The Three Cows
was a farmer, and he had three cows, fine fat beauties they were. One
was called Facey, the other Diamond, and the third Beauty. One morning
he went into his cowshed, and there he found Facey so thin that the
wind would have blown her away. Her skin hung loose about her, all her
flesh was gone, and she stared out of her great eyes as though she'd
seen a ghost; and what was more, the fireplace in the kitchen was one
great pile of wood-ash. Well, he was bothered with it; he could not see
how all this had come about.
Next morning his wife went out to
the shed, and see! Diamond was for all the world as wisht a looking
creature as Facey—nothing but a bag of bones, all the flesh gone, and
half a rick of wood was gone too; but the fireplace was piled up three
feet high with white wood-ashes. The farmer determined to watch the
third night; so he hid in a closet which opened out of the parlour, and
he left the door just ajar, that he might see what passed.
tick, went the clock, and the farmer was nearly tired of waiting; he
had to bite his little finger to keep himself awake, when suddenly the
door of his house flew open, and in rushed maybe a thousand pixies,
laughing and dancing and dragging at Beauty's halter till they had
brought the cow into the middle of the room. The farmer really thought
he should have died with fright, and so perhaps he would had not
curiosity kept him alive.
Tick, tick, went the clock, but he did
not hear it now. He was too intent staring at the pixies and his last
beautiful cow. He saw them throw her down, fall on her, and kill her;
then with their knives they ripped her open, and flayed her as clean as
a whistle. Then out ran some of the little people and brought in
firewood and made a roaring blaze on the hearth, and there they cooked
the flesh of the cow—they baked and they boiled, they stewed and they
"Take care," cried one, who seemed to be the king, "let no bone be broken."
when they had all eaten, and had devoured every scrap of beef on the
cow, they began playing games with the bones, tossing them one to
another. One little leg-bone fell close to the closet door, and the
farmer was so afraid lest the pixies should come there and find him in
their search for the bone, that he put out his hand and drew it in to
him. Then he saw the king stand on the table and say, "Gather the
Round and round flew the imps, picking up the bones.
"Arrange them," said the king; and they placed them all in their proper
positions in the hide of the cow. Then they folded the skin over them,
and the king struck the heap of bone and skin with his rod. Whisht! up
sprang the cow and lowed dismally. It was alive again; but, alas! as
the pixies dragged it back to its stall, it halted in the off forefoot,
for a bone was missing.
"The cock crew,
Away they flew."
and the farmer crept trembling to bed.
|All English Fairy Tales
THE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK
JACK THE GIANT-KILLER
THE PIED PIPER OF FRANCHVILLE
THE STORY OF THE THREE BEARS
TOM TIT TOT
THE THREE SILLIES
THE OLD WOMAN AND HER PIG
HOW JACK WENT TO SEEK HIS FORTUNE
NIX NOUGHT NOTHING
MOUSE AND MOUSER
CAP O' RUSHES
THE MASTER AND HIS PUPIL
TITTY MOUSE ND TATTY MOUSE
JACK AND HIS GOLDEN SNUFF-BOX
THE RED ETTIN
MASTER OF ALL MASTERS.
THE GOLDEN ARM
THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB
EARL MAR'S DAUGHTER
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT
THE STRANGE VISITOR
THE LAIDLY WORM OF SPINDLESTON HEUGH
THE CAT AND THE MOUSE.
THE FISH AND THE RING.
THE MAGPIE'S NEST
THE CAULD LAD OF HILTON
THE ASS, THE TABLE, AND THE STICK
THE WELL OF THE WORLD'S END.
THE THREE HEADS OF THE WELL