English fairy tales

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Jack Hannaford

There was an old soldier who had been long in the wars—so long, that he was quite out-at-elbows, and he did not know where to go to find a living. So he walked up moors, down glens, till at last he came to a farm, from which the good man…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

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. Jack the Giant-Killer was last modified:…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Johnny Gloke

Johnny Gloke was a tailor by trade, but like a man of spirit he grew tired of his tailoring, and wished to follow some other path that would lead to honour and fame. But he did not know what to do at first to gain fame and fortune, so for…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Johnny-Cake

Once upon a time there was an old man, and an old woman, and a little boy. One morning the old woman made a Johnny-cake, and put it in the oven to bake. “You watch the Johnny-cake while your father and I go out to work in the garden.” Johnny-Cake…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Kate Crackernuts

Once upon a time there was a king and a queen, as in many lands have been. The king had a daughter, Anne, and the queen had one named Kate, but Anne was far bonnier than the queen’s daughter, though they loved one another like real sisters. The queen was…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Lawkamercyme

There was an old woman, as I’ve heard tell. She went to the market her eggs for to sell; She went to the market, all on a market-day, And she fell asleep on the king’s highway. There came by a pedlar, whose name was Stout, He cut her petticoats round…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Lazy Jack

Once upon a time there was a boy whose name was Jack, and he lived with his mother on a common. They were very poor, and the old woman got her living by spinning, but Jack was so lazy that he would do nothing but bask in the sun in…

Andrew Lang’s Fairy BooksEnglish fairy tales

Little Maia

Once upon a time there lived a woman who had a pretty cottage and garden right in the middle of a forest. All through the summer she was quite happy tending her flowers and listening to the birds singing in the trees, but in the winter, when snow lay on…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Master of All Masters

A girl once went to the fair to hire herself for servant. At last a funny-looking old gentleman engaged her, and took her home to his house. When she got there, he told her that he had something to teach her, for that in his house he had his own…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Molly Whoppie

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,…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Mouse and Mouser

The Mouse went to visit the Cat, and found her sitting behind the hall door, spinning. MOUSE. What are you doing, my lady, my lady, What are you doing, my lady? CAT (sharply). I’m spinning old breeches, good body, good body I’m spinning old breeches, good body. Mouse and Mouser…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

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…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Mr. Miacca

Tommy Grimes was sometimes a good boy, and sometimes a bad boy; and when he was a bad boy, he was a very bad boy. Now his mother used to say to him: “Tommy, Tommy, be a good boy, and don’t go out of the street, or else Mr. Miacca…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Mr. Vinegar

Mr. and Mrs. Vinegar lived in a vinegar bottle. Now, one day, when Mr. Vinegar was from home, Mrs. Vinegar, who was a very good housewife, was busily sweeping her house, when an unlucky thump of the broom brought the whole house clitter-clatter, clitter-clatter, about her ears. In an agony…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

My Own Self

In a tiny house in the North Countrie, far away from any town or village, there lived not long ago, a poor widow all alone with her little son, a six-year-old boy. The house-door opened straight on to the hill-side and all round about were moorlands and huge stones, and…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Nix Nought Nothing

There once lived a king and a queen as many a one has been. They were long married and had no children; but at last a baby-boy came to the queen when the king was away in the far countries. The queen would not christen the boy till the king…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Princess of Canterbury

There lived formerly in the County of Cumberland a nobleman who had three sons, two of whom were comely and clever youths, but the other a natural fool, named Jack, who was generally engaged with the sheep: he was dressed in a parti-coloured coat, and a steeple-crowned hat with a…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Scrapegoat

Once upon a time, there were three Bears who lived in a castle in a great wood. One of them was a great big Bear, and one was a middling Bear, and one was a little Bear. And in the same wood there was a Fox who lived all alone,…

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