National Folklore Collection
The story on this page has been taken from the Dúchas web site, page http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/5082122/5037857/5082270 and pages following. An image of the original manuscript can be viewed on the Dúchas page as well as more detailed information about the informant and recorder of the story.
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Once there lived a man he was called Jack of the Glen. He lived by himself and was what we call a bachelor.
He did all his work himself and made no friends with anybody. But he lived happily enough and had plenty for himself. One morning Jack felt hungry for his breakfast and he said to himself '' I think I'll have a breakfast for myself and said what will I have for my breakfast. He thought for a little while and then he says
' I have it
I'll stew my agrimony and I'll sweeten it with honey and I'll have a feed for Johnny.
?ow I'll make make my cake and all will be ready together and I'll have a good '' gow '' on me for it.
?o he made his cake and had it well baked and had all things ready, and was licking his
lips at the thought of the great feed he would have when who should sail into the house only Judy the witch.
'' Oh beggorra, Jack I'm just in time for some of your grand breakfast
'' Troth and you're not in time for a bit of it will never enter your hopper ''
'' That's plain talk ''
'' It is plain talk and it is true talk '' '' Take care of that I might eat as much of it as you will ''
'' Begorra '' says Jack '' if you do I'll eat my hat as soon as you like '' and she went out on the door.
Jack turned to lift the cake and it gave a whirl round, and before he could get hold of it it flew up the chimney.
Jack took a staff out of the corner and out with him and was in time to see the cake hurling down the roof to the house. He made a whack at it and missed it. The cake flew, so to speak on its edge down the field, and out on the road. It met a lot of ladies who held out their aprons and said. '' Come into my apron. Come into my apron ''
but the cake said '' I ran out from hot butter and cold knife, and I hope to get past you ''. Jack gave up the
chace, for he could not keep in view of it so he ran back shouting.
' That you may break your neck or break in two, and then you'll not hurl so fast, but I'm sure Judy has something to do in it . ''
he cake hurled on and on until it met a barn full of threshers who ran after it with flails but they could not get near enough to hit it so they came back, and the little cake went on saying
' I ran out from the butter and cold knife and I'll get past you too.
The cake went on and on. It came to a well full of butlers and washers. The girls and women ran after it with their '' shshes '' but could not get a bit of it .
The cake said '' I ran out from hot butter and cold knife, and I'll get past you too ''
Old Judy the witch called a pet fox she had sent to meet the cake at the river and help it across.
The cake went on till it came to the river, and was hurling up and down to see where it would get across.
Then up came a fox. '' What do you want'' ? says the fox. "I want to get across the river "
'' Well get up on my
back and I'll bring you across '' '' Oh no, you would eat me ''
'' Oh no '' said the fox there's honour in me I'll not touch you ''
The cake jumped up on his back and the fox crept into the river.
Said he, '' Fidge a bit higher afraid yo'd be drowned '' and the cake '' fidged ''up on his shoulder.
He said '' Fidge a bit higher afraid you would get drowned '' and it jumped on his head.
The fox was at the bank now, and put his head straight and said a bit higher '' and the cake had to jump on his nose. The fox was just landing when he said '' Could I not eat you now if I liked ''
'' You could indeed but you said there was honour in you ''
'' So there is and any way I don't eat bread but if you were a goose I'd have no honour '' so follow me. '' and so he set out and the cake followed him until they arrived at Judy the Witche's hut. and when the cake came in on the door old Judy hit it with a witch wand, and the cake fell flat on the floor, and she took it up and she says
'' Now Jack won't I eat more of it than you ''
but Jack was not there, he had to make another cake for his breakfast, and his agrimoney was well stewed (it is a herb that grows in several parts of this country) and was used as we use tea and is very nice when well '' won '' without sum or smoke. It was dried in an outhouse hung up in bunches and cooked the same as tea but no one looks for it now.) Judy had a good feed on Jack's cake and she came to tell Jack about it. She came to the door and she says.
'' Now Jack of the Glen didn't I eat more of your cake than you did yourself. I had a fine feed of it. '' '' I'm sure you had, '' says Jack
'' and that it may give you the big gaul, and that will put you off the walk ''
Well it won't put me off the walk or give me the big gaul, for you are a grand baker it was lovely ''
Jack says '' Begone out of that or I'll break your skull '' and at that he lifts a stick and rushed at Judy.
'' You old instrument of Pluto I'll put you out of the world, and he made a whack of her, but she was gone. He was doing it with such force that he
missed Judy and hit the ground. The stick broke in the middle and Jack fell forward and a splinter of the stick ran into his arm, so far that he had to give a good pull to get it out. When he looked at his wound he says
'' Bad luck to you Judy the witch and I see there is no use in continuing with her for she will have the upper hand of me ''
Jack turned to go into the house to dress his wounds, and saw Judy a good piece off with her fingers to her nose. Jack said
'' that you may never take them down ''
but she did take them down
Jack had to grind his teeth for he was beaten, and could do nothing. So he patched up his arm and vowed he, would keep his distance from Judy the Witch and so he did.
Informant Mary Ann Wheeler
Thanks to Bernadette McGovern who transcribed this and a great many other pages of the The Schools' Collection, from the National Folklore Collection Archives.
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