an English Tale
up a time there was a King and 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.
was jealous of the King's daughter being bonnier than her own, and cast
about to spoil her beauty. So she took counsel of the Henwife who hold
her to send the lassie to her next morning fasting.
So next morning, the Queen said to Anne, "Go, my dear, to the Henwife in the glen, and ask her for some eggs."
Anne set out but as she passed throught the kitchen she saw a crust,
and she took an munched it a, she went along. When she came to the
Henwife's she asked for eggs, as she had been told to do; the Henwife
said to her, "Life the lid off that pot there and see." The lassie did
so, but nothing happened. "Go home to your Minnie and tell her to keep
her larder door better locked, "said the henwife. So she went home to
the Queen and told her what the henwife had said. The Queen knew from
this that the lassie had had something to eat, so watched the next
morning and sent her away fasting; but the princess saw some
country-folk picking peas by the roadside, and being kind she spoke to
them and took a handful of the peas which she eat by the way.
she came to the henwife's, she said, "Lift the lid off the pot and
you'll see." So Anne lifted the lid but nothing happened. Then the
Henwife was rare angry and said to Anne, "Tell your Minnie the pot
won't boil if the fire's away." So Anne went home and told the Queen.
third day the Qneen goes along with the girl herself to the Henwife.
Now, this time, when Anne lifted the lid off the pot, off falls her own
pretty head, and on jumps a sheep's head.
So the Queen was now quite satisfied, and went back home.
daughter Kate, however, took a fine linen cloth and wrapped it round
her sister's head and took her by the hand and they both went out to
seek their fortune. They went on, and they went on, and they went on,
till they came to a castle. Kate knocked at the door and asked for a
night's lodging for herself and a sick sister. Then went in and found
it was a King's castle, who had two sons, one of them was sickening
away to death and no one could find out what ailed him. And the
curious thing was that whoever watched him at night was never seen any
more. So the King had offered a peck of silver to anyone who would sit
up with him. Now Katie was a very brave girl, so she offered to sit up
Till midnight all
went well. As twelve o'clock rang, however, the sick Prince rose,
dressed himself, and slipped downstairs. Kate followed, but he didn't
seem to notice her. The Prince went to the stable, saddled his horse,
called his hound, jumped into the saddle, and Kate leapt lightly up
Away rode the
Prince and Kate through the Greenwood, Kate, as they pass, plucking
nuts from the trees and filling her apron with them. They rode on and
on till they came to a green hill. The prince here drew bridle and
spoke, "Open, Open, green hill, and let the young Prince in with his
horse and his hound," and Kate added, "and his lady him behind."
the green hill opened and they passed in. The prince entered a
magnificent hall, brightly lighted up, and many beautiful fairies
surrounded the Prince and led him off to the dance. Meanwhile, Kate,
without being noticed hid herself behind the door. There she saw the
Prince dancing, and dancing, and dancing, till he could dance no longer
and fell upon a couch. Then the Fairies would fan him till he could
rise again and go on dancing.
least the cock crew, and the Prince made all haste to get on horseback;
kate jumped up behind, and home they rode. When the morning sun rose
they came in and found Kate sitting down by the fire and cracking her
nuts. Kate said the Prince had a good night; but she would not sit up
another night unless she was to get a peck of gold.
second night passed as the first had done. The Prince got up at
midnight and rode away to the green hill and the Fairy Ball, and Kate
went with him, gathering nuts as they road through the forest.
time she did not watch the Prince, for she knew he would dance, and
dance, and dance. But she saw a fairy baby playing with a wand, and
overheard one of the fairies say: "Three strokes of that wand would
make Kate's sick sister as bonnie as ever she was." So Kate rolled
nuts to the fairy baby, and rolled nuts tll the baby toddled after the
nuts and let fall the wand, and Kate took it up and put it in her apron.
the cock crow they rode home as before, and the moment Kate got home to
her room she rushed and touched Anne three times with the wand, and the
nasty sheep's head fell off and she was her own pretty self again.
third night Kate consented to watch, only if she should marry the sick
Prince. All went on as on the first two nights. This time the fairy
baby was playing with a birdie; Kate heard one of the Fairies say:
"Three bites of the birdie would make the sick Prince as well as ever
Kate rolled all the nuts she had to the fairy baby till the birdie was dropped, and Kate put it in her apron.
cock crow they set off again, but instead of cracking her nuts as she
used to do, this time Kate plucked the feathers off and cooked the
birdie. Soon there a rose a very savoury smell. "Oh! if I but had a
thrid bite of that birdie!" So Kate gave him a third bite, and he rose
hale and strong, dressed himself, and sat down by the fire, and when
the folk came in next morning they found Kate and the young Prince
cracking nuts together.
his brother had seen Anne and had fallen in love with her, as everybody
did who saw her sweet pretty face. So the sick son married the well
sister, and the well son married the sick sister, and they all lived
happy and died happy, an dnever drank out of a dry cappy.
From English Fairy Tales
by Joseph Jacobs