|English Fairy Tales
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
"Fee, fie, fo, fum,
I smell the blood of some earthly one.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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."
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!"
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.
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.