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Molly Whoopee

There once was a woodcutter, and he lived deep in a forest with his wife and their many children. Now this man was very poor and found it difficult to look after his family at the best of times, but when famine came across the land he and his wife didn't know what to do. At last they decided to take their three youngest children out into the woods and leave them there. For as they said:

It would be better for them to be devoured by the wild beasts of the forest than for us to see them starve to death before our eyes.

And so they took the three youngest children out into the woods and left them there.

Now it so happened that the three youngest were all girls. Well the two eldest they just cried but the youngest her name was Molly Whoopee and she was right good un.

Enough of you're crying, your coming with me, we're going out into the world to seek our fortune, you'll see.

And so Molly and her sisters walked on through the woods till they came to a clearing. And there they saw a great castle.

Molly walked straight up to the gate and knocked on the door. Who should come out with an old woman.

Go away, go away, my old man's a giant and if he finds you here he'll eat you for his supper.

Never mind that, my name's Molly Whoopee and I'm here with my sisters, we're going out into the world to seek our fortune and you're to give us our supper tonight.

Well the old woman couldn't get rid of them, so she took them into the castle and sat them down at the table.

They'd just started to drink their soup when the giant came in.

Fe-fi-fo-fum I smell the blood of an Englishwoman.  Be she alive or be she dead I'll grind her bones to make my bread.

Never mind that, this is Molly Whoopee and her two sisters, they're going out into the world to seek their fortune, and theyíre having supper with us tonight so you're to treat them kindly as a good host should.

That being the case, I will. Not only shall they have supper with us tonight but they shall sleep in the same bed as our own three daughters. And so it was.

Well, Molly and her sisters finished their supper and then the giant took them into the bedroom and put them into bed with his own daughters. Then the giant did a strange thing, he put chains of gold round the necks of his own three daughters and round the necks of Molly and her two sisters he put chains of straw. Then the giant left the bedroom.

Molly was curious. She waited till the other girls were asleep and then she crept out of bed. She took the chains of straw from off her neck and the necks of her sisters and she exchanged them for the chains of gold round the necks of the giantís daughters. Then she went back to bed and pretended she was asleep, and just waited to see what would happen.

A little later the giant came into the bedroom, he extended his arms into the darkness and felt for the necks of the girls. Now if that neck had a chain of gold, well he kissed that girlís forehead. But if that neck had a chain of straw, well that girl never woke up again. Then the giant left the bedroom.

Molly decided it was time to leave, she woke up her sisters and they were on their way. They went back into the wood and walked till they came to a clearing. And there was another great castle. Now this castle was the castle of the king of the land. When Molly told the king of their adventures he laughed and laughed.

Molly Whoopee, you're a right good un and this is what I shall do for you. Now that giant has a sword which hangs over his bed, if you dare return to his castle and bring me back that sword, then I will marry my eldest son to your eldest sister.

Well, Molly thought a bit and decided that for her sister to be married to a prince would be a right good fortune, so she agreed.

Molly traveled all day till she came back to the giant castle. She managed to slip inside without anyone seeing her and she hid under the giantís bed. When the giant was asleep she crept out from under the bed, she climbed up the bedpost, she crawled over the coverlet and she reached up and took hold of the giantís sword then she jumped onto the floor. The giant woke up.

Woe to you Molly Whoopee.

Molly ran and the giant ran, he ran and she ran, she ran and he ran till they came to a bridge of a single hair. Molly ran over but the giant he couldn't.

Woe to you Molly Whoopee, if ever you come back here again.

Twice more giant shall I come back to your land.

Then Molly travelled back to the King's castle. The king was right pleased to receive the giant's sword and he was as good as his word, he married his eldest son to Molly's eldest sister.

Molly Whoopee, you're a right good un and this is what I shall do for you. That giant has a bag of gold which we keeps under his pillow, if you dare return to his castle and bring me back that bag of gold then I will marry my second eldest son to yours second eldest sister.

Molly thought about it and she decided that for her sister to be married to a prince would be a right good fortune, so she agreed.

She travelled back to the giant's castle and managed to slip inside without anyone seeing her, then she hid under the giants bed.

When the giant was asleep she crept out onto the floor, she climbed up the bedpost and she crawled over the coverlet, then she put her hand under the giants pillow and took hold of the bag of gold and gently pulled it out, then she jumped onto the floor. The giant woke up.

Woe to you Molly Whoopee.

Molly ran and the giant ran, he ran and she ran, she ran and he ran till they came to a bridge of a single hair, Molly ran over but the giant he couldn't.

Woe to you Molly Whoopee, if ever you return to my land.

Once more giant, shall I return to your land.

Then Molly travelled back to the Kings Castle. The king was right pleased to receive the giant's bag of gold, and he was as good as his word. Mollyís second sister was married to the king's second son.

You're a right good un Molly Whoopee, and this is what I shall do for you. That giant has a ring on his finger, if you dare return to his castle and bring me back that ring then you shall be married to my youngest son and you shall become the ruler of this land in my place.

Molly thought about it, now she liked the thought of being married to a prince but she liked even more the thought of becoming the ruler of that land, so she agreed.

Molly travelled back to the giant castle, she slipped inside without anyone seeing her and she hid under the giantís bed. She waited till the giant was asleep, then she crept out from under the bed, she climbed up the bedpost and she crawled over the coverlet. Molly took hold of the giant's ring and she pulled it over his first knuckle, she pulled it over his second knuckle then she pulled it off his finger.  Molly raised the ring, for it was a giantís ring, above her head then she slipped it down till it rested securely round her waist, then she jumped onto the floor.

The giant awoke, and he grabbed hold of Molly round the waist.

Woe to you Molly Whoopee, now that I have you in my power.

But tell me Molly, if I had done to yea what yea have done to me, what punishment would there be?

Molly thought about it.

Well giant, if you had done to me what I have done to yea this is the punishment there would be.

I would put you in a sack with a dog, a cat, a needle and thread and a pair of shears and I would hang that sack on the kitchen wall. Then I would go out into the woods and find the thickest, stoutest stick I could find. When I came back I would beat that sack till no sound came out of it.

That is the punishment there would be.

Oh ho! And that is what I shall do to you Molly Whoopee!

So the giant put Molly in a sack with a dog, a cat, a needle and thread and a pair of shears and then he hung that sack on the kitchen wall.

Now wife, you keep an eye on that sack and boil us up some vegetables, for tonight we're going to have us some Molly stew.

Then the giant went off to the woods to find the thickest, stoutest stick he could find.

The giant's wife started to chop up the vegetables and she put water in the pot to boil.

Molly started to sing.

Oh if you could see what I can see, if you could see what I can see, if you could see what I can see, how happy you would be.

And what can you see Molly Whoopee?

Molly took no notice she just continued singing.

Oh if you could see what I can see, if you could see what I can see, if you could see what I can see, how happy you would be.

You stop that singing Molly Whoopee and tell me what you can see.

Oh I couldn't do that, you'd have to be up here to see what I can see.

How can I do that, when you're up there and I'm down here?

Well, it could be done.

Molly took the pair of shears and cut a hole in the sack and let herself out, then she helped the giantís wife up into the sack and sewed it up with the needle and thread.

Then Molly hid behind the door, to see the fun.

The giant came back from the woods, with the thickest, stoutest stick he could find. He started to beat that sack unmercifully.

Stop! Stop! Husband. It is I, your wife.

But the giant couldn't hear her for the barking of the dog and the howling of the cat. He only stopped when he heard Molly laughing her head off behind him. He turned round and saw Molly with his ring around her waist.

Woe to you Molly Whoopee.

Molly ran and the giant ran, he ran and she ran, she ran and he ran till they came to a bridge of a single hair, Molly ran over but the giant he couldn't.

Woe to you Molly Whoopee, if ever you return to my land.

Never again giant shall I return to your land.

Then Molly traveled back to the Kings Castle. The king was right pleased to receive the giant's ring, and he was as good as his word. Molly was married to the king's youngest son and she became the ruler of that land. Which was a right good thing because Molly was wise. Molly lived well and so may we, let's put on the pot and have us some tea.