Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

English Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs (coll. & ed.)

Part 2 out of 4

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.4 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

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 said:

"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
hill."

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.

THE MASTER AND HIS PUPIL

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
furnace.

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 water.

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

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
corn,

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 feathers."

"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.

JACK AND HIS GOLDEN SNUFF-BOX

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 go."

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 together.

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 pocket.

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 it.

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.

THE STORY OF THE THREE BEARS

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
it!"

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.

JACK THE GIANT-KILLER

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

JACK THE GIANT-KILLER

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 himself.

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 portion!"

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
captivity?"

"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 Arthur.

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.

HENNY-PENNY

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 king."

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 a-falling.

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 Turkey-lurkey.

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

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.

MOLLY WHUPPIE

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.

THE RED ETTIN

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 be 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.

THE GOLDEN ARM

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_?"

"THOU HAST IT!"

THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB

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 seen.

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 orders:

"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 be 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 drowned.

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
execution.

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!

MR. FOX

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:

BE BOLD, BE BOLD.

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:

BE BOLD, BE BOLD, BUT NOT TOO BOLD.

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:

BE BOLD, BE BOLD, BUT NOT TOO BOLD, LEST THAT YOUR HEART'S BLOOD
SHOULD RUN COLD.

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
could.

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:

BE BOLD, BE BOLD.

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

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

BE BOLD, BE BOLD, BUT NOT TOO BOLD.

"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:

BE BOLD, BE BOLD, BUT NOT TOO BOLD, LEST THAT YOUR HEART'S BLOOD
SHOULD RUN COLD.

"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 ring."

"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.

Book of the day: