English fairy tales

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

The Three Heads of the Well

Long before Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, there reigned in the eastern part of England a king who kept his Court at Colchester. In the midst of all his glory, his queen died, leaving behind her an only daughter, about fifteen years of age, who for her…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

The Three Sillies

Once upon a time there was a farmer and his wife who had one daughter, and she was courted by a gentleman. Every evening he used to come and see her, and stop to supper at the farmhouse, and the daughter used to be sent down into the cellar to…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

The Three Wishes

Once 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…

English fairy tales

The Two Sisters

Once upon a time there were two sisters who were as like each other as two peas in a pod; but one was good, and the other was bad-tempered. Now their father had no work, so the girls began to think of going to service. “I will go first and…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

The Wee Bannock

“Grannie, grannie, come tell us the story of the wee bannock.” “Hout, childer, ye’ve heard it a hundred times afore. I needn’t tell it over again.” “Ah! but, grannie, it’s such a fine one. You must tell it. Just once.” “Well, well, if ye’ll all promise to be good, I’ll…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

The Well of the World’s End

Once upon a time, and a very good time it was, though it wasn’t in my time, nor in your time, nor any one else’s time, there was a girl whose mother had died, and her father had married again. And her stepmother hated her because she was more beautiful…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

The Wise Men of Gotham

Of Buying of Sheep There were two men of Gotham, and one of them was going to market to Nottingham to buy sheep, and the other came from the market, and they both met together upon Nottingham bridge. “Where are you going?” said the one who came from Nottingham. “Marry,”…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Three Feathers

Once upon a time there was a girl who was married to a husband that she never saw. And the way this was, was that he was only at home at night, and would never have any light in the house. The girl thought that was funny, and all her…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

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.…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Tom Hickathrift

Before the days of William the Conqueror there dwelt a man in the marsh of the Isle of Ely whose name was Thomas Hickathrift, a poor day labourer, but so stout that he could do two days’ work in one. His one son he called by his own name, Thomas…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Tom Tit Tot

Once upon a time there was a woman, and she baked five pies. And when they came out of the oven, they were that overbaked the crusts were too hard to eat. So she says to her daughter: “Darter,” says she, “put you them there pies on the shelf, and…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Whittington and His Cat

In the reign of the famous King Edward III. there was a little boy called Dick Whittington, whose father and mother died when he was very young. As poor Dick was not old enough to work, he was very badly off; he got but little for his dinner, and sometimes…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Yallery Brown

Once upon a time, and a very good time it was, though it wasn’t in my time, nor in your time, nor any one else’s time, there was a young lad of eighteen or so named Tom Tiver working on the Hall Farm. One Sunday he was walking across the…

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