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Main > English folktales > Fairy tale "Habetrot and Scantlie Mab"

Habetrot and Scantlie Mab

The laird was astonished at the weird-looking company, as he well might be, and inquired of one after another the cause of their strange lips. In a different tone of voice, and with a different twist of the mouth, each answered that it was occasioned by spinning. At least they tried to say so, but one grunted out "Nakasind," and another "Owkasaänd," while a third murmured "O-a-a-send." All, however, made the bridegroom understand what was the cause of their ugliness; while Habetrot slily hinted that if his wife were allowed to spin, her pretty lips would grow out of shape too, and her pretty face get an ugsome look. So before he left the cave he vowed that his little wife should never touch a spinning-wheel, and he kept his word. She used to wander in the meadows by his side, or ride behind him over the hills, but all the flax grown on his land was sent to old Habetrot to be converted into yarn.

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