Notes, types and motifs

Notes for the story 'Who is the Boss - The Husband or the Wife?'

A story related by Lewis Evans, the informant's blind uncle at Hafod Llan Isa, Pentrellyncymer, 1891-2. The uncle told the story after his parents (the informant's grandparents) had been quarrelling prior to their visit to the village of Cerrigydrudion, about 4 miles from Hafod Llan Isa.

Only one other distant variant of this narrative was recorded by the Museum of Welsh Life. See tape MWL 2631 (Cellan, Card.). For English versions, see Briggs, vol. 2B, pp. 110-12 ('The Grey Mare is the Better Horse'), and p. 115 ('The Henpecked Husband'). 'The grey mare is the better horse' was once a common proverb in England to describe a house where the wife rules.


AT 1366 ASearch for Husband in Command. Man has hundred hens and three horses. He is to give hen where woman is chief of the house, a horse where the man is. He fails to give away any horses since the wife tells the man which to choose.
AT 1375Who Can Rule his Wife? The husband leaves his wife and goes on the advice of his father-in-law with an egg basket to seek through the wide world for a man who can manage his wife. But after a year, he returns to his wife without having found such a man.


T 252.1Unsuccessful search for man who can rule his wife

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