English Fairy Tales
Joseph Jacobs (coll. & ed.)
Part 3 out of 4
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
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-
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-
"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
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-
"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:
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!"
"You can, can you?" yelped the fox, and he snapped up the Johnny-cake
in his sharp teeth in the twinkling of an eye.
EARL MAR'S DAUGHTER
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 room.
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
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 cygnets.
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 some?"
"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
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.
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT
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 gold.
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 jump."
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
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 own."
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 sea.
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
"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
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
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
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.
THE STRANGE VISITOR
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
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
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?"
"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._)
THE LAIDLY WORM OF SPINDLESTON HEUGH
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 Castle.
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
THE CAT AND THE MOUSE
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!
THE FISH AND THE RING
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
"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
"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.
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.
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
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
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.
THE MAGPIE'S NEST
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
"The very thing!" said the sparrow, and off be 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,
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
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 cappy.
THE CAULD LAD OF HILTON
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.
THE ASS, THE TABLE, AND THE STICK
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
"With the right eye to be sure," said she, as proud as can be to find
"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.
THE WELL OF THE WORLD'S END
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
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.
MASTER OF ALL MASTERS
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.
THE THREE HEADS OF THE WELL
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 fast?"
"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
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 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
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
"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.
THE ENGLISH FAIRY TALES
ARE NOW CLOSED
LITTLE BOYS AND GIRLS
MUST NOT READ ANY FURTHER
NOTES AND REFERENCES
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
I. TOM TIT TOT.
_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.
II. THE THREE SILLIES.
_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 _Melusine_, 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.
III. THE ROSE TREE.
_Source_.--From the first edition of Henderson's _Folk-Lore of
Northern Counties_, p. 314, to which it was communicated by the
Rev. S. Baring-Gould.
_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
IV. OLD WOMAN AND PIG.
_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.,
V. HOW JACK SOUGHT HIS FORTUNE.
_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. Koehler in Gonzenbach, _Sicil. Maerchen_, ii. 245.
VI. MR. VINEGAR.
_Source_.--Halliwell, p. 149.
_Parallels_.--This is the _Hans im Glueck_ 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 tale.
_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.)
VII. NIX NOUGHT NOTHING.
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