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Main > English folktales > Fairy tale "The Golden Ball"

The Golden Ball

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So the lad said, "It's no use of thee, thou pair of legs, standing alone at the window, as thou hast no eye to see with, so go join thy brother;" and he cast the lower part of the giant after the top part. Now when the bogles had gotten all the giant they were quiet.

Next night the lad was at the house again, and now a second giant came in at the door, and as he came in the lad cut him in twain, but the legs walked on to the chimney and went up them. "Go, get thee after thy legs," said the lad to the head, and he cast the head up the chimney too.

The third night the lad got into bed, and he heard the bogles striving under the bed, and they had the ball there, and they were casting it to and fro.

Now one of them has his leg thrust out from under the bed, so the lad brings his sword down and cuts it off. Then another thrusts his arm out at other side of the bed, and the lad cuts that off. So at last he had maimed them all, and they all went crying and wailing off, and forgot the ball, but he took it from under the bed, and went to seek his true-love.

Now the lass was taken to York to be hanged; she was brought out on the scaffold, and the hangman said, "Now, lass, thou must hang by the neck till thou be'st dead." But she cried out:

"Stop, stop, I think I see my mother coming!

O mother, hast brought my golden ball

And come to set me free?"

"I've neither brought thy golden ball

Nor come to set thee free,

But I have come to see thee hung

Upon this gallows-tree."

Then the hangman said, "Now, lass, say thy prayers for thou must die." But she said:

"Stop, stop, I think I see my father coming!

O father, hast brought my golden ball

And come to set me free?"

"I've neither brought thy golden ball

Nor come to set thee free,

But I have come to see thee hung

Upon this gallows-tree."

Then the hangman said, "Hast thee done thy prayers? Now, lass, put thy head into the noose."

But she answered, "Stop, stop, I think I see my brother coming!" And again she sang, and then she thought she saw her sister coming, then her uncle, then her aunt, then her cousin; but after this the hangman said, "I will stop no longer, thou 'rt making game of me.

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