Notes, types and motifs

Notes for the story 'The Farmer Who Does His Wife's Housework'

Lewis T. Evans heard the story from one of the men in the forestry, when he was working with the Forestry Commission (Clocaenog), between 1930 and 1945. His fellow worker said he had heard it when he was quite young. According to the second recording, the tale was told by Thomas Jones, Bryn Du, Cefn Brith: farmer, poet and antiquary.

A fuller version of this tale is published by T Gwynn Jones, 'The Cow on the Roof (as told by a Denbighshire Teamsman)', Welsh Folklore and Folk-Custom, London, 1930, pp.229-31. Siôn Dafydd is the farmer's name in this version. For another version, from Llanddulas, Denb., see tape MWL 4075. For versions from England, see Briggs, vol. A2, pp. 208-10 (two versions told in verse form); pp. 269-70 ('Simple John and his Twelve Misfortunes'); and pp. 270-1 (Simple Simon's Misfortunes'). For versions from North America, see Baughman, p.28.


AT 1210The Cow is Taken to the Roof to Graze.
AT 1408The Man who Does his Wife's Work. Does everything wrong. Lets the cow graze on the roof. Ties the rope's end to his foot.
AT 1681BFool as Custodian of Home and Animals.


J 1904.1Cow (hog) taken to roof to graze.
J 2132.2Numskull ties the rope to his leg as the cow grazes on the roof. The cow falls off and the man is pulled up the chimney.
J 2431A man undertakes to do his wife's work. All goes wrong.

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