Stories

Robin Ddu And His Brothers

Lewis T Evans (1882-1975)

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Robin Ddu's two brothers wanted to get rid of him. They each had a cow. And what they did was to kill Robin's cow. Robin skinned the cow and thought he'd take the skin to market. And he put the skin on the wall, and a crow alighted on it. He caught hold of the crow's legs and took it along to the parson's house.

When Robin Ddu arrived at the house he went to listen at the door, and the lover of the parson's daughter was in the house. And the lover gave her one hundred pounds.

'Good gracious me! Where shall I put them?' she asked.

'Well, put them under the hearthstone', said the lad. And afterwards he gave her a pound of tea.

'Where shall I put this?' she asked.

'Oh, put it in that cupboard, he won't see it there.' And so she did. But the girl sees her father coming.

'Oh! where shall I go?' he said.

'Get into that oven', she said, 'I'll shut the door on you.'

And so it was.

Robin waits for the parson to come into the house and knocks on the door.

'What do you want, Robin?'

'Oh, this is a thing that will tell you everything', said Robin.

'No, that's an old black crow', he said, 'it won't say anything'.

'Yes it will. Let it say something to you.' Robin squeezed its throat. 'Waac!' said the old crow.

'What's it saying now?'

'Well, there's a pound of tea in the cupboard.' The old parson went to the cupboard.

'Good God, there's something in it', he said. 'Make it say something again.'

He squeezed its throat. 'Waac!' said the old crow.

'What's it saying now?'

'There - lift the hearthstone - there's a hundred pounds there.'

The old parson lifted the hearthstone.

'Well, goodness me, there they are', said he. 'You shall have these, the whole lot. Make it say one more thing before you go from here.' 'Waac!' again.

'Well, it says that if you put burning wood under the oven', said Robin, 'a devil will come out.'

And they put burning wood under the oven and the door opened and the fellow was out and away in a flash. And that was the end of the matter, and Robin went home with the hundred pounds. On the way he bought a hundred sheep, and then brought them home.

The brothers caught Robin and went to throw him into the sea. On the way, as they were taking him in a sack to the sea, they turned into a tavern for a glassful, and what did Robin do - there was an old woman passing - and Robin shouts:

'I'm going to heaven, I'm going to heaven. Who will come here instead of me?'

'Oh, I'll come', said the old woman, 'and you shall have these hundred sheep.'

And so it was.

'You be quite still', said Robin, and he tied her up, in the sack. Then the two left the tavern.

'God, this sack has become lighter, boy, that glass of beer has strengthened us.'

And Robin took the hundred sheep home, and the brothers flung the old woman into the sea, thinking it was Robin. And then they came home. Who was on the yard but Robin with another hundred sheep.

'Where did you get those, Robin?'

'In the sea', said Robin.

'Are there any more?'

'Yes, as many as you want.'

'Wonderful, throw us in!'

And so it was. He threw one in, and 'Ow-ow-ow!' said he, as he drowned.

'What's he doing now, Robin?'

'Oh, picking the fattest sheep.'

'Oh, throw me in, too, before he has the lot', said the other. And that's how it was. Robin flung the two brothers in and he went home to his sheep.


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