Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/152

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

at the end of three years she becomes his if she cannot find out his name. Such fame does this bring her that the squire, finding how the youths seelv her hand, marries her himself. And a merry time she had till the three years neared their end, when sadness fell upon her. On the last day but one the squire came to her full of excitement, and told her that she would laugh could she have seen what he had seen. He then relates how he had heard the devil, surrounded by a pack of witches, singing this couplet;—

"Duffy, my lady, you'll never know—what?
That my name is Terrytop, Terrytop—top."

As the squire's tale ends, the last hour of the three years arrives, and with it the mannikin, leering and bowing. Duffy, curtseying to him, makes the first guess. "Maybe your name is Lucifer?" The devil denies this, grins horribly, and reminds her that she has but two guesses left. "Perhaps my lord's name is Beelzebub?" Again the devil grins, and says that Beelzebub is only a sort of cousin of his. Then, as he was about to seize Duffy, she said, "Perhaps you'll admit that your name is Terrytop?" Whereupon the devil departed in fire and smoke, all his knitting suddenly turned to ashes, and the socks and suit spun by him fell from the squire, leaving him nothing but his shirt and his shoes.

Henderson, in his Folklore of the Northern Counties,[1] quotes from Wilkie's MS. collection of Border Customs, "in the old days, when spinning was the constant employment of women, and the spinning-wheel had its presiding genius or fairy." A woman had one fair daughter who loved play better than work, and for punishment was given seven heads of lint to spin into yarn in three days. Her unskilled hands delayed the task, and after a night of weeping she wandered into the fields, where she espied a long-lipped woman "drawing out the thread" as she sat in the sun. When the old woman heard what troubled the girl she offered to spin the lint, and, taking it with her, vanished. The girl fell asleep, and was startled by the

  1. Folkore Soc. Edition 1879, pp. 258—261.