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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andrew Lang > Fairy tale "Minnikin"

Minnikin

`Wait a minute,' he said; `you are walking as if for a wager, but you ought to have stayed to see your younger brother before you hurried off into the world.'

So the elder stood still and looked back, and when the younger had got up to him, and had told him that he was his brother, he said: `But now, let us sit down and see what kind of food our mother has given us,' and that they did.

When they had walked on a little farther they came to a brook which ran through a green meadow, and there the younger said that they ought to christen each other. `As we had to make such haste, and had no time to do it at home, we may as well do it here,' said he.

`What will you be called?' asked the elder.

`I will be called Minnikin,' answered the second; `and you, what will you be called?'

`I will be called King Pippin,' answered the elder.

They christened each other and then went onwards. When they had walked for some time they came to a crossway, and there they agreed to part, and each take his own road. This they did, but no sooner had they walked a short distance than they met again. So they parted once more, and each took his own road, but in a very short time the same thing happened again--they met each other before they were at all aware, and so it happened the third time also. Then they arranged with each other that each should choose his own quarter, and one should go east and the other west.

`But if ever you fall into any need or trouble,' said the elder, `call me thrice, and I will come and help you; only you must not call me until you are in the utmost need.'

`In that case we shall not see each other for some time,' said Minnikin; so they bade farewell to each other, and Minnikin went east and King Pippin went west.

When Minnikin had walked a long way alone, he met an old, old crook-backed hag, who had only one eye. Minnikin stole it.

`Oh! oh!' cried the old hag, `what has become of my eye?'

`What will you give me to get your eye back?' said Minnikin.

`I will give thee a sword which is such a sword that it can conquer a whole army, let it be ever so great,' replied the woman.

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Rory Macgillivray
Category: Scotland folktales
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