By Katharine Briggs
In 1970 Katharine Briggs released in 4 volumes the mammoth and authoritative Dictionary of British Folktales and Legends to vast acclaim. This sampler includes some of the best of these stories and legends. amassed within, readers will locate an extravagance of lovely princesses and stout solid boys, sour-faced witches and kings with hearts of gold. each one story is a masterpiece of storytelling, from the hilarious 'Three Sillies' to the delightfully macabre 'Sammle's Ghost'.
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Extra info for British Folk Tales and Legends: A Sampler (Routledge Classics)
Then he begged for pen and ink, which she brought him, but he was not allowed out, and holes were bored that he might breathe. When his letter came, telling his father he was to be let free when Gobborn and Jack were safe home, the king saw he must settle for his building, and let them come away. As they left, Gobborn told him: Now that Jack was done with this work, he should soon build a castle for his witty wife far superior to the king’s, which he did, and they lived there happily ever after.
Text from South Carolina. This could be classiﬁed as a Shaggy Dog story, but the brevity and the moral both qualify it to be considered as a fable. THE YALLER-LEGG’D COCK’RIL He’s a good hand at swaggerin’ hissen oﬀ, he is. Bud it’ll be happenin’ to him as it happen’d to th’ yaller-legg’d cock’ril, if he doesn’t mind what he’s aboot. What soort’n a taale’s that, do ye saay? Why, it’s a peäce ’at my gran’-feyther oﬀens tell’d me when I was a little lad at hoäme. Yaller-legg’s cock’ril liv’d i’ frunt yard wi’ owd white cock ’at was his feyther, an’ red cock liv’d o’ steäm-hoose side o’ yard.
But he had brass. He had a golden ball in each hand. He gave a ball to each lass, and she was to keep it, and if she lost it, she was to be hanged. One of the lasses, ’twas the youngest, lost her ball. I’ll tell thee how. She was by a park-paling, and she was tossing her ball, and it went up, and up, and up, till it went fair over the paling; and when she climbed up to look, the ball ran along the green grass, and it went right forward to the door of the house, and the ball went in and she saw it no more.