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Main > English folktales > Fairy tale "Coat o' Clay"

Coat o' Clay

"So thou 'rt come back," said she, with a nod. "What dost thou want with me now?"

So he sat down and told her how he'd tried to get a coat o' clay, and he wasn't any wiser for all of it.

"No," said the wise woman, "thou 'rt a bigger fool than ever, my lad."

"So they all say," sighed the fool; "but where can I get the right sort of coat o' clay, then, missis?"

"When thou 'rt done with this world, and thy folk put thee in the ground," said the wise woman. "That's the only coat o' clay as 'll make such as thee wise, lad. Born a fool, die a fool, and be a fool thy life long, and that's the truth!"

And she went into the house and shut the door.

"Dang it," said the fool. "I must tell my mother she was right after all, and that she'll never have a wise man for a son!"

And he went off home.

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