idle, fretting over the task, until one night a mannikin, but half an ell in height, slipped in and offered to spin the flax for her in a week if she would promise to go with him should she not find out his name within that time. She agreed, and one day in the last week a manservant who brought her food told her that he had seen a little man in the forest who was leaping from bough to bough, spinning a thread and humming to himself, "my name is Dancing Vargaluska. My wife will be good spinster Sue." The dwarf came that evening with part of his work done, and asked the girl if she had learned what his name was, but she said nothing. On the last night he brought the remainder of the work in a three-wheeled barrow, and on asking her to guess his name she answered, "If I mistake not, it is Dancing Vargaluska," whereupon he rushed off as if somebody had pulled his nose.
The sequel to this story in which three women-beggars, deformed in various ways through spinning, come to the wedding feast for alms, when the sight of them causes the king to command that every distaff, spinning-wheel, and spindle be broken and burnt, resembles the sequel to the variant from Henderson, and also to "A Various Whuppity Storie" in Chambers's collection, in. which, after the laird has seen six wee wrymouthed spinning ladies, he orders that all the spinning wheels be burnt, lest his bride becomes disfigured by their use. The three spinners have their correspondences in Grimm's Household Tales, No. 14, in Dasent's "Three Aunts," in "The Aunts" in Portuguese Folk Tales, in "La Bella Impronta." or "The Beautiful Glutton," in Tuscan Fairy Tales, "The Three Little Crows each with something Big" in Thorpe,Busk, and other collections.
In Wentworth Webster's collection of Basque Folktales, a mother is beating her lazy girl, when the lord of a castle hard by, who is passing at the time, asks why the girl cries, and was told that her
- P. 198 (3rd Editn.)
- P. 79. Folkore Soc. 1882, p. 79.
- P. 43.
- Yule Tide Stories, p. 170, also 312.
- Folklore of Rome, p. 378.
- Cf. Henderson, p. 262, n.
- Basque Legends, p. 56.