Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/321

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Collectanea. 3 1 1

" You ! " said Half-a-Man.

"All right," said the Shepherd, "I'll tell you a lie, but if you happen to say that I lie, I warn you that I shall kill you ! "

"Right!" said Half-a-Man, "If I happen to say that you lie, kill me you shall ! "'

So the Shepherd began :

" At my father's wedding, going to the mill to grind some corn, I yoked the corn-bags to the cart, I put the corn into the cart, and I went off. There, at the mill, I ground the corn, then I put the oxen into the cart, yoked the corn-bags to the cart again, and home I came. When I reached home, my mother brought me into the world ; this was on Saturday, and on Sunday she married. After this, my father gave me an axe, and sent me into the woods to cut some wood from the top of a tree. The tree was so tall that it reached to Heaven, and it only had branches at the top ; my father also told me that if I wanted to climb up that tree, I should have to drive my axe into the tree, then put my foot upon the axe, take the axe out again, and drive it into the tree higher up, put my foot upon it again, and so on and so forth, until I reached the top. But my father told me to be very careful not to drop the axe, for if I did so, the axe would split into seven she-axes and one he-axe, upon which they would all seize me, and fly with me to Heaven, where lived some baby swallows, who would surely eat me as soon as they caught sight of me. So I went into the woods, and did as my father bade me. However, I did drop the axe, all the same. Sure enough, it split into seven she-axes and one he-axe, and off they flew with me to Heaven, where, as soon as the baby swallows saw me, — do you think they ate me? Dear me no! — they popped me into Paradise! No sooner was I there, than I saw a well, and went towards it to drink some water. After I had slaked my thirst, I went for a walk, but on my way, I noticed that I had left my head behind me in the well. When I went back to the well to fetch my head, — Lo and Behold ! — it had grown two boots and there it was — ice-skating ! I took hold of it and stuck it back upon my shoulders, and then, I don't know why, I took a fancy to put my head into the well again. I did so, and this time I found myself once more upon Earth. There I saw my father, sitting with your