The Silly Husband
Told by Kate Healy, Barnaderg, aged 15
Dúchas.ie 1937 Schools Folklore collection - Barnaderg NS (Boys)
Blankets to sell
Once upon a time a man lived near a large lake. This man was very silly and he’d tell any secret that ever was known. His wife was a very clever woman:- she could knit and sew and do a lot of things like this. This day she sent her silly husband to the town to sell some blankets which she knitted. And as he was going along the road, he saw two trees shaking with the wind. “A ye poor creatures, I pity ye there shivering with the cold”. He took out the blankets and spread them over the trees. “There now”, he said. “that will keep ye warm”. He turned home again, and when he landed his wife asked him how much did he get for the blankets. I got nothing said the silly husband. Well what did you do with them, said the wife. “Ah”, he said, “I saw two poor trees back the road apiece and they were shivering with the cold. I took pity on them. So I took the blankets from the baskets, and I put the blankets around them to keep them warm”.
Pot of Gold
“Go back now and get them as quickly as you could”, said his wife. The silly husband set out to where he put the blankets over the two trees the night before. The only weapons he has was a spade and a pick-axe, and a shovel. When he reached the trees the blankets were gone. He got very vexed then with the two trees. He began to dig them up with vexation. When he had one of the trees dug up what did he find under it but a pot of gold. He brought it home to his wife. His wife buried it under the house, she hid it in the non’t(?) of the silly husband. Because she knew he’d steal and give it away.
The Landord calls
Next day the landlord came for the payment of the rent, the silly husband had to hold the horse for him. The two chatted for a while. At last the silly husband told him that he discovered gold. The landlord went in to his wife, and told her to give it back, the gold, to the owner of the land where he found it: after a while he asked her to show him the gold. It’s down in the corn-bin said the old wife angrily. She wanted him to get into the trap there. And as the old landlord was bending over the bin the wife caught him by the two legs and threw him head over heels into the bin and closed the lid over him. She went out with a knife and killed an old goat, and put him into a bag and tied the neck of the bag with a string. The silly husband was working in the field and she called him in, and she said here is the old landlord now, pretending she had the old landlord in the bag. “Go down now, and drown him in the lake, and say nothing about it”.
The police call
The silly husband thought he had the old Landlord in the bag the whole time. At last he reached the lake, he threw the bag into the lake. Next day the policemen and detectives came looking for the old landlord. The silly husband told them that he drowned in the lake yesterday. By this time the wife had the old landlord buried and hidden. Then the police gathered up boats and crooks and forks and went searching for him in the lake. At last they found the bag. When they cut the string of the bag what popped out by the two horns of the goat. All the people fled with horror for they thought it was the devil. Every since they believed that lake to be haunted. So no one ever went swimming in the lake after that again. The silly husband was never silly again.
Happy ever after
Himself and his wife lived happy. And they never let the secret of the goat to be known by anyone.
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