went to the tree and wept, till his tears ran down on the box.

One day the rose-tree flowered. It was spring, and there among the
flowers was a white bird; and it sang, and sang, and sang like an
angel out of heaven. Away it flew, and it went to a cobbler's shop, and
perched itself on a tree hard by; and thus it sang,

  "My wicked mother slew me,
  My dear father ate me,
  My little brother whom I love
  Sits below, and I sing above
    Stick, stock, stone dead."

"Sing again that beautiful song," asked the shoemaker. "If you will
first give me those little red shoes you are making." The cobbler gave
the shoes, and the bird sang the song; then flew to a tree in front of a
watchmaker's, and sang:

  "My wicked mother slew me,
  My dear father ate me,
  My little brother whom I love
  Sits below, and I sing above
    Stick, stock, stone dead."

"Oh, the beautiful song! sing it again, sweet bird," asked the
watchmaker. "If you will give me first that gold watch and chain in your
hand." The jeweller gave the watch and chain. The bird took it in one
foot, the shoes in the other, and, after having repeated the song, flew
away to where three millers were picking a millstone. The bird perched
on a tree and sang:

  "My wicked mother slew me,
  My dear father ate me,
  My little brother whom I love
  Sits below, and I sing above

Then one of the men put down his tool and looked up from his work,


Then the second miller's man laid aside his tool and looked up,


Then the third miller's man laid down his tool and looked up,


Then all three cried out with one voice: "Oh, what a beautiful song!
Sing it, sweet bird, again." "If you will put the millstone round my
neck," said the bird. The men did what the bird wanted and away to the
tree it flew with the millstone round its neck, the red shoes in one
foot, and the gold watch and chain in the other. It sang the song and
then flew home. It rattled the millstone against the eaves of the house,
and the stepmother said: "It thunders." Then the little boy ran out to
see the thunder, and down dropped the red shoes at his feet. It
rattled the millstone against the eaves of the house once more, and the
stepmother said again: "It thunders." Then the father ran out and down
fell the chain about his neck.

In ran father and son, laughing and saying, "See, what fine things the
thunder has brought us!" Then the bird rattled the millstone against the
eaves of the house a third time; and the stepmother said: "It thunders
again, perhaps the thunder has brought something for me," and she
ran out; but the moment she stepped outside the door, down fell the
millstone on her head; and so she died.


An old woman was sweeping her house, and she found a little crooked
sixpence. "What," said she, "shall I do with this little sixpence? I
will go to market, and buy a little pig."

As she was coming home, she came to a stile: but the piggy wouldn't go
over the stile.

She went a little further, and she met a dog. So she said to the dog:
"Dog! bite pig; piggy won't go over the stile; and I shan't get home
to-night." But the dog wouldn't.

She went a little further, and she met a stick. So she said: "Stick!
stick! beat dog! dog won't bite pig; piggy won't get over the stile; and
I shan't get home to-night." But the stick wouldn't.

She went a little further, and she met a fire. So she said: "Fire! fire!
burn stick; stick won't beat dog; dog won't bite pig; piggy won't get
over the stile; and I shan't get home to-night." But the fire wouldn't.

She went a little further, and she met some water. So she said: "Water,
water! quench fire; fire won't burn stick; stick won't beat dog; dog
won't bite pig; piggy won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home
to-night." But the water wouldn't.

She went a little further, and she met an ox. So she said: "Ox! ox!
drink water; water won't quench fire; fire won't burn stick; stick won't
beat dog; dog won't bite pig; piggy won't get over the stile; and I
shan't get home to-night." But the ox wouldn't.

She went a little further, and she met a butcher. So she said: "Butcher!
butcher! kill ox; ox won't drink water; water won't quench fire; fire
won't burn stick; stick won't beat dog; dog won't bite pig; piggy won't
get over the stile; and I shan't get home to-night." But the butcher

She went a little further, and she met a rope. So she said: "Rope! rope!
hang butcher; butcher won't kill ox; ox won't drink water; water won't
quench fire; fire won't burn stick; stick won't beat dog; dog won't bite
pig; piggy won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home to-night."
But the rope wouldn't.

She went a little further, and she met a rat. So she said: "Rat! rat!
gnaw rope; rope won't hang butcher; butcher won't kill ox; ox won't
drink water; water won't quench fire; fire won't burn stick; stick won't
beat dog; dog won't bite pig; piggy won't get over the stile; and I
shan't get home to-night." But the rat wouldn't.

She went a little further, and she met a cat. So she said: "Cat! cat!
kill rat; rat won't gnaw rope; rope won't hang butcher; butcher won't
kill ox; ox won't drink water; water won't quench fire; fire won't burn
stick; stick won't beat dog; dog won't bite pig; piggy won't get over
the stile; and I shan't get home to-night." But the cat said to her, "If
you will go to yonder cow, and fetch me a saucer of milk, I will kill
the rat." So away went the old woman to the cow.

But the cow said to her: "If you will go to yonder hay-stack, and fetch
me a handful of hay, I'll give you the milk." So away went the old woman
to the haystack and she brought the hay to the cow.

As soon as the cow had eaten the hay, she gave the old woman the milk;
and away she went with it in a saucer to the cat.

As soon as the cat had lapped up the milk, the cat began to kill the
rat; the rat began to gnaw the rope; the rope began to hang the butcher;
the butcher began to kill the ox; the ox began to drink the water; the
water began to quench the fire; the fire began to burn the stick; the
stick began to beat the dog; the dog began to bite the pig; the little
pig in a fright jumped over the stile, and so the old woman got home
that night.


Once on a time there was a boy named Jack, and one morning he started to
go and seek his fortune.

He hadn't gone very far before he met a cat.

"Where are you going, Jack?" said the cat.

"I am going to seek my fortune."

"May I go with you?"

"Yes," said Jack, "the more the merrier."

So on they went, jiggelty-jolt, jiggelty-jolt.

They went a little further and they met a dog.

"Where are you going, Jack?" said the dog.

"I am going to seek my fortune."

"May I go with you?"

"Yes," said Jack, "the more the merrier."

So on they went, jiggelty-jolt, jiggelty-jolt. They went a little
further and they met a goat.

"Where are you going, Jack?" said the goat.

"I am going to seek my fortune."

"May I go with you?"

"Yes," said Jack, "the more the merrier."

So on they went, jiggelty-jolt, jiggelty-jolt.

They went a little further and they met a bull.

"Where are you going, Jack?" said the bull.

"I am going to seek my fortune."

"May I go with you?"

"Yes," said Jack, "the more the merrier."

So on they went, jiggelty-jolt, jiggelty-jolt.

They went a little further and they met a rooster.

"Where are you going, Jack?" said the rooster.

"I am going to seek my fortune."

"May I go with you?"

"Yes," said Jack, "the more the merrier."

So on they went, jiggelty-jolt, jiggelty-jolt.

Well, they went on till it was about dark, and they began to think of
some place where they could spend the night. About this time they came
in sight of a house, and Jack told them to keep still while he went up
and looked in through the window. And there were some robbers counting
over their money. Then Jack went back and told them to wait till he gave
the word, and then to make all the noise they could. So when they were
all ready Jack gave the word, and the cat mewed, and the dog barked, and
the goat bleated, and the bull bellowed, and the rooster crowed, and all
together they made such a dreadful noise that it frightened the robbers
all away.

And then they went in and took possession of the house. Jack was afraid
the robbers would come back in the night, and so when it came time to go
to bed he put the cat in the rocking-chair, and he put the dog under the
table, and he put the goat upstairs, and he put the bull down cellar,
and the rooster flew up on to the roof, and Jack went to bed.

By-and-by the robbers saw it was all dark and they sent one man back to
the house to look after their money. Before long he came back in a great
fright and told them his story.

"I went back to the house," said he, "and went in and tried to sit down
in the rocking-chair, and there was an old woman knitting, and she stuck
her knitting-needles into me." That was the cat, you know.

"I went to the table to look after the money and there was a shoemaker
under the table, and he stuck his awl into me." That was the dog, you

"I started to go upstairs, and there was a man up there threshing, and
he knocked me down with his flail." That was the goat, you know.

"I started to go down cellar, and there was a man down there chopping
wood, and he knocked me up with his axe." That was the bull, you know.

"But I shouldn't have minded all that if it hadn't been for that little
fellow on top of the house, who kept a-hollering, 'Chuck him up to me-e!
Chuck him up to me-e!'" Of course that was the cock-a-doodle-do.


Mr. and Mrs. Vinegar lived in a vinegar bottle. Now, one day, when Mr.
Vinegar was from home, Mrs. Vinegar, who was a very good housewife, was
busily sweeping her house, when an unlucky thump of the broom brought
the whole house clitter-clatter, clitter-clatter, about her ears. In an
agony of grief she rushed forth to meet her husband.

On seeing him she exclaimed, "Oh, Mr. Vinegar, Mr. Vinegar, we are
ruined, I have knocked the house down, and it is all to pieces!" Mr.
Vinegar then said: "My dear, let us see what can be done. Here is
the door; I will take it on my back, and we will go forth to seek our

They walked all that day, and at nightfall entered a thick forest. They
were both very, very tired, and Mr. Vinegar said: "My love, I will climb
up into a tree, drag up the door, and you shall follow." He accordingly
did so, and they both stretched their weary limbs on the door, and fell
fast asleep.

In the middle of the night Mr. Vinegar was disturbed by the sound of
voices underneath, and to his horror and dismay found that it was a band
of thieves met to divide their booty.

"Here, Jack," said one, "here's five pounds for you; here, Bill, here's
ten pounds for you; here, Bob, here's three pounds for you."

Mr. Vinegar could listen no longer; his terror was so great that he
trembled and trembled, and shook down the door on their heads. Away
scampered the thieves, but Mr. Vinegar dared not quit his retreat till
broad daylight.

He then scrambled out of the tree, and went to lift up the door. What
did he see but a number of golden guineas. "Come down, Mrs. Vinegar," he
cried; "come down, I say; our fortune's made, our fortune's made! Come
down, I say."

Mrs. Vinegar got down as fast as she could, and when she saw the money
she jumped for joy. "Now, my dear," said she, "I'll tell you what you
shall do. There is a fair at the neighbouring town; you shall take these
forty guineas and buy a cow. I can make butter and cheese, which
you shall sell at market, and we shall then be able to live very

Mr. Vinegar joyfully agrees, takes the money, and off he goes to the
fair. When he arrived, he walked up and down, and at length saw a
beautiful red cow. It was an excellent milker, and perfect in every
way. "Oh," thought Mr. Vinegar, "if I had but that cow, I should be the
happiest, man alive."

So he offers the forty guineas for the cow, and the owner said that, as
he was a friend, he'd oblige him. So the bargain was made, and he got
the cow and he drove it backwards and forwards to show it.

By-and-by he saw a man playing the bagpipes--Tweedle-dum tweedle-dee.
The children followed him about, and he appeared to be pocketing money
on all sides. "Well," thought Mr. Vinegar, "if I had but that beautiful
instrument I should be the happiest man alive--my fortune would be

So he went up to the man. "Friend," says he, "what a beautiful
instrument that is, and what a deal of money you must make." "Why, yes,"
said the man, "I make a great deal of money, to be sure, and it is a
wonderful instrument." "Oh!" cried Mr. Vinegar, "how I should like to
possess it!" "Well," said the man, "as you are a friend, I don't much
mind parting with it; you shall have it for that red cow." "Done!" said
the delighted Mr. Vinegar. So the beautiful red cow was given for the

He walked up and down with his purchase; but it was in vain he tried
to play a tune, and instead of pocketing pence, the boys followed him
hooting, laughing, and pelting.

Poor Mr. Vinegar, his fingers grew very cold, and, just as he was
leaving the town, he met a man with a fine thick pair of gloves. "Oh,
my fingers are so very cold," said Mr. Vinegar to himself. "Now if I had
but those beautiful gloves I should be the happiest man alive." He went
up to the man, and said to him, "Friend, you seem to have a capital pair
of gloves there." "Yes, truly," cried the man; "and my hands are as warm
as possible this cold November day." "Well," said Mr. Vinegar, "I should
like to have them.". "What will you give?" said the man; "as you are
a friend, I don't much mind letting you have them for those bagpipes."
"Done!" cried Mr. Vinegar. He put on the gloves, and felt perfectly
happy as he trudged homewards.

At last he grew very tired, when he saw a man coming towards him with a
good stout stick in his hand.

"Oh," said Mr. Vinegar, "that I had but that stick! I should then be the
happiest man alive." He said to the man: "Friend! what a rare good stick
you have got." "Yes," said the man; "I have used it for many a long
mile, and a good friend it has been; but if you have a fancy for it,
as you are a friend, I don't mind giving it to you for that pair of
gloves." Mr. Vinegar's hands were so warm, and his legs so tired, that
he gladly made the exchange.

As he drew near to the wood where he had left his wife, he heard a
parrot on a tree calling out his name: "Mr. Vinegar, you foolish man,
you blockhead, you simpleton; you went to the fair, and laid out all
your money in buying a cow. Not content with that, you changed it
for bagpipes, on which you could not play, and which were not worth
one-tenth of the money. You fool, you--you had no sooner got the
bagpipes than you changed them for the gloves, which were not worth
one-quarter of the money; and when you had got the gloves, you changed
them for a poor miserable stick; and now for your forty guineas, cow,
bagpipes, and gloves, you have nothing to show but that poor miserable
stick, which you might have cut in any hedge." On this the bird laughed
and laughed, and Mr. Vinegar, falling into a violent rage, threw the
stick at its head. The stick lodged in the tree, and he returned to his
wife without money, cow, bagpipes, gloves, or stick, and she instantly
gave him such a sound cudgelling that she almost broke every bone in his


There once lived a king and a queen as many a one has been. They were
long married and had no children; but at last a baby-boy came to the
queen when the king was away in the far countries. The queen would not
christen the boy till the king came back, and she said, "We will just
call him _Nix Nought Nothing_ until his father comes home." But it was
long before he came home, and the boy had grown a nice little laddie.
At length the king was on his way back; but he had a big river to cross,
and there was a whirlpool, and he could not get over the water. But a
giant came up to him, and said "I'll carry you over." But the king said:
"What's your pay?" "O give me Nix, Nought, Nothing, and I will carry you
over the water on my back." The king had never heard that his son was
called Nix Nought Nothing, and so he said: "O, I'll give you that and
my thanks into the bargain." When the king got home again, he was very
happy to see his wife again, and his young son. She told him that she
had not given the child any name, but just Nix Nought Nothing, until he
should come home again himself. The poor king was in a terrible case.
He said: "What have I done? I promised to give the giant who carried me
over the river on his back, Nix Nought Nothing." The king and the queen
were sad and sorry, but they said: "When the giant comes we will give
him the hen-wife's boy; he will never know the difference." The next
day the giant came to claim the king's promise, and he sent for the
hen-wife's boy; and the giant went away with the boy on his back. He
travelled till he came to a big stone, and there he sat down to rest. He

"Hidge, Hodge, on my back, what time of day is that?"

The poor little boy said: "It is the time that my mother, the hen-wife,
takes up the eggs for the queen's breakfast."

The Giant was very angry, and dashed the boy's head on the stone and
killed him.

So he went back in a tower of a temper and this time they gave him the
gardener's boy. He went off with him on his back till they got to the
stone again when the giant sat down to rest. And he said:

"Hidge, Hodge, on my back, what time of day do you make that?"

The gardener's boy said: "Sure it's the time that my mother takes up the
vegetables for the queen's dinner." Then the giant was right wild and
dashed his brains out on the stone.

Then the giant went back to the king's house in a terrible temper and
said he would destroy them all if they did not give him Nix Nought
Nothing this time. They had to do it; and when he came to the big stone,
the giant said: "What time of day is that?" Nix Nought Nothing said: "It
is the time that my father the king will be sitting down to supper." The
giant said: "I've got the right one now;" and took Nix Nought Nothing to
his own house and brought him up till he was a man.

The giant had a bonny daughter, and she and the lad grew very fond of
each other. The giant said one day to Nix Nought Nothing: "I've work for
you to-morrow. There is a stable seven miles long and seven miles broad,
and it has not been cleaned for seven years, and you must clean it
to-morrow, or I will have you for my supper."

The giant's daughter went out next morning with the lad's breakfast, and
found him in a terrible state, for always as he cleaned out a bit, it
just fell in again. The giant's daughter said she would help him, and
she cried all the beasts in the field, and all the fowls of the air, and
in a minute they all came, and carried away everything that was in the
stable and made it all clean before the giant came home. He said: "Shame
on the wit that helped you; but I have a worse job for you to-morrow."
Then he said to Nix Nought Nothing: "There's a lake seven miles long,
and seven miles deep, and seven miles broad, and you must drain it
to-morrow by nightfall, or else I'll have you for my supper." Nix Nought
Nothing began early next morning and tried to lave the water with his
pail, but the lake was never getting any less, and he didn't know what
to do; but the giant's daughter called on all the fish in the sea to
come and drink the water, and very soon they drank it dry. When the
giant saw the work done he was in a rage, and said: "I've a worse job
for you to-morrow; there is a tree, seven miles high, and no branch on
it, till you get to the top, and there is a nest with seven eggs in it,
and you must bring down all the eggs without breaking one, or else I'll
have you for my supper." At first the giant's daughter did not know how
to help Nix Nought Nothing; but she cut off first her fingers and then
her toes, and made steps of them, and he clomb the tree and got all the
eggs safe till he came just to the bottom, and then one was broken. So
they determined to run away together and after the giant's daughter had
tidied up her hair a bit and got her magic flask they set out together
as fast as they could run. And they hadn't got but three fields away
when they looked back and saw the giant walking along at top speed after
them. "Quick, quick," called out the giant's daughter, "take my comb
from my hair and throw it down." Nix Nought Nothing took her comb from
her hair and threw it down, and out of every one of its prongs there
sprung up a fine thick briar in the way of the giant. You may be sure it
took him a long time to work his way through the briar bush and by the
time he was well through Nix Nought Nothing and his sweetheart had run
on a tidy step away from him. But he soon came along after them and was
just like to catch 'em up when the giant's daughter called out to Nix
Nought Nothing, "Take my hair dagger and throw it down, quick, quick."
So Nix Nought Nothing threw down the hair dagger and out of it grew as
quick as lightning a thick hedge of sharp razors placed criss-cross. The
giant had to tread very cautiously to get through all this and meanwhile
the young lovers ran on, and on, and on, till they were nearly out of
sight. But at last the giant was through, and it wasn't long before he
was like to catch them up. But just as he was stretching out his hand
to catch Nix Nought Nothing his daughter took out her magic flask and
dashed it on the ground. And as it broke out of it welled a big, big
wave that grew, and that grew, till it reached the giant's waist and
then his neck, and when it got to his head, he was drowned dead, and
dead, and dead indeed. So he goes out of the story.

But Nix Nought Nothing fled on till where do you think they came to?
Why, to near the castle of Nix Nought Nothing's father and mother. But
the giant's daughter was so weary that she couldn't move a step further.
So Nix Nought Nothing told her to wait there while he went and found
out a lodging for the night. And he went on towards the lights of the
castle, and on the way he came to the cottage of the hen-wife whose
boy had had his brains dashed out by the giant. Now she knew Nix Nought
Nothing in a moment, and hated him because he was the cause of her son's
death. So when he asked his way to the castle she put a spell upon him,
and when he got to the castle, no sooner was he let in than he fell down
dead asleep upon a bench in the hall. The king and queen tried all they
could do to wake him up, but all in vain. So the king promised that if
any lady could wake him up she should marry him. Meanwhile the giant's
daughter was waiting and waiting for him to come back. And she went up
into a tree to watch for him. The gardener's daughter, going to draw
water in the well, saw the shadow of the lady in the water and thought
it was herself, and said; "If I'm so bonny, if I'm so brave, why do you
send me to draw water?" So she threw down her pail and went to see if
she could wed the sleeping stranger. And she went to the hen-wife, who
taught her an unspelling catch which would keep Nix Nought Nothing awake
as long as the gardener's daughter liked. So she went up to the castle
and sang her catch and Nix Nought Nothing was wakened for a bit and they
promised to wed him to the gardener's daughter. Meanwhile the gardener
went down to draw water from the well and saw the shadow of the lady in
the water. So he looks up and finds her, and he brought the lady from
the tree, and led her into his house. And he told her that a stranger
was to marry his daughter, and took her up to the castle and showed her
the man: and it was Nix Nought Nothing asleep in a chair. And she saw
him, and cried to him: "Waken, waken, and speak to me!" But he would not
waken, and soon she cried:

  "I cleaned the stable, I laved the lake, and I clomb the tree,
  And all for the love of thee,
  And thou wilt not waken and speak to me."

The king and the queen heard this, and came to the bonny young lady, and
she said:

"I cannot get Nix Nought Nothing to speak to me for all that I can do."

Then were they greatly astonished when she spoke of Nix Nought Nothing,
and asked where he was, and she said: "He that sits there in the chair."
Then they ran to him and kissed him and called him their own dear son;
so they called for the gardener's daughter and made her sing her charm,
and he wakened, and told them all that the giant's daughter had done
for him, and of all her kindness. Then they took her in their arms and
kissed her, and said she should now be their daughter, for their son
should marry her. But they sent for the hen-wife and put her to death.
And they lived happy all their days.


There was an old soldier who had been long in the wars--so long, that
he was quite out-at-elbows, and he did not know where to go to find a
living. So he walked up moors, down glens, till at last he came to a
farm, from which the good man had gone away to market. The wife of the
farmer was a very foolish woman, who had been a widow when he married
her; the farmer was foolish enough, too, and it is hard to say which of
the two was the more foolish. When you've heard my tale you may decide.

Now before the farmer goes to market says he to his wife: "Here is ten
pounds all in gold, take care of it till I come home." If the man had
not been a fool he would never have given the money to his wife to keep.
Well, off he went in his cart to market, and the wife said to herself:
"I will keep the ten pounds quite safe from thieves;" so she tied it up
in a rag, and she put the rag up the parlour chimney.

"There," said she, "no thieves will ever find it now, that is quite

Jack Hannaford, the old soldier, came and rapped at the door.

"Who is there?" asked the wife.

"Jack Hannaford."

"Where do you come from?"


"Lord a' mercy! and maybe you've seen my old man there," alluding to her
former husband.

"Yes, I have."

"And how was he a-doing?" asked the goody.

"But middling; he cobbles old shoes, and he has nothing but cabbage for

"Deary me!" exclaimed the woman. "Didn't he send a message to me?"

"Yes, he did," replied Jack Hannaford. "He said that he was out of
leather, and his pockets were empty, so you were to send him a few
shillings to buy a fresh stock of leather."

"He shall have them, bless his poor soul!" And away went the wife to the
parlour chimney, and she pulled the rag with the ten pounds in it from
the chimney, and she gave the whole sum to the soldier, telling him that
her old man was to use as much as he wanted, and to send back the rest.

It was not long that Jack waited after receiving the money; he went off
as fast as he could walk.

Presently the farmer came home and asked for his money. The wife told
him that she had sent it by a soldier to her former husband in Paradise,
to buy him leather for cobbling the shoes of the saints and angels of
Heaven. The farmer was very angry, and he swore that he had never met
with such a fool as his wife. But the wife said that her husband was a
greater fool for letting her have the money.

There was no time to waste words; so the farmer mounted his horse and
rode off after Jack Hannaford. The old soldier heard the horse's hoofs
clattering on the road behind him, so he knew it must be the farmer
pursuing him. He lay down on the ground, and shading his eyes with one
hand, looked up into the sky, and pointed heavenwards with the other

"What are you about there?" asked the farmer, pulling up.

"Lord save you!" exclaimed Jack: "I've seen a rare sight."

"What was that?"

"A man going straight up into the sky, as if he were walking on a road."

"Can you see him still?"

"Yes, I can."


"Get off your horse and lie down."

"If you will hold the horse."

Jack did so readily.

"I cannot see him," said the farmer.

"Shade your eyes with your hand, and you'll soon see a man flying away
from you."

Sure enough he did so, for Jack leaped on the horse, and rode away with
it. The farmer walked home without his horse.

"You are a bigger fool than I am," said the wife; "for I did only one
foolish thing, and you have done two."


Once upon a time there were two king's daughters lived in a bower near
the bonny mill-dams of Binnorie. And Sir William came wooing the eldest
and won her love and plighted troth with glove and with ring. But after
a time he looked upon the youngest, with her cherry cheeks and golden
hair, and his love grew towards her till he cared no longer for the
eldest one. So she hated her sister for taking away Sir William's love,
and day by day her hate grew upon her, and she plotted and she planned
how to get rid of her.

So one fine morning, fair and clear, she said to her sister, "Let us
go and see our father's boats come in at the bonny mill-stream of
Binnorie." So they went there hand in hand. And when they got to the
river's bank the youngest got upon a stone to watch for the coming of
the boats. And her sister, coming behind her, caught her round the waist
and dashed her into the rushing mill-stream of Binnorie.

"O sister, sister, reach me your hand!" she cried, as she floated away,
"and you shall have half of all I've got or shall get."

"No, sister, I'll reach you no hand of mine, for I am the heir to all
your land. Shame on me if I touch the hand that has come 'twixt me and
my own heart's love."

"O sister, O sister, then reach me your glove!" she cried, as she
floated further away, "and you shall have your William again."

"Sink on," cried the cruel princess, "no hand or glove of mine you'll
touch. Sweet William will be all mine when you are sunk beneath the
bonny mill-stream of Binnorie." And she turned and went home to the
king's castle.

And the princess floated down the mill-stream, sometimes swimming
and sometimes sinking, till she came near the mill. Now the miller's
daughter was cooking that day, and needed water for her cooking. And as
she went to draw it from the stream, she saw something floating towards
the mill-dam, and she called out, "Father! father! draw your dam.
There's something white--a merry maid or a milk-white swan--coming down
the stream." So the miller hastened to the dam and stopped the heavy
cruel mill-wheels. And then they took out the princess and laid her on
the bank.

Fair and beautiful she looked as she lay there. In her golden hair were
pearls and precious stones; you could not see her waist for her golden
girdle; and the golden fringe of her white dress came down over her lily
feet. But she was drowned, drowned!

And as she lay there in her beauty a famous harper passed by the
mill-dam of Binnorie, and saw her sweet pale face. And though he
travelled on far away he never forgot that face, and after many days he
came back to the bonny mill-stream of Binnorie. But then all he could
find of her where they had put her to rest were her bones and her
golden hair. So he made a harp out of her breast-bone and her hair, and
travelled on up the hill from the mill-dam of Binnorie, till he came to
the castle of the king her father.

That night they were all gathered in the castle hall to hear the great
harper--king and queen, their daughter and son, Sir William and all
their Court. And first the harper sang to his old harp, making them joy
and be glad or sorrow and weep just as he liked. But while he sang he
put the harp he had made that day on a stone in the hall. And presently
it began to sing by itself, low and clear, and the harper stopped and
all were hushed.

And this was what the harp sung:

  "O yonder sits my father, the king,
    Binnorie, O Binnorie;
  And yonder sits my mother, the queen;
    By the bonny mill-dams o' Binnorie,

  "And yonder stands my brother Hugh,
    Binnorie, O Binnorie;
  And by him, my William, false and true;
    By the bonny mill-dams o' Binnorie."

Then they all wondered, and the harper told them how he had seen the
princess lying drowned on the bank near the bonny mill-dams o'
Binnorie, and how he had afterwards made this harp out of her hair and
breast-bone. Just then the harp began singing again, and this was what
it sang out loud and clear:

  "And there sits my sister who drownèd me
  By the bonny mill-dams o' Binnorie."

And the harp snapped and broke, and never sang more.


The Mouse went to visit the Cat, and found her sitting behind the hall
door, spinning.

MOUSE. What are you doing, my lady, my lady, What are you doing, my

CAT (_sharply_). I'm spinning old breeches, good body, good body I'm
spinning old breeches, good body.

MOUSE. Long may you wear them, my lady, my lady, Long may you wear them,
my lady.

CAT (_gruffly_). I'll wear' em and tear 'em, good body, good body. I'll
wear 'em and tear 'em, good body.

MOUSE. I was sweeping my room, my lady, my lady, I was sweeping my room,
my lady.

CAT. The cleaner you'd be, good body, good body, The cleaner you'd be,
good body.

MOUSE. I found a silver sixpence, my lady, my lady, I found a silver
sixpence, my lady.

CAT. The richer you were, good body, good body, The richer you were,
good body.

MOUSE. I went to the market, my lady, my lady, I went to the market, my

CAT. The further you went, good body, good body The further you went,
good body.

MOUSE. I bought me a pudding, my lady, my lady, I bought me a pudding,
my lady.

CAT (_snarling_). The more meat you had, good body, good body, The more
meat you had, good body.

MOUSE. I put it in the window to cool, my lady, I put it in the window
to cool.

CAT. (_sharply_). The faster you'd eat it, good body, good body, The
faster you'd eat it, good body.

MOUSE (_timidly_). The cat came and ate it, my lady, my lady, The cat
came and ate it, my lady.

CAT (_pouncingly_). And I'll eat you, good body, good body, And I'll eat
you, good body.

(_Springs upon the mouse and kills it._)


Well, there was once a very rich gentleman, and he'd three daughters,
and he thought he'd see how fond they were of him. So he says to the
first, "How much do you love me, my dear?"

"Why," says she, "as I love my life."

"That's good," says he.

So he says to the second, "How much do _you_ love me, my dear?"

"Why," says she, "better nor all the world."

"That's good," says he.

So he says to the third, "How much do _you_ love me, my dear?"

"Why, I love you as fresh meat loves salt," says she.

Well, he was that angry. "You don't love me at all," says he, "and in
my house you stay no more." So he drove her out there and then, and shut
the door in her face.

Well, she went away on and on till she came to a fen, and there she
gathered a lot of rushes and made them into a kind of a sort of a
cloak with a hood, to cover her from head to foot, and to hide her fine
clothes. And then she went on and on till she came to a great house.

"Do you want a maid?" says she.

"No, we don't," said they.

"I haven't nowhere to go," says she; "and I ask no wages, and do any
sort of work," says she.

"Well," says they, "if you like to wash the pots and scrape the
saucepans you may stay," said they.

So she stayed there and washed the pots and scraped the saucepans and
did all the dirty work. And because she gave no name they called her
"Cap o' Rushes."

Well, one day there was to be a great dance a little way off, and the
servants were allowed to go and look on at the grand people. Cap o'
Rushes said she was too tired to go, so she stayed at home.

But when they were gone she offed with her cap o' rushes, and cleaned
herself, and went to the dance. And no one there was so finely dressed
as her.

Well, who should be there but her master's son, and what should he do
but fall in love with her the minute he set eyes on her. He wouldn't
dance with any one else.

But before the dance was done Cap o' Rushes slipt off, and away she went
home. And when the other maids came back she was pretending to be asleep
with her cap o' rushes on.

Well, next morning they said to her, "You did miss a sight, Cap o'

"What was that?" says she.

"Why, the beautifullest lady you ever see, dressed right gay and ga'.
The young master, he never took his eyes off her."

"Well, I should have liked to have seen her," says Cap o' Rushes.

"Well, there's to be another dance this evening, and perhaps she'll be

But, come the evening, Cap o' Rushes said she was too tired to go with
them. Howsoever, when they were gone, she offed with her cap o' rushes
and cleaned herself, and away she went to the dance.

The master's son had been reckoning on seeing her, and he danced with
no one else, and never took his eyes off her. But, before the dance was
over, she slipt off, and home she went, and when the maids came back
she, pretended to be asleep with her cap o' rushes on.

Next day they said to her again, "Well, Cap o' Rushes, you should ha'
been there to see the lady. There she was again, gay and ga', and the
young master he never took his eyes off her."

"Well, there," says she, "I should ha' liked to ha' seen her."

"Well," says they, "there's a dance again this evening, and you must go
with us, for she's sure to be there."

Well, come this evening, Cap o' Rushes said she was too tired to go, and
do what they would she stayed at home. But when they were gone she offed
with her cap o' rushes and cleaned herself, and away she went to the

The master's son was rarely glad when he saw her. He danced with none
but her and never took his eyes off her. When she wouldn't tell him her
name, nor where she came from, he gave her a ring and told her if he
didn't see her again he should die.

Well, before the dance was over, off she slipped, and home she went, and
when the maids came home she was pretending to be asleep with her cap o'
rushes on.

Well, next day they says to her, "There, Cap o' Rushes, you didn't come
last night, and now you won't see the lady, for there's no more dances."

"Well I should have rarely liked to have seen her," says she.

The master's son he tried every way to find out where the lady was gone,
but go where he might, and ask whom he might, he never heard anything
about her. And he got worse and worse for the love of her till he had to
keep his bed.

"Make some gruel for the young master," they said to the cook. "He's
dying for the love of the lady." The cook she set about making it when
Cap o' Rushes came in.

"What are you a-doing of?", says she.

"I'm going to make some gruel for the young master," says the cook, "for
he's dying for love of the lady."

"Let me make it," says Cap o' Rushes.

Well, the cook wouldn't at first, but at last she said yes, and Cap o'
Rushes made the gruel. And when she had made it she slipped the ring
into it on the sly before the cook took it upstairs.

The young man he drank it and then he saw the ring at the bottom.

"Send for the cook," says he.

So up she comes.

"Who made this gruel here?" says he.

"I did," says the cook, for she was frightened.

And he looked at her,

"No, you didn't," says he. "Say who did it, and you shan't be harmed."

"Well, then, 'twas Cap o' Rushes," says she.

"Send Cap o' Rushes here," says he.

So Cap o' Rushes came.

"Did you make my gruel?" says he.

"Yes, I did," says she.

"Where did you get this ring?" says he.

"From him that gave it me," says she.

"Who are you, then?" says the young man.

"I'll show you," says she. And she offed with her cap o' rushes, and
there she was in her beautiful clothes.

Well, the master's son he got well very soon, and they were to be
married in a little time. It was to be a very grand wedding, and every
one was asked far and near. And Cap o' Rushes' father was asked. But she
never told anybody who she was.

But before the wedding she went to the cook, and says she:

"I want you to dress every dish without a mite o' salt."

"That'll be rare nasty," says the cook.

"That doesn't signify," says she.

"Very well," says the cook.

Well, the wedding-day came, and they were married. And after they were
married all the company sat down to the dinner. When they began to eat
the meat, that was so tasteless they couldn't eat it. But Cap o' Rushes'
father he tried first one dish and then another, and then he burst out

"What is the matter?" said the master's son to him.

"Oh!" says he, "I had a daughter. And I asked her how much she loved me.
And she said 'As much as fresh meat loves salt.' And I turned her from
my door, for I thought she didn't love me. And now I see she loved me
best of all. And she may be dead for aught I know."

"No, father, here she is!" says Cap o' Rushes. And she goes up to him
and puts her arms round him.

And so they were happy ever after.


Once upon a time there was a teeny-tiny woman lived in a teeny-tiny
house in a teeny-tiny village. Now, one day this teeny-tiny woman put
on her teeny-tiny bonnet, and went out of her teeny-tiny house to take
a teeny-tiny walk. And when this teeny-tiny woman had gone a teeny-tiny
way she came to a teeny-tiny gate; so the teeny-tiny woman opened the
teeny-tiny gate, and went into a teeny-tiny churchyard. And when this
teeny-tiny woman had got into the teeny-tiny churchyard, she saw a
teeny-tiny bone on a teeny-tiny grave, and the teeny-tiny woman said to
her teeny-tiny self, "This teeny-tiny bone will make me some teeny-tiny
soup for my teeny-tiny supper." So the teeny-tiny woman put the
teeny-tiny bone into her teeny-tiny pocket, and went home to her
teeny-tiny house.

Now when the teeny-tiny woman got home to her teeny-tiny house she was
a teeny-tiny bit tired; so she went up her teeny-tiny stairs to her
teeny-tiny bed, and put the teeny-tiny bone into a teeny-tiny cupboard.
And when this teeny-tiny woman had been to sleep a teeny-tiny time, she
was awakened by a teeny-tiny voice from the teeny-tiny cupboard, which

"Give me my bone!"

And this teeny-tiny woman was a teeny-tiny frightened, so she hid her
teeny-tiny head under the teeny-tiny clothes and went to sleep again.
And when she had been to sleep again a teeny-tiny time, the teeny-tiny
voice again cried out from the teeny-tiny cupboard a teeny-tiny louder,
"Give me my bone!"

This made the teeny-tiny woman a teeny-tiny more frightened, so she hid
her teeny-tiny head a teeny-tiny further under the teeny-tiny clothes.
And when the teeny-tiny woman had been to sleep again a teeny-tiny
time, the teeny-tiny voice from the teeny-tiny cupboard said again a
teeny-tiny louder,

"Give me my bone!"

And this teeny-tiny woman was a teeny-tiny bit more frightened, but she
put her teeny-tiny head out of the teeny-tiny clothes, and said in her
loudest teeny-tiny voice, "TAKE IT!"


There was once upon a time a poor widow who had an only son named Jack,
and a cow named Milky-white. And all they had to live on was the milk
the cow gave every morning which they carried to the market and sold.
But one morning Milky-white gave no milk and they didn't know what to

"What shall we do, what shall we do?" said the widow, wringing her

"Cheer up, mother, I'll go and get work somewhere," said Jack.

"We've tried that before, and nobody would take you," said his mother;
"we must sell Milky-white and with the money do something, start shop,
or something."

"All right, mother," says Jack; "it's market-day today, and I'll soon
sell Milky-white, and then we'll see what we can do."

So he took the cow's halter in his hand, and off he starts. He hadn't
gone far when he met a funny-looking old man who said to him: "Good
morning, Jack."

"Good morning to you," said Jack, and wondered how he knew his name.

"Well, Jack, and where are you off to?" said the man.

"I'm going to market to sell our cow here."

"Oh, you look the proper sort of chap to sell cows," said the man; "I
wonder if you know how many beans make five."

"Two in each hand and one in your mouth," says Jack, as sharp as a

"Right you are," said the man, "and here they are the very beans
themselves," he went on pulling out of his pocket a number of
strange-looking beans. "As you are so sharp," says he, "I don't mind
doing a swop with you--your cow for these beans."

"Walker!" says Jack; "wouldn't you like it?"

"Ah! you don't know what these beans are," said the man; "if you plant
them over-night, by morning they grow right up to the sky."

"Really?" says Jack; "you don't say so."

"Yes, that is so, and if it doesn't turn out to be true you can have
your cow back."

"Right," says Jack, and hands him over Milky-white's halter and pockets
the beans.

Back goes Jack home, and as he hadn't gone very far it wasn't dusk by
the time he got to his door.

"What back, Jack?" said his mother; "I see you haven't got Milky-white,
so you've sold her. How much did you get for her?"

"You'll never guess, mother," says Jack.

"No, you don't say so. Good boy! Five pounds, ten, fifteen, no, it can't
be twenty."

"I told you you couldn't guess, what do you say to these beans; they're
magical, plant them over-night and----"

"What!" says Jack's mother, "have you been such a fool, such a dolt,
such an idiot, as to give away my Milky-white, the best milker in the
parish, and prime beef to boot, for a set of paltry beans. Take that!
Take that! Take that! And as for your precious beans here they go out of
the window. And now off with you to bed. Not a sup shall you drink, and
not a bit shall you swallow this very night."

So Jack went upstairs to his little room in the attic, and sad and sorry
he was, to be sure, as much for his mother's sake, as for the loss of
his supper.

At last he dropped off to sleep.

When he woke up, the room looked so funny. The sun was shining into part
of it, and yet all the rest was quite dark and shady. So Jack jumped
up and dressed himself and went to the window. And what do you think
he saw? why, the beans his mother had thrown out of the window into the
garden, had sprung up into a big beanstalk which went up and up and up
till it reached the sky. So the man spoke truth after all.

The beanstalk grew up quite close past Jack's window, so all he had to
do was to open it and give a jump on to the beanstalk which was made
like a big plaited ladder. So Jack climbed and he climbed and he climbed
and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed till at last
he reached the sky. And when he got there he found a long broad road
going as straight as a dart. So he walked along and he walked along
and he walked along till he came to a great big tall house, and on the
doorstep there was a great big tall woman.

"Good morning, mum," says Jack, quite polite-like. "Could you be so kind
as to give me some breakfast." For he hadn't had anything to eat, you
know, the night before and was as hungry as a hunter.

"It's breakfast you want, is it?" says the great big tall woman, "it's
breakfast you'll be if you don't move off from here. My man is an ogre
and there's nothing he likes better than boys broiled on toast. You'd
better be moving on or he'll soon be coming."

"Oh! please mum, do give me something to eat, mum. I've had nothing to
eat since yesterday morning, really and truly, mum," says Jack. "I may
as well be broiled, as die of hunger."

Well, the ogre's wife wasn't such a bad sort, after all. So she took
Jack into the kitchen, and gave him a junk of bread and cheese and a jug
of milk. But Jack hadn't half finished these when thump! thump! thump!
the whole house began to tremble with the noise of someone coming.

"Goodness gracious me! It's my old man," said the ogre's wife, "what on
earth shall I do? Here, come quick and jump in here." And she bundled
Jack into the oven just as the ogre came in.

He was a big one, to be sure. At his belt he had three calves strung up
by the heels, and he unhooked them and threw them down on the table and
said: "Here, wife, broil me a couple of these for breakfast. Ah what's
this I smell?

  I smell the blood of an Englishman,
  Be he alive, or be he dead
  I'll have his bones to grind my bread."

"Nonsense, dear," said his wife, "you're dreaming. Or perhaps you smell
the scraps of that little boy you liked so much for yesterday's dinner.
Here, go you and have a wash and tidy up, and by the time you come back
your breakfast'll be ready for you."

So the ogre went off, and Jack was just going to jump out of the oven
and run off when the woman told him not. "Wait till he's asleep," says
she; "he always has a snooze after breakfast."

Well, the ogre had his breakfast, and after that he goes to a big chest
and takes out of it a couple of bags of gold and sits down counting them
till at last his head began to nod and he began to snore till the whole
house shook again.

Then Jack crept out on tiptoe from his oven, and as he was passing the
ogre he took one of the bags of gold under his arm, and off he pelters
till he came to the beanstalk, and then he threw down the bag of gold
which of course fell in to his mother's garden, and then he climbed down
and climbed down till at last he got home and told his mother and showed
her the gold and said: "Well, mother, wasn't I right about the beans.
They are really magical, you see."

So they lived on the bag of gold for some time, but at last they came to
the end of that so Jack made up his mind to try his luck once more up at
the top of the beanstalk. So one fine morning he got up early, and got
on to the beanstalk, and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and
he climbed and he climbed and he climbed till at last he got on the road
again and came to the great big tall house he had been to before. There,
sure enough, was the great big tall woman a-standing on the door-step.

"Good morning, mum," says Jack, as bold as brass, "could you be so good
as to give me something to eat?"

"Go away, my boy," said the big, tall woman, "or else my man will eat
you up for breakfast. But aren't you the youngster who came here once
before? Do you know, that very day, my man missed one of his bags of

"That's strange, mum," says Jack, "I dare say I could tell you something
about that but I'm so hungry I can't speak till I've had something to

Well the big tall woman was that curious that she took him in and gave
him something to eat. But he had scarcely begun munching it as slowly as
he could when thump! thump! thump! they heard the giant's footstep, and
his wife hid Jack away in the oven.

All happened as it did before. In came the ogre as he did before, said:
"Fee-fi-fo-fum," and had his breakfast off three broiled oxen. Then he
said: "Wife, bring me the hen that lays the golden eggs." So she brought
it, and the ogre said: "Lay," and it laid an egg all of gold. And then
the ogre began to nod his head, and to snore till the house shook.

Then Jack crept out of the oven on tiptoe and caught hold of the golden
hen, and was off before you could say "Jack Robinson." But this time the
hen gave a cackle which woke the ogre, and just as Jack got out of the
house he heard him calling: "Wife, wife, what have you done with my
golden hen?"

And the wife said: "Why, my dear?"

But that was all Jack heard, for he rushed off to the beanstalk and
climbed down like a house on fire. And when he got home he showed his
mother the wonderful hen and said "Lay," to it; and it laid a golden egg
every time he said "Lay."

Well, Jack was not content, and it wasn't very long before he determined
to have another try at his luck up there at the top of the beanstalk. So
one fine morning, he got up early, and went on to the beanstalk, and he
climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed till he got to
the top. But this time he knew better than to go straight to the ogre's
house. And when he got near it he waited behind a bush till he saw the
ogre's wife come out with a pail to get some water, and then he crept
into the house and got into the copper. He hadn't been there long when
he heard thump! thump! thump! as before, and in come the ogre and his

"Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman," cried out the ogre;
"I smell him, wife, I smell him."

"Do you, my dearie?" says the ogre's wife. "Then if it's that little
rogue that stole your gold and the hen that laid the golden eggs he's
sure to have got into the oven." And they both rushed to the oven. But
Jack wasn't there, luckily, and the ogre's wife said: "There you are
again with your fee-fi-fo-fum. Why of course it's the laddie you caught
last night that I've broiled for your breakfast. How forgetful I am, and
how careless you are not to tell the difference between a live un and a
dead un."

So the ogre sat down to the breakfast and ate it, but every now and
then he would mutter: "Well, I could have sworn----" and he'd get up
and search the larder and the cupboards, and everything, only luckily he
didn't think of the copper.

After breakfast was over, the ogre called out: "Wife, wife, bring me my
golden harp." So she brought it and put it on the table before him. Then
he said: "Sing!" and the golden harp sang most beautifully. And it
went on singing till the ogre fell asleep, and commenced to snore like

Then Jack lifted up the copper-lid very quietly and got down like a
mouse and crept on hands and knees till he got to the table when he got
up and caught hold of the golden harp and dashed with it towards the
door. But the harp called out quite loud: "Master! Master!" and the ogre
woke up just in time to see Jack running off with his harp.

Jack ran as fast as he could, and the ogre came rushing after, and would
soon have caught him only Jack had a start and dodged him a bit and knew
where he was going. When he got to the beanstalk the ogre was not more
than twenty yards away when suddenly he saw Jack disappear like, and
when he got up to the end of the road he saw Jack underneath climbing
down for dear life. Well, the ogre didn't like trusting himself to such
a ladder, and he stood and waited, so Jack got another start. But just
then the harp cried out: "Master! master!" and the ogre swung himself
down on to the beanstalk which shook with his weight. Down climbs Jack,
and after him climbed the ogre. By this time Jack had climbed down and
climbed down and climbed down till he was very nearly home. So he called
out: "Mother! mother! bring me an axe, bring me an axe." And his mother
came rushing out with the axe in her hand, but when she came to the
beanstalk she stood stock still with fright for there she saw the ogre
just coming down below the clouds.

But Jack jumped down and got hold of the axe and gave a chop at the
beanstalk which cut it half in two. The ogre felt the beanstalk shake
and quiver so he stopped to see what was the matter. Then Jack gave
another chop with the axe, and the beanstalk was cut in two and began
to topple over. Then the ogre fell down and broke his crown, and the
beanstalk came toppling after.

Then Jack showed his mother his golden harp, and what with showing that
and selling the golden eggs, Jack and his mother became very rich, and
he married a great princess, and they lived happy ever after.


  Once upon a time when pigs spoke rhyme
  And monkeys chewed tobacco,
  And hens took snuff to make them tough,
  And ducks went quack, quack, quack, O!

There was an old sow with three little pigs, and as she had not enough
to keep them, she sent them out to seek their fortune. The first that
went off met a man with a bundle of straw, and said to him:

"Please, man, give me that straw to build me a house."

Which the man did, and the little pig built a house with it. Presently
came along a wolf, and knocked at the door, and said:

"Little pig, little pig, let me come in."

To which the pig answered:

"No, no, by the hair of my chiny chin chin."

The wolf then answered to that:

"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in."

So he huffed, and he puffed, and he blew his house in, and ate up the
little pig.

The second little pig met a man with a bundle of furze, and said:

"Please, man, give me that furze to build a house."

Which the man did, and the pig built his house. Then along came the
wolf, and said:

"Little pig, little pig, let me come in."

"No, no, by the hair of my chiny chin chin."

"Then I'll puff, and I'll huff, and I'll blow your house in."

So he huffed, and he puffed, and he puffed, and he huffed, and at last
he blew the house down, and he ate up the little pig.

The third little pig met a man with a load of bricks, and said:

"Please, man, give me those bricks to build a house with."

So the man gave him the bricks, and he built his house with them. So the
wolf came, as he did to the other little pigs, and said:

"Little pig, little pig, let me come in."

"No, no, by the hair of my chiny chin chin."

"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in."

Well, he huffed, and he puffed, and he huffed and he puffed, and he
puffed and huffed; but he could _not_ get the house down. When he found
that he could not, with all his huffing and puffing, blow the house
down, he said:

"Little pig, I know where there is a nice field of turnips."

"Where?" said the little pig.

"Oh, in Mr. Smith's Home-field, and if you will be ready tomorrow
morning I will call for you, and we will go together, and get some for

"Very well," said the little pig, "I will be ready. What time do you
mean to go?"

"Oh, at six o'clock."

Well, the little pig got up at five, and got the turnips before the wolf
came (which he did about six) and who said:

"Little Pig, are you ready?"

The little pig said: "Ready! I have been and come back again, and got a
nice potful for dinner."

The wolf felt very angry at this, but thought that he would be up to the
little pig somehow or other, so he said:

"Little pig, I know where there is a nice apple-tree."

"Where?" said the pig.

"Down at Merry-garden," replied the wolf, "and if you will not deceive
me I will come for you, at five o'clock tomorrow and get some apples."

Well, the little pig bustled up the next morning at four o'clock, and
went off for the apples, hoping to get back before the wolf came; but
he had further to go, and had to climb the tree, so that just as he was
coming down from it, he saw the wolf coming, which, as you may suppose,
frightened him very much. When the wolf came up he said:

"Little pig, what! are you here before me? Are they nice apples?"

"Yes, very," said the little pig. "I will throw you down one."

And he threw it so far, that, while the wolf was gone to pick it up, the
little pig jumped down and ran home. The next day the wolf came again,
and said to the little pig:

"Little pig, there is a fair at Shanklin this afternoon, will you go?"

"Oh yes," said the pig, "I will go; what time shall you be ready?"

"At three," said the wolf. So the little pig went off before the time
as usual, and got to the fair, and bought a butter-churn, which he was
going home with, when he saw the wolf coming. Then he could not tell
what to do. So he got into the churn to hide, and by so doing turned it
round, and it rolled down the hill with the pig in it, which frightened
the wolf so much, that he ran home without going to the fair. He went
to the little pig's house, and told him how frightened he had been by a
great round thing which came down the hill past him. Then the little pig

"Hah, I frightened you, then. I had been to the fair and bought a
butter-churn, and when I saw you, I got into it, and rolled down the

Then the wolf was very angry indeed, and declared he _would_ eat up the
little pig, and that he would get down the chimney after him. When the
little pig saw what he was about, he hung on the pot full of water, and
made up a blazing fire, and, just as the wolf was coming down, took
off the cover, and in fell the wolf; so the little pig put on the cover
again in an instant, boiled him up, and ate him for supper, and lived
happy ever afterwards.


There was once a very learned man in the north-country who knew all the
languages under the sun, and who was acquainted with all the mysteries
of creation. He had one big book bound in black calf and clasped with
iron, and with iron corners, and chained to a table which was made fast
to the floor; and when he read out of this book, he unlocked it with an
iron key, and none but he read from it, for it contained all the secrets
of the spiritual world. It told how many angels there were in heaven,
and how they marched in their ranks, and sang in their quires, and what
were their several functions, and what was the name of each great angel
of might. And it told of the demons, how many of them there were, and
what were their several powers, and their labours, and their names, and
how they might be summoned, and how tasks might be imposed on them, and
how they might be chained to be as slaves to man.

Now the master had a pupil who was but a foolish lad, and he acted as
servant to the great master, but never was he suffered to look into the
black book, hardly to enter the private room.

One day the master was out, and then the lad, as curious as could be,
hurried to the chamber where his master kept his wondrous apparatus
for changing copper into gold, and lead into silver, and where was his
mirror in which he could see all that was passing in the world, and
where was the shell which when held to the ear whispered all the words
that were being spoken by anyone the master desired to know about. The
lad tried in vain with the crucibles to turn copper and lead into gold
and silver--he looked long and vainly into the mirror; smoke and clouds
passed over it, but he saw nothing plain, and the shell to his ear
produced only indistinct murmurings, like the breaking of distant seas
on an unknown shore. "I can do nothing," he said; "as I don't know the
right words to utter, and they are locked up in yon book."

He looked round, and, see! the book was unfastened; the master had
forgotten to lock it before he went out. The boy rushed to it, and
unclosed the volume. It was written with red and black ink, and much of
it he could not understand; but he put his finger on a line and spelled
it through.

At once the room was darkened, and the house trembled; a clap of thunder
rolled through the passage and the old room, and there stood before him
a horrible, horrible form, breathing fire, and with eyes like burning
lamps. It was the demon Beelzebub, whom he had called up to serve him.

"Set me a task!" said he, with a voice like the roaring of an iron

The boy only trembled, and his hair stood up.

"Set me a task, or I shall strangle thee!"

But the lad could not speak. Then the evil spirit stepped towards him,
and putting forth his hands touched his throat. The fingers burned his
flesh. "Set me a task!"

"Water yon flower," cried the boy in despair, pointing to a geranium
which stood in a pot on the floor. Instantly the spirit left the room,
but in another instant he returned with a barrel on his back, and poured
its contents over the flower; and again and again he went and came, and
poured more and more water, till the floor of the room was ankle-deep.

"Enough, enough!" gasped the lad; but the demon heeded him not; the lad
didn't know the words by which to send him away, and still he fetched

It rose to the boy's knees and still more water was poured. It mounted
to his waist, and Beelzebub still kept on bringing barrels full. It rose
to his armpits, and he scrambled to the table-top. And now the water
in the room stood up to the window and washed against the glass, and
swirled around his feet on the table. It still rose; it reached his
breast. In vain he cried; the evil spirit would not be dismissed, and
to this day he would have been pouring water, and would have drowned
all Yorkshire. But the master remembered on his journey that he had
not locked his book, and therefore returned, and at the moment when
the water was bubbling about the pupil's chin, rushed into the room and
spoke the words which cast Beelzebub back into his fiery home.


Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse both lived in a house,

Titty Mouse went a leasing and Tatty Mouse went a leasing,

So they both went a leasing.

Titty Mouse leased an ear of corn, and Tatty Mouse leased an ear of

So they both leased an ear of corn.

Titty Mouse made a pudding, and Tatty Mouse made a pudding,

So they both made a pudding.

And Tatty Mouse put her pudding into the pot to boil,

But when Titty went to put hers in, the pot tumbled over, and scalded
her to death.

Then Tatty sat down and wept; then a three-legged stool said: "Tatty,
why do you weep?" "Titty's dead," said Tatty, "and so I weep;" "then,"
said the stool, "I'll hop," so the stool hopped.

Then a broom in the corner of the room said, "Stool, why do you hop?"
"Oh!" said the stool, "Titty's dead, and Tatty weeps, and so I hop;"
"then," said the broom, "I'll sweep," so the broom began to sweep.

"Then," said the door, "Broom, why do you sweep?" "Oh!" said the broom,
"Titty's dead, and Tatty weeps, and the stool hops, and so I sweep;"
"Then," said the door, "I'll jar," so the door jarred.

"Then," said the window, "Door, why do you jar?" "Oh!" said the door,
"Titty's dead, and Tatty weeps, and the stool hops, and the broom
sweeps, and so I jar."

"Then," said the window, "I'll creak," so the window creaked. Now there
was an old form outside the house, and when the window creaked, the form
said: "Window, why do you creak?" "Oh!" said the window, "Titty's dead,
and Tatty weeps, and the stool hops, and the broom sweeps, the door
jars, and so I creak."

"Then," said the old form, "I'll run round the house;" then the old form
ran round the house. Now there was a fine large walnut-tree growing by
the cottage, and the tree said to the form: "Form, why do you run round
the house?" "Oh!" said the form, "Titty's dead, and Tatty weeps, and the
stool hops, and the broom sweeps, the door jars, and the window creaks,
and so I run round the house."

"Then," said the walnut-tree, "I'll shed my leaves," so the walnut-tree
shed all its beautiful green leaves. Now there was a little bird perched
on one of the boughs of the tree, and when all the leaves fell, it
said: "Walnut-tree, why do you shed your leaves?" "Oh!" said the tree,
"Titty's dead, and Tatty weeps, the stool hops, and the broom sweeps,
the door jars, and the window creaks, the old form runs round the house,
and so I shed my leaves."

"Then," said the little bird, "I'll moult all my feathers," so he
moulted all his pretty feathers. Now there was a little girl walking
below, carrying a jug of milk for her brothers and sisters' supper,
and when she saw the poor little bird moult all its feathers, she said:
"Little bird, why do you moult all your feathers?" "Oh!" said the little
bird, "Titty's dead, and Tatty weeps, the stool hops, and the broom
sweeps, the door jars, and the window creaks, the old form runs round
the house, the walnut-tree sheds its leaves, and so I moult all my

"Then," said the little girl, "I'll spill the milk," so she dropt the
pitcher and spilt the milk. Now there was an old man just by on the top
of a ladder thatching a rick, and when he saw the little girl spill the
milk, he said: "Little girl, what do you mean by spilling the milk, your
little brothers and sisters must go without their supper." Then said
the little girl: "Titty's dead, and Tatty weeps, the stool hops, and the
broom sweeps, the door jars, and the window creaks, the old form runs
round the house, the walnut-tree sheds all its leaves, the little bird
moults all its feathers, and so I spill the milk."

"Oh!" said the old man, "then I'll tumble off the ladder and break my
neck," so he tumbled off the ladder and broke his neck; and when the old
man broke his neck, the great walnut-tree fell down with a crash, and
upset the old form and house, and the house falling knocked the window
out, and the window knocked the door down, and the door upset the broom,
and the broom upset the stool, and poor little Tatty Mouse was buried
beneath the ruins.


Once upon a time, and a very good time it was, though it was neither in
my time nor in your time nor in any one else's time, there was an old
man and an old woman, and they had one son, and they lived in a great
forest. And their son never saw any other people in his life, but he
knew that there was some more in the world besides his own father and
mother, because he had lots of books, and he used to read every day
about them. And when he read about some pretty young women, he used
to go mad to see some of them; till one day, when his father was out
cutting wood, he told his mother that he wished to go away to look for
his living in some other country, and to see some other people besides
them two. And he said, "I see nothing at all here but great trees around
me; and if I stay here, maybe I shall go mad before I see anything." The
young man's father was out all this time, when this talk was going on
between him and his poor old mother.

The old woman begins by saying to her son before leaving, "Well, well,
my poor boy, if you want to go, it's better for you to go, and God
be with you."--(The old woman thought for the best when she said
that.)--"But stop a bit before you go. Which would you like best for me
to make you, a little cake and bless you, or a big cake and curse you?"
"Dear, dear!" said he, "make me a big cake. Maybe I shall be hungry on
the road." The old woman made the big cake, and she went on top of the
house, and she cursed him as far as she could see him.

He presently meets with his father, and the old man says to him: "Where
are you going, my poor boy?" when the son told the father the same tale
as he told his mother. "Well," says his father, "I'm sorry to see you
going away, but if you've made your mind to go, it's better for you to

The poor lad had not gone far, when his father called him back; then
the old man drew out of his pocket a golden snuff-box, and said to him:
"Here, take this little box, and put it in your pocket, and be sure not
to open it till you are near your death." And away went poor Jack upon
his road, and walked till he was tired and hungry, for he had eaten all
his cake upon the road; and by this time night was upon him, so he could
hardly see his way before him. He could see some light a long way before
him, and he made up to it, and found the back door and knocked at it,
till one of the maid-servants came and asked him what he wanted. He said
that night was on him, and he wanted to get some place to sleep. The
maid-servant called him in to the fire, and gave him plenty to eat,
good meat and bread and beer; and as he was eating his food by the fire,
there came the young lady to look at him, and she loved him well and he
loved her. And the young lady ran to tell her father, and said there was
a pretty young man in the back kitchen; and immediately the gentleman
came to him, and questioned him, and asked what work he could do. Jack
said, the silly fellow, that he could do anything. (He meant that he
could do any foolish bit of work, that would be wanted about the house.)

"Well," says the gentleman to him, "if you can do anything, at eight
o'clock in the morning I must have a great lake and some of-the largest
man-of-war vessels sailing before my mansion, and one of the largest
vessels must fire a royal salute, and the last round must break the
leg of the bed where my young daughter is sleeping. And if you don't do
that, you will have to forfeit your life."

"All right," said Jack; and away he went to his bed, and said his
prayers quietly, and slept till it was near eight o'clock, and he had
hardly any time to think what he was to do, till all of a sudden he
remembered about the little golden box that his father gave him. And he
said to himself: "Well, well, I never was so near my death as I am now;"
and then he felt in his pocket, and drew the little box out. And when he
opened it, out there hopped three little red men, and asked Jack: "What
is your will with us?" "Well," said Jack, "I want a great lake and some
of the largest man-of-war vessels in the world before this mansion, and
one of the largest vessels to fire a royal salute, and the last round
to break one of the legs of the bed where this young lady is sleeping."
"All right," said the little men; "go to sleep."

Jack had hardly time to bring the words out of his mouth, to tell the
little men what to do, but what it struck eight o'clock, when Bang, bang
went one of the largest man-of-war vessels; and it made Jack jump out of
bed to look through the window; and I can assure you it was a wonderful
sight for him to see, after being so long with his father and mother
living in a wood.

By this time Jack dressed himself, and said his prayers, and came down
laughing; for he was proud, he was, because the thing was done so well.
The gentleman comes to him, and says to him: "Well, my young man, I must
say that you are very clever indeed. Come and have some breakfast." And
the gentleman tells him, "Now there are two more things you have to
do, and then you shall have my daughter in marriage." Jack gets his
breakfast, and has a good squint at the young lady, and also she at him.

The other thing that the gentleman told him to do was to fell all the
great trees for miles around by eight o'clock in the morning; and, to
make my long story short, it was done, and it pleased the gentleman well
The gentleman said to him: "The other thing you have to do"--(and it
was the last thing)--"you must get me a great castle standing on twelve
golden pillars; and there must come regiments of soldiers and go through
their drill. At eight o'clock the commanding officer must say, 'Shoulder
up.'" "All right," said Jack; when the third and last morning came
the third great feat was finished, and he had the young daughter in
marriage. But, oh dear! there is worse to come yet.

The gentleman now makes a large hunting party, and invites all the
gentlemen around the country to it, and to see the castle as well. And
by this time Jack has a beautiful horse and a scarlet dress to go with
them. On that morning his valet, when putting Jack's clothes by,
after changing them to go a hunting, put his hand in one of Jack's
waistcoat-pockets, and pulled out the little golden snuffbox, as poor
Jack left behind in a mistake. And that man opened the little box, and
there hopped the three little red men out, and asked him what he wanted
with them. "Well," said the valet to them, "I want this castle to be
moved from this place far and far across the sea." "All right," said
the little red men to him; "do you wish to go with it?" "Yes," said he.
"Well, get up," said they to him; and away they went far and far over
the great sea.

Now the grand hunting party comes back, and the castle upon the twelve
golden pillars had disappeared, to the great disappointment of those
gentlemen as did not see it before. That poor silly Jack is threatened
by taking his beautiful young wife from him, for taking them in in the
way he did. But the gentleman at last made an agreement with him, and he
is to have a twelvemonths and a day to look for it; and off he goes with
a good horse and money in his pocket.

Now poor Jack goes in search of his missing castle, over hills, dales,
valleys, and mountains, through woolly woods and sheepwalks, further
than I can tell you or ever intend to tell you. Until at last he comes
up to the place where lives the King of all the little mice in the
world. There was one of the little mice on sentry at the front gate
going up to the palace, and did try to stop Jack from going in. He asked
the little mouse: "Where does the King live? I should like to see him."
This one sent another with him to show him the place; and when the King
saw him, he called him in. And the King questioned him, and asked him
where he was going that way. Well, Jack told him all the truth, that he
had lost the great castle, and was going to look for it, and he had a
whole twelvemonths and a day to find it out. And Jack asked him whether
he knew anything about it; and the King said: "No, but I am the King
of all the little mice in the world, and I will call them all up in the
morning, and maybe they have seen something of it."

Then Jack got a good meal and bed, and in the morning he and the King
went on to the fields; and the King called all the mice together, and
asked them whether they had seen the great beautiful castle standing on
golden pillars. And all the little mice said, No, there was none of them
had seen it. The old King said to him that he had two other brothers:
"One is the King of all the frogs; and my other brother, who is the
oldest, he is the King of all the birds in the world. And if you go
there, may be they know something about the missing castle." The King
said to him: "Leave your horse here with me till you come back, and take
one of my best horses under you, and give this cake to my brother; he
will know then who you got it from. Mind and tell him I am well, and
should like dearly to see him." And then the King and Jack shook hands

And when Jack was going through the gates, the little mouse asked him,
should he go with him; and Jack said to him: "No, I shall get myself
into trouble with the King." And the little thing told him: "It will be
better for you to let me go with you; maybe I shall do some good to you
some time without you knowing it." "Jump up, then." And the little mouse
ran up the horse's leg, and made it dance; and Jack put the mouse in his

Now Jack, after wishing good morning to the King and pocketing the
little mouse which was on sentry, trudged on his way; and such a long
way he had to go and this was his first day. At last he found the place;
and there was one of the frogs on sentry, and gun upon his shoulder, and
did try to hinder Jack from going in; but when Jack said to him that he
wanted to see the King, he allowed him to pass; and Jack made up to the
door. The King came out, and asked him his business; and Jack told
him all from beginning to end. "Well, well, come in." He gets good
entertainment that night; and in the morning the King made such a funny
sound, and collected all the frogs in the world. And he asked them,
did they know or see anything of a castle that stood upon twelve golden
pillars; and they all made a curious sound, _Kro-kro, kro-kro_, and
said, No.

Jack had to take another horse, and a cake to this King's brother, who
is the King of all the fowls of the air; and as Jack was going through
the gates, the little frog that was on sentry asked John should he go
with him. Jack refused him for a bit; but at last he told him to jump
up, and Jack put him in his other waistcoat pocket. And away he went
again on his great long journey; it was three times as long this time as
it was the first day; however, he found the place, and there was a fine
bird on sentry. And Jack passed him, and he never said a word to him;
and he talked with the King, and told him everything, all about the
castle. "Well," said the King to him, "you shall know in the morning
from my birds, whether they know anything or not." Jack put up his horse
in the stable, and then went to bed, after having something to eat. And
when he got up in the morning the King and he went on to some field, and
there the King made some funny noise, and there came all the fowls that
were in all the world. And the King asked them; "Did they see the fine
castle?" and all the birds answered, No. "Well," said the King, "where
is the great bird?" They had to wait then for a long time for the eagle
to make his appearance, when at last he came all in a perspiration,
after sending two little birds high up in the sky to whistle on him to
make all the haste he possibly could. The King asked the great bird,
Did he see the great castle? and the bird said: "Yes, I came from there
where it now is." "Well," says the King to him; "this young gentleman
has lost it, and you must go with him back to it; but stop till you get
a bit of something to eat first."

They killed a thief, and sent the best part of it to feed the eagle on
his journey over the seas, and had to carry Jack on his back. Now when
they came in sight of the castle, they did not know what to do to get
the little golden box. Well, the little mouse said to them: "Leave me
down, and I will get the little box for you." So the mouse stole into
the castle, and got hold of the box; and when he was coming down the
stairs, it fell down, and he was very near being caught. He came running
out with it, laughing his best. "Have you got it?" Jack said to him; he
said: "Yes;" and off they went back again, and left the castle behind.

As they were all of them (Jack, mouse, frog, and eagle) passing over
the great sea, they fell to quarrelling about which it was that got the
little box, till down it slipped into the water. (It was by them looking
at it and handing it from one hand to the other that they dropped the
little box to the bottom of the sea.) "Well, well," said the frog, "I
knew that I would have to do something, so you had better let me go down
in the water." And they let him go, and he was down for three days and
three nights; and up he comes, and shows his nose and little mouth out
of the water; and all of them asked him, Did he get it? and he told
them, No. "Well, what are you doing there, then?" "Nothing at all," he
said, "only I want my full breath;" and the poor little frog went down
the second time, and he was down for a day and a night, and up he brings

And away they did go, after being there four days and nights; and after
a long tug over seas and mountains, arrive at the palace of the old
King, who is the master of all the birds in the world. And the King
is very proud to see them, and has a hearty welcome and a long
conversation. Jack opens the little box, and told the little men to go
back and to bring the castle here to them; "and all of you make as much
haste back again as you possibly can."

The three little men went off; and when they came near the castle they
were afraid to go to it till the gentleman and lady and all the servants
were gone out to some dance. And there was no one left behind there only
the cook and another maid with her; and the little red men asked them
which would they rather--go, or stop behind? and they both said: "I will
go with you;" and the little men told them to run upstairs quick. They
were no sooner up and in one of the drawing-rooms than here comes just
in sight the gentleman and lady and all the servants; but it was too
late. Off the castle went at full speed, with the women laughing at them
through the window, while they made motions for them to stop, but all to
no purpose.

They were nine days on their journey, in which they did try to keep the
Sunday holy, when one of the little men turned to be the priest, the
other the clerk, and third presided at the organ, and the women were
the singers, for they had a grand chapel in the castle already. Very
remarkable, there was a discord made in the music, and one of the little
men ran up one of the organ-pipes to see where the bad sound came
from, when he found out it only happened to be that the two women were
laughing at the little red man stretching his little legs full length
on the bass pipes, also his two arms the same time, with his little red
night-cap, which he never forgot to wear, and what they never witnessed
before, could not help calling forth some good merriment while on the
face of the deep. And poor thing! through them not going on with what
they begun with, they very near came to danger, as the castle was once
very near sinking in the middle of the sea.

At length, after a merry journey, they come again to Jack and the King.
The King was quite struck with the sight of the castle; and going up the
golden stairs, went to see the inside.

The King was very much pleased with the castle, but poor Jack's time of
a twelvemonths and a day was drawing to a close; and he, wishing to
go home to his young wife, gives orders to the three little men to
get ready by the next morning at eight o'clock to be off to the next
brother, and to stop there for one night; also to proceed from there
to the last or the youngest brother, the master of all the mice in the
world, in such place where the castle shall be left under his care until
it's sent for. Jack takes a farewell of the King, and thanks him very
much for his hospitality.

Away went Jack and his castle again, and stopped one night in that
place; and away they went again to the third place, and there left the
castle under his care. As Jack had to leave the castle behind, he had to
take to his own horse, which he left there when he first started.

Now poor Jack leaves his castle behind and faces towards home; and
after having so much merriment with the three brothers every night, Jack
became sleepy on horseback, and would have lost the road if it was not
for the little men a-guiding him. At last he arrived weary and tired,
and they did not seem to receive him with any kindness whatever,
because he had not found the stolen castle; and to make it worse, he was
disappointed in not seeing his young and beautiful wife to come and meet
him, through being hindered by her parents. But that did not stop long.
Jack put full power on and despatched the little men off to bring the
castle from there, and they soon got there.

Jack shook hands with the King, and returned many thanks for his kingly
kindness in minding the castle for him; and then Jack instructed the
little men to spur up and put speed on. And off they went, and were not
long before they reached their journey's end, when out comes the young
wife to meet him with a fine lump of a young SON, and they all lived
happy ever afterwards.


Once upon a time there were Three Bears, who lived together in a house
of their own, in a wood. One of them was a Little, Small Wee Bear; and
one was a Middle-sized Bear, and the other was a Great, Huge Bear. They
had each a pot for their porridge, a little pot for the Little, Small,
Wee Bear; and a middle-sized pot for the Middle Bear, and a great pot
for the Great, Huge Bear. And they had each a chair to sit in; a little
chair for the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and a middle-sized chair for the
Middle Bear; and a great chair for the Great, Huge Bear. And they had
each a bed to sleep in; a little bed for the Little, Small, Wee Bear;
and a middle-sized bed for the Middle Bear; and a great bed for the
Great, Huge Bear.

One day, after they had made the porridge for their breakfast, and
poured it into their porridge-pots, they walked out into the wood while
the porridge was cooling, that they might not burn their mouths, by
beginning too soon to eat it. And while they were walking, a little
old Woman came to the house. She could not have been a good, honest old
Woman; for first she looked in at the window, and then she peeped in at
the keyhole; and seeing nobody in the house, she lifted the latch. The
door was not fastened, because the Bears were good Bears, who did nobody
any harm, and never suspected that anybody would harm them. So the
little old Woman opened the door, and went in; and well pleased she was
when she saw the porridge on the table. If she had been a good little
old Woman, she would have waited till the Bears came home, and then,
perhaps, they would have asked her to breakfast; for they were good
Bears--a little rough or so, as the manner of Bears is, but for all
that very good-natured and hospitable. But she was an impudent, bad old
Woman, and set about helping herself.

So first she tasted the porridge of the Great, Huge Bear, and that was
too hot for her; and she said a bad word about that. And then she tasted
the porridge of the Middle Bear, and that was too cold for her; and she
said a bad word about that too. And then she went to the porridge of the
Little, Small, Wee Bear, and tasted that; and that was neither too hot,
nor too cold, but just right; and she liked it so well, that she ate
it all up: but the naughty old Woman said a bad word about the little
porridge-pot, because it did not hold enough for her.

Then the little old Woman sate down in the chair of the Great, Huge
Bear, and that was too hard for her. And then she sate down in the chair
of the Middle Bear, and that was too soft for her. And then she sate
down in the chair of the Little, Small, Wee Bear, and that was neither
too hard, nor too soft, but just right. So she seated herself in it, and
there she sate till the bottom of the chair came out, and down she came,
plump upon the ground. And the naughty old Woman said a wicked word
about that too.

Then the little old Woman went upstairs into the bed-chamber in which
the three Bears slept. And first she lay down upon the bed of the Great,
Huge Bear; but that was too high at the head for her. And next she lay
down upon the bed of the Middle Bear; and that was too high at the foot
for her. And then she lay down upon the bed of the Little, Small, Wee
Bear; and that was neither too high at the head, nor at the foot, but
just right. So she covered herself up comfortably, and lay there till
she fell fast asleep.

By this time the Three Bears thought their porridge would be cool
enough; so they came home to breakfast. Now the little old Woman had
left the spoon of the Great, Huge Bear, standing in his porridge.

"Somebody has been at my porridge!"

said the Great, Huge Bear, in his great, rough, gruff voice. And when
the Middle Bear looked at his, he saw that the spoon was standing in it
too. They were wooden spoons; if they had been silver ones, the naughty
old Woman would have put them in her pocket.

"Somebody has been at my porridge!"

said the Middle Bear in his middle voice.

Then the Little, Small, Wee Bear looked at his, and there was the spoon
in the porridge-pot, but the porridge was all gone.

"Somebody has been at my porridge, and has eaten it all up!"

said the Little, Small, Wee Bear, in his little, small, wee voice.

Upon this the Three Bears, seeing that some one had entered their house,
and eaten up the Little, Small, Wee Bear's breakfast, began to look
about them. Now the little old Woman had not put the hard cushion
straight when she rose from the chair of the Great, Huge Bear.

"Somebody has been sitting in my chair!"

said the Great, Huge Bear, in his great, rough, gruff voice.

And the little old Woman had squatted down the soft cushion of the
Middle Bear.

"Somebody has been sitting in my chair!"

said the Middle Bear, in his middle voice.

And you know what the little old Woman had done to the third chair.

"Somebody has been sitting in my chair and has sate the bottom out of

said the Little, Small, Wee Bear, in his little, small, wee voice.

Then the Three Bears thought it necessary that they should make farther
search; so they went upstairs into their bedchamber. Now the little old
Woman had pulled the pillow of the Great, Huge Bear, out of its place.

"Somebody has been lying in my bed!"

said the Great, Huge Bear, in his great, rough, gruff voice.

And the little old Woman had pulled the bolster of the Middle Bear out
of its place.

"Somebody has been lying in my bed!"

said the Middle Bear, in his middle voice.

And when the Little, Small, Wee Bear came to look at his bed, there was
the bolster in its place; and the pillow in its place upon the bolster;
and upon the pillow was the little old Woman's ugly, dirty head,--which
was not in its place, for she had no business there.

"Somebody has been lying in my bed,--and here she is!"

said the Little, Small, Wee Bear, in his little, small, wee voice.

The little old Woman had heard in her sleep the great, rough, gruff
voice of the Great, Huge Bear; but she was so fast asleep that it was
no more to her than the roaring of wind, or the rumbling of thunder. And
she had heard the middle voice, of the Middle Bear, but it was only as
if she had heard some one speaking in a dream. But when she heard the
little, small, wee voice of the Little, Small, Wee Bear, it was so
sharp, and so shrill, that it awakened her at once. Up she started; and
when she saw the Three Bears on one side of the bed, she tumbled herself
out at the other, and ran to the window. Now the window was open,
because the Bears, like good, tidy Bears, as they were, always opened
their bedchamber window when they got up in the morning. Out the little
old Woman jumped; and whether she broke her neck in the fall; or ran
into the wood and was lost there; or found her way out of the wood, and
was taken up by the constable and sent to the House of Correction for
a vagrant as she was, I cannot tell. But the Three Bears never saw
anything more of her.


When good King Arthur reigned, there lived near the Land's End of
England, in the county of Cornwall, a farmer who had one only son called
Jack. He was brisk and of a ready lively wit, so that nobody or nothing
could worst him.

In those days the Mount of Cornwall was kept by a huge giant named
Cormoran. He was eighteen feet in height, and about three yards round
the waist, of a fierce and grim countenance, the terror of all the
neighbouring towns and villages. He lived in a cave in the midst of the
Mount, and whenever he wanted food he would wade over to the main-land,
where he would furnish himself with whatever came in his way. Everybody
at his approach ran out of their houses, while he seized on their
cattle, making nothing of carrying half-a-dozen oxen on his back at a
time; and as for their sheep and hogs, he would tie them round his waist
like a bunch of tallow-dips. He had done this for many years, so that
all Cornwall was in despair.

One day Jack happened to be at the town-hall when the magistrates were
sitting in council about the Giant. He asked: "What reward will be given
to the man who kills Cormoran?" "The giant's treasure," they said, "will
be the reward." Quoth Jack: "Then let me undertake it."

So he got a horn, shovel, and pickaxe, and went over to the Mount in the
beginning of a dark winter's evening, when he fell to work, and before
morning had dug a pit twenty-two feet deep, and nearly as broad,
covering it over with long sticks and straw. Then he strewed a little
mould over it, so that it appeared like plain ground. Jack then placed
himself on the opposite side of the pit, farthest from the giant's
lodging, and, just at the break of day, he put the horn to his mouth,
and blew, Tantivy, Tantivy. This noise roused the giant, who rushed
from his cave, crying: "You incorrigible villain, are you come here
to disturb my rest? You shall pay dearly for this. Satisfaction I will
have, and this it shall be, I will take you whole and broil you for
breakfast." He had no sooner uttered this, than he tumbled into the pit,
and made the very foundations of the Mount to shake. "Oh, Giant," quoth
Jack, "where are you now? Oh, faith, you are gotten now into Lob's
Pound, where I will surely plague you for your threatening words: what
do you think now of broiling me for your breakfast? Will no other diet
serve you but poor Jack?" Then having tantalised the giant for a while,
he gave him a most weighty knock with his pickaxe on the very crown of
his head, and killed him on the spot.

Jack then filled up the pit with earth, and went to search the cave,
which he found contained much treasure. When the magistrates heard of
this they made a declaration he should henceforth be termed


and presented him with a sword and a belt, on which were written these
words embroidered in letters of gold:

  "Here's the right valiant Cornish man,
  Who slew the giant Cormoran."

The news of Jack's victory soon spread over all the West of England,
so that another giant, named Blunderbore, hearing of it, vowed to be
revenged on Jack, if ever he should light on him. This giant was the
lord of an enchanted castle situated in the midst of a lonesome wood.
Now Jack, about four months afterwards, walking near this wood in his
journey to Wales, being weary, seated himself near a pleasant fountain
and fell fast asleep. While he was sleeping, the giant, coming there
for water, discovered him, and knew him to be the far-famed Jack the
Giant-killer by the lines written on the belt. Without ado, he took Jack
on his shoulders and carried him towards his castle. Now, as they passed
through a thicket, the rustling of the boughs awakened Jack, who was
strangely surprised to find himself in the clutches of the giant. His
terror was only begun, for, on entering the castle, he saw the ground
strewed with human bones, and the giant told him his own would ere
long be among them. After this the giant locked poor Jack in an immense
chamber, leaving him there while he went to fetch another giant, his
brother, living in the same wood, who might share in the meal on Jack.

After waiting some time Jack, on going to the window beheld afar off the
two giants coming towards the castle. "Now," quoth Jack to himself, "my
death or my deliverance is at hand." Now, there were strong cords in a
corner of the room in which Jack was, and two of these he took, and made
a strong noose at the end; and while the giants were unlocking the iron
gate of the castle he threw the ropes over each of their heads. Then
he drew the other ends across a beam, and pulled with all his might, so
that he throttled them. Then, when he saw they were black in the face,
he slid down the rope, and drawing his sword, slew them both. Then,
taking the giant's keys, and unlocking the rooms, he found three fair
ladies tied by the hair of their heads, almost starved to death. "Sweet
ladies," quoth Jack, "I have destroyed this monster and his brutish
brother, and obtained your liberties." This said he presented them with
the keys, and so proceeded on his journey to Wales.

Jack made the best of his way by travelling as fast as he could, but
lost his road, and was benighted, and could find any habitation until,
coming into a narrow valley, he found a large house, and in order to
get shelter took courage to knock at the gate. But what was his surprise
when there came forth a monstrous giant with two heads; yet he did not
appear so fiery as the others were, for he was a Welsh giant, and
what he did was by private and secret malice under the false show of
friendship. Jack, having told his condition to the giant, was shown into
a bedroom, where, in the dead of night, he heard his host in another
apartment muttering these words:

  "Though here you lodge with me this night,
  You shall not see the morning light
  My club shall dash your brains outright!"

"Say'st thou so," quoth Jack; "that is like one of your Welsh tricks,
yet I hope to be cunning enough for you." Then, getting out of bed, he
laid a billet in the bed in his stead, and hid himself in a corner of
the room. At the dead time of the night in came the Welsh giant, who
struck several heavy blows on the bed with his club, thinking he had
broken every bone in Jack's skin. The next morning Jack, laughing in his
sleeve, gave him hearty thanks for his night's lodging. "How have you
rested?" quoth the giant; "did you not feel anything in the night?"
"No," quoth Jack, "nothing but a rat, which gave me two or three slaps
with her tail." With that, greatly wondering, the giant led Jack to
breakfast, bringing him a bowl containing four gallons of hasty pudding.
Being loth to let the giant think it too much for him, Jack put a large
leather bag under his loose coat, in such a way that he could convey the
pudding into it without its being perceived. Then, telling the giant he
would show him a trick, taking a knife, Jack ripped open the bag, and
out came all the hasty pudding. Whereupon, saying, "Odds splutters hur
nails, hur can do that trick hurself," the monster took the knife, and
ripping open his belly, fell down dead.

Now, it happened in these days that King Arthur's only son asked his
father to give him a large sum of money, in order that he might go and
seek his fortune in the principality of Wales, where lived a beautiful
lady possessed with seven evil spirits. The king did his best to
persuade his son from it, but in vain; so at last gave way and the
prince set out with two horses, one loaded with money, the other for
himself to ride upon. Now, after several days' travel, he came to a
market-town in Wales, where he beheld a vast crowd of people gathered
together. The prince asked the reason of it, and was told that they had
arrested a corpse for several large sums of money which the deceased
owed when he died. The prince replied that it was a pity creditors
should be so cruel, and said: "Go bury the dead, and let his creditors
come to my lodging, and there their debts shall be paid." They came,
in such great numbers that before night he had only twopence left for

Now Jack the Giant-Killer, coming that way, was so taken with the
generosity of the prince, that he desired to be his servant. This
being agreed upon, the next morning they set forward on their journey
together, when, as they were riding out of the town, an old woman called
after the prince, saying, "He has owed me twopence these seven years;
pray pay me as well as the rest." Putting his hand to his pocket, the
prince gave the woman all he had left, so that after their day's food,
which cost what small spell Jack had by him, they were without a penny
between them.

When the sun got low, the king's son said: "Jack, since we have no
money, where can we lodge this night?"

But Jack replied: "Master, we'll do well enough, for I have an uncle
lives within two miles of this place; he is a huge and monstrous giant
with three heads; he'll fight five hundred men in armour, and make them
to fly before him." "Alas!" quoth the prince, "what shall we do there?
He'll certainly chop us up at a mouthful. Nay, we are scarce enough to
fill one of his hollow teeth!"

"It is no matter for that," quoth Jack; "I myself will go before and
prepare the way for you; therefore stop here and wait till I return."
Jack then rode away at full speed, and coming to the gate of the castle,
he knocked so loud that he made the neighbouring hills resound. The
giant roared out at this like thunder: "Who's there?"

Jack answered: "None but your poor cousin Jack."

Quoth he: "What news with my poor cousin Jack?"

He replied: "Dear uncle, heavy news, God wot!"

"Prithee," quoth the giant, "what heavy news can come to me? I am
a giant with three heads, and besides thou knowest I can fight five
hundred men in armour, and make them fly like chaff before the wind."

"Oh, but," quoth Jack, "here's the king's son a-coming with a thousand
men in armour to kill you and destroy all that you have!"

"Oh, cousin Jack," said the giant, "this is heavy news indeed! I will
immediately run and hide myself, and thou shalt lock, bolt, and bar
me in, and keep the keys until the prince is gone." Having secured the
giant, Jack fetched his master, when they made themselves heartily merry
whilst the poor giant lay trembling in a vault under the ground.

Early in the morning Jack furnished his master with a fresh supply of
gold and silver, and then sent him three miles forward on his journey,
at which time the prince was pretty well out of the smell of the giant.
Jack then returned, and let the giant out of the vault, who asked what
he should give him for keeping the castle from destruction. "Why," quoth
Jack, "I want nothing but the old coat and cap, together with the old
rusty sword and slippers which are at your bed's head." Quoth the giant:
"You know not what you ask; they are the most precious things I have.
The coat will keep you invisible, the cap will tell you all you want to
know, the sword cuts asunder whatever you strike, and the shoes are
of extraordinary swiftness. But you have been very serviceable to me,
therefore take them with all my heart." Jack thanked his uncle, and then
went off with them. He soon overtook his master and they quickly arrived
at the house of the lady the prince sought, who, finding the prince to
be a suitor, prepared a splendid banquet for him. After the repast was
concluded, she told him she had a task for him. She wiped his mouth with
a handkerchief, saying: "You must show me that handkerchief to-morrow
morning, or else you will lose your head." With that she put it in
her bosom. The prince went to bed in great sorrow, but Jack's cap of
knowledge informed him how it was to be obtained. In the middle of the
night she called upon her familiar spirit to carry her to Lucifer. But
Jack put on his coat of darkness and his shoes of swiftness, and was
there as soon as she was. When she entered the place of the Old One, she
gave the handkerchief to old Lucifer, who laid it upon a shelf, whence
Jack took it and brought it to his master, who showed it to the lady
next day, and so saved his life. On that day, she gave the prince a kiss
and told him he must show her the lips to-morrow morning that she kissed
last night, or lose his head.

"Ah!" he replied, "if you kiss none but mine, I will."

"That is neither here nor there," said she; "if you do not, death's your

At midnight she went as before, and was angry with old Lucifer for
letting the handkerchief go. "But now," quoth she, "I will be too hard
for the king's son, for I will kiss thee, and he is to show me thy
lips." Which she did, and Jack, when she was not standing by, cut off
Lucifer's head and brought it under his invisible coat to his master,
who the next morning pulled it out by the horns before the lady. This
broke the enchantment and the evil spirit left her, and she appeared in
all her beauty. They were married the next morning, and soon after went
to the court of King Arthur, where Jack for his many great exploits, was
made one of the Knights of the Round Table.

Jack soon went searching for giants again, but he had not ridden far,
when he saw a cave, near the entrance of which he beheld a giant sitting
upon a block of timber, with a knotted iron club by his side. His goggle
eyes were like flames of fire, his countenance grim and ugly, and his
cheeks like a couple of large flitches of bacon, while the bristles of
his beard resembled rods of iron wire, and the locks that hung down upon
his brawny shoulders were like curled snakes or hissing adders. Jack
alighted from his horse, and, putting on the coat of darkness, went up
close to the giant, and said softly: "Oh! are you there? It will not
be long before I take you fast by the beard." The giant all this while
could not see him, on account of his invisible coat, so that Jack,
coming up close to the monster, struck a blow with his sword at his
head, but, missing his aim, he cut off the nose instead. At this, the
giant roared like claps of thunder, and began to lay about him with his
iron club like one stark mad. But Jack, running behind, drove his sword
up to the hilt in the giant's back, so that he fell down dead. This
done, Jack cut off the giant's head, and sent it, with his brother's
also, to King Arthur, by a waggoner he hired for that purpose.

Jack now resolved to enter the giant's cave in search of his treasure,
and, passing along through a great many windings and turnings, he came
at length to a large room paved with freestone, at the upper end of
which was a boiling caldron, and on the right hand a large table, at
which the giant used to dine. Then he came to a window, barred with
iron, through which he looked and beheld a vast number of miserable
captives, who, seeing him, cried out: "Alas! young man, art thou come to
be one amongst us in this miserable den?"

"Ay," quoth Jack, "but pray tell me what is the meaning of your

"We are kept here," said one, "till such time as the giants have a wish
to feast, and then the fattest among us is slaughtered! And many are the
times they have dined upon murdered men!"

"Say you so," quoth Jack, and straightway unlocked the gate and let them
free, who all rejoiced like condemned men at sight of a pardon. Then
searching the giant's coffers, he shared the gold and silver equally
amongst them and took them to a neighbouring castle, where they all
feasted and made merry over their deliverance.

But in the midst of all this mirth a messenger brought news that one
Thunderdell, a giant with two heads, having heard of the death of his
kinsmen, had come from the northern dales to be revenged on Jack, and
was within a mile of the castle, the country people flying before him
like chaff. But Jack was not a bit daunted, and said: "Let him come! I
have a tool to pick his teeth; and you, ladies and gentlemen, walk out
into the garden, and you shall witness this giant Thunderdell's death
and destruction."

The castle was situated in the midst of a small island surrounded by a
moat thirty feet deep and twenty feet wide, over which lay a drawbridge.
So Jack employed men to cut through this bridge on both sides, nearly to
the middle; and then, dressing himself in his invisible coat, he marched
against the giant with his sword of sharpness. Although the giant could
not see Jack, he smelt his approach, and cried out in these words:

  "Fee, fi, fo, fum!
  I smell the blood of an Englishman!
  Be he alive or be he dead,
  I'll grind his bones to make me bread!"

"Say'st thou so," said Jack; "then thou art a monstrous miller indeed."

The giant cried out again: "Art thou that villain who killed my kinsmen?
Then I will tear thee with my teeth, suck thy blood, and grind thy bones
to powder."

"You'll have to catch me first," quoth Jack, and throwing off his
invisible coat, so that the giant might see him, and putting on his
shoes of swiftness, he ran from the giant, who followed like a walking
castle, so that the very foundations of the earth seemed to shake at
every step. Jack led him a long dance, in order that the gentlemen and
ladies might see; and at last to end the matter, ran lightly over the
drawbridge, the giant, in full speed, pursuing him with his club. Then,
coming to the middle of the bridge, the giant's great weight broke
it down, and he tumbled headlong into the water, where he rolled and
wallowed like a whale. Jack, standing by the moat, laughed at him all
the while; but though the giant foamed to hear him scoff, and plunged
from place to place in the moat, yet he could not get out to be
revenged. Jack at length got a cart-rope and cast it over the two heads
of the giant, and drew him ashore by a team of horses, and then cut
off both his heads with his sword of sharpness, and sent them to King

After some time spent in mirth and pastime, Jack, taking leave of the
knights and ladies, set out for new adventures. Through many woods he
passed, and came at length to the foot of a high mountain. Here, late
at night, he found a lonesome house, and knocked at the door, which was
opened by an aged man with a head as white as snow. "Father," said Jack,
"can you lodge a benighted traveller that has lost his way?" "Yes," said
the old man; "you are right welcome to my poor cottage." Whereupon Jack
entered, and down they sat together, and the old man began to speak as
follows: "Son, I see by your belt you are the great conqueror of giants,
and behold, my son, on the top of this mountain is an enchanted castle,
this is kept by a giant named Galligantua, and he by the help of an
old conjurer, betrays many knights and ladies into his castle, where by
magic art they are transformed into sundry shapes and forms. But above
all, I grieve for a duke's daughter, whom they fetched from her father's
garden, carrying her through the air in a burning chariot drawn by fiery
dragons, when they secured her within the castle, and transformed her
into a white hind. And though many knights have tried to break the
enchantment, and work her deliverance, yet no one could accomplish it,
on account of two dreadful griffins which are placed at the castle gate
and which destroy every one who comes near. But you, my son, may pass
by them undiscovered, where on the gates of the castle you will find
engraven in large letters how the spell may be broken." Jack gave the
old man his hand, and promised that in the morning he would venture his
life to free the lady.

In the morning Jack arose and put on his invisible coat and magic cap
and shoes, and prepared himself for the fray. Now, when he had reached
the top of the mountain he soon discovered the two fiery griffins, but
passed them without fear, because of his invisible coat. When he had got
beyond them, he found upon the gates of the castle a golden trumpet hung
by a silver chain, under which these lines were engraved:

  "Whoever shall this trumpet blow,
  Shall soon the giant overthrow,
  And break the black enchantment straight;
  So all shall be in happy state."

Jack had no sooner read this but he blew the trumpet, at which the
castle trembled to its vast foundations, and the giant and conjurer were
in horrid confusion, biting their thumbs and tearing their hair, knowing
their wicked reign was at an end. Then the giant stooping to take up
his club, Jack at one blow cut off his head; whereupon the conjurer,
mounting up into the air, was carried away in a whirlwind. Then the
enchantment was broken, and all the lords and ladies who had so long
been transformed into birds and beasts returned to their proper shapes,
and the castle vanished away in a cloud of smoke. This being done, the
head of Galligantua was likewise, in the usual manner, conveyed to the
Court of King Arthur, where, the very next day, Jack followed, with the
knights and ladies who had been delivered. Whereupon, as a reward
for his good services, the king prevailed upon the duke to bestow his
daughter in marriage on honest Jack. So married they were, and the
whole kingdom was filled with joy at the wedding. Furthermore, the king
bestowed on Jack a noble castle, with a very beautiful estate thereto
belonging, where he and his lady lived in great joy and happiness all
the rest of their days.


One day Henny-penny was picking up corn in the cornyard
when--whack!--something hit her upon the head. "Goodness gracious me!"
said Henny-penny; "the sky's a-going to fall; I must go and tell the

So she went along and she went along and she went along till she met
Cocky-locky. "Where are you going, Henny-penny?" says Cocky-locky. "Oh!
I'm going to tell the king the sky's a-falling," says Henny-penny. "May
I come with you?" says Cocky-locky. "Certainly," says Henny-penny. So
Henny-penny and Cocky-locky went to tell-the king the sky was falling.

They went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they met
Ducky-daddles. "Where are you going to, Henny-penny and Cocky-locky?"
says Ducky-daddles. "Oh! we're going to tell the king the sky's
a-falling," said Henny-penny and Cocky-locky. "May I come with you?"
says Ducky-daddles. "Certainly," said Henny-penny and Cocky-locky. So
Henny-penny, Cocky-locky and Ducky-daddles went to tell the king the sky
was a-falling.

So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they
met Goosey-poosey, "Where are you going to, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky and
Ducky-daddles?" said Goosey-poosey. "Oh! we're going to tell the
king the sky's a-falling," said Henny-penny and Cocky-locky and
Ducky-daddles. "May I come with you," said Goosey-poosey. "Certainly,"
said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky and Ducky-daddles. So Henny-penny,
Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles and Goosey-poosey went to tell the king the
sky was a-falling.

So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till
they met Turkey-lurkey. "Where are you going, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky,
Ducky-daddles, and Goosey-poosey?" says Turkey-lurkey. "Oh! we're going
to tell the king the sky's a-falling," said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky,
Ducky-daddles and Goosey-poosey. "May I come with you? Henny-penny,
Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles and Goosey-poosey?" said Turkey-lurkey. "Why,
certainly, Turkey-lurkey," said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles,
and Goosey-poosey. So Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles,
Goosey-poosey and Turkey-lurkey all went to tell the king the sky was

So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till
they met Foxy-woxy, and Foxy-woxy said to Henny-penny, Cocky-locky,
Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey and Turkey-lurkey: "Where are you
going, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey,
and Turkey-lurkey?" And Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles,
Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey said to Foxy-woxy: "We're going to tell
the king the sky's a-falling." "Oh! but this is not the way to the
king, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey and
Turkey-lurkey," says Foxy-woxy; "I know the proper way; shall I show
it you?" "Why certainly, Foxy-woxy," said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky,
Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey. So Henny-penny,
Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, Turkey-lurkey, and Foxy-woxy
all went to tell the king the sky was a-falling. So they went along,
and they went along, and they went along, till they came to a narrow and
dark hole. Now this was the door of Foxy-woxy's cave. But Foxy-woxy
said to Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and
Turkey-lurkey: "This is the short way to the king's palace you'll
soon get there if you follow me. I will go first and you come
after, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky daddles, Goosey-poosey, and
Turkey-lurkey." "Why of course, certainly, without doubt, why not?"
said Henny-Penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and

So Foxy-woxy went into his cave, and he didn't go very far but turned
round to wait for Henny-Penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey
and Turkey-lurkey. So at last at first Turkey-lurkey went through the
dark hole into the cave. He hadn't got far when "Hrumph," Foxy-woxy
snapped off Turkey-lurkey's head and threw his body over his left
shoulder. Then Goosey-poosey went in, and "Hrumph," off went her head
and Goosey-poosey was thrown beside Turkey-lurkey. Then Ducky-daddles
waddled down, and "Hrumph," snapped Foxy-woxy, and Ducky-daddles'
head was off and Ducky-daddles was thrown alongside Turkey-lurkey and
Goosey-poosey. Then Cocky-locky strutted down into the cave and he
hadn't gone far when "Snap, Hrumph!" went Foxy-woxy and Cocky-locky was
thrown alongside of Turkey-lurkey, Goosey-poosey and Ducky-daddles.

But Foxy-woxy had made two bites at Cocky-locky, and when the first
snap only hurt Cocky-locky, but didn't kill him, he called out to
Henny-penny. So she turned tail and ran back home, so she never told the
king the sky was a-falling.


Childe Rowland and his brothers twain Were playing at the ball, And
there was their sister Burd Ellen In the midst, among them all.

  Childe Rowland kicked it with his foot
  And caught it with his knee;
  At last as he plunged among them all
  O'er the church he made it flee.

  Burd Ellen round about the aisle
  To seek the ball is gone,
  But long they waited, and longer still,
  And she came not back again.

  They sought her east, they sought her west,
  They sought her up and down,
  And woe were the hearts of those brethren,
  For she was not to be found.

So at last her eldest brother went to the Warlock Merlin and told him
all the case, and asked him if he knew where Burd Ellen was. "The fair
Burd Ellen," said the Warlock Merlin, "must have been carried off by the
fairies, because she went round the church 'wider shins'--the opposite
way to the sun. She is now in the Dark Tower of the King of Elfland; it
would take the boldest knight in Christendom to bring her back."

"If it is possible to bring her back," said her brother, "I'll do it, or
perish in the attempt."

"Possible it is," said the Warlock Merlin, "but woe to the man or
mother's son that attempts it, if he is not well taught beforehand what
he is to do."

The eldest brother of Burd Ellen was not to be put off, by any fear of
danger, from attempting to get her back, so he begged the Warlock Merlin
to tell him what he should do, and what he should not do, in going to
seek his sister. And after he had been taught, and had repeated his
lesson, he set out for Elfland.

  But long they waited, and longer still,
    With doubt and muckle pain,
  But woe were the hearts of his brethren,
    For he came not back again.

Then the second brother got tired and sick of waiting, and he went to
the Warlock Merlin and asked him the same as his brother. So he set out
to find Burd Ellen.

  But long they waited, and longer still,
    With muckle doubt and pain,
  And woe were his mother's and brother's heart,
    For he came not back again.

And when they had waited and waited a good long time, Childe Rowland,
the youngest of Burd Ellen's brothers, wished to go, and went to his
mother, the good queen, to ask her to let him go. But she would not at
first, for he was the last of her children she now had, and if he was
lost, all would be lost. But he begged, and he begged, till at last the
good queen let him go, and gave him his father's good brand that never
struck in vain. And as she girt it round his waist, she said the spell
that would give it victory.

So Childe Rowland said good-bye to the good queen, his mother, and went
to the cave of the Warlock Merlin. "Once more, and but once more," he
said to the Warlock, "tell how man or mother's son may rescue Burd Ellen
and her brothers twain."

"Well, my son," said the Warlock Merlin, "there are but two things,
simple they may seem, but hard they are to do. One thing to do, and one
thing not to do. And the thing to do is this: after you have entered the
land of Fairy, whoever speaks to you, till you meet the Burd Ellen,
you must out with your father's brand and off with their head. And what
you've not to do is this: bite no bit, and drink no drop, however hungry
or thirsty you be; drink a drop, or bite a bit, while in Elfland you be
and never will you see Middle Earth again."

So Childe Rowland said the two things over and over again, till he knew
them by heart, and he thanked the Warlock Merlin and went on his way.
And he went along, and along, and along, and still further along, till
he came to the horse-herd of the King of Elfland feeding his horses.
These he knew by their fiery eyes, and knew that he was at last in
the land of Fairy. "Canst thou tell me," said Childe Rowland to the
horse-herd, "where the King of Elfland's Dark Tower is?" "I cannot tell
thee," said the horse-herd, "but go on a little further and thou wilt
come to the cow-herd, and he, maybe, can tell thee."

Then, without a word more, Childe Rowland drew the good brand that never
struck in vain, and off went the horse-herd's head, and Childe Rowland
went on further, till he came to the cow-herd, and asked him the same
question. "I can't tell thee," said he, "but go on a little farther, and
thou wilt come to the hen-wife, and she is sure to know." Then Childe
Rowland out with his good brand, that never struck in vain, and off went
the cow-herd's head. And he went on a little further, till he came to an
old woman in a grey cloak, and he asked her if she knew where the Dark
Tower of the King of Elfland was. "Go on a little further," said
the hen-wife, "till you come to a round green hill, surrounded with
terrace-rings, from the bottom to the top; go round it three times,
widershins, and each time say:

  Open, door! open, door!
  And let me come in.

and the third time the door will open, and you may go in." And Childe
Rowland was just going on, when he remembered what he had to do; so he
out with the good brand, that never struck in vain, and off went the
hen-wife's head.

Then he went on, and on, and on, till he came to the round green hill
with the terrace-rings from top to bottom, and he went round it three
times, widershins, saying each time:

  Open, door! open, door!
  And let me come in.

And the third time the door did open, and he went in, and it closed with
a click, and Childe Rowland was left in the dark.

It was not exactly dark, but a kind of twilight or gloaming. There
were neither windows nor candles, and he could not make out where the
twilight came from, if not through the walls and roof. These were rough
arches made of a transparent rock, incrusted with sheepsilver and rock
spar, and other bright stones. But though it was rock, the air was quite
warm, as it always is in Elfland. So he went through this passage till
at last he came to two wide and high folding-doors which stood ajar. And
when he opened them, there he saw a most wonderful and glorious sight.
A large and spacious hall, so large that it seemed to be as long, and as
broad, as the green hill itself. The roof was supported by fine pillars,
so large and lofty, that the pillars of a cathedral were as nothing to
them. They were all of gold and silver, with fretted work, and between
them and around them, wreaths of flowers, composed of what do you think?
Why, of diamonds and emeralds, and all manner of precious stones. And
the very key-stones of the arches had for ornaments clusters of diamonds
and rubies, and pearls, and other precious stones. And all these arches
met in the middle of the roof, and just there, hung by a gold chain,
an immense lamp made out of one big pearl hollowed out and quite
transparent. And in the middle of this was a big, huge carbuncle, which
kept spinning round and round, and this was what gave light by its rays
to the whole hall, which seemed as if the setting sun was shining on it.

The hall was furnished in a manner equally grand, and at one end of
it was a glorious couch of velvet, silk and gold, and there sate Burd
Ellen, combing her golden hair with a silver comb. And when she saw
Childe Rowland she stood up and said:

  "God pity ye, poor luckless fool,
  What have ye here to do?

  "Hear ye this, my youngest brother,
  Why didn't ye bide at home?
  Had you a hundred thousand lives
  Ye couldn't spare any a one.

  "But sit ye down; but woe, O, woe,
  That ever ye were born,
  For come the King of Elfland in,
  Your fortune is forlorn."

Then they sate down together, and Childe Rowland told her all that he
had done, and she told him how their two brothers had reached the Dark
Tower, but had been enchanted by the King of Elfland, and lay there
entombed as if dead. And then after they had talked a little longer
Childe Rowland began to feel hungry from his long travels, and told his
sister Burd Ellen how hungry he was and asked for some food, forgetting
all about the Warlock Merlin's warning.

Burd Ellen looked at Childe Rowland sadly, and shook her head, but she
was under a spell, and could not warn him. So she rose up, and went
out, and soon brought back a golden basin full of bread and milk. Childe
Rowland was just going to raise it to his lips, when he looked at his
sister and remembered why he had come all that way. So he dashed the
bowl to the ground, and said: "Not a sup will I swallow, nor a bit will
I bite, till Burd Ellen is set free."

Just at that moment they heard the noise of some one approaching, and a
loud voice was heard saying:

  "Fee, fi, fo, fum,
  I smell the blood of a Christian man,
  Be he dead, be he living, with my brand,
  I'll dash his brains from his brain-pan."

And then the folding-doors of the hall were burst open, and the King of
Elfland rushed in.

"Strike then, Bogle, if thou darest," shouted out Childe Rowland, and
rushed to meet him with his good brand that never yet did fail. They
fought, and they fought, and they fought, till Childe Rowland beat the
King of Elfland down on to his knees, and caused him to yield and beg
for mercy. "I grant thee mercy," said Childe Rowland, "release my sister
from thy spells and raise my brothers to life, and let us all go free,
and thou shalt be spared." "I agree," said the Elfin King, and rising
up he went to a chest from which he took a phial filled with a blood-red
liquor. With this he anointed the ears, eyelids, nostrils, lips, and
finger-tips, of the two brothers, and they sprang at once into life, and
declared that their souls had been away, but had now returned. The Elfin
king then said some words to Burd Ellen, and she was disenchanted, and
they all four passed out of the hall, through the long passage, and
turned their back on the Dark Tower, never to return again. And they
reached home, and the good queen, their mother, and Burd Ellen never
went round a church widershins again.


Once upon a time there was a man and a wife had too many children, and
they could not get meat for them, so they took the three youngest and
left them in a wood. They travelled and travelled and could see never
a house. It began to be dark, and they were hungry. At last they saw a
light and made for it; it turned out to be a house. They knocked at the
door, and a woman came to it, who said: "What do you want?" They said:
"Please let us in and give us something to eat." The woman said: "I
can't do that, as my man is a giant, and he would kill you if he comes
home." They begged hard. "Let us stop for a little while," said they,
"and we will go away before he comes." So she took them in, and set them
down before the fire, and gave them milk and bread; but just as they had
begun to eat a great knock came to the door, and a dreadful voice said:

  "Fee, fie, fo, fum,
  I smell the blood of some earthly one.

Who have you there wife?" "Eh," said the wife, "it's three poor lassies
cold and hungry, and they will go away. Ye won't touch 'em, man." He
said nothing, but ate up a big supper, and ordered them to stay all
night. Now he had three lassies of his own, and they were to sleep in
the same bed with the three strangers.

The youngest of the three strange lassies was called Molly Whuppie, and
she was very clever. She noticed that before they went to bed the giant
put straw ropes round her neck and her sisters', and round his own
lassies' necks he put gold chains. So Molly took care and did not fall
asleep, but waited till she was sure every one was sleeping sound. Then
she slipped out of the bed, and took the straw ropes off her own and her
sisters' necks, and took the gold chains off the giant's lassies. She
then put the straw ropes on the giant's lassies and the gold on herself
and her sisters, and lay down.

And in the middle of the night up rose the giant, armed with a great
club, and felt for the necks with the straw. It was dark. He took his
own lassies out of bed on to the floor, and battered them until they
were dead, and then lay down again, thinking he had managed fine. Molly
thought it time she and her sisters were out of that, so she wakened
them and told them to be quiet, and they slipped out of the house. They
all got out safe, and they ran and ran, and never stopped until morning,
when they saw a grand house before them. It turned out to be a king's
house: so Molly went in, and told her story to the king. He said: "Well,
Molly, you are a clever girl, and you have managed well; but, if you
would manage better, and go back, and steal the giant's sword that hangs
on the back of his bed, I would give your eldest sister my eldest son to
marry." Molly said she would try.

So she went back, and managed to slip into the giant's house, and crept
in below the bed. The giant came home, and ate up a great supper, and
went to bed. Molly waited until he was snoring, and she crept out, and
reached over the giant and got down the sword; but just as she got it
out over the bed it gave a rattle, and up jumped the giant, and Molly
ran out at the door and the sword with her; and she ran, and he ran,
till they came to the "Bridge of one hair"; and she got over, but he
couldn't, and he says, "Woe worth ye, Molly Whuppie! never ye come
again." And she says "Twice yet, carle," quoth she, "I'll come to
Spain." So Molly took the sword to the king, and her sister was married
to his son.

Well, the king he says: "Ye've managed well, Molly; but if ye would
manage better, and steal the purse that lies below the giant's pillow,
I would marry your second sister to my second son." And Molly said she
would try. So she set out for the giant's house, and slipped in, and hid
again below the bed, and waited till the giant had eaten his supper, and
was snoring sound asleep. She slipped out, and slipped her hand below
the pillow, and got out the purse; but just as she was going out the
giant wakened, and ran after her; and she ran, and he ran, till they
came to the "Bridge of one hair," and she got over, but he couldn't, and
he said, "Woe worth ye, Molly Whuppie! never you come again." "Once yet,
carle," quoth she, "I'll come to Spain." So Molly took the purse to the
king, and her second sister was married to the king's second son.

After that the king says to Molly: "Molly, you are a clever girl, but if
you would do better yet, and steal the giant's ring that he wears on his
finger, I will give you my youngest son for yourself." Molly said she
would try. So back she goes to the giant's house, and hides herself
below the bed. The giant wasn't long ere he came home, and, after he had
eaten a great big supper, he went to his bed, and shortly was snoring
loud. Molly crept out and reached over the bed, and got hold of the
giant's hand, and she pulled and she pulled until she got off the ring;
but just as she got it off the giant got up, and gripped her by the
hand, and he says: "Now I have catcht you, Molly Whuppie, and, if I had
done as much ill to you as ye have done to me, what would ye do to me?"

Molly says: "I would put you into a sack, and I'd put the cat inside
with you, and the dog aside you, and a needle and thread and a shears,
and I'd hang you up upon the wall, and I'd go to the wood, and choose
the thickest stick I could get, and I would come home, and take you
down, and bang you till you were dead."

"Well, Molly," says the giant, "I'll just do that to you."

So he gets a sack, and puts Molly into it, and the cat and the dog
beside her, and a needle and thread and shears, and hangs her up upon
the wall, and goes to the wood to choose a stick.

Molly she sings out: "Oh, if ye saw what I see."

"Oh," says the giant's wife, "what do ye see, Molly?"

But Molly never said a word but, "Oh, if ye saw what I see!"

The giant's wife begged that Molly would take her up into the sack till
she would see what Molly saw. So Molly took the shears and cut a hole in
the sack, and took out the needle and thread with her, and jumped down
and helped, the giant's wife up into the sack, and sewed up the hole.

The giant's wife saw nothing, and began to ask to get down again; but
Molly never minded, but hid herself at the back of the door. Home came
the giant, and a great big tree in his hand, and he took down the sack,
and began to batter it. His wife cried, "It's me, man;" but the dog
barked and the cat mewed, and he did not know his wife's voice. But
Molly came out from the back of the door, and the giant saw her, and he
after her; and he ran and she ran, till they came to the "Bridge of one
hair," and she got over but he couldn't; and he said, "Woe worth you,
Molly Whuppie! never you come again." "Never more, carle," quoth she,
"will I come again to Spain."

So Molly took the ring to the king, and she was married to his youngest
son, and she never saw the giant again.


There was once a widow that lived on a small bit of ground, which she
rented from a farmer. And she had two sons; and by-and-by it was time
for the wife to send them away to seek their fortune. So she told her
eldest son one day to take a can and bring her water from the well, that
she might bake a cake for him; and however much or however little water
he might bring, the cake would be great or small accordingly, and that
cake was to be all that she could give him when he went on his travels.

The lad went away with the can to the well, and filled it with water,
and then came away home again; but the can being broken, the most part
of the water had run out before he got back. So his cake was very small;
yet small as it was, his mother asked him if he was willing to take the
half of it with her blessing, telling him that, if he chose rather to
take the whole, he would only get it with her curse. The young man,
thinking he might have to travel a far way, and not knowing when or
how he might get other provisions, said he would like to have the whole
cake, come of his mother's malison what like; so she gave him the whole
cake, and her malison along with it. Then he took his brother aside, and
gave him a knife to keep till he should come back, desiring him to look
at it every morning, and as long as it continued to be clear, then he
might be sure that the owner of it was well; but if it grew dim and
rusty, then for certain some ill had befallen him.

So the young man went to seek his fortune. And he went all that day, and
all the next day; and on the third day, in the afternoon, he came up to
where a shepherd was sitting with a flock of sheep. And he went up to
the shepherd and asked him who the sheep belonged to; and he answered:

  "The Red Ettin of Ireland
    Once lived in Ballygan,
  And stole King Malcolm's daughter
    The king of fair Scotland.

  He beats her, he binds her,
    He lays her on a band;
  And every day he strikes her
    With a bright silver wand.
  Like Julian the Roman,
  He's one that fears no man.

  It's said there's one predestinate
    To be his mortal foe;
  But that man is yet unborn,
    And long may it be so."

This shepherd also told him to beware of the beasts he should next meet,
for they were of a very different kind from any he had yet seen.

So the young man went on, and by-and-by he saw a multitude of very
dreadful beasts, with two heads, and on every head four horns. And he
was sore frightened, and ran away from them as fast as he could; and
glad was he when he came to a castle that stood on a hillock, with the
door standing wide open to the wall. And he went into the castle for
shelter, and there he saw an old wife sitting beside the kitchen fire.
He asked the wife if he might stay for the night, as he was tired with
a long journey; and the wife said he might, but it was not a good
place for him to be in, as it belonged to the Red Ettin, who was a very
terrible beast, with three heads, that spared no living man it could get
hold of. The young man would have gone away, but he was afraid of the
beasts on the outside of the castle; so he beseeched the old woman to
hide him as best she could, and not tell the Ettin he was there. He
thought, if he could put over the night, he might get away in the
morning, without meeting with the beasts, and so escape. But he had not
been long in his hiding-hole, before the awful Ettin came in; and no
sooner was he in, than he was heard crying:

  "Snouk but and snouk ben,
  I find the smell of an earthly man,
  Be he living, or be he dead,
  His heart this night shall kitchen my bread."

The monster soon found the poor young man, and pulled him from his hole.
And when he had got him out, he told him that if he could answer him
three questions his life should be spared. So the first head asked: "A
thing without an end, what's that?" But the young man knew not. Then the
second head said: "The smaller, the more dangerous, what's that?" But
the young man knew it not. And then the third head asked: "The dead
carrying the living; riddle me that?" But the young man had to give it
up. The lad not being able to answer one of these questions, the Red
Ettin took a mallet and knocked him on the head, and turned him into a
pillar of stone.

On the morning after this happened, the younger brother took out the
knife to look at it, and he was grieved to find it all brown with rust.
He told his mother that the time was now come for him to go away upon
his travels also; so she requested him to take the can to the well for
water, that she might make a cake for him. And he went, and as he was
bringing home the water, a raven over his head cried to him to look, and
he would see that the water was running out. And he was a young man of
sense, and seeing the water running out, he took some clay and patched
up the holes, so that he brought home enough water to bake a large cake.
When his mother put it to him to take the half cake with her blessing,
he took it in preference to having the whole with her malison; and yet
the half was bigger than what the other lad had got.

So he went away on his journey; and after he had travelled a far way, he
met with an old woman that asked him if he would give her a bit of his
johnny-cake. And he said: "I will gladly do that," and so he gave her a
piece of the johnny-cake; and for that she gave him a magical wand, that
she might yet be of service to him, if he took care to use it rightly.
Then the old woman, who was a fairy, told him a great deal that would
happen to him, and what he ought to do in all circumstances; and after
that she vanished in an instant out of his sight. He went on a great way
farther, and then he came up to the old man herding the sheep; and when
he asked whose sheep these were, the answer was:

  "The Red Ettin of Ireland
    Once lived in Ballygan,
  And stole King Malcolm's daughter,
    The king of Fair Scotland.

  "He beats her, he binds her,
    He lays her on a band;
  And every day he strikes her
    With a bright silver wand.
  Like Julian the Roman,
  He's one that fears no man.

  "But now I fear his end is near,
    And destiny at hand;
  And you're to be, I plainly see,
    The heir of all his land."

When he came to the place where the monstrous beasts were standing, he
did not stop nor run away, but went boldly through amongst them. One
came up roaring with open mouth to devour him, when he struck it with
his wand, and laid it in an instant dead at his feet. He soon came to
the Ettin's castle, where he knocked, and was admitted. The old woman
who sat by the fire warned him of the terrible Ettin, and what had been
the fate of his brother; but he was not to be daunted. The monster soon
came in, saying:

  "Snouk but and snouk ben,
  I find the smell of an earthly man;
  Be he living, or be he dead,
  His heart shall be kitchen to my bread."

He quickly espied the young man, and bade him come forth on the floor.
And then he put the three questions to him; but the young man had been
told everything by the good fairy, so he was able to answer all the
questions. So when the first head asked, "What's the thing without an
end?" he said: "A bowl." And when the second head said: "The smaller the
more dangerous; what's that?" he said at once, "A bridge." And last, the
third head said: "When does the dead carry the living, riddle me that?"
Then the young man answered up at once and said: "When a ship sails on
the sea with men inside her." When the Ettin found this, he knew that
his power was gone. The young man then took up an axe and hewed off the
monster's three heads. He next asked the old woman to show him where the
king's daughter lay; and the old woman took him upstairs, and opened a
great many doors, and out of every door came a beautiful lady who had
been imprisoned there by the Ettin; and one of the ladies was the king's
daughter. She also took him down into a low room, and there stood a
stone pillar, that he had only to touch with his wand, when his brother
started into life. And the whole of the prisoners were overjoyed at
their deliverance, for which they thanked the young man. Next day they
all set out for the king's court, and a gallant company they made. And
the king married his daughter to the young man that had delivered
her, and gave a noble's daughter to his brother; and so they all lived
happily all the rest of their days.


Here was once a man who travelled the land all over in search of a wife.
He saw young and old, rich and poor, pretty and plain, and could not
meet with one to his mind. At last he found a woman, young, fair, and
rich, who possessed a right arm of solid gold. He married her at once,
and thought no man so fortunate as he was. They lived happily together,
but, though he wished people to think otherwise, he was fonder of the
golden arm than of all his wife's gifts besides.

At last she died. The husband put on the blackest black, and pulled the
longest face at the funeral; but for all that he got up in the middle of
the night, dug up the body, and cut off the golden arm. He hurried home
to hide his treasure, and thought no one would know.

The following night he put the golden arm under his pillow, and was just
falling asleep, when the ghost of his dead wife glided into the room.
Stalking up to the bedside it drew the curtain, and looked at him
reproachfully. Pretending not to be afraid, he spoke to the ghost, and
said: "What hast thou done with thy cheeks so red?"

"All withered and wasted away," replied the ghost, in a hollow tone.

"What hast thou done with thy red rosy lips?"

"All withered and wasted away."

"What hast thou done with thy golden hair?"

"All withered and wasted away."

"What hast thou done with thy _Golden Arm_?"



In the days of the great Prince Arthur, there lived a mighty magician,
called Merlin, the most learned and skilful enchanter the world has ever

This famous magician, who could take any form he pleased, was travelling
about as a poor beggar, and being very tired, he stopped at the cottage
of a ploughman to rest himself, and asked for some food.

The countryman bade him welcome, and his wife, who was a very
good-hearted woman, soon brought him some milk in a wooden bowl, and
some coarse brown bread on a platter.

Merlin was much pleased with the kindness of the ploughman and his
wife; but he could not help noticing that though everything was neat
and comfortable in the cottage, they seemed both to be very unhappy. He
therefore asked them why they were so melancholy, and learned that they
were miserable because they had no children.

The poor woman said, with tears in her eyes: "I should be the happiest
creature in the world if I had a son; although he was no bigger than my
husband's thumb, I would be satisfied."

Merlin was so much amused with the idea of a boy no bigger than a man's
thumb, that he determined to grant the poor woman's wish. Accordingly,
in a short time after, the ploughman's wife had a son, who, wonderful to
relate! was not a bit bigger than his father's thumb.

The queen of the fairies, wishing to see the little fellow, came in at
the window while the mother was sitting up in the bed admiring him. The
queen kissed the child, and, giving it the name of Tom Thumb, sent for
some of the fairies, who dressed her little godson according to her

  "An oak-leaf hat he had for his crown;
  His shirt of web by spiders spun;
  With jacket wove of thistle's down;
  His trowsers were of feathers done.
  His stockings, of apple-rind, they tie
  With eyelash from his mother's eye
  His shoes were made of mouse's skin,
  Tann'd with the downy hair within."

Tom never grew any larger than his father's thumb, which was only of
ordinary size; but as he got older he became very cunning and full of
tricks. When he was old enough to play with the boys, and had lost
all his own cherry-stones, he used to creep into the bags of his
playfellows, fill his pockets, and, getting out without their noticing
him, would again join in the game.

One day, however, as he was coming out of a bag of cherry-stones, where
he had been stealing as usual, the boy to whom it belonged chanced to
see him. "Ah, ah! my little Tommy," said the boy, "so I have caught you
stealing my cherry-stones at last, and you shall be rewarded for your
thievish tricks." On saying this, he drew the string tight round his
neck, and gave the bag such a hearty shake, that poor little Tom's legs,
thighs, and body were sadly bruised. He roared out with pain, and begged
to be let out, promising never to steal again.

A short time afterwards his mother was making a batter-pudding, and Tom,
being very anxious to see how it was made, climbed up to the edge of the
bowl; but his foot slipped, and he plumped over head and ears into
the batter, without his mother noticing him, who stirred him into the
pudding-bag, and put him in the pot to boil.

The batter filled Tom's mouth, and prevented him from crying; but, on
feeling the hot water, he kicked and struggled so much in the pot, that
his mother thought that the pudding was bewitched, and, pulling it
out of the pot, she threw it outside the door. A poor tinker, who was
passing by, lifted up the pudding, and, putting it into his budget, he
then walked off. As Tom had now got his mouth cleared of the batter, he
then began to cry aloud, which so frightened the tinker that he flung
down the pudding and ran away. The pudding being broke to pieces by the
fall, Tom crept out covered all over with the batter, and walked home.
His mother, who was very sorry to see her darling in such a woeful
state, put him into a teacup, and soon washed off the batter; after
which she kissed him, and laid him in bed.

Soon after the adventure of the pudding, Tom's mother went to milk her
cow in the meadow, and she took him along with her. As the wind was very
high, for fear of being blown away, she tied him to a thistle with a
piece of fine thread. The cow soon observed Tom's oak-leaf hat, and
liking the appearance of it, took poor Tom and the thistle at one
mouthful. While the cow was chewing the thistle Tom was afraid of her
great teeth, which threatened to crush him in pieces, and he roared out
as loud as he could: "Mother, mother!"

"Where are you, Tommy, my dear Tommy?" said his mother.

"Here, mother," replied he, "in the red cow's mouth."

His mother began to cry and wring her hands; but the cow, surprised
at the odd noise in her throat, opened her mouth and let Tom drop out.
Fortunately his mother caught him in her apron as he was falling to the
ground, or he would have been dreadfully hurt. She then put Tom in her
bosom and ran home with him.

Tom's father made him a whip of a barley straw to drive the cattle with,
and having one day gone into the fields, he slipped a foot and rolled
into the furrow. A raven, which was flying over, picked him up, and flew
with him over the sea, and there dropped him.

A large fish swallowed Tom the moment he fell into the sea, which was
soon after caught, and bought for the table of King Arthur. When they
opened the fish in order to cook it, every one was astonished at finding
such a little boy, and Tom was quite delighted at being free again.
They carried him to the king, who made Tom his dwarf, and he soon grew
a great favourite at court; for by his tricks and gambols he not only
amused the king and queen, but also all the Knights of the Round Table.

It is said that when the king rode out on horseback, he often took
Tom along with him, and if a shower came on, he used to creep into his
majesty's waistcoat-pocket, where he slept till the rain was over.

King Arthur one day asked Tom about his parents, wishing to know if they
were as small as he was, and whether they were well off. Tom told the
king that his father and mother were as tall as anybody about the court,
but in rather poor circumstances. On hearing this, the king carried Tom
to his treasury, the place where he kept all his money, and told him to
take as much money as he could carry home to his parents, which made
the poor little fellow caper with joy. Tom went immediately to procure
a purse, which was made of a water-bubble, and then returned to the
treasury, where he received a silver threepenny-piece to put into it.

Our little hero had some difficulty in lifting the burden upon his
back; but he at last succeeded in getting it placed to his mind, and set
forward on his journey. However, without meeting with any accident, and
after resting himself more than a hundred times by the way, in two days
and two nights he reached his father's house in safety.

Tom had travelled forty-eight hours with a huge silver-piece on his
back, and was almost tired to death, when his mother ran out to meet
him, and carried him into the house. But he soon returned to Court.

As Tom's clothes had suffered much in the batter-pudding, and the inside
of the fish, his majesty ordered him a new suit of clothes, and to be
mounted as a knight on a mouse.

  Of Butterfly's wings his shirt was made,
    His boots of chicken's hide;
  And by a nimble fairy blade,
  Well learned in the tailoring trade,
    His clothing was supplied.
  A needle dangled by his side;
  A dapper mouse he used to ride,
  Thus strutted Tom in stately pride!

It was certainly very diverting to see Tom in this dress and mounted on
the mouse, as he rode out a-hunting with the king and nobility, who were
all ready to expire with laughter at Tom and his fine prancing charger.

The king was so charmed with his address that he ordered a little chair
to be made, in order that Tom might sit upon his table, and also a
palace of gold, a span high, with a door an inch wide, to live in. He
also gave him a coach, drawn by six small mice.

The queen was so enraged at the honours conferred on Sir Thomas that she
resolved to ruin him, and told the king that the little knight had been
saucy to her.

The king sent for Tom in great haste, but being fully aware of the
danger of royal anger, he crept into an empty snail-shell, where he lay
for a long time until he was almost starved with hunger; but at last he
ventured to peep out, and seeing a fine large butterfly on the ground,
near the place of his concealment, he got close to it and jumping
astride on it, was carried up into the air. The butterfly flew with him
from tree to tree and from field to field, and at last returned to the
court, where the king and nobility all strove to catch him; but at last
poor Tom fell from his seat into a watering-pot, in which he was almost

When the queen saw him she was in a rage, and said he should be
beheaded; and he was again put into a mouse trap until the time of his

However a cat, observing something alive in the trap, patted it about
till the wires broke, and set Thomas at liberty.

The king received Tom again into favour, which he did not live to enjoy,
for a large spider one day attacked him; and although he drew his sword
and fought well, yet the spider's poisonous breath at last overcame him.

  He fell dead on the ground where he stood,
  And the spider suck'd every drop of his blood.

King Arthur and his whole court were so sorry at the loss of their
little favourite that they went into mourning and raised a fine white
marble monument over his grave with the following epitaph:

  Here lies Tom Thumb, King Arthur's knight,
  Who died by a spider's cruel bite.
  He was well known in Arthur's court,
  Where he afforded gallant sport;
  He rode at tilt and tournament,
  And on a mouse a-hunting went.
  Alive he filled the court with mirth;
  His death to sorrow soon gave birth.
  Wipe, wipe your eyes, and shake your head
  And cry,--Alas! Tom Thumb is dead!


Lady Mary was young, and Lady Mary was fair. She had two brothers, and
more lovers than she could count. But of them all, the bravest and most
gallant, was a Mr. Fox, whom she met when she was down at her father's
country-house. No one knew who Mr. Fox was; but he was certainly brave,
and surely rich, and of all her lovers, Lady Mary cared for him alone.
At last it was agreed upon between them that they should be married.
Lady Mary asked Mr. Fox where they should live, and he described to her
his castle, and where it was; but, strange to say, did not ask her, or
her brothers to come and see it.

So one day, near the wedding-day, when her brothers were out, and Mr.
Fox was away for a day or two on business, as he said, Lady Mary set out
for Mr. Fox's castle. And after many searchings, she came at last to
it, and a fine strong house it was, with high walls and a deep moat. And
when she came up to the gateway she saw written on it:


But as the gate was open, she went through it, and found no one there.
So she went up to the doorway, and over it she found written:


Still she went on, till she came into the hall, and went up the broad
stairs till she came to a door in the gallery, over which was written:


But Lady Mary was a brave one, she was, and she opened the door, and
what do you think she saw? Why, bodies and skeletons of beautiful young
ladies all stained with blood. So Lady Mary thought it was high time to
get out of that horrid place, and she closed the door, went through the
gallery, and was just going down the stairs, and out of the hall, when
who should she see through the window, but Mr. Fox dragging a beautiful
young lady along from the gateway to the door. Lady Mary rushed
downstairs, and hid herself behind a cask, just in time, as Mr. Fox came
in with the poor young lady who seemed to have fainted. Just as he got
near Lady Mary, Mr. Fox saw a diamond ring glittering on the finger of
the young lady he was dragging, and he tried to pull it off. But it was
tightly fixed, and would not come off, so Mr. Fox cursed and swore, and
drew his sword, raised it, and brought it down upon the hand of the poor
lady. The sword cut off the hand, which jumped up into the air, and fell
of all places in the world into Lady Mary's lap. Mr. Fox looked about a
bit, but did not think of looking behind the cask, so at last he went on
dragging the young lady up the stairs into the Bloody Chamber.

As soon as she heard him pass through the gallery, Lady Mary crept
out of the door, down through the gateway, and ran home as fast as she

Now it happened that the very next day the marriage contract of Lady
Mary and Mr. Fox was to be signed, and there was a splendid breakfast
before that. And when Mr. Fox was seated at table opposite Lady Mary,
he looked at her. "How pale you are this morning, my dear." "Yes,"
said she, "I had a bad night's rest last night. I had horrible dreams."
"Dreams go by contraries," said Mr. Fox; "but tell us your dream, and
your sweet voice will make the time pass till the happy hour comes."

"I dreamed," said Lady Mary, "that I went yestermorn to your castle, and
I found it in the woods, with high walls, and a deep moat, and over the
gateway was written:


"But it is not so, nor it was not so," said Mr. Fox.

"And when I came to the doorway over it was written:


"It is not so, nor it was not so," said Mr. Fox.

"And then I went upstairs, and came to a gallery, at the end of which
was a door, on which was written:


"It is not so, nor it was not so," said Mr. Fox.

"And then--and then I opened the door, and the room was filled with
bodies and skeletons of poor dead women, all stained with their blood."

"It is not so, nor it was not so. And God forbid it should be so," said
Mr. Fox.

"I then dreamed that I rushed down the gallery, and just as I was
going down the stairs, I saw you, Mr. Fox, coming up to the hall door,
dragging after you a poor young lady, rich and beautiful."

"It is not so, nor it was not so. And God forbid it should be so," said
Mr. Fox.

"I rushed downstairs, just in time to hide myself behind a cask, when
you, Mr. Fox, came in dragging the young lady by the arm. And, as you
passed me, Mr. Fox, I thought I saw you try and get off her diamond
ring, and when you could not, Mr. Fox, it seemed to me in my dream, that
you out with your sword and hacked off the poor lady's hand to get the

"It is not so, nor it was not so. And God forbid it should be so," said
Mr. Fox, and was going to say something else as he rose from his seat,
when Lady Mary cried out:

"But it is so, and it was so. Here's hand and ring I have to show," and
pulled out the lady's hand from her dress, and pointed it straight at
Mr. Fox.

At once her brothers and her friends drew their swords and cut Mr. Fox
into a thousand pieces.


Once upon a time there was a boy whose name was Jack, and he lived with
his mother on a common. They were very poor, and the old woman got her
living by spinning, but Jack was so lazy that he would do nothing but
bask in the sun in the hot weather, and sit by the corner of the hearth
in the winter-time. So they called him Lazy Jack. His mother could not
get him to do anything for her, and at last told him, one Monday, that
if he did not begin to work for his porridge she would turn him out to
get his living as he could.

This roused Jack, and he went out and hired himself for the next day
to a neighbouring farmer for a penny; but as he was coming home, never
having had any money before, he lost it in passing over a brook. "You
stupid boy," said his mother, "you should have put it in your pocket."
"I'll do so another time," replied Jack.

On Wednesday, Jack went out again and hired himself to a cow-keeper, who
gave him a jar of milk for his day's work. Jack took the jar and put it
into the large pocket of his jacket, spilling it all, long before he got
home. "Dear me!" said the old woman; "you should have carried it on your
head." "I'll do so another time," said Jack.

So on Thursday, Jack hired himself again to a farmer, who agreed to
give him a cream cheese for his services. In the evening Jack took the
cheese, and went home with it on his head. By the time he got home the
cheese was all spoilt, part of it being lost, and part matted with his
hair. "You stupid lout," said his mother, "you should have carried it
very carefully in your hands." "I'll do so another time," replied Jack.

On Friday, Lazy Jack again went out, and hired himself to a baker, who
would give him nothing for his work but a large tom-cat. Jack took the
cat, and began carrying it very carefully in his hands, but in a short
time pussy scratched him so much that he was compelled to let it go.
When he got home, his mother said to him, "You silly fellow, you should
have tied it with a string, and dragged it along after you." "I'll do so
another time," said Jack.

So on Saturday, Jack hired himself to a butcher, who rewarded him by the
handsome present of a shoulder of mutton. Jack took the mutton, tied it
to a string, and trailed it along after him in the dirt, so that by the
time he had got home the meat was completely spoilt. His mother was this
time quite out of patience with him, for the next day was Sunday,
and she was obliged to make do with cabbage for her dinner. "You
ninney-hammer," said she to her son; "you should have carried it on your
shoulder." "I'll do so another time," replied Jack.

On the next Monday, Lazy Jack went once more, and hired himself to a
cattle-keeper, who gave him a donkey for his trouble. Jack found it hard
to hoist the donkey on his shoulders, but at last he did it, and began
walking slowly home with his prize. Now it happened that in the
course of his journey there lived a rich man with his only daughter,
a beautiful girl, but deaf and dumb. Now she had never laughed in her
life, and the doctors said she would never speak till somebody made her
laugh. This young lady happened to be looking out of the window when
Jack was passing with the donkey on his shoulders, with the legs
sticking up in the air, and the sight was so comical and strange that
she burst out into a great fit of laughter, and immediately recovered
her speech and hearing. Her father was overjoyed, and fulfilled
his promise by marrying her to Lazy Jack, who was thus made a rich
gentleman. They lived in a large house, and Jack's mother lived with
them in great happiness until she died.


Once upon a time there was an old man, and an old woman, and a little
boy. One morning the old woman made a Johnny-cake, and put it in the
oven to bake. "You watch the Johnny-cake while your father and I go out
to work in the garden." So the old man and the old woman went out and
began to hoe potatoes, and left the little boy to tend the oven. But he
didn't watch it all the time, and all of a sudden he heard a noise, and
he looked up and the oven door popped open, and out of the oven jumped
Johnny-cake, and went rolling along end over end, towards the open door
of the house. The little boy ran to shut the door, but Johnny-cake was
too quick for him and rolled through the door, down the steps, and out
into the road long before the little boy could catch him. The little boy
ran after him as fast as he could clip it, crying out to his father and
mother, who heard the uproar, and threw down their hoes and gave chase
too. But Johnny-cake outran all three a long way, and was soon out of
sight, while they had to sit down, all out of breath, on a bank to rest.

On went Johnny-cake, and by-and-by he came to two well-diggers who
looked up from their work and called out: "Where ye going, Johnny-cake?"

He said: "I've outrun an old man, and an old woman, and a little boy,
and I can outrun you too-o-o!"

"Ye can, can ye? we'll see about that?" said they; and they threw down
their picks and ran after him, but couldn't catch up with him, and soon
they had to sit down by the roadside to rest.

On ran Johnny-cake, and by-and-by he came to two ditch-diggers who were
digging a ditch. "Where ye going, Johnny-cake?" said they. He said:
"I've outrun an old man, and an old woman, and a little boy, and two
well-diggers, and I can outrun you too-o-o!"

"Ye can, can ye? we'll see about that!" said they; and they threw down
their spades, and ran after him too. But Johnny-cake soon outstripped
them also, and seeing they could never catch him, they gave up the chase
and sat down to rest.

On went Johnny-cake, and by-and-by he came to a bear. The bear said:
"Where are ye going, Johnny-cake?"

He said: "I've outrun an old man, and an old woman and a little boy, and
two well-diggers, and two ditch-diggers, and I can outrun you too-o-o!"

"Ye can, can ye?" growled the bear, "we'll see about that!" and trotted
as fast as his legs could carry him after Johnny-cake, who never stopped
to look behind him. Before long the bear was left so far behind that
he saw he might as well give up the hunt first as last, so he stretched
himself out by the roadside to rest.

On went Johnny-cake, and by-and-by he came to a wolf. The wolf
said:--"Where ye going, Johnny-cake?" He said: "I've outrun an old
man, and an old woman, and a little boy, and two well-diggers, and two
ditch-diggers and a bear, and I can outrun you too-o-o!"

"Ye can, can ye?" snarled the wolf, "we'll see about that!" And he set
into a gallop after Johnny-cake, who went on and on so fast that the
wolf too saw there was no hope of overtaking him, and he too lay down to

On went Johnny-cake, and by-and-by he came to a fox that lay quietly in
a corner of the fence. The fox called out in a sharp voice, but without
getting up: "Where ye going Johnny-cake?"

He said: "I've outrun an old man, and an old woman, and a little boy,
and two well-diggers, and two ditch-diggers, a bear, and a wolf, and I
can outrun you too-o-o!"

The fox said: "I can't quite hear you, Johnny-cake, won't you come a
little closer?" turning his head a little to one side.

Johnny-cake stopped his race for the first time, and went a little
closer, and called out in a very loud voice _"I've outrun an old man,
and an old woman, and a little boy, and two well-diggers, and two
ditch-diggers, and a bear, and a wolf, and I can outrun you too-o-o."_

"Can't quite hear you; won't you come a _little_ closer?" said the fox
in a feeble voice, as he stretched out his neck towards Johnny-cake, and
put one paw behind his ear.

Johnny-cake came up close, and leaning towards the fox screamed out:

"You can, can you?" yelped the fox, and he snapped up the Johnny-cake in
his sharp teeth in the twinkling of an eye.


One fine summer's day Earl Mar's daughter went into the castle garden,
dancing and tripping along. And as she played and sported she would stop
from time to time to listen to the music of the birds. After a while as
she sat under the shade of a green oak tree she looked up and spied a
sprightly dove sitting high up on one of its branches. She looked up
and said: "Coo-my-dove, my dear, come down to me and I will give you a
golden cage. I'll take you home and pet you well, as well as any bird
of them all." Scarcely had she said these words when the dove flew down
from the branch and settled on her shoulder, nestling up against her
neck while she smoothed its feathers. Then she took it home to her own

The day was done and the night came on and Earl Mar's daughter was
thinking of going to sleep when, turning round, she found at her side a
handsome young man. She _was_ startled, for the door had been locked
for hours. But she was a brave girl and said: "What are you doing here,
young man, to come and startle me so? The door was barred these hours
ago; how ever did you come here?"

"Hush! hush!" the young man whispered. "I was that cooing dove that you
coaxed from off the tree."

"But who are you then?" she said quite low; "and how came you to be
changed into that dear little bird?"

"My name is Florentine, and my mother is a queen, and something more
than a queen, for she knows magic and spells, and because I would not do
as she wished she turned me into a dove by day, but at night her spells
lose their power and I become a man again. To-day I crossed the sea and
saw you for the first time and I was glad to be a bird that I could come
near you. Unless you love me, I shall never be happy more."

"But if I love you," says she, "will you not fly away and leave me one
of these fine days?"

"Never, never," said the prince; "be my wife and I'll be yours for ever.
By day a bird, by night a prince, I will always be by your side as a
husband, dear."

So they were married in secret and lived happily in the castle and no
one knew that every night Coo-my-dove became Prince Florentine. And
every year a little son came to them as bonny as bonny could be. But as
each son was born Prince Florentine carried the little thing away on
his back over the sea to where the queen his mother lived and left the
little one with her.

Seven years passed thus and then a great trouble came to them. For the
Earl Mar wished to marry his daughter to a noble of high degree who came
wooing her. Her father pressed her sore but she said: "Father dear, I do
not wish to marry; I can be quite happy with Coo-my-dove here."

Then her father got into a mighty rage and swore a great big oath, and
said: "To-morrow, so sure as I live and eat, I'll twist that birdie's
neck," and out he stamped from her room.

"Oh, oh!" said Coo-my-dove; "it's time that I was away," and so he
jumped upon the window-sill and in a moment was flying away. And he flew
and he flew till he was over the deep, deep sea, and yet on he flew till
he came to his mother's castle. Now the queen his mother was taking her
walk abroad when she saw the pretty dove flying overhead and alighting
on the castle walls.

"Here, dancers come and dance your jigs," she called, "and pipers, pipe
you well, for here's my own Florentine, come back to me to stay for he's
brought no bonny boy with him this time."

"No, mother," said Florentine, "no dancers for me and no minstrels, for
my dear wife, the mother of my seven, boys, is to be wed to-morrow, and
sad's the day for me."

"What can I do, my son?" said the queen, "tell me, and it shall be done
if my magic has power to do it."

"Well then, mother dear, turn the twenty-four dancers and pipers into
twenty-four grey herons, and let my seven sons become seven white swans,
and let me be a goshawk and their leader."

"Alas! alas! my son," she said, "that may not be; my magic reaches
not so far. But perhaps my teacher, the spaewife of Ostree, may know
better." And away she hurries to the cave of Ostree, and after a while
comes out as white as white can be and muttering over some burning herbs
she brought out of the cave. Suddenly Coo-my-dove changed into a goshawk
and around him flew twenty-four grey herons and above them flew seven

Without a word or a good-bye off they flew over the deep blue sea which
was tossing and moaning. They flew and they flew till they swooped down
on Earl Mar's castle just as the wedding party were setting out for the
church. First came the men-at-arms and then the bridegroom's friends,
and then Earl Mar's men, and then the bridegroom, and lastly, pale
and beautiful, Earl Mar's daughter herself. They moved down slowly to
stately music till they came past the trees on which the birds were
settling. A word from Prince Florentine, the goshawk, and they all rose
into the air, herons beneath, cygnets above, and goshawk circling above
all. The weddineers wondered at the sight when, swoop! the herons were
down among them scattering the men-at-arms. The swanlets took charge
of the bride while the goshawk dashed down and tied the bridegroom to a
tree. Then the herons gathered themselves together into one feather bed
and the cygnets placed their mother upon them, and suddenly they all
rose in the air bearing the bride away with them in safety towards
Prince Florentine's home. Surely a wedding party was never so disturbed
in this world. What could the weddineers do? They saw their pretty bride
carried away and away till she and the herons and the swans and the
goshawk disappeared, and that very day Prince Florentine brought Earl
Mar's daughter to the castle of the queen his mother, who took the spell
off him and they lived happy ever afterwards.


Tommy Grimes was sometimes a good boy, and sometimes a bad boy; and when
he was a bad boy, he was a very bad boy. Now his mother used to say to
him: "Tommy, Tommy, be a good boy, and don't go out of the street, or
else Mr. Miacca will take you." But still when he was a bad boy he would
go out of the street; and one day, sure enough, he had scarcely got
round the corner, when Mr. Miacca did catch him and popped him into a
bag upside down, and took him off to his house.

When Mr. Miacca got Tommy inside, he pulled him out of the bag and set
him down, and felt his arms and legs. "You're rather tough," says he;
"but you're all I've got for supper, and you'll not taste bad boiled.
But body o' me, I've forgot the herbs, and it's bitter you'll taste
without herbs. Sally! Here, I say, Sally!" and he called Mrs. Miacca.

So Mrs. Miacca came out of another room and said: "What d'ye want, my

"Oh, here's a little boy for supper," said Mr. Miacca, "and I've forgot
the herbs. Mind him, will ye, while I go for them."

"All right, my love," says Mrs. Miacca, and off he goes.

Then Tommy Grimes said to Mrs. Miacca: "Does Mr. Miacca always have
little boys for supper?"

"Mostly, my dear," said Mrs. Miacca, "if little boys are bad enough, and
get in his way."

"And don't you have anything else but boy-meat? No pudding?" asked

"Ah, I loves pudding," says Mrs. Miacca. "But it's not often the likes
of me gets pudding."

"Why, my mother is making a pudding this very day," said Tommy Grimes,
"and I am sure she'd give you some, if I ask her. Shall I run and get

"Now, that's a thoughtful boy," said Mrs. Miacca, "only don't be long
and be sure to be back for supper."

So off Tommy pelters, and right glad he was to get off so cheap; and for
many a long day he was as good as good could be, and never went round
the corner of the street. But he couldn't always be good; and one day he
went round the corner, and as luck would have it, he hadn't scarcely got
round it when Mr. Miacca grabbed him up, popped him in his bag, and took
him home.

When he got him there, Mr. Miacca dropped him out; and when he saw him,
he said: "Ah, you're the youngster what served me and my missus that
shabby trick, leaving us without any supper. Well, you shan't do it
again. I'll watch over you myself. Here, get under the sofa, and I'll
set on it and watch the pot boil for you."

So poor Tommy Grimes had to creep under the sofa, and Mr. Miacca sat on
it and waited for the pot to boil. And they waited, and they waited, but
still the pot didn't boil, till at last Mr. Miacca got tired of waiting,
and he said: "Here, you under there, I'm not going to wait any longer;
put out your leg, and I'll stop your giving us the slip."

So Tommy put out a leg, and Mr. Miacca got a chopper, and chopped it
off, and pops it in the pot.

Suddenly he calls out: "Sally, my dear, Sally!" and nobody answered. So
he went into the next room to look out for Mrs. Miacca, and while he was
there, Tommy crept out from under the sofa and ran out of the door. For
it was a leg of the sofa that he had put out.

So Tommy Grimes ran home, and he never went round the corner again till
he was old enough to go alone.


In the reign of the famous King Edward III. there was a little boy
called Dick Whittington, whose father and mother died when he was very
young. As poor Dick was not old enough to work, he was very badly off;
he got but little for his dinner, and sometimes nothing at all for
his breakfast; for the people who lived in the village were very poor
indeed, and could not spare him much more than the parings of potatoes,
and now and then a hard crust of bread.

Now Dick had heard a great many very strange things about the great city
called London; for the country people at that time thought that folks
in London were all fine gentlemen and ladies; and that there was singing
and music there all day long; and that the streets were all paved with

One day a large waggon and eight horses, all with bells at their heads,
drove through the village while Dick was standing by the sign-post. He
thought that this waggon must be going to the fine town of London; so
he took courage, and asked the waggoner to let him walk with him by the
side of the waggon. As soon as the waggoner heard that poor Dick had
no father or mother, and saw by his ragged clothes that he could not be
worse off than he was, he told him he might go if he would, so off they
set together.

So Dick got safe to London, and was in such a hurry to see the fine
streets paved all over with gold, that he did not even stay to thank the
kind waggoner; but ran off as fast as his legs would carry him, through
many of the streets, thinking every moment to come to those that were
paved with gold; for Dick had seen a guinea three times in his own
little village, and remembered what a deal of money it brought in
change; so he thought he had nothing to do but to take up some little
bits of the pavement, and should then have as much money as he could
wish for.

Poor Dick ran till he was tired, and had quite forgot his friend the
waggoner; but at last, finding it grow dark, and that every way he
turned he saw nothing but dirt instead of gold, he, sat down in a dark
corner and cried himself to sleep.

Little Dick was all night in the streets; and next morning, being very
hungry, he got up and walked about, and asked everybody he met to give
him a halfpenny to keep him from starving; but nobody stayed to answer
him, and only two or three gave him a halfpenny; so that the poor boy
was soon quite weak and faint for the want of victuals.

In this distress he asked charity of several people, and one of them
said crossly: "Go to work, for an idle rogue." "That I will," says Dick,
"I will to go work for you, if you will let me." But the man only cursed
at him and went on.

At last a good-natured looking gentleman saw how hungry he looked. "Why
don't you go to work my lad?" said he to Dick. "That I would, but I do
not know how to get any," answered Dick. "If you are willing, come along
with me," said the gentleman, and took him to a hay-field, where Dick
worked briskly, and lived merrily till the hay was made.

After this he found himself as badly off as before; and being almost
starved again, he laid himself down at the door of Mr. Fitzwarren,
a rich merchant. Here he was soon seen by the cook-maid, who was an
ill-tempered creature, and happened just then to be very busy dressing
dinner for her master and mistress; so she called out to poor Dick:
"What business have you there, you lazy rogue? there is nothing else but
beggars; if you do not take yourself away, we will see how you will like
a sousing of some dish-water; I have some here hot enough to make you

Just at that time Mr. Fitzwarren himself came home to dinner; and when
he saw a dirty ragged boy lying at the door, he said to him: "Why do
you lie there, my boy? You seem old enough to work; I am afraid you are
inclined to be lazy."

"No, indeed, sir," said Dick to him, "that is not the case, for I would
work with all my heart, but I do not know anybody, and I believe I am
very sick for the want of food."

"Poor fellow, get up; let me see what ails you." Dick now tried to rise,
but was obliged to lie down again, being too weak to stand, for he had
not eaten any food for three days, and was no longer able to run about
and beg a halfpenny of people in the street. So the kind merchant
ordered him to be taken into the house, and have a good dinner given
him, and be kept to do what work he was able to do for the cook.

Little Dick would have lived very happy in this good family if it had
not been for the ill-natured cook. She used to say: "You are under me,
so look sharp; clean the spit and the dripping-pan, make the fires, wind
up the jack, and do all the scullery work nimbly, or--" and she would
shake the ladle at him. Besides, she was so fond of basting, that when
she had no meat to baste, she would baste poor Dick's head and shoulders
with a broom, or anything else that happened to fall in her way. At last
her ill-usage of him was told to Alice, Mr. Fitzwarren's daughter, who
told the cook she should be turned away if she did not treat him kinder.

The behaviour of the cook was now a little better; but besides this Dick
had another hardship to get over. His bed stood in a garret, where there
were so many holes in the floor and the walls that every night he was
tormented with rats and mice. A gentleman having given Dick a penny for
cleaning his shoes, he thought he would buy a cat with it. The next day
he saw a girl with a cat, and asked her, "Will you let me have that cat
for a penny?" The girl said: "Yes, that I will, master, though she is an
excellent mouser."

Dick hid his cat in the garret, and always took care to carry a part of
his dinner to her; and in a short time he had no more trouble with the
rats and mice, but slept quite sound every night.

Soon after this, his master had a ship ready to sail; and as it was the
custom that all his servants should have some chance for good fortune as
well as himself, he called them all into the parlour and asked them what
they would send out.

They all had something that they were willing to venture except poor
Dick, who had neither money nor goods, and therefore could send nothing.
For this reason he did not come into the parlour with the rest; but Miss
Alice guessed what was the matter, and ordered him to be called in. She
then said: "I will lay down some money for him, from my own purse;" but
her father told her: "This will not do, for it must be something of his

When poor Dick heard this, he said: "I have nothing but a cat which I
bought for a penny some time since of a little girl."

"Fetch your cat then, my lad," said Mr. Fitzwarren, "and let her go."

Dick went upstairs and brought down poor puss, with tears in his eyes,
and gave her to the captain; "For," he said, "I shall now be kept awake
all night by the rats and mice." All the company laughed at Dick's odd
venture; and Miss Alice, who felt pity for him, gave him some money to
buy another cat.

This, and many other marks of kindness shown him by Miss Alice, made the
ill-tempered cook jealous of poor Dick, and she began to use him more
cruelly than ever, and always made game of him for sending his cat to

She asked him: "Do you think your cat will sell for as much money as
would buy a stick to beat you?"

At last poor Dick could not bear this usage any longer, and he thought
he would run away from his place; so he packed up his few things, and
started very early in the morning, on All-hallows Day, the first of
November. He walked as far as Holloway; and there sat down on a stone,
which to this day is called "Whittington's Stone," and began to think to
himself which road he should take.

While he was thinking what he should do, the Bells of Bow Church, which
at that time were only six, began to ring, and their sound seemed to say
to him:

"Turn again, Whittington, Thrice Lord Mayor of London."

"Lord Mayor of London!" said he to himself. "Why, to be sure, I would
put up with almost anything now, to be Lord Mayor of London, and ride in
a fine coach, when I grow to be a man! Well, I will go back, and think
nothing of the cuffing and scolding of the old cook, if I am to be Lord
Mayor of London at last."

Dick went back, and was lucky enough to get into the house, and set
about his work, before the old cook came downstairs.

We must now follow Miss Puss to the coast of Africa. The ship with the
cat on board, was a long time at sea; and was at last driven by the
winds on a part of the coast of Barbary, where the only people were the
Moors, unknown to the English. The people came in great numbers to see
the sailors, because they were of different colour to themselves, and
treated them civilly; and, when they became better acquainted, were very
eager to buy the fine things that the ship was loaded with.

When the captain saw this, he sent patterns of the best things he had to
the king of the country; who was so much pleased with them, that he
sent for the captain to the palace. Here they were placed, as it is the
custom of the country, on rich carpets flowered with gold and silver.
The king and queen were seated at the upper end of the room; and a
number of dishes were brought in for dinner. They had not sat long, when
a vast number of rats and mice rushed in, and devoured all the meat in
an instant. The captain wondered at this, and asked if these vermin were
not unpleasant.

"Oh yes," said they, "very offensive, and the king would give half his
treasure to be freed of them, for they not only destroy his dinner, as
you see, but they assault him in his chamber, and even in bed, and
so that he is obliged to be watched while he is sleeping, for fear of

The captain jumped for joy; he remembered poor Whittington and his
cat, and told the king he had a creature on board the ship that would
despatch all these vermin immediately. The king jumped so high at the
joy which the news gave him, that his turban dropped off his head.
"Bring this creature to me," says he; "vermin are dreadful in a court,
and if she will perform what you say, I will load your ship with gold
and jewels in exchange for her."

The captain, who knew his business, took this opportunity to set forth
the merits of Miss Puss. He told his majesty; "It is not very convenient
to part with her, as, when she is gone, the rats and mice may destroy
the goods in the ship--but to oblige your majesty, I will fetch her."

"Run, run!" said the queen; "I am impatient to see the dear creature."

Away went the captain to the ship, while another dinner was got ready.
He put Puss under his arm, and arrived at the place just in time to
see the table full of rats. When the cat saw them, she did not wait for
bidding, but jumped out of the captain's arms, and in a few minutes laid
almost all the rats and mice dead at her feet. The rest of them in their
fright scampered away to their holes.

The king was quite charmed to get rid so easily of such plagues, and the
queen desired that the creature who had done them so great a kindness
might be brought to her, that she might look at her. Upon which the
captain called: "Pussy, pussy, pussy!" and she came to him. He then
presented her to the queen, who started back, and was afraid to touch
a creature who had made such a havoc among the rats and mice. However,
when the captain stroked the cat and called: "Pussy, pussy," the queen
also touched her and cried: "Putty, putty," for she had not learned
English. He then put her down on the queen's lap, where she purred and
played with her majesty's hand, and then purred herself to sleep.

The king, having seen the exploits of Mrs. Puss, and being informed that
her kittens would stock the whole country, and keep it free from rats,
bargained with the captain for the whole ship's cargo, and then gave him
ten times as much for the cat as all the rest amounted to.

The captain then took leave of the royal party, and set sail with a fair
wind for England, and after a happy voyage arrived safe in London.

One morning, early, Mr. Fitzwarren had just come to his counting-house
and seated himself at the desk, to count over the cash, and settle the
business for the day, when somebody came tap, tap, at the door. "Who's
there?" said Mr. Fitzwarren. "A friend," answered the other; "I come to
bring you good news of your ship _Unicorn_." The merchant, bustling up
in such a hurry that he forgot his gout, opened the door, and who should
he see waiting but the captain and factor, with a cabinet of jewels, and
a bill of lading; when he looked at this the merchant lifted up his eyes
and thanked Heaven for sending him such a prosperous voyage.

They then told the story of the cat, and showed the rich present
that the king and queen had sent for her to poor Dick. As soon as the
merchant heard this, he called out to his servants:

  "Go send him in, and tell him of his fame;
  Pray call him Mr. Whittington by name."

Mr. Fitzwarren now showed himself to be a good man; for when some of
his servants said so great a treasure was too much for him, he answered:
"God forbid I should deprive him of the value of a single penny, it is
his own, and he shall have it to a farthing." He then sent for Dick,
who at that time was scouring pots for the cook, and was quite dirty. He
would have excused himself from coming into the counting-house, saying,
"The room is swept, and my shoes are dirty and full of hob-nails." But
the merchant ordered him to come in.

Mr. Fitzwarren ordered a chair to be set for him, and so he began to
think they were making game of him, at the same time said to them: "Do
not play tricks with a poor simple boy, but let me go down again, if you
please, to my work."

"Indeed, Mr. Whittington," said the merchant, "we are all quite in
earnest with you, and I most heartily rejoice in the news that these
gentlemen have brought you; for the captain has sold your cat to the
King of Barbary, and brought you in return for her more riches than I
possess in the whole world; and I wish you may long enjoy them!"

Mr. Fitzwarren then told the men to open the great treasure they had
brought with them; and said: "Mr. Whittington has nothing to do but to
put it in some place of safety."

Poor Dick hardly knew how to behave himself for joy. He begged his
master to take what part of it he pleased, since he owed it all to his
kindness. "No, no," answered Mr. Fitzwarren, "this is all your own; and
I have no doubt but you will use it well."

Dick next asked his mistress, and then Miss Alice, to accept a part of
his good fortune; but they would not, and at the same time told him
they felt great joy at his good success. But this poor fellow was too
kind-hearted to keep it all to himself; so he made a present to the
captain, the mate, and the rest of Mr. Fitzwarren's servants; and even
to the ill-natured old cook.

After this Mr. Fitzwarren advised him to send for a proper tailor and
get himself dressed like a gentleman; and told him he was welcome to
live in his house till he could provide himself with a better.

When Whittington's face was washed, his hair curled, his hat cocked, and
he was dressed in a nice suit of clothes he was as handsome and genteel
as any young man who visited at Mr. Fitzwarren's; so that Miss Alice,
who had once been so kind to him, and thought of him with pity, now
looked upon him as fit to be her sweetheart; and the more so, no doubt,
because Whittington was now always thinking what he could do to oblige
her, and making her the prettiest presents that could be.

Mr. Fitzwarren soon saw their love for each other, and proposed to join
them in marriage; and to this they both readily agreed. A day for the
wedding was soon fixed; and they were attended to church by the Lord
Mayor, the court of aldermen, the sheriffs, and a great number of the
richest merchants in London, whom they afterwards treated with a very
rich feast.

History tells us that Mr. Whittington and his lady liven in great
splendour, and were very happy. They had several children. He was
Sheriff of London, thrice Lord Mayor, and received the honour of
knighthood by Henry V.

He entertained this king and his queen at dinner after his conquest of
France so grandly, that the king said "Never had prince such a subject;"
when Sir Richard heard this, he said: "Never had subject such a prince."

The figure of Sir Richard Whittington with his cat in his arms, carved
in stone, was to be seen till the year 1780 over the archway of the old
prison of Newgate, which he built for criminals.


A woman was sitting at her reel one night; And still she sat, and still
she reeled, and still she wished for company.

In came a pair of broad broad soles, and sat down at the fireside;

And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for

In came a pair of small small legs, and sat down on the broad broad

And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for

In came a pair of thick thick knees, and sat down on the small small

And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for

In came a pair of thin thin thighs, and sat down on the thick thick

And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for

In came a pair of huge huge hips, and sat down on the thin thin thighs;

And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for

In came a wee wee waist, and sat down on the huge huge hips;

And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for

In came a pair of broad broad shoulders, and sat down on the wee wee

And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for

In came a pair of small small arms, and sat down on the broad broad

And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for

In came a pair of huge huge hands, and sat down on the small small arms;

And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for

In came a small small neck, and sat down on the broad broad shoulders;

And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for

In came a huge huge head, and sat down on the small small neck.

"How did you get such broad broad feet?" quoth the woman.

"Much tramping, much tramping" (_gruffly_).

"How did you get such small small legs?"

"Aih-h-h!-late--and wee-e-e--moul" (_whiningly_).

"How did you get such thick thick knees?"

"Much praying, much praying" (_piously_).

"How did you get such thin thin thighs?"

"Aih-h-h!--late--and wee-e-e--moul" (_whiningly_).

"How did you get such big big hips?"

"Much sitting, much sitting" (_gruffly_).

"How did you get such a wee wee waist?"

"Aih-h-h!--late--and wee-e-e-moul" (_whiningly_).

"How did you get such broad broad shoulders?"

"With carrying broom, with carrying broom" (_gruffly_).

"How did you get such small small arms?"

"Aih-h-h!--late--and wee-e-e--moul" (_whiningly_.)

"How did you get such huge huge hands?"

"Threshing with an iron flail, threshing with an iron flail"

"How did you get such a small small neck?"

"Aih-h-h!--late--wee-e-e--moul" (_pitifully_).

"How did you get such a huge huge head?"

"Much knowledge, much knowledge" (_keenly_).

"What do you come for?"

"FOR YOU!" (_At the top of the voice, with a wave of the arm and a stamp
of the feet._)


In Bamborough Castle once lived a king who had a fair wife and two
children, a son named Childe Wynd and a daughter named Margaret. Childe
Wynd went forth to seek his fortune, and soon after he had gone the
queen his mother died. The king mourned her long and faithfully, but
one day while he was hunting he came across a lady of great beauty, and
became so much in love with her that he determined to marry her. So
he sent word home that he was going to bring a new queen to Bamborough

Princess Margaret was not very glad to hear of her mother's place being
taken, but she did not repine but did her father's bidding. And at the
appointed day came down to the castle gate with the keys all ready to
hand over to her stepmother. Soon the procession drew near, and the new
queen came towards Princess Margaret who bowed low and handed her the
keys of the castle. She stood there with blushing cheeks and eye on
ground, and said: "O welcome, father dear, to your halls and bowers, and
welcome to you my new mother, for all that's here is yours," and again
she offered the keys. One of the king's knights who had escorted the new
queen, cried out in admiration: "Surely this northern Princess is the
loveliest of her kind." At that the new queen flushed up and cried out:
"At least your courtesy might have excepted me," and then she muttered
below her breath: "I'll soon put an end to her beauty."

That same night the queen, who was a noted witch, stole down to a lonely
dungeon wherein she did her magic and with spells three times three, and
with passes nine times nine she cast Princess Margaret under her spell.
And this was her spell:

  I weird ye to be a Laidly Worm,
    And borrowed shall ye never be,
  Until Childe Wynd, the King's own son
    Come to the Heugh and thrice kiss thee;
  Until the world comes to an end,
    Borrowed shall ye never be.

So Lady Margaret went to bed a beauteous maiden, and rose up a Laidly
Worm. And when her maidens came in to dress her in the morning they
found coiled up on the bed a dreadful dragon, which uncoiled itself
and came towards them. But they ran away shrieking, and the Laidly Worm
crawled and crept, and crept and crawled till it reached the Heugh or
rock of the Spindlestone, round which it coiled itself, and lay there
basking with its terrible snout in the air.

Soon the country round about had reason to know of the Laidly Worm of
Spindleston Heugh. For hunger drove the monster out from its cave and it
used to devour everything it could come across. So at last they went to
a mighty warlock and asked him what they should do. Then he consulted
his works and his familiar, and told them: "The Laidly Worm is really
the Princess Margaret and it is hunger that drives her forth to do such
deeds. Put aside for her seven kine, and each day as the sun goes down,
carry every drop of milk they yield to the stone trough at the foot of
the Heugh, and the Laidly Worm will trouble the country no longer. But
if ye would that she be borrowed to her natural shape, and that she who
bespelled her be rightly punished, send over the seas for her brother,
Childe Wynd."

All was done as the warlock advised, the Laidly Worm lived on the milk
of the seven kine, and the country was troubled no longer. But when
Childe Wynd heard the news, he swore a mighty oath to rescue his sister
and revenge her on her cruel stepmother. And three-and-thirty of his men
took the oath with him. Then they set to work and built a long ship, and
its keel they made of the rowan tree. And when all was ready, they out
with their oars and pulled sheer for Bamborough Keep.

But as they got near the keep, the stepmother felt by her magic power
that something was being wrought against her, so she summoned her
familiar imps and said: "Childe Wynd is coming over the seas; he must
never land. Raise storms, or bore the hull, but nohow must he touch
shore." Then the imps went forth to meet Childe Wynd's ship, but when
they got near, they found they had no power over the ship, for its keel
was made of the rowan tree. So back they came to the queen witch, who
knew not what to do. She ordered her men-at-arms to resist Childe Wynd
if he should land near them, and by her spells she caused the Laidly
Worm to wait by the entrance of the harbour.

As the ship came near, the Worm unfolded its coils, and dipping into
the sea, caught hold of the ship of Childe Wynd, and banged it off
the shore. Three times Childe Wynd urged his men on to row bravely and
strong, but each time the Laidly Worm kept it off the shore. Then Childe
Wynd ordered the ship to be put about, and the witch-queen thought he
had given up the attempt. But instead of that, he only rounded the next
point and landed safe and sound in Budle Creek, and then, with sword
drawn and bow bent, rushed up followed by his men, to fight the terrible
Worm that had kept him from landing.

But the moment Childe Wynd had landed, the witch-queen's power over the
Laidly Worm had gone, and she went back to her bower all alone, not an
imp, nor a man-at-arms to help her, for she knew her hour was come. So
when Childe Wynd came rushing up to the Laidly Worm it made no attempt
to stop him or hurt him, but just as he was going to raise his sword to
slay it, the voice of his own sister Margaret came from its jaws saying:

  "O, quit your sword, unbend your bow,
    And give me kisses three;
  For though I am a poisonous worm,
    No harm I'll do to thee."

Childe Wynd stayed his hand, but he did not know what to think if some
witchery were not in it. Then said the Laidly Worm again:

  "O, quit your sword, unbend your bow,
    And give me kisses three,
  If I'm not won ere set of sun,
    Won never shall I be."

Then Childe Wynd went up to the Laidly Worm and kissed it once; but no
change came over it. Then Childe Wynd kissed it once more; but yet no
change came over it. For a third time he kissed the loathsome thing,
and with a hiss and a roar the Laidly Worm reared back and before Childe
Wynd stood his sister Margaret. He wrapped his cloak about her, and then
went up to the castle with her. When he reached the keep, he went off to
the witch queen's bower, and when he saw her, he touched her with a twig
of a rowan tree. No sooner had he touched her than she shrivelled up and
shrivelled up, till she became a huge ugly toad, with bold staring eyes
and a horrible hiss. She croaked and she hissed, and then hopped away
down the castle steps, and Childe Wynd took his father's place as king,
and they all lived happy afterwards.

But to this day, the loathsome toad is seen at times, haunting the
neighbourhood of Bamborough Keep, and the wicked witch-queen is a Laidly


    The cat and the mouse
    Play'd in the malt-house:

The cat bit the mouse's tail off. "Pray, puss, give me my tail." "No,"
says the cat, "I'll not give you your tail, till you go to the cow, and
fetch me some milk."

    First she leapt and then she ran,
    Till she came to the cow, and thus began:

"Pray, Cow, give me milk, that I may give cat milk, that cat may give me
my own tail again." "No," said the cow, "I will give you no milk, till
you go to the farmer, and get me some hay."

    First she leapt, and then she ran,
    Till she came to the farmer and thus began:

"Pray, Farmer, give me hay, that I may give cow hay, that cow may give
me milk, that I may give cat milk, that cat may give me my own tail
again." "No," says the farmer, "I'll give you no hay, till you go to the
butcher and fetch me some meat."

    First she leapt, and then she ran,
    Till she came to the butcher, and thus began:

"Pray, Butcher, give me meat, that I may give farmer meat, that farmer
may give me hay, that I may give cow hay, that cow may give me milk,
that I may give cat milk, that cat may give me my own tail again." "No,"
says the butcher, "I'll give you no meat, till you go to the baker and
fetch me some bread."

    First she leapt and then she ran,
    Till she came to the baker, and thus began:

"Pray, Baker, give me bread, that I may give butcher bread, that butcher
may give me meat, that I may give farmer meat, that farmer may give me
hay, that I may give cow hay, that cow may give me milk, that I may give
cat milk, that cat may give me my own tail again."

    "Yes," says the baker, "I'll give you some bread,
    But if you eat my meal, I'll cut off your head."

Then the baker gave mouse bread, and mouse gave butcher bread, and
butcher gave mouse meat, and mouse gave farmer meat, and farmer gave
mouse hay, and mouse gave cow hay, and cow gave mouse milk, and mouse
gave cat milk, and cat gave mouse her own tail again!


Once upon a time, there was a mighty baron in the North Countrie who was
a great magician that knew everything that would come to pass. So one
day, when his little boy was four years old, he looked into the Book of
Fate to see what would happen to him. And to his dismay, he found that
his son would wed a lowly maid that had just been born in a house under
the shadow of York Minster. Now the Baron knew the father of the little
girl was very, very poor, and he had five children already. So he called
for his horse, and rode into York; and passed by the father's house, and
saw him sitting by the door, sad and doleful. So he dismounted and went
up to him and said: "What is the matter, my good man?" And the man said:
"Well, your honour, the fact is, I've five children already, and now
a sixth's come, a little lass, and where to get the bread from to fill
their mouths, that's more than I can say."

"Don't be downhearted, my man," said the Baron. "If that's your trouble,
I can help you. I'll take away the last little one, and you wont have to
bother about her."

"Thank you kindly, sir," said the man; and he went in and brought out
the lass and gave her to the Baron, who mounted his horse and rode away
with her. And when he got by the bank of the river Ouse, he threw the
little, thing into the river, and rode off to his castle.

But the little lass didn't sink; her clothes kept her up for a time, and
she floated, and she floated, till she was cast ashore just in front of
a fisherman's hut. There the fisherman found her, and took pity on the
poor little thing and took her into his house, and she lived there till
she was fifteen years old, and a fine handsome girl.

One day it happened that the Baron went out hunting with some companions
along the banks of the River Ouse, and stopped at the fisherman's hut to
get a drink, and the girl came out to give it to them. They all noticed
her beauty, and one of them said to the Baron: "You can read fates,
Baron, whom will she marry, d'ye think?"

"Oh! that's easy to guess," said the Baron; "some yokel or other. But
I'll cast her horoscope. Come here girl, and tell me on what day you
were born?"

"I don't know, sir," said the girl, "I was picked up just here after
having been brought down by the river about fifteen years ago."

Then the Baron knew who she was, and when they went away, he rode back
and said to the girl: "Hark ye, girl, I will make your fortune. Take
this letter to my brother in Scarborough, and you will be settled for
life." And the girl took the letter and said she would go. Now this was
what he had written in the letter:

"Dear Brother,--Take the bearer and put her to death immediately.

"Yours affectionately,


So soon after the girl set out for Scarborough, and slept for the night
at a little inn. Now that very night a band of robbers broke into the
inn, and searched the girl, who had no money, and only the letter. So
they opened this and read it, and thought it a shame. The captain of the
robbers took a pen and paper and wrote this letter:

"Dear Brother,--Take the bearer and marry her to my son immediately.

"Yours affectionately,


And then he gave it to the girl, bidding her begone. So she went on
to the Baron's brother at Scarborough, a noble knight, with whom the
Baron's son was staying. When she gave the letter to his brother,
he gave orders for the wedding to be prepared at once, and they were
married that very day.

Soon after, the Baron himself came to his brother's castle, and what was
his surprise to find that the very thing he had plotted against had come
to pass. But he was not to be put off that way; and he took out the girl
for a walk, as he said, along the cliffs. And when he got her all alone,
he took her by the arms, and was going to throw her over. But she begged
hard for her life. "I have not done anything," she said: "if you will
only spare me, I will do whatever you wish. I will never see you or your
son again till you desire it." Then the Baron took off his gold ring and
threw it into the sea, saying: "Never let me see your face till you can
show me that ring;" and he let her go.

The poor girl wandered on and on, till at last she came to a great
noble's castle, and she asked to have some work given to her; and they
made her the scullion girl of the castle, for she had been used to such
work in the fisherman's hut.

Now one day, who should she see coming up to the noble's house but the
Baron and his brother and his son, her husband. She didn't know what
to do; but thought they would not see her in the castle kitchen. So she
went back to her work with a sigh, and set to cleaning a huge big fish
that was to be boiled for their dinner. And, as she was cleaning it,
she saw something shine inside it, and what do you think she found? Why,
there was the Baron's ring, the very one he had thrown over the cliff
at Scarborough. She was right glad to see it, you may be sure. Then she
cooked the fish as nicely as she could, and served it up.

Well, when the fish came on the table, the guests liked it so well that
they asked the noble who cooked it. He said he didn't know, but called
to his servants: "Ho, there, send up the cook that cooked that fine
fish." So they went down to the kitchen and told the girl she was wanted
in the hall. Then she washed and tidied herself and put the Baron's gold
ring on her thumb and went up into the hall.

When the banqueters saw such a young and beautiful cook they were
surprised. But the Baron was in a tower of a temper, and started up as
if he would do her some violence. So the girl went up to him with her
hand before her with the ring on it; and she put it down before him on
the table. Then at last the Baron saw that no one could fight against
Fate, and he handed her to a seat and announced to all the company that
this was his son's true wife; and he took her and his son home to his
castle; and they all lived as happy as could be ever afterwards.


  Once upon a time when pigs spoke rhyme
  And monkeys chewed tobacco,
  And hens took snuff to make them tough,
  And ducks went quack, quack, quack, O!

All the birds of the air came to the magpie and asked her to teach
them how to build nests. For the magpie is the cleverest bird of all
at building nests. So she put all the birds round her and began to show
them how to do it. First of all she took some mud and made a sort of
round cake with it.

"Oh, that's how it's done," said the thrush; and away it flew, and so
that's how thrushes build their nests.

Then the magpie took some twigs and arranged them round in the mud.

"Now I know all about it," says the blackbird, and off he flew; and
that's how the blackbirds make their nests to this very day.

Then the magpie put another layer of mud over the twigs.

"Oh that's quite obvious," said the wise owl, and away it flew; and owls
have never made better nests since.

After this the magpie took some twigs and twined them round the outside.

"The very thing!" said the sparrow, and off he went; so sparrows make
rather slovenly nests to this day.

Well, then Madge Magpie took some feathers and stuff and lined the nest
very comfortably with it.

"That suits me," cried the starling, and off it flew; and very
comfortable nests have starlings.

So it went on, every bird taking away some knowledge of how to build
nests, but, none of them waiting to the end. Meanwhile Madge Magpie
went on working and working without, looking up till the only bird that
remained was the turtle-dove, and that hadn't paid any attention all
along, but only kept on saying its silly cry "Take two, Taffy, take

At last the magpie heard this just as she was putting a twig across. So
she said: "One's enough."

But the turtle-dove kept on saying: "Take two, Taffy, take two-o-o-o."

Then the magpie got angry and said: "One's enough I tell you."

Still the turtle-dove cried: "Take two, Taffy, take two-o-o-o."

At last, and at last, the magpie looked up and saw nobody near her but
the silly turtle-dove, and then she got rare angry and flew away and
refused to tell the birds how to build nests again. And that is why
different birds build their nests differently.


Once upon a time there was a king and a queen, as in many lands have
been. The king had a daughter, Anne, and the queen had one named Kate,
but Anne was far bonnier than the queen's daughter, though they loved
one another like real sisters. The queen was jealous of the king's
daughter being bonnier than her own, and cast about to spoil her beauty.
So she took counsel of the henwife, who told her to send the lassie to
her next morning fasting.

So next morning early, the queen said to Anne, "Go, my dear, to the
henwife in the glen, and ask her for some eggs." So Anne set out, but as
she passed through the kitchen she saw a crust, and she took and munched
it as she went along.

When she came to the henwife's she asked for eggs, as she had been told
to do; the henwife said to her, "Lift the lid off that pot there and
see." The lassie did so, but nothing happened. "Go home to your minnie
and tell her to keep her larder door better locked," said the henwife.
So she went home to the queen and told her what the henwife had said.
The queen knew from this that the lassie had had something to eat, so
watched the next morning and sent her away fasting; but the princess saw
some country-folk picking peas by the roadside, and being very kind she
spoke to them and took a handful of the peas, which she ate by the way.

When she came to the henwife's, she said, "Lift the lid off the pot
and you'll see." So Anne lifted the lid but nothing happened. Then the
henwife was rare angry and said to Anne, "Tell your minnie the pot won't
boil if the fire's away." So Anne went home and told the queen.

The third day the queen goes along with the girl herself to the henwife.
Now, this time, when Anne lifted the lid off the pot, off falls her own
pretty head, and on jumps a sheep's head.

So the queen was now quite satisfied, and went back home.

Her own daughter, Kate, however, took a fine linen cloth and wrapped it
round her sister's head and took her by the hand and they both went out
to seek their fortune. They went on, and they went on, and they went
on, till they came to a castle. Kate knocked at the door and asked for a
night's lodging for herself and a sick sister. They went in and found
it was a king's castle, who had two sons, and one of them was sickening
away to death and no one could find out what ailed him. And the curious
thing was that whoever watched him at night was never seen any more. So
the king had offered a peck of silver to anyone who would stop up with
him. Now Katie was a very brave girl, so she offered to sit up with him.

Till midnight all goes well. As twelve o clock rings, however, the sick
prince rises, dresses himself, and slips downstairs. Kate followed, but
he didn't seem to notice her. The prince went to the stable, saddled his
horse, called his hound, jumped into the saddle, and Kate leapt lightly
up behind him. Away rode the prince and Kate through the greenwood,
Kate, as they pass, plucking nuts from the trees and filling her apron
with them. They rode on and on till they came to a green hill. The
prince here drew bridle and spoke, "Open, open, green hill, and let the
young prince in with his horse and his hound," and Kate added, "and his
lady him behind."

Immediately the green hill opened and they passed in. The prince entered
a magnificent hall, brightly lighted up, and many beautiful fairies
surrounded the prince and led him off to the dance. Meanwhile, Kate,
without being noticed, hid herself behind the door. There she sees the
prince dancing, and dancing, and dancing, till he could dance no longer
and fell upon a couch. Then the fairies would fan him till he could rise
again and go on dancing.

At last the cock crew, and the prince made all haste to get on
horseback; Kate jumped up behind, and home they rode. When the morning
sun rose they came in and found Kate sitting down by the fire and
cracking her nuts. Kate said the prince had a good night; but she would
not sit up another night unless she was to get a peck of gold. The
second night passed as the first had done. The prince got up at midnight
and rode away to the green hill and the fairy ball, and Kate went with
him, gathering nuts as they rode through the forest. This time she did
not watch the prince, for she knew he would dance and dance, and dance.
But she sees a fairy baby playing with a wand, and overhears one of the
fairies say: "Three strokes of that wand would make Kate's sick sister
as bonnie as ever she was." So Kate rolled nuts to the fairy baby, and
rolled nuts till the baby toddled after the nuts and let fall the wand,
and Kate took it up and put it in her apron. And at cockcrow they rode
home as before, and the moment Kate got home to her room she rushed and
touched Anne three times with the wand, and the nasty sheep's head
fell off and she was her own pretty self again. The third night Kate
consented to watch, only if she should marry the sick prince. All went
on as on the first two nights. This time the fairy baby was playing with
a birdie; Kate heard one of the fairies say: "Three bites of that birdie
would make the sick prince as well as ever he was." Kate rolled all the
nuts she had to the fairy baby till the birdie was dropped, and Kate put
it in her apron.

At cockcrow they set off again, but instead of cracking her nuts as
she used to do, this time Kate plucked the feathers off and cooked
the birdie. Soon there arose a very savoury smell. "Oh!" said the sick
prince, "I wish I had a bite of that birdie," so Kate gave him a bite of
the birdie, and he rose up on his elbow. By-and-by he cried out again:
"Oh, if I had another bite of that birdie!" so Kate gave him another
bite, and he sat up on his bed. Then he said again: "Oh! if I only had
a third bite of that birdie!" So Kate gave him a third bite, and he rose
quite well, dressed himself, and sat down by the fire, and when the folk
came in next morning they found Kate and the young prince cracking nuts
together. Meanwhile his brother had seen Annie and had fallen in love
with her, as everybody did who saw her sweet pretty face. So the sick
son married the well sister, and the well son married the sick sister,
and they all lived happy and died happy, and never drank out of a dry


At Hilton Hall, long years ago, there lived a Brownie that was the
contrariest Brownie you ever knew. At night, after the servants had
gone to bed, it would turn everything topsy-turvy, put sugar in the
salt-cellars, pepper into the beer, and was up to all kinds of pranks.
It would throw the chairs down, put tables on their backs, rake out
fires, and do as much mischief as could be. But sometimes it would be in
a good temper, and then!--"What's a Brownie?" you say. Oh, it's a kind
of a sort of a Bogle, but it isn't so cruel as a Redcap! What! you don't
know what's a Bogle or a Redcap! Ah, me! what's the world a-coming to?
Of course a Brownie is a funny little thing, half man, half goblin, with
pointed ears and hairy hide. When you bury a treasure, you scatter over
it blood drops of a newly slain kid or lamb, or, better still, bury the
animal with the treasure, and a Brownie will watch over it for you, and
frighten everybody else away.

Where was I? Well, as I was a-saying, the Brownie at Hilton Hall would
play at mischief, but if the servants laid out for it a bowl of cream,
or a knuckle cake spread with honey, it would clear away things for
them, and make everything tidy in the kitchen. One night, however, when
the servants had stopped up late, they heard a noise in the kitchen,
and, peeping in, saw the Brownie swinging to and fro on the Jack chain,
and saying:

  "Woe's me! woe's me!
  The acorn's not yet
  Fallen from the tree,
  That's to grow the wood,
  That's to make the cradle,
  That's to rock the bairn,
  That's to grow to the man,
  That's to lay me.
  Woe's me! woe's me!"

So they took pity on the poor Brownie, and asked the nearest henwife
what they should do to send it away. "That's easy enough," said the
henwife, and told them that a Brownie that's paid for its service, in
aught that's not perishable, goes away at once. So they made a cloak of
Lincoln green, with a hood to it, and put it by the hearth and watched.
They saw the Brownie come up, and seeing the hood and cloak, put them
on, and frisk about, dancing on one leg and saying:

  "I've taken your cloak, I've taken your hood;
  The Cauld Lad of Hilton will do no more good."

And with that it vanished, and was never seen or heard of afterwards.


A lad named Jack was once so unhappy at home through his father's
ill-treatment, that he made up his mind to run away and seek his fortune
in the wide world.

He ran, and he ran, till he could run no longer, and then he ran right
up against a little old woman who was gathering sticks. He was too much
out of breath to beg pardon, but the woman was good-natured, and she
said he seemed to be a likely lad, so she would take him to be her
servant, and would pay him well. He agreed, for he was very hungry,
and she brought him to her house in the wood, where he served her for a
twelvemonths and a day.

When the year had passed, she called him to her, and said she had good
wages for him. So she presented him with an ass out of the stable, and
he had but to pull Neddy's ears to make him begin at once to ee--aw! And
when he brayed there dropped from his mouth silver sixpences, and half
crowns, and golden guineas.

The lad was well pleased with the wage he had received, and away he rode
till he reached an inn. There he ordered the best of everything, and
when the innkeeper refused to serve him without being paid beforehand,
the boy went off to the stable, pulled the ass's ears and obtained his
pocket full of money. The host had watched all this through a crack
in the door, and when night came on he put an ass of his own for the
precious Neddy of the poor youth. So Jack without knowing that any
change had been made, rode away next morning to his father's house.

Now, I must tell you that near his home dwelt a poor widow with an only
daughter. The lad and the maiden were fast friends and true loves; but
when Jack asked his father's leave to marry the girl, "Never till you
have the money to keep her," was the reply. "I have that, father," said
the lad, and going to the ass he pulled its long ears; well, he pulled,
and he pulled, till one of them came off in his hands; but Neddy, though
he hee-hawed and he hee-hawed let fall no half crowns or guineas. The
father picked up a hay-fork and beat his son out of the house. I promise
you he ran. Ah! he ran and ran till he came bang against the door, and
burst it open, and there he was in a joiner's shop. "You're a likely
lad," said the joiner; "serve me for a twelvemonths and a day and I will
pay you well.'" So he agreed, and served the carpenter for a year and
a day. "Now," said the master, "I will give you your wage;" and he
presented him with a table, telling him he had but to say, "Table, be
covered," and at once it would be spread with lots to eat and drink.

Jack hitched the table on his back, and away he went with it till he
came to the inn. "Well, host," shouted he, "my dinner to-day, and that
of the best."

"Very sorry, but there is nothing in the house but ham and eggs."

"Ham and eggs for me!" exclaimed Jack. "I can do better than
that.--Come, my table, be covered!"

At once the table was spread with turkey and sausages, roast mutton,
potatoes, and greens. The publican opened his eyes, but he said nothing,
not he.

That night he fetched down from his attic a table very like that of
Jack, and exchanged the two. Jack, none the wiser, next morning hitched
the worthless table on to his back and carried it home. "Now, father,
may I marry my lass?" he asked.

"Not unless you can keep her," replied the father. "Look here!"
exclaimed Jack. "Father, I have a table which does all my bidding."

"Let me see it," said the old man.

The lad set it in the middle of the room, and bade it be covered; but
all in vain, the table remained bare. In a rage, the father caught the
warming-pan down from the wall and warmed his son's back with it so that
the boy fled howling from the house, and ran and ran till he came to a
river and tumbled in. A man picked him out and bade him assist him in
making a bridge over the river; and how do you think he was doing it?
Why, by casting a tree across; so Jack climbed up to the top of the tree
and threw his weight on it, so that when the man had rooted the tree up,
Jack and the tree-head dropped on the farther bank.

"Thank you," said the man; "and now for what you have done I will pay
you;" so saying, he tore a branch from the tree, and fettled it up into
a club with his knife. "There," exclaimed he; "take this stick, and when
you say to it, 'Up stick and bang him,' it will knock any one down who
angers you."

The lad was overjoyed to get this stick--so away he went with it to the
inn, and as soon as the publican, appeared, "Up stick and bang him!" was
his cry. At the word the cudgel flew from his hand and battered the
old publican on the back, rapped his head, bruised his arms tickled his
ribs, till he fell groaning on the floor; still the stick belaboured
the prostrate man, nor would Jack call it off till he had got back the
stolen ass and table. Then he galloped home on the ass, with the table
on his shoulders, and the stick in his hand. When he arrived there he
found his father was dead, so he brought his ass into the stable, and
pulled its ears till he had filled the manger with money.

It was soon known through the town that Jack had returned rolling in
wealth, and accordingly all the girls in the place set their caps at
him. "Now," said Jack, "I shall marry the richest lass in the place; so
tomorrow do you all come in front of my house with your money in your

Next morning the street was full of girls with aprons held out, and gold
and silver in them; but Jack's own sweetheart was among them, and she
had neither gold nor silver, nought but two copper pennies, that was all
she had.

"Stand aside, lass;" said Jack to her, speaking roughly. "Thou hast no
silver nor gold--stand off from the rest." She obeyed, and the tears ran
down her cheeks, and filled her apron with diamonds.

"Up stick and bang them!" exclaimed Jack; whereupon the cudgel leaped
up, and running along the line of girls, knocked them all on the heads
and left them senseless on the pavement. Jack took all their money and
poured it into his truelove's lap. "Now, lass," he exclaimed, "thou art
the richest, and I shall marry thee."


Dame Goody was a nurse that looked after sick people, and minded babies.
One night she was woke up at midnight, and when she went downstairs,
she saw a strange squinny-eyed, little ugly old fellow, who asked her
to come to his wife who was too ill to mind her baby. Dame Goody didn't
like the look of the old fellow, but business is business; so she popped
on her things, and went down to him. And when she got down to him, he
whisked her up on to a large coal-black horse with fiery eyes, that
stood at the door; and soon they were going at a rare pace, Dame Goody
holding on to the old fellow like grim death.

They rode, and they rode, till at last they stopped before a cottage
door. So they got down and went in and found the good woman abed with
the children playing about; and the babe, a fine bouncing boy, beside

Dame Goody took the babe, which was as fine a baby boy as you'd wish to
see. The mother, when she handed the baby to Dame Goody to mind, gave
her a box of ointment, and told her to stroke the baby's eyes with it
as soon as it opened them. After a while it began to open its eyes. Dame
Goody saw that it had squinny eyes just like its father. So she took the
box of ointment and stroked its two eyelids with it. But she couldn't
help wondering what it was for, as she had never seen such a thing done
before. So she looked to see if the others were looking, and, when they
were not noticing she stroked her own right eyelid with the ointment.

No sooner had she done so, than everything seemed changed about her.
The cottage became elegantly furnished. The mother in the bed was a
beautiful lady, dressed up in white silk. The little baby was still more
beautiful than before, and its clothes were made of a sort of silvery
gauze. Its little brothers and sisters around the bed were flat-nosed
imps with pointed ears, who made faces at one another, and scratched
their polls. Sometimes they would pull the sick lady's ears with their
long and hairy paws. In fact, they were up to all kinds of mischief; and
Dame Goody knew that she had got into a house of pixies. But she said
nothing to nobody, and as soon as the lady was well enough to mind the
baby, she asked the old fellow to take her back home. So he came round
to the door with the coal-black horse with eyes of fire, and off they
went as fast as before, or perhaps a little faster, till they came to
Dame Goody's cottage, where the squinny-eyed old fellow lifted her down
and left her, thanking her civilly enough, and paying her more than she
had ever been paid before for such service.

Now next day happened to be market-day, and as Dame Goody had been away
from home, she wanted many things in the house, and trudged off to get
them at the market. As she was buying the things she wanted, who
should she see but the squinny-eyed old fellow who had taken her on the
coal-black horse. And what do you think he was doing? Why he went about
from stall to stall taking up things from each, here some fruit, and
there some eggs, and so on; and no one seemed to take any notice.

Now Dame Goody did not think it her business to interfere, but she
thought she ought not to let so good a customer pass without speaking.
So she ups to him and bobs a curtsey and said: "Gooden, sir, I hopes as
how your good lady and the little one are as well as----"

But she couldn't finish what she was a-saying, for the funny old fellow
started back in surprise, and he says to her, says he: "What! do you see
me today?"

"See you," says she, "why, of course I do, as plain as the sun in the
skies, and what's more," says she, "I see you are busy too, into the

"Ah, you see too much," said he; "now, pray, with which eye do you see
all this?"

"With the right eye to be sure," said she, as proud as can be to find
him out.

"The ointment! The ointment!" cried the old pixy thief. "Take that for
meddling with what don't concern you: you shall see me no more." And
with that he struck her on her right eye, and she couldn't see him any
more; and, what was worse, she was blind on the right side from that
hour till the day of her death.


Once upon a time, and a very good time it was, though it wasn't in my
time, nor in your time, nor any one else's time, there was a girl whose
mother had died, and her father had married again. And her stepmother
hated her because she was more beautiful than herself, and she was very
cruel to her. She used to make her do all the servant's work, and never
let her have any peace. At last, one day, the stepmother thought to get
rid of her altogether; so she handed her a sieve and said to her: "Go,
fill it at the Well of the World's End and bring it home to me full,
or woe betide you." For she thought she would never be able to find the
Well of the World's End, and, if she did, how could she bring home a
sieve full of water?

Well, the girl started off, and asked every one she met to tell her
where was the Well of the World's End. But nobody knew, and she didn't
know what to do, when a queer little old woman, all bent double, told
her where it was, and how she could get to it. So she did what the old
woman told her, and at last arrived at the Well of the World's End. But
when she dipped the sieve in the cold, cold water, it all ran out again.
She tried and she tried again, but every time it was the same; and at
last she sate down and cried as if her heart would break.

Suddenly she heard a croaking voice, and she looked up and saw a great
frog with goggle eyes looking at her and speaking to her.

"What's the matter, dearie?" it said.

"Oh, dear, oh dear," she said, "my stepmother has sent me all this long
way to fill this sieve with water from the Well of the World's End, and
I can't fill it no how at all."

"Well," said the frog, "if you promise me to do whatever I bid you for a
whole night long, I'll tell you how to fill it."

So the girl agreed, and then the frog said:

  "Stop it with moss and daub it with clay,
  And then it will carry the water away;"

and then it gave a hop, skip and jump, and went flop into the Well of
the World's End.

So the girl looked about for some moss, and lined the bottom of the
sieve with it, and over that she put some clay, and then she dipped it
once again into the Well of the World's End; and this time, the water
didn't run out, and she turned to go away.

Just then the frog popped up its head out of the Well of the World's
End, and said: "Remember your promise."

"All right," said the girl; for thought she, "what harm can a frog do

So she went back to her stepmother, and brought the sieve full of water
from the Well of the World's End. The stepmother was fine and angry, but
she said nothing at all.

That very evening they heard something tap tapping at the door low down,
and a voice cried out:

  "Open the door, my hinny, my heart,
  Open the door, my own darling;
  Mind you the words that you and I spoke,
  Down in the meadow, at the World's End Well."

"Whatever can that be?" cried out the stepmother, and the girl had to
tell her all about it, and what she had promised the frog.

"Girls must keep their promises," said the stepmother. "Go and open the
door this instant." For she was glad the girl would have to obey a nasty

So the girl went and opened the door, and there was the frog from the
Well of the World's End. And it hopped, and it skipped, and it jumped,
till it reached the girl, and then it said:

  "Lift me to your knee, my hinny, my heart;
  Lift me to your knee, my own darling;
  Remember the words you and I spoke,
  Down in the meadow by the World's End Well."

But the girl didn't like to, till her stepmother said "Lift it up this
instant, you hussy! Girls must keep their promises!"

So at last she lifted the frog up on to her lap, and it lay there for a
time, till at last it said:

  "Give me some supper, my hinny, my heart,
  Give me some supper, my darling;
  Remember the words you and I spake,
  In the meadow, by the Well of the World's End."

Well, she didn't mind doing that, so she got it a bowl of milk and
bread, and fed it well. And when the frog, had finished, it said:

  "Go with me to bed, my hinny, my heart,
  Go with me to bed, my own darling;
  Mind you the words you spake to me,
  Down by the cold well, so weary."

But that the girl wouldn't do, till her stepmother said: "Do what you
promised, girl; girls must keep their promises. Do what you're bid, or
out you go, you and your froggie."

So the girl took the frog with her to bed, and kept it as far away from
her as she could. Well, just as the day was beginning to break what
should the frog say but:

  "Chop off my head, my hinny, my heart,
  Chop off my head, my own darling;
  Remember the promise you made to me,
  Down by the cold well so weary."

At first the girl wouldn't, for she thought of what the frog had done
for her at the Well of the World's End. But when the frog said the words
over again, she went and took an axe and chopped off its head, and lo!
and behold, there stood before her a handsome young prince, who told her
that he had been enchanted by a wicked magician, and he could never be
unspelled till some girl would do his bidding for a whole night, and
chop off his head at the end of it.

The stepmother was that surprised when she found the young prince
instead of the nasty frog, and she wasn't best pleased, you may be sure,
when the prince told her that he was going to marry her stepdaughter
because she had unspelled him. So they were married and went away to
live in the castle of the king, his father, and all the stepmother had
to console her was, that it was all through her that her stepdaughter
was married to a prince.


A girl once went to the fair to hire herself for servant. At last a
funny-looking old gentleman engaged her, and took her home to his house.
When she got there, he told her that he had something to teach her, for
that in his house he had his own names for things.

He said to her: "What will you call me?"

"Master or mister, or whatever you please sir," says she.

He said: "You must call me 'master of all masters.' And what would you
call this?" pointing to his bed.

"Bed or couch, or whatever you please, sir."

"No, that's my 'barnacle.' And what do you call these?" said he pointing
to his pantaloons.

"Breeches or trousers, or whatever you please, sir."

"You must call them 'squibs and crackers.' And what would you call her?"
pointing to the cat.

"Cat or kit, or whatever you please, sir."

"You must call her 'white-faced simminy.' And this now," showing the
fire, "what would you call this?"

"Fire or flame, or whatever you please, sir."

"You must call it 'hot cockalorum,' and what this?" he went on, pointing
to the water.

"Water or wet, or whatever you please, sir."

"No, 'pondalorum' is its name. And what do you call all this?" asked he,
as he pointed to the house.

"House or cottage, or whatever you please, sir."

"You must call it 'high topper mountain.'"

That very night the servant woke her master up in a fright and said:
"Master of all masters, get out of your barnacle and put on your squibs
and crackers. For white-faced simminy has got a spark of hot cockalorum
on its tail, and unless you get some pondalorum high topper mountain
will be all on hot cockalorum." .... That's all.


Long before Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, there reigned in
the eastern part of England a king who kept his Court at Colchester. In
the midst of all his glory, his queen died, leaving behind her an only
daughter, about fifteen years of age, who for her beauty and kindness
was the wonder of all that knew her. But the king hearing of a lady who
had likewise an only daughter, had a mind to marry her for the sake of
her riches, though she was old, ugly, hook-nosed, and hump-backed. Her
daughter was a yellow dowdy, full of envy and ill-nature; and, in short,
was much of the same mould as her mother. But in a few weeks the king,
attended by the nobility and gentry, brought his deformed bride to the
palace, where the marriage rites were performed. They had not been long
in the Court before they set the king against his own beautiful daughter
by false reports. The young princess having lost her father's love, grew
weary of the Court, and one day, meeting with her father in the garden,
she begged him, with tears in her eyes, to let her go and seek her
fortune; to which the king consented, and ordered her mother-in-law to
give her what she pleased. She went to the queen, who gave her a canvas
bag of brown bread and hard cheese, with a bottle of beer; though this
was but a pitiful dowry for a king's daughter. She took it, with
thanks, and proceeded on her journey, passing through groves, woods,
and valleys, till at length she saw an old man sitting on a stone at the
mouth of a cave, who said: "Good morrow, fair maiden, whither away so

"Aged father," says she, "I am going to seek my fortune."

"What have you got in your bag and bottle?"

"In my bag I have got bread and cheese, and in my bottle good small
beer. Would you like to have some?"

"Yes," said he, "with all my heart."

With that the lady pulled out her provisions, and bade him eat and
welcome. He did so, and gave her many thanks, and said: "There is a
thick thorny hedge before you, which you cannot get through, but take
this wand in your hand, strike it three times, and say, 'Pray, hedge,
let me come through,' and it will open immediately; then, a little
further, you will find a well; sit down on the brink of it, and there
will come up three golden heads, which will speak; and whatever they
require, that do." Promising she would, she took her leave of him.
Coming to the hedge and using the old man's wand, it divided, and let
her through; then, coming to the well, she had no sooner sat down than a
golden head came up singing:

  "Wash me, and comb me,
  And lay me down softly.
  And lay me on a bank to dry,
  That I may look pretty,
  When somebody passes by."

"Yes," said she, and taking it in her lap combed it with a silver comb,
and then placed it upon a primrose bank. Then up came a second and a
third head, saying the same as the former. So she did the same for them,
and then, pulling out her provisions, sat down to eat her dinner.

Then said the heads one to another: "What shall we weird for this damsel
who has used us so kindly?"

The first said: "I weird her to be so beautiful that she shall charm the
most powerful prince in the world."

The second said: "I weird her such a sweet voice as shall far exceed the

The third said: "My gift shall be none of the least, as she is a king's
daughter, I'll weird her so fortunate that she shall become queen to the
greatest prince that reigns."

She then let them down into the well again, and so went on her journey.
She had not travelled long before she saw a king hunting in the park
with his nobles. She would have avoided him, but the king, having caught
a sight of her, approached, and what with her beauty and sweet voice,
fell desperately in love with her, and soon induced her to marry him.

This king finding that she was the King of Colchester's daughter,
ordered some chariots to be got ready, that he might pay the king, his
father-in-law, a visit. The chariot in which the king and queen rode
was adorned with rich gems of gold. The king, her father, was at first
astonished that his daughter had been so fortunate, till the young
king let him know of all that had happened. Great was the joy at
Court amongst all, with the exception of the queen and her club-footed
daughter, who were ready to burst with envy. The rejoicings, with
feasting and dancing, continued many days. Then at length they returned
home with the dowry her father gave her.

The hump-backed princess, perceiving that her sister had been so lucky
in seeking her fortune, wanted to do the same; so she told her mother,
and all preparations were made, and she was furnished with rich dresses,
and with sugar, almonds, and sweetmeats, in great quantities, and a
large bottle of Malaga sack. With these she went the same road as
her sister; and coming near the cave, the old man said: "Young woman,
whither so fast?"

"What's that to you?" said she.

"Then," said he, "what have you in your bag and bottle?"

She answered: "Good things, which you shall not be troubled with."

"Won't you give me some?" said he.

"No, not a bit, nor a drop, unless it would choke you."

The old man frowned, saying: "Evil fortune attend ye!"

Going on, she came to the hedge, through which she espied a gap, and
thought to pass through it; but the hedge closed, and the, thorns
ran into her flesh, so that it was with great difficulty that she
got through. Being now all over blood, she searched for water to wash
herself, and, looking round, she saw the well. She sat down on the brink
of it, and one of the heads came up, saying: "Wash me, comb me, and lay
me down softly," as before, but she banged it with her bottle, saying,
"Take that for your washing." So the second and third heads came up,
and met with no better treatment than the first. Whereupon the heads
consulted among themselves what evils to plague her with for such usage.

The first said: "Let her be struck with leprosy in her face."

The second: "Let her voice be as harsh as a corn-crake's."

The third said: "Let her have for husband but a poor country cobbler."

Well, she goes on till she came to a town, and it being market-day, the
people looked at her, and, seeing such a mangy face, and hearing such
a squeaky voice, all fled but a poor country cobbler. Now he not long
before had mended the shoes of an old hermit, who, having no money
gave him a box of ointment for the cure of the leprosy, and a bottle of
spirits for a harsh voice. So the cobbler having a mind to do an act of
charity, was induced to go up to her and ask her who she was.

"I am," said she, "the King of Colchester's daughter-in-law."

"Well," said the cobbler, "if I restore you to your natural complexion,
and make a sound cure both in face and voice, will you in reward take me
for a husband?"

"Yes, friend," replied she, "with all my heart!"

With this the cobbler applied the remedies, and they made her well in
a few weeks; after which they were married, and so set forward for the
Court at Colchester. When the queen found that her daughter had married
nothing but a poor cobbler, she hanged herself in wrath. The death of
the queen so pleased the king, who was glad to get rid of her so soon,
that he gave the cobbler a hundred pounds to quit the Court with his
lady, and take to a remote part of the kingdom, where he lived many
years mending shoes, his wife spinning the thread for him.







In the following notes I give first the _source_ whence I obtained the
various tales. Then come _parallels_ in some fulness for the United
Kingdom, but only a single example for foreign countries, with a
bibliographical reference where further variants can be found. Finally,
a few _remarks_ are sometimes added where the tale seems to need it. In
two cases (Nos. xvi. and xxi.) I have been more full.


_Source_.--Unearthed by Mr. E. Clodd from the "Suffolk Notes and
Queries" of the _Ipswich Journal_, and reprinted by him in a paper on
"The Philosophy of Rumpelstiltskin" in _Folk-Lore Journal_, vii. 138-43.
I have reduced the Suffolk dialect.

_Parallels_.--In Yorkshire this occurs as "Habetrot and Scantlie Mab,"
in Henderson's _Folk-Lore of Northern Counties_, 221-6; in Devonshire
as "Duffy and the Devil" in Hunt's _Romances and Drolls of the West
of England_, 239-47; in Scotland two variants are given by Chambers,
_Popular Rhymes of Scotland_, under the title "Whuppity Stourie." The
"name-guessing wager" is also found in "Peerifool", printed by Mr.
Andrew Lang in _Longman's Magazine_, July 1889, also _Folk-Lore_,
September, 1890. It is clearly the same as Grimm's "Rumpelstiltskin"
(No. 14); for other Continental parallels see Mr. Clodd's article, and
Cosquin, _Contes pop. de Lorraine_, i. 269 _seq_.

_Remarks_.--One of the best folk-tales that have ever been collected,
far superior to any of the continental variants of this tale with which
I am acquainted. Mr. Clodd sees in the class of name-guessing stories, a
"survival" of the superstition that to know a man's name gives you power
over him, for which reason savages object to tell their names. It may be
necessary, I find, to explain to the little ones that Tom Tit can only
be referred to as "that," because his name is not known till the end.


_Source_.--From _Folk-Lore Journal_, ii. 40-3; to which it was
communicated by Miss C. Burne.

_Parallels_.--Prof. Stephens gave a variant from his own memory in
_Folk-Lore Record_, iii. 155, as told in Essex at the beginning of the
century. Mr. Toulmin Smith gave another version in _The Constitutional_,
July 1, 1853, which was translated by his daughter, and contributed
to _Mélusine_, t. ii. An Oxfordshire version was given in _Notes and
Queries_, April 17, 1852. It occurs also in Ireland, Kennedy, _Fireside
Stories_, p. 9. It is Grimm's _Kluge Else_, No. 34, and is spread
through the world. Mr. Clouston devotes the seventh chapter of his _Book
of Noodles_ to the Quest of the Three Noodles.


_Source_.--From the first edition of Henderson's _Folk-Lore of
Northern Counties_, p. 314, to which it was communicated by the Rev. S.

_Parallels_.--This is better known under the title, "Orange and Lemon,"
and with the refrain:

  "My mother killed me,
  My father picked my bones,
  My little sister buried me,
  Under the marble stones."

I heard this in Australia. Mr. Jones Gives part of it in _Folk Tales
of the Magyars_, 418-20, and another version occurs in 4 _Notes and
Queries_, vi. 496. Mr. I. Gollancz informs me he remembers a version
entitled "Pepper, Salt, and Mustard," with the refrain just given.
Abroad it is Grimm's "Juniper Tree" (No. 47), where see further
parallels. The German rhyme is sung by Margaret in the mad scene of
Goethe's "Faust."


_Source_.--Halliwell's _Nursery Rhymes and Tales_, 114.

_Parallels_.--_Cf._ Miss Burne, _Shropshire Folk-Lore_, 529; also No.
xxxiv. _infra_ ("Cat and Mouse"). It occurs also in Scotch, with the
title "The Wife and her Bush of Berries," Chambers's _Pop. Rhymes_, p.
57. Newell, _Games and Songs of American Children_, gives a game named
"Club-fist" (No. 75), founded on this, and in his notes refers to
German, Danish, and Spanish variants. (_Cf._ Cosquin, ii. 36 _seq._)

_Remarks_.--One of the class of Accumulative stories, which are well
represented in England. (_Cf. infra_, Nos. xvi., xx., xxxiv.)


_Source_.--_American Folk-Lore Journal_ I, 227-8. I have eliminated a
malodorous and un-English skunk.

_Parallels_.--Two other versions are given in the _Journal l.c._ One
of these, however, was probably derived from Grimm's "Town Musicians of
Bremen" (No. 27). That the others came from across the Atlantic is shown
by the fact that it occurs in Ireland (Kennedy, _Fictions_, pp. 5-10)
and Scotland (Campbell, No. 11). For other variants, see R. Köhler in
Gonzenbach, _Sicil. Märchen_, ii. 245.


_Source_.--Halliwell, p. 149.

_Parallels_.--This is the _Hans im Glück_ of Grimm (No. 83). _Cf._ too,
"Lazy Jack," _infra_, No. xxvii. Other variants are given by M. Cosquin,
_Contes pop. de Lorraine_, i. 241. On surprising robbers, see preceding

_Remarks_.--In some of the variants the door is carried, because Mr.
Vinegar, or his equivalent, has been told to "mind the door," or he acts
on the principle "he that is master of the door is master of the
house." In other stories he makes the foolish exchanges to the entire
satisfaction of his wife. (_Cf._ Cosquin, i. 156-7.)


_Source_.--From a Scotch tale, "Nicht Nought Nothing," collected by Mr.
Andrew Lang in Morayshire, published by him first in _Revue Celtique_,
t. iii; then in his _Custom and Myth_, p. 89; and again in _Folk-Lore_,
Sept. 1890. I have changed the name so as to retain the _équivoque_ of
the giant's reply to the King. I have also inserted the incidents of
the flight, the usual ones in tales of this type, and expanded the
conclusion, which is very curtailed and confused in the original. The
usual ending of tales of this class contains the "sale of bed" incident,
for which see Child, i. 391.

_Parallels_.--Mr. Lang, in the essay "A Far-travelled Tale" in which
he gives the story, mentions several variants of it, including the
classical myth of Jason and Medea. A fuller study in Cosquin, _l.c._,
ii. 12-28. For the finger ladder, see Köhler, in _Orient and Occident_,
ii. III.


_Source_.--Henderson's _Folk-Lore of Northern Counties_ (first edition),
p. 319. Communicated by the Rev. S. Baring-Gould.

_Parallels_.--"Pilgrims from Paradise" are enumerated in Clouston's
_Book of Noodles_, pp. 205, 214-8. See also Cosquin, _l.c._, i. 239.


_Source_.--From the ballad of the "Twa Sisters o' Binnorie." I have used
the longer version in Roberts's _Legendary Ballads_, with one or two
touches from Mr. Allingham's shorter and more powerful variant in
_The Ballad Book_. A tale is the better for length, a ballad for its

_Parallels_.--The story is clearly that of Grimm's "Singing Bone" (No.
28), where one brother slays the other and buries him under a bush.
Years after a shepherd passing by finds a bone under the bush, and,
blowing through this, hears the bone denounce the murderer. For numerous
variants in Ballads and Folk Tales, see Prof. Child's _English and
Scotch Ballads_ (ed. 1886), i. 125, 493; iii. 499.


_Source_.--From memory by Mrs. E. Burne-Jones.

_Parallels_.--A fragment is given in Halliwell, 43; Chambers's _Popular
Rhymes_ has a Scotch version, "The Cattie sits in the Kilnring spinning"
(p. 53). The surprise at the end, similar to that in Perrault's "Red
Riding Hood," is a frequent device in English folk tales. (_Cf. infra_,
Nos. xii., xxiv., xxix., xxxiii., xli.)


_Source_.--Discovered by Mr. E. Clodd, in "Suffolk Notes and Queries" of
the _Ipswich Journal_, published by Mr. Lang in _Longinan's Magazine_,
vol. xiii, also in _Folk-Lore_, Sept. 1890.

_Parallels_.--The beginning recalls "King Lear." For "loving like salt,"
see the parallels collected by Cosquin, i. 288. The whole story is a
version of the numerous class of Cinderella stories, the particular
variety being the Catskin sub-species analogous to Perrault's _Peau
d'Ane_. "Catskin" was told by Mr. Burchell to the young Primroses in
"The Vicar of Wakefield,'" and has been elaborately studied by the late
H. C. Coote, in _Folk-Lore Record_, iii. 1-25. It is only now extant
in ballad form, of which "Cap o' Rushes" may be regarded as a prose


_Source_.--Halliwell, 148.


_Source_.--I tell this as it was told me in Australia, somewhere about
the year 1860.

_Parallels_.--There is a chap-book version which is very poor; it is
given by Mr. E. S. Hartland, _English Folk and Fairy Tales_ (Camelot
Series), p. 35, _seq._ In this, when Jack arrives at the top of the
Beanstalk, he is met by a fairy, who gravely informs him that the ogre
had stolen all his possessions from Jack's father. The object of this
was to prevent the tale becoming an encouragement to theft! I have had
greater confidence in my young friends, and have deleted the fairy who
did not exist in the tale as told to me. For the Beanstalk elsewhere,
see Ralston, _Russian Folk Tales_, 293-8. Cosquin has some remarks on
magical ascents (i. 14).


_Source_.--Halliwell, p. 16.

_Parallels_.--The only known parallels are one from Venice, Bernoni,
_Trad. Pop._, punt. iii. p. 65, given in Crane, _Italian Popular
Tales_, p. 267, "The Three Goslings;" and a negro tale in _Lippincott's
Magazine_, December, 1877, p. 753 ("Tiny Pig").

_Remarks_.--As little pigs do not have hair on their chinny chin-chins,
I suspect that they were originally kids, who have. This would bring
the tale close to the Grimms' "Wolf and Seven Little Kids," (No. 5).
In Steel and Temple's "Lambikin" (_Wide-awake Stories_, p. 71), the
Lambikin gets inside a Drumikin, and so nearly escapes the jackal.


_Source_.--Henderson, _Folk-Lore of Northern Counties_, first edition,
p. 343, communicated by the Rev. S. Baring-Gould. The rhymes on the open
book have been supplied by Mr. Batten, in whose family, if I understand
him rightly, they have been long used for raising the----; something
similar occurs in Halliwell, p. 243, as a riddle rhyme. The mystic signs
in Greek are a familiar "counting-out rhyme": these have been studied
in a monograph by Mr. H. C. Bolton; he thinks they are "survivals" of
incantations. Under the circumstances, it would be perhaps as well if
the reader did not read the lines out when alone. One never knows what
may happen.

_Parallels_.--Sorcerers' pupils seem to be generally selected for their
stupidity--in folk-tales. Friar Bacon was defrauded of his labour in
producing the Brazen Head in a similar way. In one of the legends about
Virgil he summoned a number of demons, who would have torn him to
pieces if he had not set them at work (J. S. Tunison, _Master Virgil_,
Cincinnati, 1888, p. 30).


_Source_.--Halliwell, p. 115.

_Parallels_.--This curious droll is extremely widespread; references
are given in Cosquin, i. 204 _seq._, and Crane, _Italian Popular Tales_,
375-6. As a specimen I may indicate what is implied throughout these
notes by such bibliographical references by drawing up a list of the
variants of this tale noticed by these two authorities, adding one or
two lately printed. Various versions have been discovered in:

ENGLAND: Halliwell, _Nursery Rhymes_, p. 115.

SCOTLAND: K. Blind, in _Arch. Rev_. iii. ("Fleakin and Lousikin," in the

FRANCE: _Mélusine_, 1877, col. 424; Sebillot, _Contes pop. de la Haute
Bretagne_, No. 55, _Litterature orale_, p. 232; _Magasin picturesque_,
1869, p. 82; Cosquin, _Contes pop. de Lorraine_, Nos. 18 and 74.

ITALY: Pitrè, _Novelline popolari siciliane_, No. 134 (translated in
Crane, _Ital. Pop. Tales_, p. 257); Imbriani, _La novellaja Fiorentina_,
p. 244; Bernoni, _Tradizione popolari veneziane_, punt. iii. p. 81;
Gianandrea, _Biblioteca delle tradizioni popolari marchigiane_, p.,11;
Papanti, _Novelline popolari livornesi_, p. 19 ("Vezzino e Madonna
Salciccia"); Finamore, _Trad. pop. abruzzesi_, p. 244; Morosi, _Studi
sui Dialetti Greci della Terra d'Otranto_, p. 75; _Giamb. Basile_, 1884,
p. 37.

GERMANY: Grimm, _Kinder-und Hausmärchen_, No. 30; Kuhn and Schwarz,
_Norddeutsche Sagen_, No. 16.

NORWAY: Asbjornsen, No. 103 (translated in Sir G. Dasent's _Tales from
the Field_, p. 30, "Death of Chanticleer").

SPAIN: Maspons, _Cuentos populars catalans_, p. 12; Fernan Caballero,
_Cuentos y sefrañes populares_, p. 3 ("La Hormiguita").

PORTUGAL: Coelho, _Contes popolares portuguezes_, No. 1.

ROUMANIA: Kremnitz, _Rumänische Mährchen_, No. 15.

ASIA MINOR: Von Hahn, _Griechische und Albanesische Märchen_, No. 56.

INDIA: Steel and Temple, _Wide-awake Stories_, p. 157 ("The Death and
Burial of Poor Hen-Sparrow").

_Remarks_.--These 25 variants of the same jingle scattered over the
world from India to Spain, present the problem of the diffusion of
folk-tales in its simplest form. No one is likely to contend with Prof.
Müller and Sir George Cox, that we have here the detritus of archaic
Aryan mythology, a parody of a sun-myth. There is little that is savage
and archaic to attract the school of Dr. Tylor, beyond the speaking
powers of animals and inanimates. Yet even Mr. Lang is not likely to
hold that these variants arose by coincidence and independently in the
various parts of the world where they have been found. The only solution
is that the curious succession of incidents was invented once for all at
some definite place and time by some definite entertainer for children,
and spread thence through all the Old World. In a few instances we can
actually trace the passage-_e.g._, the Shetland version was certainly
brought over from Hamburg. Whether the centre of dispersion was India or
not, it is impossible to say, as it might have spread east from Smyrna
(Hahn, No. 56). Benfey (_Einleitung zu Pantschatantra_, i. 190-91)
suggests that this class of accumulative story may be a sort of parody
on the Indian stories, illustrating the moral, "what great events from
small occasions rise." Thus, a drop of honey falls on the ground; a fly
goes after it, a bird snaps at the fly, a dog goes for the bird, another
dog goes for the first, the masters of the two dogs--who happen to be
kings--quarrel and go to war, whole provinces are devastated, and
all for a drop of honey! "Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse" also ends in
a universal calamity which seems to arise from a cause of no great
importance. Benfey's suggestion is certainly ingenious, but perhaps too
ingenious to be true.


_Source_.-Mr. F. Hindes Groome, _In Gipsy Tents_, p. 201 _seq._ I have
eliminated a superfluous Gipsy who makes her appearance towards the
end of the tale _à propos des boltes_, but otherwise have left the tale
unaltered as one of the few English folk-tales that have been taken down
from the mouths of the peasantry: this applies also to i., ii., xi.

_Parallels_.-There is a magic snuff-box with a friendly power in it in
Kennedy's _Fictions of the Irish Celts_, p. 49. The choice between a
small cake with a blessing, &c., is frequent (_cf._ No. xxiii.), but the
closest parallel to the whole story, including the mice, is afforded
by a tale in Carnoy and Nicolaides' _Traditions populaires de l'Asie
Mineure_, which is translated as the first tale in Mr. Lang's _Blue
Fairy Book_. There is much in both that is similar to Aladdin, I beg his
pardon, Allah-ed-din.


_Source_.--_Verbatim et literatim_ from Southey, _The Doctor, &c._,
quarto edition, p. 327.

_Parallels_.--None, as the story was invented by Southey. There is an
Italian translation, _I tre Orsi_, Turin, 1868, and it would be curious
to see if the tale ever acclimatises itself in Italy.

_Remarks_.--"The Three Bears" is the only example I know of where a
tale that can be definitely traced to a specific author has become a
folk-tale. Not alone is this so, but the folk has developed the tale in
a curious and instructive way, by substituting a pretty little girl with
golden locks for the naughty old woman. In Southey's version there is
nothing of Little Silverhair as the heroine: she seems to have been
introduced in a metrical version by G. N., much be-praised by Southey.
Silverhair seems to have become a favourite, and in Mrs. Valentine's
version of "The Three Bears," in "The Old, Old Fairy Tales," the visit
to the bear-house is only the preliminary to a long succession of
adventures of the pretty little girl, of which there is no trace in the
original (and this in "The Old, Old Fairy Tales." Oh! Mrs. Valentine!).
I have, though somewhat reluctantly, cast back to the original form.
After all, as Prof. Dowden remarks, Southey's memory is kept alive more
by "The Three Bears" than anything else, and the text of such a nursery
classic should be retained in all its purity.


_Source_.--From two chap-books at the British Museum (London, 1805,
Paisley, 1814). I have taken some hints from "Felix Summerly's" (Sir
Henry Cole's) version, 1845. From the latter part, I have removed the
incident of the Giant dragging the lady along by her hair.

_Parallels_.--The chap-book of "Jack the Giant-Killer" is a curious
jumble. The second part, as in most chap-books, is a weak and late
invention of the enemy, and is not _volkstümlich_ at all. The first part
is compounded of a comic and a serious theme. The first is that of the
Valiant Tailor (Grimm, No. 20); to this belong the incidents of the
fleabite blows (for variants of which see Köhler in _Jahrb. rom. eng.
Phil._, viii. 252), and that of the slit paunch (_cf._ Cosquin, _l.c._,
ii. 51). The Thankful Dead episode, where the hero is assisted by the
soul of a person whom he has caused to be buried, is found as early
as the _Cento novelle antiche_ and Straparola, xi. 2. It has been best
studied by Köhler in _Germania_, iii. 199-209 (_cf._ Cosquin, i. 214-5;
ii. 14 and note; and Crane, _Ital. Pop. Tales_, 350, note 12). It occurs
also in the curious play of Peele's _The Old Wives' Tale_, in which one
of the characters is the Ghost of Jack. Practically the same story as
this part of Jack the Giant-Killer occurs in Kennedy, _Fictions of the
Irish Celts_, p. 32, "Jack the Master and Jack the Servant;" and Kennedy
adds (p. 38), "In some versions Jack the Servant is the spirit of the
buried man."

The "Fee-fi-fo-fum" formula is common to all English stories of giants
and ogres; it also occurs in Peele's play and in _King Lear_ (see note
on "Childe Rowland"). Messrs. Jones and Kropf have some remarks on it in
their "Magyar Tales," pp. 340-1; so has Mr. Lang in his "Perrault," p.
lxiii., where he traces it to the Furies in Aeschylus' _Eumenides_.


_Source_.--I give this as it was told me in Australia in 1860. The fun
consists in the avoidance of all pronouns, which results in jaw-breaking
sentences almost equal to the celebrated "She stood at the door of the
fish-sauce shop, welcoming him in."

_Parallels_.--Halliwell, p. 151, has the same with the title
"Chicken-Licken." It occurs also in Chambers's _Popular Rhymes_, p.
59, with the same names of the _dramatis personae_, as my version. For
European parallels, see Crane, _Ital. Pop. Tales_, 377, and authorities
there quoted.


_Source_.--Jamieson's _Illustrations of Northern Antiquities_, 1814, p.
397 _seq._, who gives it as told by a tailor in his youth, _c._ 1770. I
have Anglicised the Scotticisms, eliminated an unnecessary ox-herd and
swine-herd, who lose their heads for directing the Childe, and I have
called the Erlkönig's lair the Dark Tower on the strength of the
description and of Shakespeare's reference. I have likewise suggested a
reason why Burd Ellen fell into his power, chiefly in order to introduce
a definition of "widershins." "All the rest is the original horse," even
including the erroneous description of the youngest son as the Childe or
heir (_cf._ "Childe Harold" and Childe Wynd, _infra_, No. xxxiii.),
unless this is some "survival" of Junior Right or "Borough English," the
archaic custom of letting the heirship pass to the youngest son. I
should add that, on the strength of the reference to Merlin, Jamieson
calls Childe Rowland's mother, Queen Guinevere, and introduces
references to King Arthur and his Court. But as he confesses that these
are his own improvements on the tailor's narrative I have eliminated

_Parallels_.--The search for the Dark Tower is similar to that of the
Red Ettin, (_cf_. Köhler on Gonzenbach, ii. 222). The formula "youngest
best," in which the youngest of three brothers succeeds after the
others have failed, is one of the most familiar in folk-tales amusingly
parodied by Mr. Lang in his _Prince Prigio_. The taboo against taking
food in the underworld occurs in the myth of Proserpine, and is also
frequent in folk-tales (Child, i. 322). But the folk-tale parallels
to our tale fade into insignificance before its brilliant literary
relationships. There can be little doubt that Edgar, in his mad scene in
_King Lear_, is alluding to our tale when he breaks into the lines:

"Childe Rowland to the Dark Tower came...." His word was still: "Fie,
foh and fum, I smell the blood of a British man." _King Lear_, act iii.
sc. 4, _ad fin_.

[Footnote: "British" for "English." This is one of the points that
settles the date of the play; James I. was declared King of Great
_Britain_, October 1604. I may add that Motherwell in his _Minstrelsy_,
p. xiv. note, testifies that the story was still extant in the nursery
at the time he wrote (1828).]

The latter reference is to the cry of the King of Elfland. That some
such story was current in England in Shakespeare's time, is proved by
that curious _mélange_ of nursery tales, Peele's _The Old Wives' Tale_.
The main plot of this is the search of two brothers, Calypha and
Thelea, for a lost sister, Delia, who has been bespelled by a sorcerer,
Sacrapant (the names are taken from the "Orlando Furioso"). They are
instructed by an old man (like Merlin in "Childe Rowland") how to rescue
their sister, and ultimately succeed. The play has besides this the
themes of the Thankful Dead, the Three Heads of the Well (which see),
the Life Index, and a transformation, so that it is not to be wondered
at if some of the traits of "Childe Rowland" are observed in it.

But a still closer parallel is afforded by Milton's _Comus_. Here again
we have two brothers in search of a sister, who has got into the power
of an enchanter. But besides this, there is the refusal of the heroine
to touch the enchanted food, just as Childe Rowland finally refuses.
And ultimately the bespelled heroine is liberated by a liquid, which is
applied to her _lips and finger-tips_, just as Childe Rowland's brothers
are unspelled. Such a minute resemblance as this cannot be accidental,
and it is therefore probable that Milton used the original form of
"Childe Rowland," or some variant of it, as heard in his youth, and
adapted it to the purposes of the masque at Ludlow Castle, and of
his allegory. Certainly no other folk-tale in the world can claim so
distinguished an offspring.

_Remarks_.--Distinguished as "Childe Rowland" will be henceforth as
the origin of _Comus_, if my affiliation be accepted, it has even
more remarkable points of interest, both in form and matter, for the
folklorist, unless I am much mistaken. I will therefore touch upon these
points, reserving a more detailed examination for another occasion.

First, as to the form of the narrative. This begins with verse, then
turns to prose, and throughout drops again at intervals into poetry in a
friendly way like Mr. Wegg. Now this is a form of writing not unknown in
other branches of literature, the _cante-fable_, of which "Aucassin et
Nicolette" is the most distinguished example. Nor is the _cante-fable_
confined to France. Many of the heroic verses of the Arabs contained
in the _Hamâsa_ would be unintelligible without accompanying narrative,
which is nowadays preserved in the commentary. The verses imbedded
in the _Arabian Nights_ give them something of the character of a
_cante-fable_, and the same may be said of the Indian and Persian
story-books, though the verse is usually of a sententious and moral
kind, as in the _gâthas_ of the Buddhist Jatakas. Even as remote as
Zanzibar, Mr. Lang notes, the folk-tales are told as _cante-fables_.
There are even traces in the Old Testament of such screeds of verse amid
the prose narrative, as in the story of Lamech or that of Balaam. All
this suggests that this is a very early and common form of narrative.

Among folk-tales there are still many traces of the _cante-fable_. Thus,
in Grimm's collection, verses occur in Nos. 1, 5, 11, 12, 13, 15, 19,
21, 24, 28, 30, 36, 38_a_, _b_, 39_a_, 40, 45, 46, 47, out of the first
fifty tales, 36 per cent. Of Chambers' twenty-one folk-tales, in the
_Popular Rhymes of Scotland_ only five are without interspersed verses.
Of the forty-three tales contained in this volume, three (ix., xxix.,
xxxiii.) are derived from ballads and do not therefore count in the
present connection. Of the remaining forty, i., iii., vii., xvi., xix.,
xxi., xxiii., xxv., xxxi., xxxv., xxxviii., xli. (made up from verses),
xliii., contain rhymed lines, while xiv., xxii., xxvi., and xxxvii.,
contain "survivals" of rhymes ("let me come in--chinny chin-chin"; "once
again ... come to Spain;" "it is not so--should be so"; "and his lady,
him behind"); and x. and xxxii. are rhythmical if not rhyming. As most
of the remainder are drolls, which have probably a different origin,
there seems to be great probability that originally all folk-tales of a
serious character were interspersed with rhyme, and took therefore the
form of the _cante-fable_. It is indeed unlikely that the ballad
itself began as continuous verse, and the _cante-fable_ is probably
the protoplasm out of which both ballad and folk-tale have been
differentiated, the ballad by omitting the narrative prose, the
folk-tale by expanding it. In "Childe Rowland" we have the nearest
example to such protoplasm, and it is not difficult to see how it could
have been shortened into a ballad or reduced to a prose folk-tale pure
and simple.

The subject-matter of "Childe Rowland" has also claims on our attention
especially with regard to recent views on the true nature and origin of
elves, trolls, and fairies. I refer to the recently published work of
Mr. D. MacRitchie, "The Testimony of Tradition" (Kegan Paul, Trench,
Trübner & Co.)--_i.e._, of tradition about the fairies and the rest.
Briefly put, Mr. MacRitchie's view is that the elves, trolls, and
fairies represented in popular tradition are really the mound-dwellers,
whose remains have been discovered in some abundance in the form of
green hillocks, which have been artificially raised over a long and low
passage leading to a central chamber open to the sky. Mr. MacRitchie
shows that in several instances traditions about trolls or "good
people" have attached themselves to mounds, which have afterwards on
investigation turned out to be evidently the former residence of men of
smaller build than the mortals of to-day. He goes on further to identify
these with the Picts--fairies are called "Pechs" in Scotland--and other
early races, but with these ethnological equations we need not much
concern ourselves. It is otherwise with the mound-traditions and their
relation, if not to fairy tales in general, to tales _about_ fairies,
trolls, elves, etc. These are very few in number, and generally bear the
character of anecdotes. The fairies, etc., steal a child, they help
a wanderer to a drink and then disappear into a green hill, they help
cottagers with their work at night but disappear if their presence is
noticed; human midwives are asked to help fairy mothers, fairy maidens
marry ordinary men or girls marry and live with fairy husbands. All
such things may have happened and bear no such _à priori_ marks of
impossibility as speaking animals, flying through the air, and similar
incidents of the folk-tale pure and simple. If, as archaeologists tell
us, there was once a race of men in Northern Europe, very short and
hairy, that dwelt in underground chambers artificially concealed by
green hillocks, it does not seem unlikely that odd survivors of the
race should have lived on after they had been conquered and nearly
exterminated by Aryan invaders and should occasionally have performed
something like the pranks told of fairies and trolls.

Certainly the description of the Dark Tower of the King of Elfland in
"Childe Rowland," has a remarkable resemblance to the dwellings of the
"good folk," which recent excavations have revealed. By the kindness of
Mr. MacRitchie, I am enabled to give the reader illustrations of one of
the most interesting of these, the Maes-How of Orkney. This is a green
mound some 100 feet in length and 35 in breadth at its broadest part.
Tradition had long located a goblin in its centre, but it was not till
1861 that it was discovered to be pierced by a long passage 53 feet in
length, and only two feet four inches high, for half of its length. This
led into a central chamber 15 feet square and open to the sky.

Now it is remarkable how accurately all this corresponds to the Dark
Tower of "Childe Rowland," allowing for a little idealisation on the
part of the narrator. We have the long dark passage leading into the
well-lit central chamber, and all enclosed in a green hill or mound.
It is of course curious to contrast Mr. Batten's frontispiece with the
central chamber of the How, but the essential features are the same.
Even such a minute touch as the terraces on the hill have their bearing,
I believe, on Mr. MacRitchie's "realistic" views of Faerie. For in quite
another connection Mr. G. L. Gomme, in his recent "Village Community"
(W. Scott), pp. 75-98, has given reasons and examples for believing
that terrace cultivation along the sides of hills was a practice of the
non-Aryan and pre-Aryan inhabitants of these isles. [Footnote: To these
may be added Iona (_cf._ Duke of Argyll, _Iona_, p. 109).] Here then
from a quarter quite unexpected by Mr. MacRitchie, we have evidence
of the association of the King of Elfland with a non-Aryan mode of
cultivation of the soil. By Mr. Gomme's kindness I am enabled to give an
illustration of this.

Altogether it seems not improbable that in such a tale as "Childe
Rowland" we have an idealised picture of a "marriage by capture" of one
of the diminutive non-Aryan dwellers of the green hills with an Aryan
maiden, and her re-capture by her brothers. It is otherwise difficult to
account for such a circumstantial description of the interior of these
mounds, and especially of such a detail as the terrace cultivation on
them. At the same time it must not be thought that Mr. MacRitchie's
views explain all fairy tales, or that his identifications of Finns
= Fenians = Fairies = Sidhe = "Pechs" = Picts, will necessarily be
accepted. His interesting book, so far as it goes, seems to throw light
on tales about mermaids (Finnish women in their "kayaks,") and trolls,
but not necessarily, on fairy tales in general. Thus, in the present
volume, besides "Childe Rowland," there is only "Tom Tit Tot" in his
hollow, the green hill in "Kate Crackernuts," the "Cauld Lad of Hilton,"
and perhaps the "Fairy Ointment," that are affected by his views.

Finally, there are a couple of words in the narrative that deserve a
couple of words of explanation: "Widershins" is probably, as Mr. Batten
suggests, analogous to the German "wider Schein," against the appearance
of the sun, "counter-clockwise" as the mathematicians say--_i.e._, W.,
S., E., N., instead of with the sun and the hands of a clock; why
it should have an unspelling influence is hard to say. "Bogle" is a
provincial word for "spectre," and is analogous to the Welsh _bwg_,
"goblin," and to the English insect of similar name, and still more
curiously to the Russian "Bog," God, after which so many Russian rivers
are named. I may add that "Burd" is etymologically the same as "bride"
and is frequently used in the early romances for "Lady."


_Source_.--_Folk-Lore Journal_, ii. p. 68, forwarded by Rev. Walter
Gregor. I have modified the dialect and changed "Mally" into "Molly."

_Parallels_.--The first part is clearly the theme of "Hop o' my Thumb,"
which Mr. Lang has studied in his "Perrault," pp. civ.-cxi. (_cf._
Köhler, _Occident_, ii. 301.) The change of night-dresses occurs in
Greek myths. The latter part wanders off into "rob giant of three
things," a familiar incident in folk-tales (Cosquin, i. 46-7), and
finally winds up with the "out of sack" trick, for which see Cosquin,
i. 113; ii. 209; and Köhler on Campbell, in _Occident and Orient_, ii.


_Source_.--"The Red Etin" in Chambers's _Pop. Rhymes of Scotland_, p.
89. I have reduced the adventurers from three to two, and cut down
the herds and their answers. I have substituted riddles from the first
English collection of riddles, _The Demandes Joyous_ of Wynkyn de Worde,
for the poor ones of the original, which are besides not solved. "Ettin"
is the English spelling of the word, as it is thus spelt in a passage
of Beaumont and Fletcher (_Knight of Burning Pestle_, i. 1), which may
refer to this very story, which, as we shall see, is quite as old as
their time.

_Parallels_.--"The Red Etin" is referred to in _The Complaynt of
Scotland_, about 1548. It has some resemblance to "Childe Rowland,"
which see. The "death index," as we may call tokens that tell the state
of health of a parted partner, is a usual incident in the theme of the
Two Brothers, and has been studied by the Grimms, i. 421, 453; ii. 403;
by Köhler on Campbell, _Occ. u. Or._, ii. 119-20; on Gonzenbach, ii.
230; on Bladé, 248; by Cosquin, _l.c._, i. 70-2, 193; by Crane, _Ital.
Pop. Tales_, 326; and by Jones and Kropf, _Magyar Tales_, 329. Riddles
generally come in the form of the "riddle-bride-wager" (_cf._ Child,
_Ballads_, i. 415-9; ii. 519), when the hero or heroine wins a spouse by
guessing a riddle or riddles. Here it is the simpler Sphinx form of the
"riddle task," on which see Köhler in _Jahrb. rom. Phil._, vii. 273, and
on Gonzenbach, 215.


_Source_.--Henderson, _l.c._, p. 338, collected by the Rev. S.
Baring-Gould, in Devonshire. Mr. Burne-Jones remembers hearing it in his
youth in Warwickshire.

_Parallels_.--The first fragment at the end of Grimm (ii. 467, of Mrs.
Hunt's translation), tells of an innkeeper's wife who had used the liver
of a man hanging on the gallows, whose ghost comes to her and tells her
what has become of his hair, and his eyes, and the dialogue concludes

  "SHE: Where is thy liver?
  IT: Thou hast devoured it!"

For similar "surprise packets" see Cosquin, ii. 77.

_Remarks_.--It is doubtful how far such gruesome topics should be
introduced into a book for children, but as a matter of fact the
_katharsis_ of pity and terror among the little ones is as effective as
among the spectators of a drama, and they take the same kind of pleasant
thrill from such stories. They know it is all make-believe just as much
as the spectators of a tragedy. Every one who has enjoyed the blessing
of a romantic imagination has been trained up on such tales of wonder.


_Source_.--From the chap-book contained in Halliwell, p. 199, and Mr.
Hartland's _English Folk and Fairy Tales_. I have omitted much of the
second part.

_Parallels_.--Halliwell has also a version entirely in verse. "Tom
Thumb" is "Le petit Poucet" of the French, "Daumling" of the Germans,
and similar diminutive heroes elsewhere (_cf._ Deulin, _Contes de ma
Mère l'Oye_, 326), but of his adventures only that in the cow's stomach
(_cf._ Cosquin, ii. 190) is common with his French and German cousins.
M. Gaston Paris has a monograph on "Tom Thumb."


_Source_.--Contributed by Blakeway to Malone's Variorum Shakespeare, to
illustrate Benedick's remark in _Much Ado about Nothing_ (I. i. 146):
"Like the old tale, my Lord, 'It is not so, nor 'twas not so, but,
indeed, God forbid it should be so;'" which clearly refers to the tale
of Mr. Fox. "The Forbidden Chamber" has been studied by Mr. Hartland,
_Folk-Lore Journal_, iii. 193, _seq._

_Parallels_.--Halliwell, p. 166, gives a similar tale of "An Oxford
Student," whose sweetheart saw him digging her grave. "Mr. Fox" is
clearly a variant of the theme of "The Robber Bridegroom" (Grimm, No.
40, Mrs. Hunt's translation, i. 389, 395; and Cosquin, i. 180-1).


_Source_.--Halliwell, 157.

_Parallels_.--The same story occurs in Lowland Scotch as "Jock and
his Mother," Chambers, _l.c._, 101; in Ireland, as "I'll be wiser next
time," Kennedy, _l.c._, 39-42. Abroad it is Grimm's _Hans im Glück_
(No. 83). The "cure by laughing" incident is "common form" in folk-tales
(_cf._ Köhler on Gonzenbach, _Sizil. Märchen_, ii. 210, 224; Jones and
Kropf, _Magyar Tales_, 312).


_Source_.--_American Journal of Folk-Lore_, ii. 60.

_Parallels_.--Another variant is given in the same _Journal_, p. 277,
where reference is also made to a version "The Gingerbread Boy," in
_St. Nicholas_, May 1875. Chambers gives two versions of the same story,
under the title "The Wee Bunnock," the first of which is one of the most
dramatic and humorous of folk-tales. Unfortunately, the Scotticisms are
so frequent as to render the droll practically untranslatable. "The Fate
of Mr. Jack Sparrow" in _Uncle Remus_ is similar to that of Johnny-Cake.


_Source_.--From the ballad of the same name as given in Mr. Allingham's
_Ballad Book_: it is clearly a fairy tale and not a ballad proper.

_Parallels_.--The lover visiting his spouse in guise of a bird, is a
frequent _motif_ in folk-tales.


_Source_.--From memory of Mrs. B. Abrahams, who heard it from her mother
some _x_ years ago (more than 40). I have transposed the two incidents,
as in her version Tommy Grimes was a clever carver and carried about
with him a carven leg. This seemed to me to exceed the limits of
_vraisemblance_ even for a folk-tale.

_Parallels_.--Getting out of an ogre's clutches by playing on the
simplicity of his wife, occurs in "Molly Whuppie" (No. xxii.), and its
similars. In the Grimms' "Hansel and Grethel," Hansel pokes out a stick
instead of his finger that the witch may not think him fat enough for
the table.

_Remarks_.--Mr. Miacca seems to have played the double _rôle_ of a
domestic Providence. He not alone punished bad boys, as here, but also
rewarded the good, by leaving them gifts on appropriate occasions like
Santa Claus or Father Christmas, who, as is well known, only leave
things for good children. Mrs. Abrahams remembers one occasion well
when she nearly caught sight of Mr. Miacca, just after he had left her a
gift; she saw his shadow in the shape of a bright light passing down the


_Source_.--I have cobbled this up out of three chap-book versions; (1)
that contained in Mr. Hartland's _English Folk-tales_; (2) that edited
by Mr. H. B. Wheatley for the Villon Society; (3) that appended to
Messrs. Besant and Rice's monograph.

_Parallels_.--Whittington's cat has made the fortune of his master in
all parts of the Old World, as Mr. W. A. Clouston, among others,
has shown, _Popular Tales and Fictions_, ii. 65-78 (_cf._ Köhler on
Gonzenbach, ii. 251).

_Remarks_.--If Bow Bells had pealed in the exact and accurate nineteenth
century, they doubtless would have chimed

  Turn again, Whittington,
  Thrice and a half Lord Mayor of London.

For besides his three mayoralties of 1397, 1406, and 1419, he served as
Lord Mayor in place of Adam Bamme, deceased, in the latter half of
the mayoralty of 1396. It will be noticed that the chap-book puts the
introduction of potatoes rather far back.


_Source_.--From Chambers, _l.c._, 64, much Anglicised. I have retained
"Aih-late-wee-moul," though I candidly confess I have not the slightest
idea what it means; judging other children by myself, I do not
think that makes the response less effective. The prosaic-minded may
substitute "Up-late-and-little-food."

_Parallels_.--The man made by instalments, occurs in the Grimms' No. 4,
and something like it in an English folk-tale, _The Golden Ball_, _ap._
Henderson, _l.c._, p. 333.


_Source_.--From an eighteenth-century ballad of the Rev. Mr. Lamb of
Norham, as given in Prof. Child's _Ballads_; with a few touches and
verses from the more ancient version "Kempion." A florid prose version
appeared in _Monthly Chronicle of North Country Lore_ for May 1890. I
have made the obvious emendation of

O quit your sword, unbend your bow


O quit your sword, and bend your bow.

_Parallels_.--The ballad of "Kempe Owein" is a more general version
which "The Laidly Worm" has localised near Bamborough. We learn from
this that the original hero was Kempe or Champion Owain, the Welsh hero
who flourished in the ninth century. Childe Wynd therefore = Childe
Owein. The "Deliverance Kiss" has been studied by Prof. Child, _l.c._,
i. 207. A noteworthy example occurs in Boiardo's _Orlando Inamorato_,
cc. xxv., xxvi.

_Remarks_.--It is perhaps unnecessary to give the equations "Laidly Worm
= Loathly Worm = Loathsome Dragon," and "borrowed = changed."


_Source_.--Halliwell, p. 154.

_Parallels_.--Scarcely more than a variant of the "Old Woman and her
Pig" (No. iv.), which see. It is curious that a very similar "run" is
added by Bengali women at the end of every folk-tale they tell (Lal
Behari Day, _Folk Tales of Bengal_, Pref. _ad fin._)


_Source_.--Henderson, _l.c._, p. 326, from a communication by the Rev.
S. Baring-Gould.

_Parallels_.--"Jonah rings" have been put together by Mr. Clouston
in his _Popular Tales_, i. 398, &c.: the most famous are those of
Polycrates, of Solomon, and the Sanskrit drama of "Sakuntala," the plot
of which turns upon such a ring. "Letters to kill bearer" have been
traced from Homer downwards by Prof. Köhler on Gonzenbach, ii. 220, and
"the substituted letter" by the same authority in _Occ. u. Or._, ii.
289. Mr. Baring-Gould, who was one of the pioneers of the study of
folk-tales in this country, has given a large number of instances of
"the pre-ordained marriage" in folk-tales in Henderson, _l.c._


_Source_.--I have built up the "Magpie's Nest" from two nidification
myths, as a German professor would call them, in the Rev. Mr.
Swainson's _Folk-Lore of British Birds_, pp. 80 and 166. I have received
instruction about the relative values of nests from a little friend of
mine named Katie, who knows all about it. If there is any mistake in
the order of neatness in the various birds' nests, I must have learnt my
lesson badly.

_Remarks_.--English popular tradition is curiously at variance about the
magpie's nidificatory powers, for another legend given by Mr. Swainson
represents her as refusing to be instructed by the birds and that is why
she does _not_ make a good nest.


_Source_.--Given by Mr. Lang in _Longman's Magazine_, vol. xiv. and
reprinted in _Folk-Lore_, Sept. 1890. It is very corrupt, both girls
being called Kate, and I have had largely to rewrite.

_Parallels_.--There is a tale which is clearly a cousin if not a parent
of this in _Kennedy's Fictions_, 54 _seq._, containing the visit to the
green hill (for which see "Childe Rowland"), a reference to nuts,
and even the sesame rhyme. The prince is here a corpse who becomes
revivified; the same story is in Campbell No. 13. The jealous stepmother
is "universally human." (_Cf._ Köhler on Gonzenbach, ii. 206.)


_Source_.--Henderson's _Folk-Lore of Northern Counties_, 2nd edition,
published by the Folk-Lore Society, pp. 266-7. I have written the
introductory paragraph so as to convey some information about Brownies,
Bogles, and Redcaps, for which Henderson, _l.c._, 246-53, is my
authority. Mr. Batten's portrait renders this somewhat superfluous.

_Parallels_.--The Grimms' "Elves" (No. 39) behave in like manner
on being rewarded for their services. Milton's "lubbar-fiend" in
_L'Allegro_ has all the characteristics of a Brownie.


_Source_.--Henderson, _l.c._, first edition, pp. 327-9, by the Rev. S.

_Parallels_.--Mr. Baring-Gould gives another version from the East
Riding, _l.c._, 329, in which there are three brothers who go through
the adventures. He also refers to European Variants, p. 311, which could
now be largely supplemented from Cosquin, i. 53-4, ii. 66, 171.

_Remarks_.--As an example of the sun-myth explanation of folk-tales I
will quote the same authority (p. 314): "The Master, who gives the three
precious gifts, is the All Father, the Supreme Spirit. The gold and
jewel-dropping ass, is the spring cloud, hanging in the sky and shedding
the bright productive vernal showers. The table which covers itself is
the earth becoming covered with flowers and fruit at the bidding of
the New Year. But there is a check; rain is withheld, the process
of vegetation is stayed by some evil influence. Then comes the
thunder-cloud, out of which leaps the bolt; the rains pour down, the
earth receives them, and is covered with abundance--all that was lost is

Mr. Baring-Gould, it is well-known, has since become a distinguished
writer of fiction.


_Source_.--Mrs. Bray, _The Tamar and the Tavy_, i. 174 (letters to
Southey), as quoted by Mr. Hartland in _Folk-Lore_, i. 207-8. I have
christened the anonymous midwife and euphemised her profession.

_Parallels_.--Mr. Hartland has studied Human Midwives in the _Archaeol.
Review_, iv., and parallels to our story in _Folk-Lore_, i. 209, _seq._;
the most interesting of these is from Gervase of Tilbury (xiii. cent.),
_Otia Imper._, iii. 85, and three Breton tales given by M. Sebillot
(_Contes_, ii. 42; _Litt. orale_, 23; _Trad. et Superst._, i. 109).
_Cf._ Prof. Child, i. 339; ii. 505.


_Source_.--Leyden's edition of _The Complaynt of Scotland_, p. 234
_seq._, with additional touches from Halliwell, 162-3, who makes up a
slightly different version from the rhymes. The opening formula I have
taken from Mayhew, _London Labour_, iii. 390, who gives it as the usual
one when tramps tell folk-tales. I also added it to No. xvii.

_Parallels_.--Sir W. Scott remembered a similar story; see Taylor's
_Gammer Grethel, ad fin_. In Scotland it is Chambers's tale of _The
Paddo_, p. 87; Leyden supposes it is referred to in the _Complaynt_, (c.
1548), as "The Wolf of the Warldis End." The well of this name occurs
also in the Scotch version of the "Three Heads of the Well," (No.
xliii.). Abroad it is the Grimms' first tale, while frogs who would
a-wooing go are discussed by Prof. Köhler, _Occ. u. Orient_ ii. 330; by
Prof. Child, i. 298; and by Messrs. Jones and Kropf, _l.c._, p. 404. The
sieve-bucket task is widespread from the Danaids of the Greeks to the
leverets of _Uncle Remus_, who, curiously enough, use the same rhyme:
"Fill it wid moss en dob it wid clay." _Cf._, too, No. xxiii.


_Source_.--I have taken what suited me from a number of sources, which
shows how wide-spread this quaint droll is in England: (i) In Mayhew,
_London Poor_, iii. 391, told by a lad in a workhouse; (ii) several
versions in 7 _Notes and Queries_, iii. 35, 87, 159, 398.

_Parallels_.--Rev. W. Gregor gives a Scotch version under the title "The
Clever Apprentice," in _Folk-Lore Journal_, vii. 166. Mr. Hartland, in
_Notes and Queries_, _l.c._, 87, refers to Pitré's _Fiabi sicil._, iii.
120, for a variant.

_Remarks_.--According to Mr. Hartland, the story is designed as a satire
on pedantry, and is as old in Italy as Straparola (sixteenth century).
In passionate Sicily a wife disgusted with her husband's pedantry
sets the house on fire, and informs her husband of the fact in this
unintelligible gibberish; he, not understanding his own lingo, falls
a victim to the flames, and she marries the servant who had taken the


_Source_.--Halliwell, p. 158. The second wish has been somewhat

_Parallels_.--The story forms part of Peele's _Old Wives' Tale_, where
the rhyme was

  _A Head rises in the well_,
  Fair maiden, white and red,
  Stroke me smooth and comb my head,
  And thou shalt have some cockell-bread.

It is also in Chambers, _l.c._, 105, where the well is at the World's
End (_cf._ No. xli.). The contrasted fates of two step-sisters, is the
Frau Holle (Grimm, No. 24) type of Folk-tale studied by Cosquin, i. 250,
_seq._ "Kate Crackernuts" (No. xxxvii.) is a pleasant contrast to this.

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