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Scottish Folk Tales

The Maiden Fair and the Fountain Fairy

Long, long ago a drover courted and married the Miller of Cuthilldorie's only daughter. The drover learned how to grind the corn, and so he set up with his young wife as the Miller of Cuthilldorie when the old miller died. They did not have very much money to begin with, but an old Highlander lent them some silver, and soon they did well. By and by the young miller and his wife had a daughter, but on the very night she was born the fairies stole her away. The wee thing was carried far away from the house into the wood of Cuthilldorie, where she was found on the very lip of the Black Well. In the air was heard a lilting:

"O we'll come back again, my honey, my hert,
We'll come back again, my ain kind dearie;
And you will mind upon a time
When we met in the wood at the Well so wearie!"

The lassie grew up to be by far the bonniest lass in all the countryside. Everything went well at the mill.
One dark night there came a woodcock with a glowing tinder in its beak, and set fire to the mill. Everything was burnt and the miller and his wife were left without a thing in the world. To make matters worse, who should come along next day but the old Highlander who had lent them the silver, demanding payment.
Now, there was a wee old man in the wood of Cuthilldorie beside the Black Well, who would never stay in a house if he could help it. In the winter he went away, nobody knew where. He was an ugly goblin, not more than two and a half feet high. He had been seen only three times in fifteen years since he came to the place, for he always flew up out of sight when anybody came near him. But if you crept cannily through the wood after dark, you might have heard him playing with the water, and singing the same song:

"O when will you come, my honey, my hert,
O when will you come, my ain kind dearie;
For don't you mind upon the time
We met in the wood at the Well so wearie?"
Well, the night after the firing of the mill, the miller's daughter wandered into the wood alone, and wandered and wandered till she came to the Black Well. Then the wee goblin gripped her and jumped about singing:
"O come with me, my honey, my hert,
O come with me, my ain kind dearie;
For don't you mind upon the time
We met in the wood at the Well so wearie?"

With that he made her drink three double handfuls of witched water, and away they flew on a flash of lightning. When the poor lass opened her eyes, she was in a palace, all gold and silver and diamonds, and full of fairies. The King and Queen of the Fairies invited her to stay, and said she would be well looked after. But if she wanted to go home again, she must never tell anybody where she had been or what she had seen.
She said she wanted to go home, and promised to do as she was told. Then the King said:

"The first stranger you meet, give him oatmeal."
"Give him oatcakes," said the Queen.
"Give him butter," said her King.
"Give him a drink of the Black Well water," they both said.

Then they gave her twelve drops of liquid in a wee green bottle, three drops for the oatmeal, three for the oatcakes, three for the butter and three for the Black Well water. She took the green bottle in her hand, and suddenly it was dark. She was flying through the air, and when she opened her eyes she was at her own doorstep. She slipped away to bed, glad to be home again, and said nothing about where she had been or what she had seen. Next morning, before the sun was up, there came a rap, rap, rap, three times at the door. The sleepy lass looked out and saw an old beggar man, who began to sing:

"O open the door, my honey, my hert,
O open the door, my ain kind dearie;
For don't you mind upon the time
We met in the wood at the Well so wearie?"
When she heard that, she said nothing, and opened the door. The old beggar came in singing:
"O gie me my oatmeal, my honey, my hert,
O gie me my oatmeal, my ain hind dearie;
For don't you mind upon the time
We met in the wood at the Well so wearie?"

The lassie made a bowl of oatmeal for the beggar, not forgetting the three drops of water from the green bottle. As he was supping the meal the old beggar vanished, and there in his place was the big Highlander who had lent silver to her father, the miller, and he was singing:

"O gie me my oatcakes, my honey, my hert,
O gie me my oatcakes, my ain kind dearie;
For don't you mind upon the time
We met in the wood at the Well so wearie?"

She baked him some fresh oatcakes, not forgetting the three drops from the wee green bottle. He had just finished eating the oatcakes when he vanished, and there in his place was the woodcock that had fired the mill, singing:

"O gie me my butter, my honey, my hert,
O gie me my butter, my ain kind dearie;
For don't you mind upon the time
We met in the wood by the Well so wearie?"

She gave him butter as fast as she could, not forgetting the three drops of water from the green bottle. He had only eaten a bite, when he flapped his wings and vanished, and there was the ugly wee goblin that had grabbed her at the Black Well the night before, and he was singing:

"O gie me my water, my honey, my hert,
O gie me my water, my ain kind dearie;
For don't you mind upon the time
We met in the wood by the Well so wearie?"

She knew there were only three other drops of water left in the green bottle and she was afraid. She ran fast as she could to the Black Well, but who should be there before her but the wee ugly goblin himself, singing:

"O gie me my water, my honey, my hert,
O gie me my water, my ain kind dearie;
For don't you mind upon the time
We met in the wood by the Well so wearie?"

She gave him the water, not forgetting the three drops from the green bottle. But he had scarcely drunk the witched water when he vanished, and there was a fine young Prince, who spoke to her as if he had known her all her days. They sat down beside the Black Well.
"I was born the same night as you," he said, "and I was carried away by the fairies the same night as you were found on the lip of the Well. I was a goblin for so many years because the fairies were scared away. They made me play many tricks before they would let me go and return to my father, the King of France, and make the bonniest lass in all the world my bride."
"Who is she?" asked the maiden.
"The Miller of Cuthilldorie's daughter," said the young Prince.
Then they went home and told their stories over again, and that very night they were married. A coach and four came for them, and the miller and his wife, and the Prince and the Princess, drove away singing:
"O but we're happy, my honey, my hert,
O but we're happy, my ain kind dearie;
For don't you mind upon the time
We met in the wood at the Well so wearie?"

The Black Bull Of Norroway

In Norroway, long ago, there lived a lady, and she had three daughters. The eldest of them said to her mother:
"Mother, bake me an bannock [oatcake], and roast me a portion, for I'm going away to seek my fortune."
Her mother did so, while her daughter went to an old fortune-teller and asked her what she should do. The fortune-teller told her to look out of the back door to see what she could see. She saw nothing the first day, and she saw nothing the second day. But on the third day she looked out again and saw a coach and six coming along the road. She ran in and told the fortune-teller.
"Well," said the old wife, "that's for you."
So she stepped into the coach, and off she went.
The second daughter then said to her mother:
"Mother, bake me an bannock, and roast me a portion, for I'm going away to seek my fortune."
Her mother did so, and away she went to the old fortune-teller, just as her sister had done. The fortune-teller told her to look out of the back door to see what she could see. She saw nothing the first day, and she saw nothing the second day, but on the third day she looked out and saw a coach and four coming along the road.
"That's for you," said the old wife. The lass was taken into the coach and off they went. Then the third daughter went to her mother, and said:
"Mother, bake me an bannock, and roast me a portion, for I'm going away to seek my fortune."
Her mother did so, and away she went to the old fortune-teller, who told her to look out of the back door to see what she could see. She saw nothing the first day, and she saw nothing the second day. But on the third day she looked again, and came back and told the old wife she could see nothing but a great Black Bull coming roaring along the road.
"Well," said the old wife, "that's for you."
When she heard this the poor lass was almost out of her mind with grief and terror. But she was lifted up, set on the Black Bull's back, and away they went.
Long they travelled, and on they travelled, till the lass grew faint with hunger.
"Eat out of my right ear," said the Black Bull, "drink out of my left ear, and set aside your leavings."
She did as he said, and was refreshed.
Long they travelled, and hard they travelled, till they came in sight of a castle.
"That is where we must be this night," said the Bull, "for my brother lives there."
Soon they reached the castle. Servants lifted the lass off the Bull's back, took her in, and sent him into a field for the night. In the morning, when they brought the Bull to the castle, they took the lass into a fine room and gave her an apple. They told her not to break it open till she was in the greatest danger a mortal could be in, then it would help her. Again she was lifted on to the Bull's back, and after they had ridden far, and far, and farther than I can tell, they came in sight of another castle, farther away than the last.
"That is where we must be this night," said the Bull, "for my second brother lives there."
Soon they reached the castle. Servants lifted her down, took her in, and sent the Bull to a field for the night.
In the morning, the lass was taken into a fine rich room and given a pear. They told her not to break open the pear until she was in the greatest difficulty a mortal could be in, and then it would help her.
Once more she was lifted up and set on the Bull's back, and away they went. Long they rode, and hard they rode, till they came in sight of the grandest castle they had yet seen.
"That is where we must be tonight," said the Bull, "for my youngest brother lives there."
They were there directly. Servants lifted her down, took her in and sent the Bull to a field for the night.
In the morning the lass was taken into the finest room of all, and given a plum. She was told not to break it open until she was in the greatest danger a mortal could be in, and then it would help her. After that, she was set on the Bull's back, and away they went.
Long they rode, and on they rode, till they came to a dark and ugly glen. There they stopped and she alighted. At that moment she noticed a pin sticking in the hide of the Bull. She pulled it out and at once the Bull changed into the most handsome young knight she had ever seen. He thanked her for breaking his cruel enchantment.

"But alas," said he, "you must stick the pin back into my skin, for before I can be finally released from this cruel spell, I must go and fight the devil. While I'm away, you must sit here on this stone and never move either your hands or your feet till I return. If everything about you changes to blue, I'll have won and this spell will be broken for ever, but if everything turns red, the devil will have conquered me and we'll never meet again."
So the maiden did as the knight had told her, and stuck the pin into his skin. At once he changed back into the Black Bull and galloped off. She sat on the stone, and by and by everything around her turned blue. Overcome with joy, she lifted one foot and crossed it over the other.
The Black Bull returned and looked for the lass, but he could not find her.
Long she sat, and wept, until she was wearied.

At last she got up and sadly went away, not knowing where she was going. On she wandered till she came to a great hill of glass that she tried to climb, but could not. Round the bottom of the hill she went, looking for a path over the hill, till at last she came to a smithy. The blacksmith promised, if she would serve him for seven years, to make her a pair of iron shoes, and with these she would be able to climb over the glass mountain. At the end of seven years she was given the iron shoes. She climbed the glass hill, and came to an old washerwoman's cottage. The washerwoman told of a gallant young knight who had given her some blood stained shirts to be washed. He said that she who washed his shirts clean would be his bride.
The old wife had washed and washed until she was tired, and then she had et her daughter to it. They had both washed, and washed, and washed, in hope of winning the young knight: but do what they might, they had not been able to take out a single stain.
So they set the stranger lass to work and, as soon as she began, the stains came out, leaving the shirts clean and white. But the old wife told the knight that her daughter had washed the shirts. So the young knight and the washer-woman's daughter were to be married. The stranger lass was distracted by the thought of it, for she had recognized the knight at once. It was he she had known as the Black Bull. Then she remembered her apple, and breaking it open, she found it full of precious gold and precious jewelry, the richest she had ever seen.

"All these," she said to the washer-woman's daughter, "I will give you, if you put off your marriage for one day, and allow me to go into his room alone tonight.'

The daughter agreed but told her mother, who prepared a sleeping draught and gave it to the knight. He drank it, and slept until the next morning. All night long the poor lass wept and sang at his bedside:

"Seven long years I served for you,
The glassy hill I climbed for you,
The blood-stained shirts I washed for you,
Will you not waken and turn to me?"

But the knight did not waken, and next day she did not know what to do. Then she remembered the pear, so she broke it, and she found it filled with jewelry richer than before. With these she bargained with the washerwoman's daughter to be a second night in the young knight's room. But the old wife gave him another sleeping draught, and he slept till morning. He did not hear the lass as she sat by his side all night and sang:

"Seven long years I served for you,
The glassy hill I climbed for you,
The blood-stained shirts I washed for you,
Will you not waken and turn to me?"

Still he slept, and she nearly lost hope. But that day, when he was out hunting, someone asked him what sad singing and moaning it was they had heard all night in his room. He had not heard a sound himself, but he made up his mind to keep awake this night.
The poor lass, between hope and despair, broke open her plum and it held the richest jewels of the three. She bargained with the washerwoman's daughter as before, and the old wife took the sleeping draught to the knight. But this time he said he wouldn't drink it without sweetening. While she went to fetch the honey, he poured out the drink, and then pretended he had already drunk it.
That night, when everyone was in bed, the young lass went to the knight's room and sat by his bed and sang:

"Seven long years I served for you,
The glassy hill I climbed for you,
The blood-stained shirts I washed for you,
Will you not waken and turn to me?"

The knight heard and turned to her. She told him all that had happened to her, and he told her all that had happened to him. After the washerwoman and her daughter had been punished, the knight and the lass were married and lived happily ever after.

Prince Iain

Once upon a time there was a King and a Queen, and they had one son. But the Queen died, and the King married another wife. The name of the first Queen's son was Iain. He was handsome and a good hunter. No bird could escape his arrow, and he could bring venison home any day he went out hunting.
But one day he was unlucky for the first time. He saw no deer, and when he shot an arrow at a Blue Falcon, he knocked a feather out of her wing. Putting the feather into his bag, he went home.
"What did you kill today?" said his stepmother.
Iain took the Blue Falcon's feather from his bag and gave it to her.
"I'm putting a spell on you," said his stepmother. "The water will run into your shoes and out again, and your feet will be cold and wet with brown bog water, till you bring me the bird this feather is from."
"I'm putting a spell on you," said Prince Iain to the Queen, his stepmother. "Till I come back, you will stand with one foot on that house, and your other foot on that castle and suffer every tempest and every wind that blows."
Prince Iain went off as fast as he could, leaving his step mother with one foot on the house and her other foot on the castle. (She was much colder than he was with his wet feet.) Prince Iain walked all day over waste land, looking for the Blue Falcon. As night fell, the little birds flew off to roost in the trees and bushes. When it was dark, Iain sheltered under a briar bush, when who should pass but Gillie Martin the Fox.
"No wonder you're down in the mouth, Prince Iain," said he. "You've come on a bad night. All I've got to eat is a sheep's leg and cheek. We'll have to do with that."
So they lit a fire and roasted the scraps of mutton. After their scanty supper, they slept side by side under the briar bush till morning.
"Prince Iain," said the Fox, "the Blue Falcon you're looking for belongs to the Big Giant with Five Heads. I'll show you where his house is, and my advice to you is this, become his servant. Tell him you can feed birds and swine, or look after cows, goats and sheep. Be quick to do everything he asks you, and be very good to his birds. In time he may trust you to feed his Blue Falcon. When this happens, be very kind to the bird and when the Giant is not at home, carry her off. But, take care that not one feather touches anything in the Giant's house. If this happens, you'll be in trouble."
"I'll be careful," said Prince Iain.
He went to the Giant's house and knocked on the door.
"Who's there?" shouted the Giant.
"It's me," said Iain. "I've come to see if you need a servant."
"What are you good at?" asked the Giant.
"I can feed birds and swine. I can feed and milk a cow, or goats or sheep."
"It's a lad like you I want," said the Giant, coming out of his house.
They came to an agreement about Iain's wages, and the lad began to feed the Giant's birds and animals. He was kind to the hens and the ducks. The Giant saw how well Iain was doing, and compared his food now with what it had been before Iain came. The hens and the ducks tasted better, and the Giant said he would rather have one now than two he had had before.
"This lad's so good, I think I can trust him to feed my Blue Falcon," said the Giant. So he gave Iain the Blue Falcon to look after, and the lad took great care of the bird, such care that the Giant thought Iain could be trusted to look after the Blue Falcon when its master was away from home.
So the Giant left his house one day in Iain's care. "Now's my chance," said Iain. He seized the Falcon and opened the door, but when the Falcon saw the daylight she spread her wings to fly, and one feather of one wing touched the doorpost. The doorpost screamed, and the Giant came running home. He took the Blue Falcon from Iain.
"I'll not give you my Falcon," said the Giant, "unless you bring me the White Sword of Light from the Big Women of Jura."
Prince Iain had to leave the Giant's house at once, and he wandered through the waste land. As it was growing dark, Gillie Martin the Fox met him.
"You're down in the mouth," said the Fox, "because you'll not do as I tell you. This is another bad night like the last. All I've got to eat is a sheep's leg and cheek. We'll have to do with that."
They lit a fire and cooked the mutton in the white flame of the dripping fat. After supper they went to sleep on the ground until morning.
"We'll go to the edge of the ocean," said Gillie Martin. So Iain went with the Fox to the shore.
"I'll shape-shift myself into a boat," said the Fox. "Go on board and I'll take you over to Jura. Go to the Seven Big Women of Jura and be their servant. When they ask you what you can do, say you're good at polishing steel and iron, gold and silver. Take care you do everything well, till they trust you with the White Sword of Light. When you have a chance, run off with it, but take care the sheath does not touch anything in the house, or you'll be in trouble."

Gillie Martin the Fox changed into a boat, and Iain went on board. When the boat reached land to the north of Jura, Iain jumped ashore and went off to take service with the Seven Big Women of Jura. He reached their house and knocked on the door.

"What are you looking for?" they asked him.
"I'm looking for work," said Iain. "I can polish gold and silver, steel and iron."
"We need a lad like you," they said.
They agreed about his wages, and for six weeks Iain worked very hard. The Big Women were watching him.
"This is the best lad we've had," they said. "Now we may trust him with the White Sword of Light."
They gave him the White Sword of Light to look after, and he took great care of it, till one day the Big Women were out of the house. Iain thought this was his chance. He put the White Sword of Light into its sheath and put it over his shoulder, but going out of the door the sheath touched the lintel of the door, and the lintel screamed. The Seven Big Women came running home and took the Sword from him.
"We'll not give you our White Sword of Light, unless you give us in return the Yellow Filly of the King of Erin."
Iain went to the shore of the ocean, where Gillie Martin met him.
"You're down in the mouth, Iain," said the Pox, "because you'll not do as I tell you. This is another bad night like the last. All I've got to eat is a sheep's leg and cheek. We'll have to do with that."
They lit a fire, cooked the mutton and satisfied their hunger.
"I'll shape shift myself and become a barque," said Gillie Martin the Fox. "Go aboard and I'll take you to Erin. When we reach Erin, go to the house of the King and ask service as a stable lad. When he asks what you can do, tell him you can groom and feed horses, polish the silverwork and the steel work on their harness. Be willing to do everything necessary and keep the horses and their harness in good order, till the King trusts you with the Yellow Filly. This will give you a chance to run away with her. But take care when you're leading her out that no bit of her, except her shoes, touches anything within the stable gate, or there'll be trouble."
Everything happened as the Fox said, till they reached the King's house.
"Where are you going?" asked the gate keeper.
"To see if the King has need of a stable lad," said Iain.
So he was taken to the King, who said: "What are you looking for here?"
"I came to see if you needed a stable lad."
"What can you do?"
"I can groom and feed the horses, polish the silver-work and the steel work on their harness."
So the King gave him the job at good wages. Soon the King noticed that his horses had never looked so well, so he gave Iain the Yellow Filly to care for. The Yellow Filly improved so much in appearance and speed that she could leave the wind behind her and overtake the wind ahead.
One day the King went out hunting, leaving the Yellow Filly in her stable. Iain saw that this was his chance, so he saddled and bridled her and took her out of the stable. But at the gate the Yellow Filly flicked her tail and touched the gate post. The gate post screamed, and the King came galloping back from the hunt.
"I'll not give you the Yellow Filly, unless you fetch me the daughter of the King of France," he said. So Iain went down to the seashore, where he met Gillie Martin.
"You're down in the mouth," said the Pox, "because you'll not do as I tell you. But I'll turn myself into a ship and take you to Prance in no time."
The Fox changed himself into a ship, and Iain went on board. Soon they came to France, where the ship ran herself aground on a rock. Then Iain climbed down on to the shore and walked up to the King's house.
"Where have you come from, and what are you doing here?" asked the King of France.
"A great storm came on, and we lost our captain at sea. Our ship is aground on a rock, and I don't know if we'll get her off again," said Iain.
The King and Queen and their family went down to the shore to see the ship. As they were looking at it, wonderful music sounded on board, and the King of France's daughter went with Iain on board to find out where the music came from. But the music was always in another part of the ship, till at last it came from the upper deck. The Princess and Iain climbed to the upper deck to find that the ship was, by that time, far out at sea, out of sight of land.
"That's a bad trick you played on me," said the Princess. "Where are you taking me?"
"To Erin," said Iain, "to give you to the King of Erin in return for the Yellow Filly, which I'll give to the Seven Big Women of Jura in return for their Sword of Light, which I'll give to the Giant with the Five Heads in return for his Blue Falcon, which I'll take home to my stepmother so that she'll free me from her spells. But you'll be safe with the King of Erin, who wishes to make you his wife."
"I'd rather be your wife," said the King of France's daughter.
When the ship came to the shores of Erin, Gillie Martin changed himself into a woman as beautiful as the King of France's daughter.

"Leave the King of France's daughter here till we come back," said the Fox. "I'll go with you to the King of Erin, and give him enough of a wife!" So the Fox, in the form of a beautiful young woman, took Iain's arm. The King of Erin came to meet them, and gave Iain the Yellow Filly with a golden saddle on her back, and a silver bridle. Iain galloped back to the King of France's daughter who was still waiting by the seashore.

Meanwhile, the King of Erin and his new wife went to bed. But in the night, Gillie Martin changed back from a beautiful young woman and became the Fox again. He tore the flesh from the King, from his neck to his waist. Then the Fox ran down to the shore where Iain and the Princess of France were waiting.
"Leave the Princess and the Yellow Filly here," said the Fox. "I'll go with you to the Seven Big Women of Jura, and give them enough of fillies!"
Then the Fox changed himself into a yellow filly. Iain saddled him with a golden saddle, and bridled him with a silver bridle, and rode on the filly's back to the Seven Big Women of Jura, who gave him the White Sword of Light in exchange for the filly. Iain took the golden saddle and the silver bridle off the yellow filly, and carried them, with the White Sword of Light, back to the shore. Here the Princess of France was waiting with the real Yellow Filly.
Meanwhile the Seven Big Women of Jura, very eager to ride on the back of the Yellow Filly, put a saddle on the Fox's back. The first Big Woman climbed into the saddle. The second Big Woman climbed on to the back of the first Big Woman; and the third Big Woman climbed on to the back of the second Big Woman; and the fourth Big Woman climbed on to the back of the third Big Woman; and the fifth Big Woman climbed on to the back of the fourth Big Woman; and the sixth Big Woman climbed on to the back of the fifth Big Woman; and the seventh Big Woman climbed on to the back of the sixth Big Woman.
The first Big Woman hit the filly with a stick. The filly ran backward and forward with the Seven Big Women of Jura on her back. Then she ran across moors, and then she ran up a mountain to the very top. She stopped with her forefeet on the edge of a cliff, kicked up her hind legs, and threw the Seven Big Women of Jura over the cliff. Then the filly changed back into the Fox, and ran laughing down to the seashore where Iain and the Princess of France, and the real Yellow Filly, and the White Sword of Light, were all waiting for him.
Gillie Martin the Fox became a boat and Iain helped the Princess of France into the boat, with the Yellow Filly, and carried the Sword of Light on board. Then the boat took them across the water to the mainland, where it changed back into Gillie Martin the Fox.
"Leave the Princess here," said the Fox, "and the Yellow Filly, and the Sword of Light. I'll change into a white sword, which you will give to the Giant with Five Heads. In return he'll give you the Blue Falcon. I'll see that he has enough of swords!"
When the Giant with Five Heads saw Iain coming with the sword, he thought it was the White Sword of Light, and he put the Blue Falcon into a basket and gave it to Iain, who carried the Blue Falcon back to the seashore where he had left the Princess waiting with the Yellow Filly and the real Sword of Light.
Meanwhile, the Giant with the Five Heads began fencing with the white sword, and swinging it round his head. Suddenly the sword bent itself and, before the Giant realized what was happening, he cut off his own heads, all five of them. Then the sword changed back into Gillie Martin the Fox, who ran down to the seashore where he had left Iain and the Princess.
"Now, listen carefully," he said to Iain. "Put the gold saddle on the Yellow Filly, and the silver bridle. Let the Princess of France, with the Blue Falcon in its basket, sit behind you on the back of the Yellow Filly. You, Iain, will hold the White Sword of Light with the back of the blade against your nose, and the edge of the sword toward your stepmother, the Queen. If you make any mistake, your stepmother will change you into a stick of firewood. But do as I tell you, with the sword held exactly as I have said. When she tries to bewitch you she will fall down as a bundle of sticks."
Iain was specially careful this time, and did exactly as Gillie Martin the Fox told him. He held the Sword of Light with the back of its blade against his nose, and the edge of the sword towards his stepmother, the Queen, and when she fell down as a bundle of firewood, Prince Iain burned her to wood ash.
Now he had the best wife in Scotland; and the Yellow Filly, that could leave one wind behind her and catch the wind in front; and the Blue Falcon which kept him supplied with plenty of game; and the White Sword of Light to defend him from his enemies.
"You're welcome," said Prince Iain to Gillie Martin the Fox, "to hunt over my ground, and take any beast you want. I'll forbid my servants to fire a single arrow at you, no matter what you do, even if you take a lamb from my flocks."
"Keep your herd of sheep!" said the Fox. "There's plenty of sheep in Scotland without troubling you!"

With that, Gillie Martin the Fox blessed Prince Iain and his Princess, wished them well and went on his way.

King Of Lochlin's Three Daughters

There was a King of Lochlin, who had three daughters. One day when they were out for a walk they were carried off by three giants and no one knew where they had gone. The King consulted a story teller and this wise man told him that the giants had taken them under the earth.
"The only way to reach them," said he, "is to build a ship that will sail on land and sea."
So the King sent out a proclamation that any man who could make such a ship could marry his eldest daughter. Now there was a widow who had three sons. The eldest went to his mother and said:
"Bake me a oatcake and roast me a cock. I am going to cut wood and build a ship to sail on land and sea."
"A large oatcake with a curse, or a small oatcake with a blessing?" asked his mother.
"A large oatcake will be small enough before I've built the ship!"
Away he went with his oatcake and roasted cock, to a wood by the river. He sat down to eat, when a great water goblin came up out of the water.
"Give me a share of your oatcake," said the goblin.
"I'll not do that," said he. "There's little enough for myself."
After he had eaten, he began to chop down a tree, but as soon as he felled a tree it was standing again. At night he gave up and went home.
The next day the second son asked his mother to bake him a oatcake and roast him a cock.
"A large oatcake with a curse, or a small oatcake with a blessing?" she asked.
"A large one will be little enough," said he.
And away he went with the bannock and roasted cock, to the wood by the river. He sat down to eat, when a great goblin came up out of the water.
"Give me a share of your oatcake," said she.
"There's less than enough for myself," he replied.
The same thing happened to him as to his eldest brother. As fast as he cut down a tree, it was standing again. So he gave up and went home. Next day the youngest son asked his mother to bake him a oatcake and roast him a cock. But he chose the wee oatcake with a blessing.
Away he went to the wood by the river. There he sat down to eat, when a great goblin came up out of the water, and said:
"Give me a share of your oatcake."
"You shall have that," said the lad, "and some of the cock too, if you like."
After the goblin had eaten, she said:
"Meet me here at the end of a year and a day, and I shall have a ship ready to sail on land and sea."
At the end of a year and a day, the youngest son found that the goblin had the ship ready. He went aboard, and sailed away.
He had not sailed far when he saw a man drinking up a river.
"Come with me," said the lad. "I'll give you meat and wages, and better work than that."
"Agreed!" said the man.
They had not sailed far when they saw a man eating all the oxen in a field.
"Come with me," said the lad. "I'll give you meat and wages, and better work than that."
"Agreed!" said the man.
They had not sailed much farther when they saw a man with his ear to the ground.
"What are you doing?" asked the lad.
"I'm listening to the grass coming up through the earth," said the man.
"Come with me," said the lad. "I'll give you meat and wages, and better work than that."
So he went with the lad and the other two men, and they sailed on till the Listener said:
"I hear the giants and the King's three daughters under the earth."
So they let a basket down the hole, with four of them in it, to the dwelling of the first giant and the King's eldest daughter.
"You've come for the King's daughter," said the giant, "but you'll not get her unless you have a man that can drink as much water as I."
The lad set the Drinker to compete with the giant. Before the Drinker was half full, the giant burst. They freed the eldest daughter, and went to the house of the second giant.
"You've come for the King's daughter," said he, "but you'll not get her till you find a man who can eat as much as I."
So the lad set the Eater to compete with the giant. Before he was half full, the giant burst. They freed the second daughter, and went to the house of the third giant.
"You've come for the King's daughter," said the giant, "but you'll not get her unless you are my slave for a year and a day."
"Agreed!" said the lad.

Then he sent the Listener, the Drinker and the Eater up in the basket, and after them the three Princesses. The three men left the lad at the bottom of the hole and led the Princesses back to their father, the King of Lochlin. They told the King of all the brave deeds they had done to rescue his daughters.

Now, at the end of a year and a day, the lad told the giant he was leaving, and the giant said:
"I've an eagle that will carry you to the top of the hole."
The lad mounted the eagle's back, taking fifteen oxen to feed the eagle, but the eagle had eaten them before she had flown half way. So the lad had to return.
"You'll be my slave for another year and a day," said the giant.
At the end of that time the lad mounted the eagle's back, taking thirty oxen to feed the eagle, but the eagle ate them all before she had flown three quarters of the way. So they returned.
"You must be my slave for another year and a day," said the giant.
At the end of that time, the lad mounted the eagle's back, taking sixty oxen to feed the eagle on the way, and they had almost reached the top when the meat was finished. Quickly the lad cut a piece from his own thigh and gave it to the eagle. With one breath they were in the open air.
Before leaving him, the eagle gave the lad a whistle.
"If you are in difficulty," said she, "whistle, and I'll help you."
When the lad reached the King of Lochlin's castle, he went to the smith and asked him if he needed a lad to blow the bellows. The smith agreed to take him.
Shortly after, the King's eldest daughter ordered the smith to make her a golden crown, like the one she had worn under the earth.
"Bring me the gold, and I'll make the crown," said the new lad to the smith.
The smith brought the gold. Then the lad whistled, and the eagle came at once.
"Fetch the gold crown that hangs behind the first giant's door."
The eagle returned with the crown, which the smith took to the King's eldest daughter.
"This looks like the crown I had before," said she.
Then the second daughter ordered the smith to make her a silver crown like the one she had worn under the earth.
"Bring me the silver, and I'll make the crown," said the lad.
The smith brought the silver. Then the lad whistled, and the eagle came.
"Fetch the silver crown that hangs behind the second giant's door," said the lad.
The eagle returned with the crown, which the smith took to the King's second daughter.
"This looks like the crown I had before," said she.
Then the King's youngest daughter ordered the smith to make her a copper crown like the one she had worn under the earth.
"Bring me the copper, and I'll make the crown," said the lad.
The smith brought the copper. Then the lad whistled, and the eagle came at once.
"Fetch the copper crown that hangs behind the third giant's door," said the lad.
The eagle returned with the crown, which the smith took to the King's youngest daughter.
"This looks like the crown I had before," said she.
"Where did you learn to make such fine crowns?" the King asked the smith.
"It was my lad who made them," said he.
"I must see him," said the King. "I must ask him to make me a crown."
The King sent a coach and four to fetch the lad from the smithy, but when the coachmen saw how dirty he looked they threw him into the coach like a dog. So he whistled for the eagle, who came at once.
"Get me out of this," said the lad, "and fill the coach with stones."
The King came to meet the coach, but when the door was opened for the lad, a great heap of stones tumbled out instead.
Other servants were sent to fetch the lad, but they treated him just as badly, so he whistled for the eagle.
"Get me out of this," said he, "and fill the coach with rubbish from the midden."
Again the King came to meet the coach, but when the door was opened for the lad, a great mound of rubbish fell out on to the King.
The King then sent his trusted old servant to fetch the lad. He went straight to the smithy, and found the lad blowing the bellows, his face black with soot.
"The King wishes to see you," said the King's servant, "but first, clean a little of the soot off your face."
The lad washed himself and went with the servant to the King. On the way he whistled for the eagle.
"Fetch me the gold and silver clothes belonging to the giants," said he.
The eagle returned with the clothes, and when the lad put them on he looked like a prince.
The King came to meet him, and took him to the castle, where he told the King the whole story from beginning to end.
The Drinker, the Eater and the Listener were punished. The King gave his eldest daughter to the lad, so they were married, and the wedding lasted twenty days and twenty nights.

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