English Fairy Tales

One winter's evening the sexton's wife was sitting by the fireside with her big black cat, Old Tom, on the other side, both half asleep and waiting for the master to come home. »
There was once a king and a queen, as many a one has been; few have we seen, and as few may we see. »
Well, there was once a gentleman who had fine lands and houses, and he very much wanted to have a son to be heir to them. »
Once upon a time there was an old king who had three sons; »
In the reign of King John there lived an Abbot of Canterbury who kept up grand state in his Abbey. »
Once in these parts, and not so long gone neither, there was a fool that wanted to buy a pottle o' brains, for he was ever getting into scrapes through his foolishness, and being laughed at by every one. »
Now ponder well, you parents dear, These words which I shall write; A doleful story you shall hear, In time brought forth to light. »
Once there was an old man and woman and a little girl, and they all lived in a house made of hempstalks. »
Once upon a time there was a woman, and she baked five pies. »
One fine summer's day Earl Mar's daughter went into the castle garden, dancing and tripping along. »
There was once an old woman, who earned a poor living by going errands and such like, for the farmers' wives round about the village where she lived. »
Once upon a time there was a farmer called Jan, and he lived all alone by himself in a little farmhouse. »
Lady Mary was young, and Lady Mary was fair. She had two brothers, and more lovers than she could count. »
Once upon a time, and a very good time it was, though it was neither in my time nor in your time nor in any one else's time, there was an old man and an old woman, and they had one son, and they lived in a great forest. »
Once on a time there was a boy named Jack, and one morning he started to go and seek his fortune. »
Tommy Grimes was sometimes a good boy, and sometimes a bad boy; and when he was a bad boy, he was a very bad boy. »
There lived formerly in the County of Cumberland a nobleman who had three sons, two of whom were comely and clever youths, but the other a natural fool, named Jack, who was generally engaged with the sheep: he was dressed in a parti-coloured coat, and a steeple-crowned hat with a tassel, as became his condition. »
There was once upon a time a poor widow who had an only son named Jack, and a cow named Milky-white. »
A wild young fellow was the heir of Lambton, the fine estate and hall by the side of the swift-flowing Wear. »
In the reign of the famous King Edward III there was a little boy called Dick Whittington, whose father and mother died when he was very young. »
Mr. and Mrs. Vinegar lived in a vinegar bottle. Now, one day, when Mr. Vinegar was from home, Mrs. Vinegar, who was a very good housewife, was busily sweeping her house, when an unlucky thump of the broom brought the whole house clitter-clatter, clitter-clatter, about her ears. »
Here was once a man who travelled the land all over in search of a wife. »
There were two lasses, daughters of one mother, and as they came from the fair, they saw a right bonny young man stand at the house-door before them. »
Once upon a time there was a teeny-tiny woman lived in a teeny-tiny house in a teeny-tiny village. »
A woman had one fair daughter, who loved play better than work, wandering in the meadows and lanes better than the spinning-wheel and distaff. »
Once upon a time there was a man and a wife had too many children, and they could not get meat for them, so they took the three youngest and left them in a wood. »
There lived a Puddock in a well, And a merry Mousie in a mill. »
A lad named Jack was once so unhappy at home through his father's ill-treatment, that he made up his mind to run away and seek his fortune in the wide world. »
There was once a little boy, and his mother sent him to buy a sheep's head and pluck; »
There once lived a king and a queen as many a one has been. They were long married and had no children; but at last a baby-boy came to the queen when the king was away in the far countries. »
There was once a widow that lived on a small bit of ground, which she rented from a farmer. »
A woman was sitting at her reel one night; And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for company. »
Newtown, or Franchville, as 't was called of old, is a sleepy little town, as you all may know, upon the Solent shore. »
Once upon a time when pigs spoke rhyme And monkeys chewed tobacco, And hens took snuff to make them tough, And ducks went quack, quack, quack, O! »
Well, there was once a very rich gentleman, and he'd three daughters, and he thought he'd see how fond they were of him. »
Once upon a time there was an old man, and an old woman, and a little boy. »
Once on a time and twice on a time, and all times together as ever I heard tell of, there was a tiny lassie who would weep all day to have the stars in the sky to play with; »
When good King Arthur reigned, there lived near the Land's End of England, in the county of Cornwall, a farmer who had one only son called Jack. »
There was once upon a time a good man who had two children: a girl by a first wife, and a boy by the second. »
Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse both lived in a house... »
Once upon a time there were two king's daughters lived in a bower near the bonny mill-dams of Binnorie. »
Once upon a time there was a girl who was married to a husband that she never saw. »
"Grannie, grannie, come tell us the story of the wee bannock." »
Young Tamlane was son of Earl Murray, and Burd Janet was daughter of Dunbar, Earl of March. »
The Mouse went to visit the Cat, and found her sitting behind the hall door, spinning. »
Of Buying of Sheep; Of Hedging a Cuckoo; Of Sending Cheeses; Of Drowning Eels; Of Sending Rent; Of Counting »
Once upon a time there was a boy whose name was Jack, and he lived with his mother on a common. »
In Norroway, long time ago, there lived a certain lady, and she had three daughters. »
Dame Goody was a nurse that looked after sick people, and minded babies. »
At Hilton Hall, long years ago, there lived a Brownie that was the contrariest Brownie you ever knew. »
There was an old sow with three little pigs, and as she had not enough to keep them, she sent them out to seek their fortune. »
There was once a very learned man in the north-country who knew all the languages under the sun, and who was acquainted with all the mysteries of creation. »
In a great Palace by the sea there once dwelt a very rich old lord, who had neither wife nor children living, only one little granddaughter, whose face he had never seen in all her life. »
A girl once went to the fair to hire herself for servant. »
The fox and his wife they had a great strife, They never ate mustard in all their whole life; »
Once upon a time there was a king and a queen, as in many lands have been. »
One day Henny-penny was picking up corn in the cornyard when -whack!- something hit her upon the head. »
An old woman was sweeping her house, and she found a little crooked sixpence. "What," said she, "shall I do with this little sixpence? I will go to market, and buy a little pig." »
Last Sunday morning at six o'clock in the evening as I was sailing over the tops of the mountains in my little boat, I met two men on horseback riding on one mare: »
Once upon a time, there was a mighty baron in the North Countrie who was a great magician that knew everything that would come to pass. »
In the days of the great Prince Arthur, there lived a mighty magician, called Merlin, the most learned and skilful enchanter the world has ever seen. This famous magician, who could take any form he pleased, was travelling about as a poor beggar, and being very tired, he stopped at the cottage of a ploughman to rest himself, and asked for some food. »
Once on a time, in the parts of Lindsey, there lived a wise woman. »
MR. G. Ha! Steward, how are you, my old boy? How do things go on at home? »
There was a farmer, and he had three cows, fine fat beauties they were. »
Long before Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, there reigned in the eastern part of England a king who kept his Court at Colchester. »
The cat and the mouse Play'd in the malt-house: »
Once upon a time, and a very good time it was, though it wasn't in my time, nor in your time, nor any one else's time, there was a young lad of eighteen or so named Tom Tiver working on the Hall Farm. »
Johnny Gloke was a tailor by trade, but like a man of spirit he grew tired of his tailoring, and wished to follow some other path that would lead to honour and fame. »
Once upon a time, when all big folks were wee ones and all lies were true, there was a wee, wee Mannie that had a big, big Coo. »
Once upon a time, and a very good time it was, though it wasn't in my time, nor in your time, nor any one else's time, there was a girl whose mother had died, and her father had married again. »
There was an old woman, as I've heard tell. She went to the market her eggs for to sell; »
Before the days of William the Conqueror there dwelt a man in the marsh of the Isle of Ely whose name was Thomas Hickathrift, a poor day labourer, but so stout that he could do two days' work in one. »
In a tiny house in the North Countrie, far away from any town or village, there lived not long ago, a poor widow all alone with her little son, a six-year-old boy. »
In Bamborough Castle once lived a king who had a fair wife and two children, a son named Childe Wynd and a daughter named Margaret. »
Once there was a man Gobborn Seer, and he had a son called Jack. »
There was an old soldier who had been long in the wars - so long, that he was quite out-at-elbows, and he did not know where to go to find a living. »
Once upon a time there were Three Bears, who lived together in a house of their own, in a wood. »
Childe Rowland and his brothers twain Were playing at the ball, And there was their sister Burd Ellen In the midst, among them all. »
Once upon a time there was a farmer and his wife who had one daughter, and she was courted by a gentleman. »
Centuries of years ago, when almost all this part of the country was wilderness, there was a little boy, who lived in a poor bit of property and his father gave him a little bull-calf, and with it he gave him everything he wanted for it. »
There once lived a giant at this mill who had only one eye in the middle of his forehead, and he ground men's bones to make his bread. »
Once upon a time, there were three Bears who lived in a castle in a great wood. One of them was a great big Bear, and one was a middling Bear, and one was a little Bear. »
In the old days when London Bridge was lined with shops from one end to the other, and salmon swam under the arches, there lived at Swaffham, in Norfolk, a poor pedlar. »
Once upon a time there were two girls who lived with their mother and father. Their father had no work, and the girls wanted to go away and seek their fortunes. »
Once upon a time, and be sure 't was a long time ago, there lived a poor woodman in a great forest, and every day of his life he went out to fell timber. »
Long ago, in my grandmother's time, the Carland was all in bogs, great pools of black water, and creeping trickles of green water, and squishy mools which squirted when you stepped on them. »
A man was one day working. It was very hot, and he was digging. By-and-by he stopped to rest and wipe his face; and he was very angry to think he had to work so hard only because of Adam's sin. »

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