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Main > English folktales > Fairy tale "Molly Whuppie And The Double-Faced Giant"

Molly Whuppie And The Double-Faced Giant

"See for yourself. They are only three poor little girlies like our girlies. They were cold and hungry so I gave them some supper; but they have promised to go away as soon as they have finished. Now be a good giant and don't touch them. They've eaten of our salt, so don't you be at fault!"

Now this giant was not at all a straightforward giant. He was a double-faced giant. So he only said,


and remarked that as they had come, they had better stay all night, since they could easily sleep with his three daughters. And after he had had his supper he made himself quite pleasant, and plaited chains of straw for the little strangers to wear round their necks, to match the gold chains his daughters wore. Then he wished them all pleasant dreams and sent them to bed.

Dear me! He was a double-faced giant!

But Molly Whuppie, the youngest of the three girls, was not only bold, she was clever. So when she was in bed, instead of going to sleep like the others, she lay awake and thought, and thought, and thought; until at last she up ever so softly, took off her own and her sisters' straw chains, put them round the neck of the ogre's daughters, and placed their gold chains round her own and her sisters' necks.

And even then she did not go to sleep, but lay still and waited to see if she was wise; and she was! For in the very middle of the night, when everybody else was dead asleep and it was pitch dark, in comes the giant, all stealthy, feels for the straw chains, twists them tight round the wearers' necks, half strangles his daughters, drags them on to the floor, and beats them till they were quite dead; so, all stealthy and satisfied, goes back to his own bed, thinking he had been very clever.

But he was no match, you see, for Molly Whuppie; for she at once roused her sisters, bade them be quiet, and follow her. Then she slipped out of the giant's house and ran, and ran, and ran until the dawn broke and they found themselves before another great house. It was surrounded by a wide deep moat, which was spanned by a drawbridge.

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