The Three Wishes
upon a time, and be sure 't was a long time ago, there lived a poor
woodman in a great forest, and every day of his life he went out to
fell timber. So one day he started out, and the goodwife filled his
wallet and slung his bottle on his back, that he might have meat and
drink in the forest. He had marked out a huge old oak, which, thought
he, would furnish many and many a good plank. And when he was come to
it, he took his axe in his hand and swung it round his head as though
he were minded to fell the tree at one stroke. But he hadn't given one
blow, when what should he hear but the pitifullest entreating, and
there stood before him a fairy who prayed and beseeched him to spare
the tree. He was dazed, as you may fancy, with wonderment and affright,
and he couldn't open his mouth to utter a word. But he found his tongue
at last, and, "Well," said he, "I'll e'en do as thou wishest."
done better for yourself than you know," answered the fairy, "and to
show I'm not ungrateful, I'll grant you your next three wishes, be they
what they may." And therewith the fairy was no more to be seen, and the
woodman slung his wallet over his shoulder and his bottle at his side,
and off he started home.
But the way was long, and the poor man
was regularly dazed with the wonderful thing that had befallen him, and
when he got home there was nothing in his noddle but the wish to sit
down and rest. Maybe, too, 't was a trick of the fairy's. Who can tell?
Anyhow down he sat by the blazing fire, and as he sat he waxed hungry,
though it was a long way off supper-time yet.
"Hasn't thou naught for supper, dame?" said he to his wife.
"Nay, not for a couple of hours yet," said she.
"Ah!" groaned the woodman, "I wish I'd a good link of black pudding here before me."
sooner had he said the word, when clatter, clatter, rustle, rustle,
what should come down the chimney but a link of the finest black
pudding the heart of man could wish for.
If the woodman stared, the goodwife stared three times as much. "What's all this?" says she.
all the morning's work came back to the woodman, and he told his tale
right out, from beginning to end, and as he told it the goodwife
glowered and glowered, and when he had made an end of it she burst out,
"Thou bee'st but a fool, Jan, thou bee'st but a fool; and I wish the
pudding were at thy nose, I do indeed."
And before you could say Jack Robinson, there the goodman sat and his nose was the longer for a noble link of black pudding.
gave a pull but it stuck, and she gave a pull but it stuck, and they
both pulled till they had nigh pulled the nose off, but it stuck and
"What's to be done now?" said he.
"'T isn't so very unsightly," said she, looking hard at him.
the woodman saw that if he wished, he must need wish in a hurry; and
wish he did, that the black pudding might come off his nose. Well!
there it lay in a dish on the table, and if the goodman and goodwife
didn't ride in a golden coach, or dress in silk and satin, why, they
had at least as fine a black pudding for their supper as the heart of
man could desire.
|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