Notes, types and motifs

Notes for the story 'The Story of Siôn and Siân and the Dribbling Cow'

Kate Davies heard this story from her Aunty Kitty (Kitty Jones, her mother's sister), when she was a girl at home in Pren-gwyn (although, because of the rhyme, she stated that it was her aunt Nel who told the story). For further information about Kate Davies and her aunt Kitty, see 'the Story of Twm and Siôn and Dai and the Three Roan Calves'.

Kate Davies was rerecorded telling 'The Story of Siôn and Siân and the Dribbling Cow Dribbling', 3.v.1979, tape MWL 6449. In that version Siân, to begin with, wanted to buy a donkey. This is the opening of the second version: 'Siôn and Siân lived together, you see, and Siân was as awkward as possible. Nothing was good enough for her, you see. She wanted a donkey to start with. Well, the donkey was sold, and then she wanted a cow...'

Following the first recording of 'The Story of Siôn and Siân and the Dribbling Cow' (tape MWL 3891), Kate Davies told a story that referred to the ghost of this donkey.

'She [Aunty Kitty] had the same stories you see. She didn't have a new story every time. But she had a lot of stories. She had a story too about Siôn and Siân when the donkey lived with them - this isn't a long story - but the story was that the donkey had died. And, of course, they'd skinned the donkey. And I don't know where they'd put the skin, but the donkey's skin came down through the chimney to them every night, you see. And then he brayed: 'Ee-aw-ee-aw-ee-aw'.

That was the ghost. The donkey's skin came down through the chimney every night and made the sound of the donkey. That was the story she'd tell us now when it was time for us to go to bed, you understand, you see. After finishing the stories, that was the last story, to frighten [us]. We wouldn't be long then before going to bed.'


Types

AT 1211The peasant woman thinks the cow chewing her cud is mimicking her. Kills the cow.

Motifs

J 1820Inappropriate action from misunderstanding.
J 1835Goat chewing cud angers fool who thinks goat is mimicking him.
J 1860Animal or object absurdly punished.
N 383Man falls dead from sudden realisation.
N 384Death from fright.


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